Cultivate the Creative is a nonprofit organization created to remove socioeconomic barriers to art programs and art supplies for youth in underserved communities. Through equitable access to art and education, Cultivate the Creative celebrates the creative process and empowers students to grow personally, emotionally, and artistically through expressive arts.
Through our Instagram, we sell art pieces created by founder, Kristen Kerr, and donated by other artists. Proceeds from the sales go towards the Cultivate the Creative scholarship fund, Youth are then able to apply for scholarships to help pay for art programs and supplies.
If this is your first time visiting the website, welcome!
We are confident you will find a piece that perfectly compliments your style and space while investing back into your community. May this be a space that encourages and inspires you to cultivate the creative within!
MEET OUR BOARD
Founder & Director
Kristen Kerr (she/her) resides in the sunny and beautiful St. Petersburg, FL. After moving to the City in 2018, she was inspired by all of the art around her and decided to start painting.
With growing interest and too many pieces laying around she didn’t know what to do with, she decided to start selling her pieces but with the intention to invest all proceeds back into the art community. Hence, the creation of Cultivate the Creative!
Kristen has been working in public service since 2013, supporting nonprofits and local governments through program and financial management. Leveraging her professional experience with the love for creating made Cultivate the Creative truly possible.
Kristen has volunteered with various organizations since she was in high school such Habitat for Humanity and Guardian ad Litem. Through these experiences, she’s seen first hand the inequities that exist in our current structures and the challenges that children experience these days. Art has the power to encourage creative thinking, resolve internal conflict, and inspire oneself and others. All children deserve access to art programs and supplies to explore their creative abilities.
When Kristen isn’t creating or working, she enjoys spending time with her pup, Kota, going to the St. Pete pier, kayaking, cooking, and reading down at the the beach.
Richard Prince takes a vision and makes it a reality through sound strategy development and structuring collaborative ideas. He innately sees the links of opportunity that exists in an organization, brings them together into a rational whole, helps others expands their logic, and drives collaborative thinking into a business advantage. He is an inspirational leader with the experiences that provoke action while at the same time moving the organization forward. Respected as a credible voice in decision making, finding innovative ways to achieve goals, and establishing new opportunities, Richard is an asset wherever he serves.
Currently, as Economic Development Coordinator for the City of St. Pete’s Urban Affairs Department, Richard oversees the Mayor’s signature youth program called My Brothers My Sisters Keeper and seeks opportunities for economic equality for St. Pete’s Community Redevelopment Area. He lead the Mayor’s youth program to serve over 300 youth and over 100 families. He is now spearheading major strategic shifts for transforming the city’s youth programs and aligning economic relief programs in response to COVID-19.
Previously, as Director of Business Development for a private company in West Palm Beach, FL, Richard led business development for a private company and created their educational sector which served families and schools all over the nation. During this time, he built the system that connected with over 250 schools in the USA and abroad and repositioned the organizations partnerships into New York City. Earlier he rose through the ranks and acted as liaison to the organization’s partners in New York and New Jersey. He began his career at Eaton Orthopedics working with Dr. Koco Eaton of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Richard graduated from the University of South Florida with his BA in business management and was heading into Law School before he received a job offer for a private company in West Palm Beach, FL. He has served on a board of a nonprofit organization whose mission we helping foster youth and their adopted families. Richard is also a recording artist and uses art to inspire him musical and give him an escape from his everyday endeavors. Richard lives by the quote,” have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.”
Carrie Tillett-Saks (she/her) is a licensed arts therapist and mental health counselor. She specializes in trauma-informed care that centers mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Carrie’s joy and responsibility is to provide culturally-conscious support to youth and families; she’s worked with children in foster care, survivors of domestic violence, and children and their families in the Latinx communities. She is committed to helping strengthen communities and prioritizes social justice praxis in her work and personal life.
Carrie is also a painter, dog mama to her adorable pitbull, Sol, and an urbanite trying to keep her plants alive for as long as possible. Carrie is an alumna of the FSU Art Therapy Master’s program and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Courtney Walmer Olenek
Courtney Walmer Olenek is a native Floridian who has a wide range of non-profit experience. She is passionate about serving her community and ensuring youth have an outlet to express their creativity.
In high school, she founded a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that ensured orphaned and at-risk youth in Swaziland, Africa had access to education. She went on to receive a minor in nonprofit management from the University of Central Florida and used her education to serve as a community outreach coordinator for a local non-profit organization.
Courtney received her J.D. from Florida State College of Law and works for the State Attorney's Office prosecuting domestic violence and child abuse cases. She is thrilled to offer her experience to the Board of Cultivate the Creative.