Charles is the Program Officer for the Universal Participation Initiative at the Mass Cultural Council overseeing the UP Learning Network, the EBT Card to Culture, the Innovation Fund, and the partnership with the User/Expert Lab at the Institute for Human Centered Design. Charles is a member of Cultural Access New England (CANE) and serves on advisory boards with ReelAbilities Boston, Wicked Queer Boston, and Wheelock Family Theatre.
Darren Cole (b.1985 Kansas City, MO) is an artist based in Boston, his practice explores race, gender, and the effect technology and art has on the volatility of secondary communities. Currently, Cole is an assistant professor in MassArt's Film/Video department, the resident filmmaker at Urbano Project, Producer at Nostos Film Productions, and resident artist at SkyDeck Tv. Multi-media re-imagined as a vehicle for change is how Cole creates the meaning of culture through his use of old and new technology.
Elbert is a professional actor and advocate locally. He also works as director, ASL Coach and ASL Theatrical Interpreter at Boston Opera House and many other theaters.
Ellice is the founder and director of Abilities Dance Boston, a 501c3 nonprofit dance company for those with and without disabilities. Her choreography has appeared at the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre, and more. She has earned her Bachelors of Arts in Biological Sciences from Wellesley College and Masters of Science in Management Studies from Boston University Questrom School of Business.
Hannah is the Manager of Accessibility at the MFA, Boston and a member of Cultural Access New England (CANE). In addition to the work at the MFA and with CANE, she collaborates, consults and trains locally and further afield.
Heather is a Disability Advocate, author, blogger, mother, graduate of Emerson College with a B.S. in Mass Communications. Born with Muscular Dystrophy, loves reading, daydreaming, chocolate, and serves on a handful of disability-related boards. Her blog Slow Walkers See More includes reflections and insight from her life with disability.
Irene Idicheria is the Chief Program Officer for the Boston Children’s Chorus, overseeing the organization's artistic and educational programs. Previously, Irene served on BCC's artistic team as a conductor and led the music department of the Lawrence Public Schools in Lawrence, MA.
Jennifer, an ACI Board Member since 2016, enjoys exploring the creative outcomes which occur through the fusion and synthesis of diverse cultures, mindsets and ideas. Her areas of interest include operations management, entrepreneurship and innovation management, and her research explores how organizations generate and implement creative solutions and examines effective strategies for maximizing the likelihood of generating innovation breakthroughs, while managing the risks associated with innovation. As a professor at Babson College, she teaches the Integrated Product Design course, which is a three college collaborative course co-taught by business/engineering/design faculty from Babson College, Olin College of Engineering and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Jennifer holds a BSE in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in Operations Management from the Scheller School of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Jim Grace is the Executive Director of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts (VLA) from 1998 until 2008, when it merged with the A&BC. Jim has experience working with artists and arts organizations in the areas of publishing law, public art, copyright, legacy planning, nonprofit incorporation and mergers, negotiation training, and artist live/work and nonprofit board issues.
Joshua Henry Jenkins is an interactive media strategist & designer based out of Washington, D.C. He currently works as the Director of Web and New Media Strategies for Americans for the Arts and is a facilitator around issues of equity, inclusion, power, and privilege. www.joshuahenryjenkins.com
As Artist Resource Manager for the City of Boston, Julia Ryan serves as the main point of entry and contact at City Hall for Boston artists and arts-focused organizations as they navigate municipal government and seek information on a wide range of issues. She also acts as an advocate for artists, representing their needs to the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. Julia manages several programs that support individual artists as well, such as the Artist Certification, Artist Fellowship, Opportunity Fund, and Artist Resource Desk.
J.Cottle is an educator, arts-administrator, musician, writer, and producer. In these roles he has supported the work of Boston Arts Academy, Boston University, 3050 Music Group, the Community Music Center of Boston, Berklee College of Music and currently serves as the founder and Executive Director of Dunamis. J’s work specializes in designing curriculum and O.S.T-programs that facilitate transformative growth using integrated arts-techniques and youth development practices.
Kate Gilbert is a cultural producer on a mission to ignite Boston’s appetite for contemporary art and to use public art as a catalyst for transformation. While Director of Programs at the Greenway Conservancy, she developed their public art strategy. In 2014-2015 Gilbert developed and curated the artLAB, an outdoor laboratory for public art at the Lawn on D. Gilbert is the Founder/Executive Director at N+T, where she has curated 2 PAN award-winning projects and created Boston’s first public art Accelerator. Gilbert received her BA from Connecticut College and MFA from SMFA/Tufts.
Marian Taylor Brown
Marian is the Founding Executive Director of Arts Connect International. Prior to founding ACI Marian was the recipient of a Global Health Corps Fellowship to work at the Art and Global Health Center in Malawi, Africa, promoting HIV/AIDS education and advocacy through the arts. She also worked as the Associate Director for ARTZ: Artists for Alzheimer's, where she led and managed 100 days of programming in the Boston metropolitan community for people living with dementia and their care partners. Throughout her education and work experience Marian has continued to work as a professional artist and her current studio investigation surrounds creating handmade paper out of recycled clothing for community building and catharsis. Marian is a PhD candidate at the School for Global Inclusion & Social Development at UMass Boston, having previously earned her EdM from The Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her BA from Colorado College.
Meena, an ACI Board Member since 2018, is the Program Manager of Theater at the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) and is a recognized vocalist. Meena is known as a mover and shaker who is re-defining what community engagement and conversations around equity in the arts look like in Boston. Meena organized and led "Beyond Orientalism: The Forum" in October 2017 and is one of the founder of Boston's first API (Asian Pacific Islander) Arts Network. As an artist, Meena has performed with Opera Providence, MetroWest Opera, Boston Opera Collaborative, New England Orchestra among others. She currently performs with Voci Angelica Trio, an international band that fuses world folk music with classical elegance. Meena holds both a Masters in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory and a Masters in Arts Administration from Boston University.
Nicole is a musician, arts administrator, disability advocate serving as Managing Director of VSA Massachusetts, the State Organization on Arts and Disability. She is a member of Cultural Access New England (CANE), Board Chair of Abilities Dance Boston and serves on local arts and disability advisory boards. Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Nicole holds a Master's in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor's in Piano Performance from the Boston Conservatory.
Quanice G. Floyd is the Founder & Director of the Arts Administrators of Color Network and the Director of Learning and Leadership Development at the National Guild for Community Arts Education. She is an advocate for racial equity, social justice, and arts education and hopes to change the world one person at a time for the better.
Ruth Mercado-Zizzo - is the Arts Expansion Director at EdVestors, a Boston education non-profit, and is responsible for managing BPS Arts Expansion, a multi-year effort to expand quality arts education in schools across Boston Public Schools through a public-private partnership. She previously worked at the Boch Center as their Director of Education and more recently was the Operations Director for Createquity, an online think tank that synthesized research pertaining to the arts. She received her MFA in Theatre from Arizona State University and is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Shreyas, an ACI Board Member since 2016, is the Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Legende and Ladderworks, freelancing as Editorial Cartoonist for the Hindustan Times. He is a published author of two books titled The Politickle Pickle Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 with HarperCollins. On behalf of the Hindustan Times, Shreyas has traveled widely in India and the United States to cover elections through the eyes of a cartoonist. His cartoons, which regularly comment on political, economic and social issues, have been exhibited at several prestigious venues in India, the United States and Thailand. Shreyas was a Harvard University Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, earned his MBA from the IIT Bombay - Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management and his BE from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute.
Victor "Marka27" Quiñonez is an international street artist who works at the intersection of graffiti, vinyl toys, contemporary art, fashion and design. With paintings, murals, drawings, mix-media pieces and commissions for major brands, his robust pallette blends elements of street and pop culture with Mexican and indigenous aesthetics—a signature look the artist has coined “Neo Indigenous.” Marka27’s work has become part of graffiti and street art history, but he has flourished as a product designer, gallery artist, toy designer and more. Marka27 has emerged as one of the most sought after muralists in the world, mastering his craft since before “street art” was even a term. He currently splits his time between his studio in Brooklyn and Cambridge, where he and his wife and creative partner, Liza, run their award-winning creative agency, “Street Theory.” Visit www.Marka27.com to learn more.
Lina Maria Giraldo
Bianca is the Founder & Director at the Corrections Accountability Project where she combines her unique expertise in both criminal justice and financial services to combat the commercial exploitation of the criminal legal system and protect and return the resources of directly-impacted communities.