Nanci Hersh, Executive Director
Nanci Hersh’s life is her canvas. Whether she is in the studio or classroom, on the yoga mat or in the water, she is passionate about making the most of every day. Her two-dimensional work as well as her sculptures and installations are examinations and celebrations of life at its best – and most challenging. It is how she make sense of the world, and connects with others.
With her cousin and author, Ellen McVicker, Nanci illustrated and co-created the children’s book Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings: When someone you love has cancer… a hopeful, helpful book for kids. She is a master teaching artist and continues to share her experience, knowledge and energy with students of all ages and abilities.
Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States including “Eons Beyond the Rib,” at Seraphin Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, “Navigation Puzzle,” at the Delaware Contemporary, “Paper Work”, at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie and “The Demoiselles Revisited” at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, NYC, along with solo exhibitions in PA, NJ, DE, and Hawaii. Nanci has received numerous honors including three purchase awards from the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts, Hawaii and two Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grants. Her work is included in the Public Collections of Johnson & Johnson, Herspace Breast Imaging, Leland Portland Cement, and OSI Pharmaceuticals to name a few.
She lives in beautiful Chester County, PA with her husband, two teenage sons, dogs, and her backyard koi fish pond.
Ashley SK Davis, Artistic Director
Ashley SK Davis is a dancer, choreographer, actor and teacher, and has served as a teaching artist for DiAE since 2008. A Wilmington native, she earned her B.A. in philosophy at Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga., where she was active in the arts community on campus. As a member of the Spelman College Dance Theatre, she trained under Kenneth Green (Six Flags; Disney), Nathan Trice (nathantrice/RITUALS), and Alan Gartrell (Atlanta Dance Connection; Milwaukee Dance Exchange).
Ashley is also the executive and artistic director of Pieces of a Dream, Inc., an area dance company. Most recently she served as the assistant artistic director for “Same Story, Different Countries”, a multi-disciplinary concert produced by the University of Delaware Department of Dance that explores the similarities between the “black experience” in the United States and South Africa.
She has found great joy in encouraging children to discover their inner artist. In addition to teaching at a variety of regional dance studios, she also has conducted dance classes at several schools in the area, including Serviam Girls Academy, Lewis Elementary School and First State Ballet Theatre’s school outreach programs. For the past nine years, Ashley has served as a teaching artist in drama and dance for the DiAE and Delaware Wolf Trap, where she uses dance and theater techniques to encourage learning and enhance student engagement with the daily curricula in Delaware schools.