Annapolis Symphony Orchestra at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts


Maryland Citizens for the Arts Adds Five New Members to its Board of Trustees

Friday, September 29, 2017

Baltimore, MD (September 12, 2017) – Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA) announces the election of five new Trustees to their first three-year term working to guide the policies, outreach, and educational work of the state’s largest arts advocacy organization.  MCA has, for nearly 40 years, worked with lawmakers and leaders in the arts to create a sustainable vision of public investment in the arts.

“MCA is excited to welcome five fantastic trustees who bring with them strong industry knowledge and guidance to our very important endeavors,” said Executive Director Nicholas Cohen. “Our successful advocacy work for the Maryland arts sector is due, in large part, to the strategy put forth by a strong and well informed board. MCA is thrilled to continue to grow our trustee membership and welcomes our newest additions.”

Navasha Daya is Co-Founder and Director of the Healing and Performing Arts of the Youth Resiliency Institute, which provides an array of programming, trainings, and services to assist others in healing from trauma. Ms. Daya is an active advocate for the arts in Maryland and beyond, dedicated to utilizing art and culture for community healing. She serves as a board member of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, a steering committee member of the Baltimore Arts Education Coalition, a member of the international working group Feminist Alliance for Rights, and a member of The Recording Academy.


Carla Du Pree is the Executive Director of CityLit Project, a small literary nonprofit that nurtures readers and writers throughout the region. She has completed a six-year stint as a vice chair and counselor to the Maryland State Arts Council, and continues to serve as the Chair of the Diversity Outreach Committee. As a highly regarded author, Ms. Du Pree is a recipient of the 2016 Rubys Artist Project Grant in the literary arts, a 2017 Poetry Foundation Fellow, a 2017 Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellow, and a 2007 winner of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Fiction. She supports artists nationally and throughout the state, and continues to empower women artists.



Kerry Holahan joins MCA as the Chair of our Emerging Arts Advocacy Committee. She has helped facilitate numerous MCA-hosted events such as Maryland Arts Day and Maryland ArtsLAB, is a frequent attendee at Arts Advocacy Day and was invited to join the selection committee for the Sue Hess Arts Advocate of the Year in 2016. She is a vocal advocate for individual artists and has been active in arts advocacy work at the state and national level since she first enrolled as a Masters student at Peabody Conservatory.


Peter Kjome began his tenure as President and CEO of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) in early 2017. He has long worked to blend his deep love of classical music with his passion for business, taking on leadership roles and engaging key stakeholders to achieve artistic and economic success. Prior to his BSO appointment, Mr. Kjome served as President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Symphony (GRS), the second-largest performing arts organization in Michigan. His musical career has included eight years as an oboist for the GRS and performances as a substitute musician with the Cleveland Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony.


Benjamin Simons is Director of the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD, which presents high-quality exhibitions and a full range of art classes and programs for visitors of all ages. The museum runs arts educational programs that range from life drawing lessons to digital art instruction, and provides arts education to public and private school children from the region. Mr. Simons previously served as a campaign officer for the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery, and as the Robyn and John Davis Chief Curator at the Nantucket Historical Association.