Leslie G. Kelen was born in Budapest, Hungary and emigrated to the United States in 1959 with his parents, grandmother, and younger sister. He received a BA in Mathematics from Lehman College in the Bronx and an MA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. Kelen started working on documentary-style projects in the late 1970s. In 1983, he co-founded the Oral History Institute, which became the Center for Documentary Arts in 2000 and the Center for Documentary Expression and Art in 2011. He is the co-author of five books and two chapbooks of poetry, including Missing Stories: An Oral History of Ethnic and Minority Groups in Utah (1996), Sacred Images: A Vision of Native American Rock Art (1996), Faces and Voices of Refugee Youth (2002), and This Light of Ours: Actvitist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement (2011.) In July 2003, together with his wife, received the National Education Association’s Applegate-Dorros Peace and International Understanding Award.
Kent Miles is a native of Salt Lake City. After attending the University of Utah, he graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. He has worked with the CDEA for more than 20 years and was a principal contributor to many CDEA exhibit and book projects, including The Other Utahns: A Photographic Portfolio (1988),Missing Stories: An Oral History of Ethnic and Minority Groups in Utah (1996), and Streaked with Light and Shadow: Portraits Of Former Soviet Jews in Utah (2000). Kent was the exclusive photographer on Faces and Voices of Refugee Youth (2002). In 1987 he was selected as one of the “Top One Hundred New [American] Photographers” by Photography’s Annual Awards in New York City, sponsored by Eastman Kodak and Maine Photographic Workshops, and was a regional finalist in the Leica Medal of Excellence awards. He taught business practices in photography at Brigham Young University from 1994 until 2006.

Talia Hansen has a dual interest in museums and public education. Her museum experiences include exhibit design and fabrication and community outreach. She was part of the team that prepared The Leonardo’s opening displays.  She later joined the Utah Museum of Natural History, where she wrote curriculum and trained educators on techniques that promote student engagement and learning through inquiry. More recently, Talia has been a guest speaker, advocating for girls and women in science. She currently works for the Salt Lake City School District’s Community Education Department and is Executive Assistant to Leslie Kelen, director of the Center for Documentary Expression and Art.

Mary Lee Peters is CDEA’s development coordinator emeritus. After working with CDEA for seven years as Development Coordinator, she is retiring to spend more time with her art, her writing, and her large family. She taught visual arts to elementary students in the Madison, Wisconsin, public schools for 15 years and also supervised student teachers and taught art education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the former executive director of the Riverside (California) Arts Council, a position she held for nine years before returning to Salt Lake City to join family here. Mary Lee served as director of the Salt Lake City Arts Council for five years, and she is a board member of Friends of Gilgal Garden and Art Access. She will stay involved with CDEA in a consultant capacity.

Dave Borba is an artist, student, and aspiring social worker. His use of interactive kinetic sculptures invites audiences to engage with their environments and explore connections with self and others. While traveling through the country, presenting his work, he recognized the potential art has to create shared experiences, raise awareness, and even heal. This recognition inspired Dave to return to school with aspirations to tap into the transformative powers of art as a therapist. He is currently finishing his bachelor’s in social work at the University of Utah and is CDEA’s 2017 spring semester intern. Recently, Dave was accepted into the University College of Social Work advanced standing program. He begins graduate school in the summer of 2017.

Dr. Kelen serves as Education Outreach Consultant and interviewer for CDEA’s Faces and Voices of Refugee YouthProject. She conceived of the project in 2000 and is now spearheading the effort to update its content to reflect the arrival of new refugees into Salt Lake City schools. Dr. Kelen worked for 33 years as a school social worker and has been a family and child therapist in private practice for 30 years. In July 2003, together with her husband, she received the National Education Association¹s Applegate-Dorros Peace and International Understanding Award. In addition, she received the Pete Suazo Social Justice Award and the Utah School Counselor Association’s Human Rights Award.
Robert H. Hirschi is a multimedia artist, programmer. He worked at The Salt Lake Tribune for 23 years. He is a board member of Friends of Gilgal Garden.