• OUR BOARD OF ADVISORS

 

  • JayPix Belmer is a Boston-bred photographer specializing in portrait, lifestyle, and commercial work. When working with companies and leading brands she aims to help them create a unique image that allows them to shine. She is currently working on two projects: Project H.I.P.-H.O.P. (How I Photograph- Helps Other People) and B.I.R.D Street (Building Individuals, Reconstructing Dorchester), a continuous community project that sheds light on people and places that are unconsidered and undiscovered in her community. Her focus is on building relationships with her subjects in order to capture their essence and soul.

 

  • Gloretta Baynes is a visual artist, an independent curator, and a consultant. She is the Chair of African American Master Artist in Residency Program (AAMARP) for artists and curators as well as an adjunct of the Department of African American Studies at Northeastern University. Gloretta is the exhibition designer for Community Creations, an annual exhibition hosted by the Isabella Stewart Museum with six communities. Gloretta’s most recent commission is €œHome is where the He(art) is for the Children’s Hospital that was installed in June 2009 in the Family House at 241 Kent Street. She is listed in the St. James Guide to Black Artists and the Private Show Issue of the International Review of African American Art. Her work is in many public and private collections including the National Center of African American Artists and the Association of African American Museums. Gloretta is a Cambridge native and alumna of Massachusetts College of Art.

 

  • Kathleen Bitetti is a practicing visual artist and a freelance curator/arts administrator. For over twenty years, Kathleen has been advocating and advising on local, state and national levels for artist’s rights, first amendment and intellectual property protection, access to affordable health care & health care reform, arts funding, small business issues, the creative and cultural economies, and the development of free or low cost resources/services for artists working in all genres, small arts related businesses, cultural nonprofits, and grassroots organizations. She helped to found the annual Artists Under the Dome event at the Massachusetts State House and is the co-founder of the Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition, the Artists Health Care Working Group and the State House Artists Working Group. She also helped to found three artists run organizations/websites: www.healthcareforartists.org, www.artistsalliance.us & www.artistsunderthedome.org. For more info on Kathleen: www.KathleenBitetti.com

 

  • BJ Comerford is a visual artist and the coordinator of “Allston Arts District” (AAD) as well as one of the founding members of the Boston Open Studios Coalition (BOSC).  BJ studied at Rhode Island School of Design and Massachusetts College of Art; she received a BFA from Boston University.

 

  • Susan Halter is the Executive Director of the Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL) and the Director of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for the City of Lowell (CASE). As Director, Ms. Halter is responsible for helping to create a high quality cultural environment that offers appealing experiences to the city’s diverse population, that stimulates economic development in the City, and that encourages public participation in the culture of the community. As both service and presenting organizations, COOL/CASE accomplish their missions by stimulating public awareness of and support for the arts, by preserving and celebrating the City’s diverse cultural and historical heritage, by planning yearly community events, and by supporting local festivals.

 

  • Sheryl Howard is an attorney with Krokidas & Bluestein where she represents commercial, non-profit and public clients in a variety of transactional matters, with a concentration in real estate and tax. In connection with her legal practice, she has worked with a range of clients, including municipalities, redevelopment authorities, schools and universities, as well as a major telecommunications provider. She counsels clients including hospitals, nursing homes, educational institutions and other healthcare providers in tax and governance matters. Among her community service activities, Sheryl serves on the board of directors of Visions, Inc., a non-profit organization with offices in Roxbury, Massachusetts and Rocky Mount, North Carolina. She is a former Public Interest Leadership Program fellow of the Boston Bar Association, and she was part of a group of attorneys awarded the Robert B. Fraser Award for Pro Bono Excellence for 2005 from the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts for representation of Fort Point Cultural Coalition in connection with the development of Midway Studios. Prior to joining the firm, Sheryl was an associate at Foley Hoag, LLP in Boston. She is a 1997 graduate of Smith College and a 2001 cum laude graduate of Cornell Law School.

 

  • Veronique LeMelle is the Executive Director of the Boston Center for the Arts. Originally from Queens, NY, LeMelle came to the BCA from Baton Rouge, LA, where she served as Executive Director of the Louisiana Division of the Arts, a job she started in 2005, right before Hurricane Katrina. Prior to that, Le Melle was the Director of the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, Inc. in Queens and the Director of Culture & Tourism in the Queens Borough President’s Office.

 

  • Georgina Lewis is an artist, writer, and occasional curator with an immense fondness for information. Her practice employs sound, text, photography, sculpture, and drawing to create work that probes the juncture of the human and the machine; nature and the built environment. She is employed by the MIT Libraries. Georgina has been involved with several Boston area galleries, most recently AXIOM Center for New and Experimental Media, where she was part of the AXIOM group: a collaborative management team that oversaw the gallery and functioned as its steering committee. Georgina’s work has been presented at numerous venues, including the Visual Studies Workshop, National University of Ireland, REDCAT in Los Angeles, GASP, AXIOM Center for New and Experimental Media, Art Interactive, and the Mills Gallery. Georgina was a 2005 artist in residence at the Millay Colony in New York state, a 2010 fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and was awarded a Director’s Grant in 2007 from the Council for the Arts at MIT. She received her MFA in sound from Bard College in 2006 and holds undergraduate degrees from Franklin and Marshall College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Georgina is a member of the COLLISIONcollective and and the Artists’ Studio Program at the Boston Center of the Arts. She was a 2012-13 fellow at Harvard University’s metaLAB and is currently a fellow at MIT’s Hyperstudio.

 

  • Derek Lumpkins is the Executive Director of Discover Roxbury. He was hired to the head the organization after serving nearly three years as its Program and Marketing Manager. During his tenure, he has overseen expansion and diversification of Discover Roxbury’s programming, including new bike tours, art walks, and culinary events such as the Berries in the Bury tea’ and Roxtoberfest. He initiated the autumn fundraising event, Heart of the Hub, a celebration of Roxbury’s food, music, art and interactive experiences and he is currently guiding Discover Roxbury into its new position as the organizer for Roxbury Open Studios. As the head of Discover Roxbury, Derek also serves as the chair of the Roxbury Cultural Network, a collaboration of organizations and businesses around Roxbury, which collectively promote and develop new audiences for Roxbury’s physical, cultural, culinary and historic assets.

 

  • Derek graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in English Literature, and from the University of London with an M.A. in International Studies and Diplomacy. He returned to Boston determined to make an impact at a local level and remains committed to this goal. In addition to working at Discover Roxbury and chairing the Roxbury Cultural Network, Derek is a member of the Multicultural Committee of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Catalyst Committee at the Museum of Fine Arts. He is also an avid traveler.

 

  • Seth Resler is a social media marketing expert specializing in arts and entertainment. He has fourteen years of experience in the music industry working for alternative rock radio stations in New York, Boston, Seattle, St. Louis and Providence. His social media consulting services have been employed by GE Capital, Bryant University, the Twin River Casino, the New England Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and the Newport Comedy Series. He has helped produce numerous events, including the WBCN River Rave, the WBRU Summer Concert Series, the New England Nightclub and Bar Expo, the Rhode Island World of Flavors Competition, Boston’s MysteryMeet.org and the Global Institute for Leadership Development. His work has been recognized by the Mayor of Providence, profiled by The Boston Globe, named Best of Rhode Island€ by Rhode Island Monthly and featured on Fox TV. He is currently the Campaign Marketing Manager for Linkage where he uses blogs, email, Facebook, Twitter, GoogleAds, direct mail and search engine optimization to generate leads. He graduated from Brown University with degrees in Political Science and Philosophy.

 

  • Dawn Simmons is the Director of Communications at the Boston Center for the Arts. Dawn is also a playwright and a writer/director. A graduate of SUNY Buffalo, Ms. Simmons holds a BA in English Literature and studied dance for 23 years. While attending college, Dawn taught intermediate jazz dance at the Sam Smith School and choreographed a variety of fashion shows for local retailers and salons. After graduating, Dawn moved to Boston where she attended playwriting workshops at Boston University under the direction of Boston Playwrights’ Theatre Artistic Director Kate Snodgrass. Since finishing the workshops, Ms. Simmons has worked for several local theatres including New Repertory Theatre, Boston Theatre Works, The Theater Offensive, Actors’ Shakespeare Project and Merrimack Repertory Theatre (Lowell, MA) as well as in Buffalo, New York, at the New Irish Classical Theatre and Shakespeare in Delaware Park.

 

  • Mark VanDerzee is a Co-founder of and Education Director at Company One. He attended Clark University where he received his B.A. in Theatre Performance and dual certification in Elementary Education and K-12 Performing Arts. He recently received his MA Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix. Stage One: Theatrical Training, Company One’s Dramatic Education Program, is under Mark’s helm. He has developed the curriculum for several different branches of the program, including Stage One’s summer camp, a series of intensive after-school theatre courses, an educational tour of ARTiculation and professional development for actors. Most recently, Mark has launched a school day poetry/theater class in four Boston Public Schools and a new Saturday morning theater class for teens, as well as a professional apprenticeship program. Under Mark’s guidance, Company One’s Stage One program has now begun to educate people from the ages of 4 to 40 (and beyond) with quality artistic programming. Mark began his public school teaching career in the Worcester Public Schools, and currently teaches Technical Theater Design for the Stage and Improv at Brookline High School. Proudly, Mark is also an educator for Stage One.

 

  • Jason Weeks is the Executive Director for the Cambridge Arts Council (CAC), a public non-profit agency in Cambridge, MA. CAC provides services and direct programming for Cambridge residents and visitors designed to stimulate public awareness of and support for the arts. In his capacity as executive director, Jason works with the CAC Board of Directors, Trustees of the Arts Council’s non-profit corporation, the Public Art Commission and city administration as well as full and part-time staff to oversee core agency programming including an award-winning Public Art/Percent-for-Art Program, the annual Cambridge River Festival, the CAC Artist Grant Program, Cambridge Open Studios, Summer in the City, the CAC Gallery exhibition program and a lively Street Performer Program. In addition to his role at CAC, Jason lectures at schools and universities in the Boston area and regularly participates in conferences and symposia to discuss issues, challenges and effective strategies related to the field of arts administration.

 

  • Prior to his work with CAC, Jason spent 10-years working in the for-profit sector in Boston and as a producer and presenter of music and arts festivals in his home state of North Carolina. Jason has a background in music and theatre and holds a BA in Music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC and a Masters degree in Arts Administration from Boston University.

 

  • Marc Zegans has worked as an advisor to artists, writers, and creatively driven businesses, public organizations, foundations and international donor organizations since 1990. Clients have included the World Bank, the Ford, Rockefeller, Ewing Marion Kauffman and James Irvine Foundations, the Carnegie Corporation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, From the Top, GrantCraft, The Actor’s Shakespeare Project, Opera Boston, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, The Ariel Group, XVIVO, Nature Stage, Philistine Records, the Social Innovation Forum, Theater Offensive, Embody Yoga, Chelsea Pictures and a variety of prominent artists, writers, actors, musicians and directors. Marc has also advised the George H.W. Bush and Clinton Administrations on fostering innovation in the public sphere, and managed the City of Boston’s goals program, integrating strategic planning with the city’s first program-based budgets.

 

  • Marc served as Executive Director and Research Director of the Innovations in American Government Program, a joint venture of the Ford Foundation and Harvard University from 1988 through 1995. Marc is a produced playwright, a published poet, a 2004 writer in residence at Mesa Refuge, Point Reyes California, and a 2005 Fellow at Harvard University’s Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Marc is presently completing a book entitled The Essential Work of Public Management. He has a bachelor’s degree from Haverford College, and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School. His play, Mum and Shah, was a Boston Globe Pick of the Week. His spoken word album, Night Work, was released in August 2007 by Philistine Records, and Pillow Talk a book of poems with graphite drawings by Gabrielle Senza was released in February 2008. His second album, Marker and Parker, with legendary Jazz Pianist Don Parker, appears in January 2010 on Tiny Mind Records.