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Emerging Arts Advocates
The Emerging Arts Advocates (EAA) program was created to promote the growth of our membership in the under-40 age range or people new to the field, to educate the next generation of Maryland Arts Advocates, and to provide advocacy training, professional development, and leadership opportunities to young advocates in the arts field across all disciplines and regions of the state. From Executive Directors to Artists to Volunteers, they represent a broad range of the ways in which emerging leaders are involved in the artistic community.
The Emerging Arts Advocates (EAAs) strive to build and sustain the arts sector in the state of Maryland by developing and promoting programs which create growth, development, and vitality for the entire sector. The EAAs role with Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA) is to act as an advisory group to help with the development and implementation in MCA programming, as well as state and local advocacy initiatives.
Working with MCA, the EAAs will become leaders in the arts advocacy field for the under 40 arts community through:
- Leadership Development
- Advocacy Training
- Networking Events
To learn more about the Emerging Arts Advocates, please email our staff or call our office at 410-467-6700.
Courtney is an institutional giving professional currently working at MICA. She holds a Master of Science in Marketing Analytics and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Using her experience in marketing, she enjoys discovering targeted approaches to fundraising. Her experience in Baltimore-area nonprofits (Reginald F. Lewis Museum, AVAM, Baltimore Center Stage, the Walters and MICA) spans almost 5 years. As an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and a local career development consultant, Courtney enjoys engaging with the community and promoting professional growth.
Talk to me about institutional giving, marketing, special events and professional development.
Genifer Nichelle Fraser has been involved in the arts for several years. She has performed in stage productions, dance troupes, as a choral singer and musician; but first and foremost, she is a visual artist.
She graduated with a B.A. in Art History, a second major in African American Studies, a minor in History, and a certificate in Community Engagement from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has displayed and sold her art at shows in Maryland, Virginia, and California. Finding beauty in the mundane, taking inspiration from daydreams, and appreciating the details in the world around her, she uses bright and expressive colors to authentically display them.
Her work focuses on storytelling and illustrates aspects of human nature from a sociological perspective. She often contemplates about who we are and how we relate to one another and our environments. One prevalent theme is the timeliness of the beauty and joy that we experience in life. She desires to express the importance of memory, stopping to smell the roses and savoring these fleeting moments.
Currently, she is studying Community Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art in their MFA program and working as an artist in residence at Port Discovery Children’s Museum. She hopes to continue to expand her craft, pushing the themes of her work with the goals of meaningful social engagement and empathy building in mind.
Lillian Jacobson is a fine artist, curator, arts administrator, arts advocate, and a proud Maryland resident. She graduated with honors in 2015 with a BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). After graduating, she worked as a studio assistant and later as a studio manager for the artist Amy Sherald while her studio was in Baltimore. Lillian currently works as the Student Exhibition and Data Management Administrator in the Fine Arts Office of the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and as the Regional Events Planner with the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC). In her studio work, she is pursuing a new series of figurative paintings exploring self-identity. Lillian is looking forward to another year as an EAA.
Emily currently works with The Maryland State Department of Education as the Fine Arts Project Manager as well as a theatre teaching artist and director. She is passionate about the arts, and most enjoys working on projects that have an impact on her community, either locally or globally. Her work aims to create opportunities for students and fellow artists. She studied acting at the National Conservatory of the Dramatic Arts in Washington, D.C. and worked as an actor in the D.C. and Baltimore area. During her work as a performer, she began working with Anne Arundel County Public Schools as a teaching artist and musical theatre director. Shortly after, she joined the Performance and Visual Magnet Program of Anne Arundel County as a teaching artist, project manager and study abroad coordinator. Through her work with Anne Arundel County and The Maryland State Department of Education, Emily has had the pleasure of organizing performances, trips abroad, exhibitions, fundraisers, festivals, and many other events, all supporting elevated and equitable arts education. She looks forward to serving along with the other Emerging Arts Advocates and Maryland Citizens for the Arts to help make the arts a top priority in the state of Maryland!
Raisa Lefé Henry-Rouse
Raisa Lefé has been an EAA since 2010. She holds a BA in Theatre from Morgan State University, and is the recipient of the 2016 National Black Storytellers Cowtail Switch Scholarship. She has held positions as an Events Manager for Creative Alliance, Education Week, and the Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center, and was a writer for Maryland Theatre Guide. Her interests include cultural sustainability, African American folklore, and arts-based community programs for underprivileged youth. She is the proud wife of a Baltimore City teacher and mom to (soon to be) 5 children. Raisa Lefé plans to pursue her MA in Arts Administration, Fall 2018.
Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
Jessica Abel is currently the Senior Major Gift Officer at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where she raises funds in support of a world-class art and design education. Prior to joining BOPA, Jessica served as the Director of Development for Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, and Director of Institutional Giving with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Jessica also previously worked in fundraising in the Washington, DC metropolitan area with The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and the Atlas Performing Arts Center.
Jessica believes in the power of arts and culture to positively impact the social and economic outcomes of a community, as well as to enhance the lives of its residents and visitors. In addition to her arts administration and advocacy work, Jessica is a proud member of Baltimore’s artistic community where she has performed with a variety of area music groups and venues and currently serves as a professional choir member with the Emmanuel Episcopal Church. She earned her Bachelor of Music from the Florida State University and her Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University.
Brittany Andrew is a recent graduate of the Goucher College Masters of Arts in Art Administration program. She is a Salisbury University Alumni, where she graduated Suma Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Fine Art and a minor in Business Administration. She is an Eastern Shore native, born and raised in Cambridge, MD. As an artist and resident she takes inspiration from the vibrancy of the peninsula and its inhabitants. She believes the arts have the power to bring people together. Brittany was the Education and Program Coordinator at the Dorchester Center for the Arts, a local community art center and arts agency in Cambridge, MD. She now works at the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury, MD, as their Deputy Director.
Precious Blake is an arts organizer and illustrator living and working in Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC. Precious received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration with a concentration in Printmaking at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Ms. Blake is the author of Creatives of Color, a collection of illustrated interviews from numerous artists in Baltimore City. She served as the Communications and Development Coordinator at Arts Every Day, a non-profit that supports arts integrated learning in Baltimore City Public Schools, and currently works as the National Partnerships Program Coordinator in the Kennedy Center’s Education Department. She has led numerous educational workshops in career advising, identity-based portraiture, and student engagement through the arts. Ms. Blake has received several awards including: the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Award, Maryland Artists Equity Foundation Scholarship, and Sidney Lake Award. Ms. Blake is dedicated to serving underrepresented artists in Baltimore through community programming, event organizing, and advocating for equitable access to art resources and education. www.preciousblake.com
Teaching Artist in Visual Arts and Crafts Krystiana Bonheur currently works as an arts advocate to provide visual arts programming to youth and adults in transitional housing. Krystiana graduated from the University of Maryland in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in Special Education, and from Walden University in 2011 with a Masters of Science in Special Education. Bringing eleven years of experience in education, Krystiana currently works in Prince George’s County with students who have emotional and academic disabilities.
Zoe Fried is a performer, administrator, and arts advocate with an aim to inspire audiences in unconventional ways. A Native of Miami, Florida, she began her musical studies at the age of 12 and has been an active member in the music community both on the stage and behind the scenes ever since. Zoe is currently the Operations Manager with Shriver Hall Concert Series. Previously she has held administrative positions with cultural organizations such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, and the New York Philharmonic. She is an active member on the Executive Committee of the Society of Peabody Alumni. She also performs with and serves on the Board of Mind on Fire, a musical arts cooperative, collaboratively presenting contemporary music in Baltimore. Zoe graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University with her Masters in Oboe Performance. She additionally holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance as well as a Teaching Certificate from the Peabody Conservatory. During her time at Peabody, she studied under Jane Marvine, English Horn of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Outside of music she enjoys hiking with her dog, yoga, and Cuban food.
Talk to me about concert and event operations.
Betty Gonzales is a curator, artist, and advocate for the arts who dedicates her practice to creating sustainable connections that promote, support, and nurture Baltimore’s creative thinkers. Betty received a Bachelors in Studio Art from McDaniel College and a Masters in Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art. Today, she serves as the Communications and Development Coordinator at Arts Every Day, a non-profit that supports arts integrated learning, equity and access to the arts within Baltimore City Public Schools. Her hope is to effectively utilize every resource available to ensure creative minds have the necessary outlets and access to information to succeed in Baltimore and elsewhere regardless of age, race, or social status.
Baltimore Center Stage
Brandon is the Institutional Giving Manager at Baltimore Center Stage, where he manages the theater’s foundation and government relations, raising money for the Annual Fund as well as securing funds for special projects and capacity building initiatives. He is also on the theater’s Education Committee and Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Prior to Center Stage, Brandon worked for a direct mail and telemarketing consulting firm that supported national and regional non-profit organizations. He was also previously the Production and Operations Coordinator at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company where he managed the theater’s visiting artists, directors, and designers in addition to facility and operations. He is a proud graduate of Russell Sage College where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theater in 2014. In his free time he enjoys cooking, running around Baltimore, and all things John Waters.
Talk to me about grants, grant reporting, and theatre.
Baltimore Museum of Art
Alexa Milroy has been the Administrative Manager in the Director’s Office at The Baltimore Museum of Art since September 2016. She previously worked at Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance as the Director of Program and Administration from 2012 to 2016. In her position at AEMS, she was a staff member on the Governor’s P-20 Leadership Council Task Force on Arts Education in Maryland Schools. Previously, Alexa worked on Obama for America’s 2008 field team in Iowa. She also served as an intern at the Maryland State Arts Council. Alexa received a B.A. in Art & Art History and Political Science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She is a past Chair and current member of Emerging Arts Advocates, a subcommittee of Maryland Citizens for the Arts.
Ceylon Mitchell II
Ceylon Narvelle Mitchell II is a music entrepreneur, educator, and arts administrator in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska and a graduate of East Anchorage High School, he earned a Master of Music Education degree from Boston University and a Master of Music Performance degree from the University of Maryland, in addition to a Graduate Certificate in Multimedia Journalism. Recent achievements include the National Music Festival Symphony Orchestra, the Young Alaskan Artist Award, and the 2018 Prince George’s Forty UNDER 40 Awardee in Arts & Humanities. Ceylon’s mission is keeping classical music alive, authentic, and accessible.
An active freelance artist, Ceylon is the co-founder, flutist, and media manager of Potomac Winds, a chamber music collective. Described by the University of Maryland as “magnificent, deeply moving, and a model of alumni pride,” the ensemble is committed to promoting woodwind chamber music as a virtuosic medium through engaging performances of the highest level of artistic expression. As a music educator, Ceylon maintains a private studio in Maryland and serves as the Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra flute choir conductor. He previously served as a teaching artist with the Boston Flute Academy and as the director of the Boston University Flute Ensemble.
Ceylon supports performing artists and arts organizations with digital media strategy and content as a private consultant and founder of M3 Music Media Marketing, a multimedia organization. Tailored services include photography, videography, design, and social media consulting. Recent clients include The Clarice, Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation, the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the Anchorage Festival of Music, and numerous individual artists. Ceylon seeks to equip and empower his fellow performing artists for artistic and marketing success in a 21st-century landscape. Ceylon is also an active arts marketer in the D.C. area, serving as a board member of the Arts Administrators of Color and as the Director of Marketing & Communications with the Boulanger Initiative, an organization promoting music composed by women through performance, education, and commissions.
Mentors, past and present, include Dr. Saïs Kamalidiin, Ms. Janese Sampson, Professor Leah Arsenault, Dr. William Montgomery, Professor Linda Toote, Dr. Carmen Lemoine, and Sharon Nowak of Anchorage, Alaska, his first flute teacher. Additionally, Ceylon has performed in masterclasses for professional flutists such as Aaron Goldman, Marina Piccinini, Sir James Galway, Paul Edmund-Davies, Trevor Wye, and Marianne Gedigian. He remains grateful to the entire Anchorage music community for preparing him for a promising career in the arts with encouragement and inspiration. Ceylon currently resides in Maryland with his fiancé, whom he will wed in March 2019.
Walters Art Museum
Eliza Mullen is an art historian and the Institutional Giving Associate at the Walters Art Museum, where she is focused on supporting the museum’s mission through progressive fundraising. Her key responsibilities include writing and managing grants from foundations, corporations, and government organizations, as well as stewarding foundation and government relations. Ever a student of art history, Eliza received her B.A. from Bard College and her master’s degree from American University, where she specialized in Italian Renaissance Art and worked as a Graduate Fellow. Eliza has been part of the fabric of Baltimore for over a decade, including working for several years at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Her interests include the relationships between art and history, social justice, and gender. She is a proud advocate of the transformative power of the arts on both a local and a national level.
Art Works Now
Manique is an artist and has a passion for building long lasting relationships with communities throughout the Washington-Metropolitan Area. She is currently the Director of Community Engagement at Art Works Now. Prior to working at Art Works Now, she served as the Program Manager of the arts education non-profit Artivate in Montgomery County for 3 years, where she facilitated the placement of over 1000 performance and visual art programs with local and international teaching artists for schools and communities throughout the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. Her trajectory of work includes, Youth Programs Assistant Coordinator of the Youth and Teen Department at the Columbia Art Center in Howard County. She has led within the organization at different capacities for over 5 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Maryland, College Park.