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First Annual Story Time with CMA: The Tipping Point

October 30, 2017 @ 6:30 pm EDT

Join CMA in welcoming 6 amazing movers and shakers of the industry in sharing stories of “the tipping point” of their careers in our First Annual Story Time with CMA. This unique, intimate experience will give attendees a glimpse into the authentic, true stories of our speakers.
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Our Storytellers:

Angela C. Santomero is the Co-Creator, Executive Producer and Head Writer for the breakthrough and award-winning Blue’s Clues. Malcolm Gladwell referred to Blue’s Clues as “One of the stickiest TV shows EVER made” in his book The Tipping Point.  Angela is also the Creator, Executive Producer and Head Writer for the smash hit Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (PBS), as well as Super Why! (PBS), Creative Galaxy (Amazon Studios), and Wishenpoof! (Amazon Studios). Angela is a Founding Partner at Out of the Blue Enterprises in NYC. Described by Joanne Rogers as “a modern day Fred Rogers,” and by as “the driving force behind the best educational programming for children,” Angela’s work has awarded her with a prestigious Peabody award, two TCA awards, 25+ Emmy nominations, and numerous Parents Choice Gold and Silver Awards. Angela’s legacy is forever changing the way in which preschoolers watch television by presenting them with unique, challenging programs that enable them to learn through play, humor, and respect – – changing the world one preschooler at a time!  Angela blogs on and her first parenting book, Preschool Clues – Raising Smart, Inspired and Engaged Kids in a Screen-Filled World is set to debut Spring 2018 with Touchstone/Simon and Schuster.

For over 30 years, Dr. Shalom (Sholly) Fisch has applied educational practice and empirical research to help create effective educational media for children. As President and Founder of MediaKidz Research & Consulting, he has provided educational content development, hands-on testing, and writing for producers of children’s media on every continent but Antarctica. (Past and current clients include WNET/Thirteen, DC Comics, Random House, Procter & Gamble, Sea World/Busch Gardens, and the National Academy of Sciences, among many others.) Prior to founding MediaKidz in 2001, Sholly was Vice President for Program Research at Sesame Workshop, where he oversaw curriculum development, formative research, and summative research for a broad range of television series, outreach projects, school-age magazines, and digital media. In his 15 years at the Workshop, Sholly was Research and/or Content Director for numerous preschool and school-age media-based projects. Some of his current educational media projects include The Magic School Bus Rides Again (recently launched on Netflix), The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That (airing on PBS), and educational outreach materials for Syrian refugee children, based on the animated series 1001 Nights and implemented in partnership with UNICEF.


Jens Peter de Pedro is CEO at Biff Niff, a kids interactive media studio based in New York. Previously, Jens was part of the founding team at Toca Boca, where he was Creative Lead – Strategy and Operations. For the past 18 years he has worked with children’s interactive media for organizations such as Swedish Television, WGBH and The United Nations. Jens is a founding member of the Alliance for Self Directed Education, fighting for the civil right of all children to learn free of coercion.





Linda Beck is an Artist Development Specialist who works closely with development teams to land the perfect looks for new properties and rebrands. Her current clients include Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nick Jr. U.K., DreamWorks TV, and SpinMaster. She has also produced content for children (Nickelodeon, Disney) and grown ups (History Channel, A&E, PBS). On the film festival circuit, she is the programmer for routinely sold out Family Block at the SOMA Film Festival as well as a curator for the “Two Nights Only” Special Screenings. She has served as an animation juror at the Woodstock, Indie Memphis, and Dusty Film Festivals, and the Oscar-Qualifying RiverRun Film Festival where she is honoured to also be on the Advisory Board. Additionally, she has moderated animation panels at The Ottawa International Animation Festival and Atlanta Film Festival. At once point or another, Linda has also done all of the following things professionally: singing, dancing, sewing costumes, building props, writing, storyboarding, directing, designing, and animating. She is a SAG-AFTRA voiceover artist who employs her nonsensical voices on her husband and two kids, very large Rex rabbit, and in shouting encouraging words at the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers.


Sonia Manzano (Sesame Street’s Maria) is a first-generation mainland Puerto Rican who has affected the lives of millions of parents and children since the 1970s, when she was offered an opportunity to play “Maria” on Sesame Street. Manzano was raised in the South Bronx where her involvement in the arts was inspired by teachers who encouraged her to attend The High School of Performing Arts where she began her career as an actress. A scholarship took her to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and in her junior year, she came to New York to star in the original production of the off-Broadway show Godspell. Within a year, Manzano joined the production of Sesame Street where she eventually began writing scripts for the series and garnered 15 Emmy Awards. Manzano has performed on the New York stage, in the critically acclaimed theater pieces The Vagina Monologues and The Exonerated. Her children’s books include No Dogs Allowed, A Box Full of Kittens and most recently Miracle on 133rd Street. Her first YA novel was The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano. Her memoir Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx was just released. Manzano received The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Award in Washington DC, and the Hispanic Heritage Award for Education in 2003. She received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Notre Dame University in 2005. She was twice nominated for an Emmy Award as Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series. On May 1st 2016 Sonia received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.


Tim Kubart found his love for children’s music while volunteering during college at a homeless shelter for women and children. He is the 2016 Grammy Award Winner for Best Children’s Album, for his independent release HOME. Tim spent 2013-2017 as a Host/Writer/Producer of the Emmy Nominated SUNNY SIDE UP, the only LIVE morning show for pre-schoolers, on NBCUniversal’s Sprout Channel (now Universal Kids.) He can still be seen on Universal Kids in music videos on SPROUT HOUSE. As a Songwriter, alongside his production team Bfast Studios, Tim works on music for other children’s properties, most notably SESAME STREET. Tim is on a never ending tour playing concerts for kids and families, but he’s probably still best known as “Tambourine Guy”, a longstanding cast member of the viral music collective and internationally touring POSTMODERN JUKEBOX.


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Event sponsored by:

Please note this event is $15 for members, $40 for non-members, and $20 for student non-members (Student ID must be provided upon request) Click here for more information on CMA membership!


October 30, 2017
6:30 pm EDT
Event Category:


Sesame Workshop
1900 Broadway
New York, NY 10023