George J. Gilliam is the founder and Executive Director of Creative Identity and serves as the Musical Director of Creative Identity's Pride Band, Singers, and String Ensemble. Mr. Gilliam received his bachelor's degree from Xavier University in New Orleans and in 1992 earned bachelor's in music therapy from California State University, Long Beach. He has served adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Southern California for over 21 years as a music therapist and was the program director of Hope University, the first creative-arts therapy facility in Orange County for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He founded Creative Identity in 1996 with the vision of assisting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve a higher degree of independence and reach their creative potentials as productive and contributing members of society.
Dr. Cynthia Smith has served as the Program Director of Creative Identity for over 6 years. Dr. Smith received her bachelor's in music with an emphasis in music therapy from Chapman University. In 2011, she received her PhD from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology. She is a Board Certified Music Therapist and an internationally renowned fretted dulcimer recording artist, singer, songwriter, and arranger of traditional British Isles music. She is a much sought after clinician, performing and teaching the fretted dulcimer at universities and events across the nation, including the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. In 1994, she co-founded the Southern California Dulcimer Heritage and that same year co-founded The Harvest Festival of Dulcimers in Southern California, where she served as the Artistic Director for 12 years. Her recordings with Ruth Barrett include: The Early Years: Aeolus/Music of the Rolling World, Deepening, A Dulcimer Harvest, and The Heart is the Only Nation. She is currently working on the release of her sixth recording on her independent label Aeolus Music.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Back row (left to right): Samantha McGee (Secretary), Kathy Haze, Scott Kasper, Thomas Burns, Ed Washington, Paul Evans, and Jim Rogers (Treasurer). Front row (left to right): Barbara Napper, Cynthia Smith (Program Director), George Gilliam (President/Executive Director), Silvia Estabrook (Vice President), and Gayle Pierce. Not present: Carol Stone and Tara Crapnell.