Brief Bio Sketch


ISE lead Teaching Artist, Lorenzo L. Sandoval, MFA


Photo and complete 60 page Curriculum Vita available at the page entitled "Professional Staff" in the about us section.   Scroll to bottom of the page for the link to Vita.





Iowa Artist Lorenzo Sandoval, MFA, currently makes his living completely within the world of his Art. Frequently listed among his state’s most prominent Latino artists, he is a consummate professional who possesses a sometimes rare skill-set:  he holds top-tier skills and experience as an administrator as well as premier skills as both a performing and a creative artist.  Additionally, Mr. Sandoval is a passionate, widely-respected teacher with significant experience in all educational circles – from the youngest students to adults and seniors- and he is also active in a wide variety of prestigious leadership circles in his state.




As an artist, Mr. Sandoval holds a terminal degree (MFA) from one of the nation’s most renowned schools:  The internationally-recognized Playwright’s Workshop at the University of Iowa.  There, he was one of the nation’s scant 100 Patricia Roberts Harris Fellows, and he routinely worked with such noted names among theatre artists as Pulitzer-prize winner Nilo Cruz.  He is rostered with three agencies: the Iowa Arts Council, the Des Moines Metro Arts Alliance, and the Des-Moines based P’ARTners Agency.


As a performing artist and theatre artist, Mr. Sandoval holds significant competencies and exceptional experience in assuming multiple roles. 


As an Actor, Mr. Sandoval has appeared in over 100 films, industrials, and commercials, as well as in 28 recent stage performances (since 2000.)  Some of his most memorable recent roles include playing the title lead role of Sam in Woody Allen’s Play It Again, Sam for Wisconsin’s Theatre on the Bay, the title lead role of Mark Twain in Twain at Twilight for the Iowa Governor’s Mansion’s prestigious Victorian Voices Series, the lead role of Charles Dickens in the Victorian Voices signature show, Ebeneezer (3 successive years) and being double cast Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, where he provided a comedic portrayed Don Antonio, a Tango-dancing head-of-Household -as well as a grieving Uncle. 


Additionally, in the same recent time period, he was the on-air host for Iowa Public Television’s Insight Iowa, a half-hour weekly public affairs show which aired across the entire state.  Mr. Sandoval is frequently an IPTV featured host for a variety of one-hour specials, including a notable 3 successive years of holding down the live host position for the prestigious World Food Prize Ceremony.  He was also the Founding Artistic Director and on-air co-host of Metro Des Moines City Spotlights Television show, a program he co-hosted with Des Monies’ Mayor that showcased local Arts. 


Mr. Sandoval is as talented in other areas of the performing arts as he is as an Actor.  As a Vocal Artist, he has appeared on stages from the Iowa State Fair to the United Nations Stage, and as a Dancer, he has danced on stages throughout the Midwest and southwest as well as on the United Nations stage.  And as a Musician, Mr. Sandoval plays both acoustical guitar as well as the African drum.  One of his most prestigious recent appearances was as a keynote artist on a stage with the renounced folk artist legend, Odetta, in 2007.


As a creative Artist, Theatre Director, and Playwright, Mr. Sandoval’s informed breadth of talent as a performing artist allows him to bring exceptional depth to the productions he directs.  Thus, as an Artistic Director, he routinely infuses his plays with the nuanced richness of choreography and dance, live music and other special effects which for many productions, are at best the rare “add on”.  By contrast, Mr. Sandoval’s hallmark as an Artistic Director is the seamless integration of dance and music into the very fabric of his theatric work, enriching his productions with unusual depth and magic.


 As an Artistic Director, since 2006, Mr. Sandoval has been the Founding Artistic Director of the Center for Shakespeare Performance and Study of Greater Des Moines and for the organization the Center gave birth to in 2007: The Iowa Shakespeare Experience.  Additionally, he has both founded and directed several other prestigious theatre series:  the popular 11 year Day of the Dead series at the Des Moines Arts Center, featuring original one-act plays; the lauded 3 year Victorian Voices series at Iowa’s Governors Mansion, where to date he has produced 6 three-act plays, and the hit Shakespeare on the Lawn series, where he produced 5 two and three act Shakespearean works.  These series draw notable crowds- approximately 2000 annually attend the Day of the Dead series, making that series one of the Art Center’s largest events, and the Victorian Voices series routinely sells out.  Similarly, the Shakespeare on the Lawn series drew paying crowds of over 1000 as early as its third season. 

Although Mr. Sandoval has directed works on many traditional stages, ranging from Des Moines’ very popular Stage West venue in the Des Moines Civic Center to stages at the Des Moines Arts Festival, as is visible in many of his venue selections, Mr. Sandoval specializes in a challenging and unique form of theatre known as “Found Space Theatre”. 


One of the most exciting approaches to theatre, in Found Space work, a director adapts a show to fit non-traditional spaces.  It is very artistically and technically challenging to produce top caliber theatre in spaces without a traditional stage and lighting, but incredibly rewarding, for Found Space work brings theatre alive in ways that no other approach can – and is considered one of the most “au currant” approaches to today’s cutting edge theatre.  Victorian classics such as work by Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, or Oscar Wilde come alive inside an actual Victorian Mansion as no other facsimile set can make them.  Similarly, Shakespeare performed outdoors with live torchlight and in actual forests approaches the height of the magical realism which is so much a part of the genre. 


Additionally, since Mr. Sandoval has significant expertise in working with other non-profits, his Found Space series typically take place in collaboration with other non-profits, reducing overall costs while assisting the non-profit to find new audiences. 


Further, Mr. Sandoval has served as director, playwright and dramaturge for each of the series noted above, a remarkable outpouring of artistic talent.  As a Director, Mr. Sandoval routinely works with some of the most talented and well-trained theatre artists in central Iowa: a typical show includes several MFA theatre professionals as well as BFAs, inclusive of numerous Actors with significant experience in major stage markets such as New York City and Los Angeles. 


As a Dramaturge, Mr. Sandoval brings his years of experience with academically focused artistic research and interpretation to the fore, experience honed by nearly 125 sections of college and University teaching he has presented in institutions all across Iowa, including at the University of Iowa.  As a Scriptwriter, Mr. Sandoval has written for IPTV as well as for diverse projects such as his 2008 project for the University of Alabama, where he is developing some 20 dramatic scripts for radio.  And as a Playwright, Mr. Sandoval is a (record breaking) five time Prairie Playwright Award winner whose work has been published by the prestigious Dramatic Publishing Company, the  third-largest dramatic publishing house in America.  Since 2000, under commission, he has authored 3 original adaptations of Shakespeare, an adaptation of Charles Dickens and Edith Wharton, an original script based on the life of Mark Twain, two original scripts based on themes of Shakespeare, 7 original scripts based on Latino heritage, two children’s plays, and recently has had two commissions: to write a series of 24 Radio Scripts for the University of Alabama and to pen a play about Iowa’s ICE immigration raids, a play expected to travel statewide.  He is a past member of the Iowa Scriptwriter’s Alliance, a juror for a variety of state-wide Speech and Theatre events, and a frequent reader and advisor to aspiring playwrights.  


Mr. Sandoval’s reputation and accomplishments extend far beyond the reaches of his native Central Iowa.   In addition to his statewide television presence, he is a sought-after performer across the state, with multiple appearances in the Red Oak Fine Arts Series and other similar series.  His out-of-state credits include a semester’s residency for the University of Wisconsin (Marinette) where he was Artist-in-Residence, appearances in New York City on the United Nations stage, and (currently) commercial voice work in fully 3 national regional markets (both coasts and on the Gulf Coast.)  His most recent residency was an especially prestigious contract with the Des Moines Art Center in 2007, under which he created theatrical pieces in association with nationally-known artist Enrique Chagoya.




As noted above, with nearly 125 sections of award-winning college and University teaching, including tenure-track positions, Mr. Sandoval is an accomplished educator able to hold his own in any academic environment.  His depth in higher education greatly contributes to his abilities with that most delicate art of dramaturgy, further informing his stage work with sophisticated significance.


However, beyond the realm of higher education, Mr. Sandoval’s teaching and experience extends to a widely diverse body of students.  Quite simply, he adores teaching.  He is one of Metro Arts Alliance’s most frequently-requested Teaching Artists and routinely has contracts to teach and create art projects with the public schools, including lengthy residencies with Marshalltown public schools and with Des Moines Schools.   His experience in working with at-risk youth (including in working with Spanish-speaking youth) is extensive and inclusive of mounting full-blown theatre projects with high risk youth on prominent community stages, such as on stage in Downtown Des Moines at the venerable Younkers Tea Room and in the chic Vaudeville Mews.  In fact, his projects with high risk youth are typically funded by some of our state’s most prestigious funders, such as the Iowa Arts Council and Variety Club.  He has also received direct commissions to write youth-oriented plays from institutions such as the University of Northern Iowa.


Mr. Sandoval is also an expert in working with adult learners, and has presented workshops all across the nation on this topic and other topics, for such agencies as the National Red Cross, the US Department of Justice, the State of Iowa PTA, Des Moines University, and also with Fortune 500 companies such as Sears.   One of his more recent accomplishments in working with adult learners was in designing and presenting a course on Shakespeare for the Central Iowa Senior College, a course which has already been picked up for the following year due to its receiving unusually high student satisfaction rankings.



as an Arts-focused Administrator and professional Grantwriter


As noted above, Mr. Sandoval’s depth of talent is matched by depth in the administrative capacities often so fundamentally critical to the artistic success of any work.  All too often this is a relatively rare combination of talent, but Mr. Sandoval handles administrative responsibilities with aplomb equal to his Artistic reach.


Mr. Sandoval has served administratively in top-tier positions critical to the cultural and artistic leadership of Iowa.  In the late nineties, he held the second-in-command position at the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs under the title of Director of Development and Diversity.  Following this position, he served as Acting Executive Director for the Des Moines Metro Arts Alliance.  He also served as Vice President among his terms on the Board of Directors for Humanities Iowa.  Additional executive leadership roles have included being a Senior Director at Proteus Inc., a leading manager with John Deere, and serving as Executive Director for the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. 


Further, as a federal and state level grant writer, for well over a decade, Mr. Sandoval routinely was responsible for bringing multiple millions of dollars in grant funding into Iowa coffers.  He maintains a remarkable proposal success rate of over 95%.  He also has a thriving business as President of his Arts and Project Management Consulting organization.




Mr. Sandoval’s many leadership competencies have been recognized through and by a variety of leadership roles and governmental appointments.  Ranging from being an elected delegate to the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs “Imagine Iowa” initiative to his Mayoral Appointment to the Des Moines Human Rights Commission (where he served as Vice Chair), his experience with leadership bodies is extensive.  He has been elected to 15 different Metro, State, and Regional Boards of Directors, where he often has served alongside School Superintendents and Lt.Governors, such on the Board for the National Conference of Community and Justice.  He is the annual MC for Drake University International Day and a director for the Iowa Latino Conference. He was the Founding Chair of one of Des Monies’ oldest institutions that serves the Latino community (HER: Hispanic Educational Resources) and has been recognized by a Governor’s service award as well as by being elected as LULAC (League of United Latin American Countries) Man of the Year.  He has also been elected into membership with a variety of private leadership organizations prominent in Iowa’s Capital City, such as the distinguished Prairie Club, founded by Vice President Wallace and more recently including Metro leaders like former Des Moines CEO David Hurd. 







ISE Lead Educational Program Supervisor and Curriculum Director, Robin A. Heinemann

National Expert, Programming and Evaluation Programming for Youth and Families: 

Prevention and Early Intervention


Specialist in Arts Programming

Specialist in Program Design and Administration


Photo plus complete 45 page professional Curriculum Vita available on this website at the page entitled "Professional Staff" in the "About ISE" section.  Scroll to bottom of the page for the Vita.



COMMUNITY DEVEOMENT, YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, AND EVALUATION: As a Co-Investigator and Curriculum and Program Director of federal-level youth prevention and early intervention research projects on appointment to the internationally-recognized Institute of Social and Behavioral Research at Iowa State University, and with over a decade of direct field experience in managing and providing services to high risk communities and youth populations in some of our nation’s most diverse and blighted communities, Robin Heinemann offers an often rare professional perspective which provides both strong research-based theoretical expertise as well as balanced, insightful pragmatics.  Ms. Heinemann is a veteran of a wide variety of both state and federal initiatives with many well-recognized organizations such as the Des Moines Public School District, the Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Arts Council, SAMHSA, CSAP, OJJDP, DOD, and DOE*.  Ms. Heinemann is a popular, lively trainer and an expert teacher of both youth and adults.  Ms. Heinemann brings an unusual degree of cross-disciplinary training and cross-regional experience to her work, informing her work with significant breadth of perspective. (Acronyms defined below.)


PROJECT MANAGER AND PRODUCER: Ms. Heinemann is also an accomplished producer and project manager.  With 15 national and state level projects to her credit that she has designed, implemented and overseen from the ground floor up to award-winning status, along with 16 regional artists productions, 29 Television shows, nearly 70 plays, plus 7 special events (the latter two categories drawing crowds of over 1000) Ms. Heinemann’s demonstrated ability with production and project management is an important part of her skill set.


EXPERTISE IN THE ARTS: In addition to her academic work in research and evaluation and with production and youth and community development, Ms. Heinemann also has a significant level of experience in the world of the Arts.  An author of her own national curriculum which uses the arts to teach prevention (see below), Ms. Heinemann’s abiding interest in and involvement with the Arts reaches back to the start of her career in New York City, where she served in a production guide capacity for such famous television programs as the award-winning Saturday Night Live.  She also was a Production Associate of her father’s New York television film company which at that time, had garnered more Emmy-Awards than any other TV film company in America. 


This interest in the arts has continued throughout the many turns of her career, such that for example, Ms. Heinemann served on the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Board of the state’s “Take A Step” project – the state’s initial foray into using the Arts as a community development strategy.  On the Board of Directors for numerous Arts organizations such two terms on the Board of the Des Moines Playhouse, Ms. Heinemann further served a Mayoral appointment as her city’s Founding Chair of the Des Moines Public Art Task Force- an appointment which directly resulted in the creation of unanimously-passed city legislation that gave birth to that city’s first-ever Public Art Commission.  This leadership garnered her team the Iowa Arts Council “Arts in Community” award


In 1995, as a result of her award-winning leadership in the Arts, Ms. Heinemann was asked to serve as the Arts and Cultural Liaison to the Des Moines’ Mayor’s office.  In this capacity, as a television producer, she launched Des Moines’ first City Arts Television programming, initially with Mayor Preston Daniels, taping live in the City Council chambers, and then in a later incarnation of the program, co-producing with Mayor Frank Cownie the city’s “City Spotlight” cable television show featuring the arts both on location and in the studio. 


And, since 2000, Ms. Heinemann has been the Executive Producer for 16 live theatre shows, including a series of 8 summer Shakespeare plays, 6 original live theatre plays in association with the Iowa State Governor’s Mansion “Victorian Voices” theatre series, and 7 original live plays for the Des Moines Art Center “Day of the Dead” series.


Ms. Heinemann’s affinity for the Arts is so strong that in 2006, she made a career change from her work in community development, in order to accept a position as the part-time Executive Director for the Iowa Shakespeare Experience, providing critical administrative leadership and evaluation for that organization and serving as its Executive Producer, along with overseeing the Center’s programming for youth and families.  As that position is currently part time, she continues her national consulting and book publication schedules, often melding her work with community development, youth and families into her work with the arts in a way that few leaders have the experience to do. 




PUBLISHED AUTHOR: An innovative developer of curriculum (over 25 semester-length curricula) for a wide variety of schools and agencies, and an experienced grant writer with a 90+% proposal success rate, Ms. Heinemann is a recognized subject matter expert and author in association with a full spectrum of related community development and youth prevention and intervention issues, including gang and violence prevention, teen suicide and pregnancy prevention, and prevention using the Arts. Her work offers a special emphasis on substance abuse prevention and school-drop out prevention.   She has additional expertise in a full range of issues related to education and the public schools, including school safety and school-based community services, and has had a long affiliation with one of the most highly ranked (top 3) public school districts in America.  Ms. Heinemann offers further expertise in specialty prevention strategies involving the use of the Arts and Media Literacy. 


Ms. Heinemann’s work has been published nationally in 5 national journal publications as well as in books (two original curriculum –one featuring the use of arts in prevention and one in association with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention).  Additionally, she has authored 8 national reports on file with the United States Federal Government, two of which have been published for use in technical assistance work offered by the government across the county.


HONORS AND AWARDS: Robin Heinemann was elected to the nation’s inaugural Federal Expert Panel for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention by the U.S. Department of Education in 1997, and her programming was recognized as among the top 20 in the nation with the 1994 federal-level Exemplary in the Nation” award, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) to fewer than 20 programs in the country.  In 2004, Heinemann’s most recent work in curriculum and program development was forwarded by CSAP for review as part of the process whereby her current project is anticipated to gain National Model Program status. (NREP**), and in 2007 her most recent curriculum has been under contract for national publication by the nationally renowned Hazelden Publishing Company of Minnesota.


In addition to her work at Iowa State University, Ms. Heinemann has been selected as a prevention consultant on a wide variety of regional, national and federal-level projects.  In a national call for experts, she was selected as one of only 10 consultants from across the country tapped by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (Alexandria, VA) for the development of a variety of several prevention programs for the United States Department of Defense and for the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  Later, Ms. Heinemann was one of only 5 original consultants promoted to develop Phase II of this project.


These projects involved a wide variety of national and international training and prevention initiatives, including cross-cultural initiatives, including consulting for the US Department of Defense to provide research-based solutions to youth problems on US military bases across the world. 


In Iowa, Heinemann has served on a number of state initiatives, such as Janet Reno’s national pilot initiative for the OJJDP Comprehensive Strategy Technical Assistance program for youth prevention, and the State of Iowa’s Healthy Iowa 2010 Campaign.  In the Arts, she served on Iowa’s state Board for the innovative “Take A Step” project- that state’s inaugural project using the Arts as a research-based intervention for gang and drug prevention and other prevention needs of at-risk communities.


In fact, one of Heinemann’s Iowa programs was formally recognized as a prevention model for the state of Iowa by the Iowa Legislature, as featured in the 1999 October and November issue of Sate Legislatures Journal.  Ms. Heinemann has additionally been involved in a wide variety of specialized prevention projects, ranging from the inaugural development of a state-wide “Arts in Prevention” initiative with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to the development of State-distributed prevention videos.


CONSULTING: Beyond Iowa, Ms. Heinemann has professionally consulted for any number of high profile initiatives across 6 states, ranging from providing methamphetamine prevention consultation to the Michigan and Minnesota Department of Public Health to developing published curriculum for use on Native American Indian reservations all across the country, an outgrowth of consultation she provided directly on-site to 5 different tribal organizations in New Mexico.


TEACHING: Also a fully-licensed 7-12 Teacher, Ms. Heinemann holds many sub-specialty certifications, licenses, and endorsements related to working with youth as well as related to training those who work with youth.  She is, for example, a certified trainer of trainers in several national programs, such as with the Office of Juvenile Justice.


ADMINISTRATION AND GRANTS: In addition to her expertise with subject-matter issues, Ms. Heinemann also offers extensive experience in grant writing and grant management, as well as in program and project development, management, design, and implementation.   She has directly managed 4 national-model grant programs in direct association with 3 different US granting agencies, 5 grant programs for state agencies, and 1 grant program for a city agency. 


SENIOR LEVEL PROGRAM EVALUATION: As an evaluator of program outcomes and effectiveness, Ms. Heinemann’s association as a Senior Evaluation Team member with internationally renowned research facility of the Institute of Social and Behavioral Research at Iowa State places her among top tier evaluators nationally.  She is especially known for her authorship of an original evaluation tool designed to be used for the evaluation of a recognized national model program.  Her particular area of expertise as an evaluator concerns the often-overlooked but critical area known is the evaluation field as Evaluative Fidelity.


LEADERSHIP AWARDS: From across both the state of Iowa and its Capital, respectively, Heinemann’s leadership has been recognized with her election to both the state and metropolitan Leadership Institutes, which annually admit less than 50 members from across the state and across its Capital City, respectively.  Heinemann has also worked closely with City Council and State Legislatures to achieve the passage of a wide variety of landmark legislation and city projects. 


Ms. Heinemann’s leadership has also been recognized by her election to over 27 Boards and Commissions on a metro, state, regional and national level. For example, currently, Ms. Heinemann serves on the inaugural Board of Advisors for the National Boys and Girls Clubs of America Family Services Initiative, where she provides consultation and direction to programming that serves over 3 million youth worldwide.


DEGREES AND EDUCATION:  Ms. Heinemann studied with 3 different institutions in Europe (John Cabot International College of Rome, John Cabot International College of Paris, and The L’Abris Institute of Heumoz, Switzerland.  She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Education at Drake University in Des Moines Iowa, where she was a President’s Scholar and a Pan-Hellenic 4.0 Scholar.  Following her undergraduate work, Ms. Heinemann also was an American Jurisprudence Award-winner (an award she won twice) at Drake University School of Law, and she has since attended various institutes (among them Institutes at New York University, Washington DC US Department of Education, and Harvard University) to amass an astonishing 1200 hours of continuing education credits in multiple fields, plus multiple sub-specialty certifications across disciplines.  At Harvard, Ms. Heinemann was also the State of Iowa’s team leader for a series of Institutes held by the Harvard Graduate School of Education on “Full Service Community Schools”.  Nationally, Ms. Heinemann was recognized as an Alternate Rockefeller Foundation Scholar




  • *SAMHSA:  (US) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • *CSAP:  (US) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
  • *OJJDP: (US) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • *DOD:  (US) Department of Defense
  • *DOE:  (US) Department of Education
  • **NREP:  National Registry of Effective Programs





The Iowa Shakespeare Experience

Arts in Education:  STAFF CREDENTIALS