Between April and June 2020, NAAC Boston led a weekly series of virtual socials as a safe space for arts administrators of color to unwind and connect with each other while weathering a pandemic that has disproportionately affected their communities. Each week’s theme was concepted and moderated by a different NAAC Boston member.
Hosts on April 21: Tran Vu / April 28: Melissa Alexis
Ashleigh Gordon is the co-founder, Artistic/Executive Director, and violist of Castle of our Skins, a Boston-based concert and educational series devoted to celebrating black artistry through music. In recognition of her work, she has presented at IDEAS UMass Boston Conference and 180 Degrees Festival in Bulgaria. She has been featured in the International Musician, and Improper Bostonian magazines as well as the Boston Globe; and was awarded the 2016 Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award from the American Federation of Musicians. She is a 2015 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award recipient, a 2019 Brother Thomas Fellow, a nominee for the 2020 “Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities,” and named one of WBUR’s “ARTery 25”, twenty-five millennials of color impacting Boston’s arts and culture scene.
Deidra Montgomery is a Boston-based consultant, arts administrator, musician, and anti-racism & anti-oppression educator. She seeks to engage the world in ways that promote creativity, integrity, compassion, respect, and joy. Supporting artists, groups, organizations, and projects that honor people and communities is a preferred way of pursuing this aspiration. Her approach to all my projects and partnerships is collaborative and iterative and relies on deep listening, trust-building, mutual respect, and a commitment to learning and growth.
Chanel Thervil is a Haitian American artist and educator obsessed with all things art, community, and history. She’s Miami born, Brooklyn raised, and currently Boston based. She believes that all of the sights and sounds from places she’s been can be found in the juxtaposition of colors, shapes, and materials she uses to create her art. She holds a BFA in Painting from Pace University and MA in Art Education from MassArt. She’s been making a splash in Boston via her public art, mixed media portraits, and joyful collaborations with institutions like the Urbano Project, Museum of Fine of Arts, DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, and the Boston Center for the Arts. At the core of her practice lies a desire to empower and inspire tenderness and healing among communities of color through the arts. Her work has been featured by The Boston Globe, The Bay State Banner, PBS Kids, WBUR’s ARTery, and WGBH’s Open Studio with Jared Bowen. To find out more about her work visit her website at www.chanelthervil.com
Bithyah Israel, a Boston native, cellist, and composer, is the founder and president of City Strings, Inc., a creative youth development organization recognized by the Massachusetts Cultural Council operating since 2012. As a composer and music producer, Bithyah has created soundtracks and scores for theater and film in projects based in Massachusetts, New York, and Washington. One of the movies, Worth of Love (2019), received the Goldziher award. She has acted in local plays written and directed by Jacqui Parker. Bithyah is the recipient of the CreateWell award (2019), the National Council of Negro Women Greater Boston Section’s “Women of Courage and Conviction” (2014), and is currently a Social Justice Fellow for the Arts and Humanities with the UU Urban Ministry in Roxbury (2020).
June 2 Host
Laury Gutiérrez is the founding director of La Donna Musicale, a nonprofit organization and internationally acclaimed ensemble dedicated to the performance of Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical music by women composers in a historically informed manner and to the performance of women’s contemporary music. She is also a specialist in early music from Spain and the New World.
Romy St. Hilaire is an art and culture organizer, program developer, community advocate, and a museum educator. She is passionate about art, culture, education, and marginalized communities, and is the STEAM Team Coordinator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
June 16 Host
Jazzmin Bonner is a native Bostonian who loves cooking up transformative theater and soups. She is a proud Ithaca College graduate and an Alumna of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Theater Institute (NTI). She is passionate about the dialogue between theater companies and the communities they serve. When she is not doing theater, she can be found knitting, crocheting, boxing, running, and walking by the beach.
June 22 Host
Luiza deCamargo is an artist and craftsperson. She is a Development Officer at the MFA by trade and is currently furloughed. During this period of unemployment, she has been nurturing her inner artist and witch, devoting time and energy to making herself a better person to share with the community. She believes in the power of art to affect positive change in the world around us and has faith in individuals and institutions to do the right thing.
June 30 Host
Stefanie wears many hats as a Jamaican-born Dance Movement Therapist/Consultant, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Clinician, Disability Advocate, and Independent Photographer. Stefanie is also the Founder of A Bucket For the Well LLC, a creative arts psychotherapeutic private practice that centers attachment and early relationships through embodied movement-based practices, trauma-focused generational healing and creative wellness for BIPOC young children, their families and adults with a deep commitment to social justice and racial equality. Stefanie is currently an Adjunct Instructor in the Dance Movement Therapy Department at Lesley University in Cambridge MA.
NAAC Boston was created to support self-identifying arts administrators of color, such as Asian American, African American, Native American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, Latin American, and multiracial individuals. The Network is open to individuals working in a full-time or part-time capacity at non-profit or for-profit arts and culture organizations in Greater Boston, as well as freelancers and consultants.