JENNIFER ANNE MITCHELL
Jen is a local culture reporter who writes a list of things to do in town each weekend for The DC Line news site and other stories for Washington City Paper and International Journalists’ Network. She is a part of the DC arts associations Day Eight, The Sanctuaries and Split This Rock. Born and raised in the Midwest, she earned a bachelor’s in international studies from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s in writing from the University of Southern California.
Sarah Fredrick is the foundation specialist for the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz. She manages the Institute’s diverse portfolio of foundation funders and works to ensure the sustainability of the Institute’s education initiatives. Fredrick’s work in development and communications has benefitted nonprofit arts, education and human services organizations. Prior to joining the Institute, Fredrick was the development & communications director of the Human Trafficking Legal Center. She also served as the development & communications specialist at Community Bridges, Inc., an education nonprofit. Fredrick is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and lives in Washington, D.C.
In her role as Administrative Director for Zenith Community Arts Foundation, Elizabeth works as a teacher, grant writer, program manager, and curator. She curated “Play, Protection, Peril,” an exhibit with public programming that brought together artists and activists to address gun violence. She was one of the two artists interviewed on The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and the exhibit was reviewed twice in the Washington Post, as well as news segments on the local ABC and NBC stations. It was held over the summer at H-Space, and she plans to tour the exhibit.
Elizabeth is also a D.C.-based sculptor and poet with West Coast roots. She received her MFA from the Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She has attended workshops and residencies at The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center, Sundress Academy for the Arts, the Millay Colony, Can Serrat International Artists Residency, Palette 22, and upcoming at Elsewhere Studios. She also teaches art to youth After School at Takoma Education Campus.
Elizabeth has a studio practice and lives with her girlfriend and their cats in Mt. Pleasant.
Leila joined Street Sense Media as the Events and Workshop Manager in April 2018 where she is able to blend her interests of art, wellness and community development. As a committed artist, she is actively involved in comedy and visual arts in the D.C. metro area.
Leila Drici graduated in 2011 from James Madison University with degrees in Art History & Fine Art. While in school she worked as an archivist intern at Sawhill Gallery. Post graduation, she worked as a contractor and interior designer at Flooring America. Seeking a holistic approach to design, she moved to Bothell, WA to study permaculture in a self sustaining co-housing community which piqued her interest in health and wellness and led her to working in the fitness industry where she became the admin director for Steve’s Club, a nonprofit dedicated empowering youth through fitness education. Returning to the arts, Leila studied performance art and comedy at the Washington Improv Theater and the Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC and worked as an art teacher and ceramics studio director with a focus on community outreach and arts programming.
EMILY ANN FRANCISCO
Originally from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Emily is currently the Curatorial Assistant for the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art. Emily completed dual M.A. degrees in Art History and Museum Studies at Syracuse University in 2017, and earned her B.A. in Art History and English with a Writing Concentration and a Studio Art minor from Gettysburg College in 2014. She has worked at a variety of institutions on the East Coast, including the Everson Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whistler House Museum of Art, The Gettysburg Review, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She previously served as the Social Media Chair for the DC Emerging Museum Professionals chapter (DCEMP), and is passionate about public art and writing. Emily is also a painter, dancer, and poet.
Tyler French is a writer, organizer, and public humanist who consults on arts and humanities projects in DC and holds a commitment to integrating arts and cultural activities into all aspects of our lives. Prior to moving back to DC, Tyler worked at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities as the Program Assistant for Catalyzing Newport, a three-year initiative with the goal of articulating a new vision for the city’s cultural sector. He also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at AARP Foundation in Washington, DC where he designed and implemented a nutrition education program for older adults. He writes and performs poetry and is a co-creator and the baker of Queer Cookies, a poetry event series supporting queer identified poets. Originally from South Carolina, he holds a Masters in Public Humanities from Brown University.
Mehvish is the Grant & Project Coordinator for the 11th Street Bridge Park, a new venue for healthy recreation, environmental education and the arts in D.C. Previously, she worked with MISFIT Juicery and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). As a creative placemaker, design thinker and social entrepreneur, Mehvish is passionate about working across sectors and with local residents to reduce inequity in communities and foster healthy and vibrant places. She has called D.C. home for the past six years and loves exploring outdoor spaces in the region through Wild Wilderness Women, a local group whose board she serves on as the Equity & Inclusion Chair. Mehvish earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a minor in International Studies from American University as part of the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars program.
As Program Associate with the 11th Street Bridge Park, a project of Building Bridges Across the River, Destinee Johnson curates and organizes cultural programming that aims to reflect and amplify the needs and narratives of east of the river residents. She also coordinates volunteers for the organization.
Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Destinee has a passion for creating unique experiences that bring people together to explore, express, and create boundlessly. She has experienced the transformative power of accessible arts and cultural programming in her own community, and believes that every person should have the opportunity to empower themselves by trying something new!
In addition to working with the 11th Street Bridge Park team, Destinee has created programs around exhibitions in institutions such as the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Building Museum, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Prior to joining the Bridge Park Team, Destinee earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education from George Washington University, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from The University of Illinois Champaign Urbana.
Chitra is the Director of Engagement and Arts Partnerships for Kalanidhi Dance, an award-winning dance company that creates and performs work in the South Indian dance style of Kuchipudi. Chitra steers Kalanidhi's fundraising and communications efforts and works to increase the company's reach through programs in the community. As a principal dancer within the company, Chitra performs extensively in and around the Washington region. Chitra has over a decade of experience working at the intersection of arts, nonprofits and policy, including administering education programs at Arena Stage and managing policy fellowship programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She recently served as a consultant to the National Endowment for the Arts, where she conducted a qualitative analysis of their Folk & Traditional Arts (F&TA) Art Works grant program. Chitra holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies from New York University and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park.
She was born and raised in South Florida and attended the University of Florida, where she received her B.A. in Art History and B.S. in Business Management. During her time in college, she interned for the Harn Museum of Art in educational programming, served as the social media manager for Slow Art Day, and was the studio manager for a ceramics and arts center in the Reitz Student Union. After graduating, she moved to DC to intern with Americans for the Arts, where she first learned about EALDC and quickly joined to meet fellow young professionals working in the arts. Amanda’s first passion is for the visual arts, and can often be found on the weekend at one of the many art museums in DC.
Originally from Los Angeles, California, Mary currently works at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts as the Coordinator, Donor Relations. She has previously worked Arena Stage as a member of their Development team. Mary graduated from the University of Notre Dame where she double majored in Marketing and Film, Television and Theatre with a concentration in Theatre. She has interned at the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, The Second City Theater in Chicago, and the dating website eHarmony.
Taylor Rambo is a performing arts manager and collaborative pianist in Washington, DC, working to support capacity-building initiatives in the arts. In his primary role, Taylor serves as the Major Gifts and Campaign Manager at Arena Stage where he cultivates relationships with mid-range and major donors, supports special events and manages the workflow of the Campaign team.
Taylor has supported the DC performing arts scene as a keyboard player in a folk rock band; as the musical theater accompanist for a cabaret series; as a freelance production assistant; and as full-time staff at The Washington Ballet and APAP, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals.
A native of Marietta, Georgia, Taylor moved to DC from Miami, Florida, where he earned degrees in Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment (M.A.) and Music Business and Entertainment Industries (B.M.) from the University of Miami Frost School of Music.
Anna is the Assistant for Designated Campaigns at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where she works with major corporate and foundation donors that help support many of the Kennedy Center’s outstanding programs. Passionate about the community-building powers of the arts, Anna quickly found EALDC after moving to the Washington, DC area. Prior to joining the Kennedy Center in November 2018, she worked as the Membership Coordinator at the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac, WI. Anna received her Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2017. In her spare time Anna enjoys attending performances of any kind (especially musicals), trivia nights, and hiking the many beautiful parks this area has to offer.
James recently joined the Office of Special Events at Smithsonian's newest institution the National Museum of African American History and Culture as a Special Events Coordinator. Prior to joining the Smithsonian family, he worked as the Special Events Manager for the National Archives Foundation, a non-profit organization that serves the National Archives and Records Administration. With over 10 years of event experience, including planning, developing, and managing events, venue management, program coordination, and wedding planning, James has found his true passion in events.
He obtained his B.A. in Political Science from Howard University, which provided him with his initial foundation in Washington, DC after growing up in Atlanta, Georgia. When he is not working, James enjoys wedding planning, volunteering with Community One, a non-profit organization, and his fraternity - Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, keeping up with the latest reality TV, and spending time with friends, family, and his dog Drake.
At-Large Committee Members:
Past EALDC Steering Committee members include:
John Anderson | Corinne Baker | Michael Bigley | Jennifer Bowman | Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell | Tim Carrigan | Jonathon Carrington | Jonas Cartano | Ellen Chenoweth | Chelsey Christensen | Ethan Clark | Eric Colton | Kate Cushman | Anna Danielson | Steven Dawson | Jackie DeFreitas | Messay Derebe | Brittany Dibble | Anne Grobstich Erps | Christi Esterly Schwarten | Elena Forbes | Joe Frandoni | Allie Frazier | Helen Gineris | Angela Goerner | Michelle Grove | Angela Han | Stephanie Hanson | Stephanie Johnson | Amelia Kemler | Austin Marie LaPorta | Char Manlove-Laws | Mary Maxwell | Alison McNeil | Ryan Merkel | Kate Michel | Tim Mikulski | Elizabeth McCloskey Miller | Briana Murray | Ally Ouellette | Megan Pagado | Samantha Pollack | JR Russ | Lindsay Sheridan | Jared Shortmeier | Michael Steelman | Emily Travis | Alysa Turner | Sunny Widmann | Bridget Woodbury
Are you interested in helping us plan events? Do you have an art space that you would like to feature in an event? Would you like to partner with us? Contact us and let us know!