Arts & Cultural Organization Management (ACOM) provides an executive education-style learning experience to arts leaders from communities that historically are not centered in leadership and development opportunities. The 2023 cohort is now announced.
ACOM is a one-week learning intensive that centers community and includes professional development with professors, community leaders, and artists to strengthen strategies and skills. Its tailored curriculum unlocks the resources of Harvard University and is designed to meet the specific needs and interests of the cohort.
Each cohort’s sessions are developed to meet its members’ unique needs and interests. Prior to convening, strategists from Ubuntu, A.R.T.’s research and evaluation partner for ACOM, conduct one-on-one conversations with participants about their professional strengths and goals. Subject-matter experts from Harvard and the community are then identified and invited to create sessions that align with the common areas of focus that are surfaced.
Upon completion, cohort members join the ACOM Alumni Network, featuring special convenings, member events, and further opportunities for professional growth.
“The murder of George Floyd at the hands of police in the spring of 2020 sparked new thinking and renewed energy around the fight for equality in our country–and in our field. As Harvard’s professional theater, A.R.T. is uniquely positioned to unlock the university’s resources to drive support to members of the arts sector workforce. A.R.T.’s values of anti-racism, inquiry, collaboration, adaptability, and regenerative practice inspired ACOM’s bespoke design. We are grateful to The Barr Foundation for multi-year support of ACOM. This will allow us to build a network that will create deeper engagement, and make a lasting impact on our region’s vibrant artistic ecosystem.”
A 2021 pilot of ACOM was designed in collaboration with the Initiative to Advance Racial Equity at Harvard Business School and co-led by HBS Professors Rohit Deshpande and Harry McGee. It engaged thirty-nine participants from twenty-one cultural institutions across Massachusetts and New York in developing resources to create and implement strategies for more responsive and successful cultural institutions.
Cohort members are invited to participate through a nomination by members of the ACOM Alumni Network.
The 2023 Cohort
Adriana Zuñiga (she/her) is a marketing professional in the theater industry. She holds a BA in Theatre from Suffolk University. Her past experiences include working at The Huntington, American Repertory Theater, and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. Her current role is the Marketing Manager at Broadway In Boston. Adriana is also a bookworm who loves new and upcoming fiction written by local authors.
Alexis Peart is a multifaceted operatic mezzo-soprano, music educator, and arts administrator based in Boston, MA, with degrees in Vocal Performance, Music Education, and a certificate in Non-Profit Finance and Fundraising. Alexis is the Executive Director of Boston Opera Collaborative and a Teaching Artist with Castle of our Skins.
Alison Yueming Qu 曲悦鸣
Alison Yueming Qu 曲悦鸣 (she/they) is a creative producer, director, and dramaturg. Alison is the Co-Founder & Executive Director of CHUANG Stage—the first Mandarin bilingual, bicultural theater company nationwide. Concurrently, Alison works at HowlRound Theatre Commons as the Associate Producer. She served as the Connectivity Producer at Company One Theatre in Boston, MA, emerging from their previous role with C1 as the Associate Producer of the Boston Chinatown musical project by Kit Yan & Melissa Li. Alison and CHUANG Stage are a recipient of the The Boston Foundation “Live Arts Boston” grant, the New England Foundation of the Arts “Public Arts for Spatial Justice” grant, a 2021-22 National Arts Strategies New England Creative Community Fellow, and numerous Boston Cultural Council support to make Boston a better city for AAPI artists. Alison graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in Theatre (Directing and Dramaturgy).
Audrey Seraphin (she/her) is director, actor, civil servant, and lifelong Massachusetts resident. She most recently worked at Boston City Hall as the Director of SPARK Boston, Mayor Wu’s volunteer civic engagement council for 20- to 35-year-old Bostonians. She is getting ready to return to the arts administration world as the new Program Manager, Regional Grants & Initiatives at New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA). She is a proud founding member of the Network of Arts Administrators of Color (NAAC) Boston. Other recent projects include Dance Nation with Westford Academy Theatre Arts; The Ghost of Keelung, a radio play; Company with Clark Musical Theatre; Muthaland, an online production from Samuel-Lancaster Productions; and The Rooster & The Magnet, Episode 5 of Camp Strangewood, a live streamed anthology from Sparkhaven Theatre.
Brittany Thomas serves as Director of Creative Media + Technology at ZUMIX, working alongside young film, audio and radio creators. As a LocaloreLIVE and NEFA Creative City grantee, Brittany designed the collaborative narrative project Constelación de Historias, a live storytelling event series and letter writing project documenting neighbors’ work for housing stability in East Boston.
Cailin Marcel Manson
Cailin Marcel Manson, baritone and conductor, is currently Associate Professor of Practice in Music and Head of the Music Program at Clark University, Music Director of Barn Opera in Vermont, Music Director of The Keene Chorale in New Hampshire, and Artistic Director and CEO of the New England Repertory Orchestra in Massachusetts.
Carla Mirabal Rodríguez
Carla Mirabal Rodríguez (she/her) is a director, actor, and producer from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She’s the Artistic Assistant at The Huntington and has worked with various local theater companies including Teatro Chelsea, Central Square Theatre, and Speakeasy Stage. Most recently she directed In the Time of the Butterflies at Newton Theatre Company.
Charmaine Santiago Galdón
Charmaine Santiago Galdón (she/her) is a resident of Boston. Charmaineʼs parents are from Puerto Rico. She attended José Julián Acosta, a high school specializing in theater in Old San Juan. During her time there she was trained by teachers who were trained in different forms of theater. Charmaine started working as a teaching artist at age 14. Charmaine then went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from UMass Amherst. During her time at UMass, she was cast in many plays. Charmaine later became a cast member and subsequently the co-director of Body Politics. After college she gained an internship at the Puerto Rican theater company Pregones Theater. Charmaine then founded an Afro Puerto Rican Folkloric Bomba group and named it Bomba Sankofa due to her journey of understanding her identity. The group was unique by mixing storytelling through spoken word and hip hop elements. In 2019, she co-produced with her father, Jorge Arce, who also directed, a musical called Esto es Puerto Rico. Charmaine was also the playwright, funded by the Boston Foundation.
Chloe Swindler, D.M.A.
Chloe Swindler, D.M.A. (she/her) is a musician, educator, and DEI professional who specializes in helping individuals and organizations understand the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion and how to integrate these values into their individual practices and larger systems of operation. Since 2019, Chloe has worked closely with higher education institutions including the Yale School of Music, UCLA School of Music, Berklee College of Music, and Boston Conservatory at Berklee to navigate complex conversations and bridge gaps between different cultures and generations. Her specialties include “calling in” culture, inclusive practices, and navigating intercultural communications. As a performer, Chloe’s recent career highlights include performing with Harry Styles at Coachella in 2022 and with Lizzo at the 2022 BET Awards. As a professional musician with degrees from Boston University (B.M.), Yale University (M.M.), and UCLA (D.M.A.), she enjoys performing a variety of genres including classical, jazz, pop, soul, funk, folk, and more. Chloe currently works at Berklee College of Music (Assistant Director of Engagement and Programming, Diversity and Inclusion Office) and Longy School of Music (Trumpet Faculty).
Des Bennett (they/them) is a director, dramaturg, facilitator, maker, and arts administrator. They are the Programs Manager at The Theater Offensive, and a facilitator with Gender Explosion, leading trans* inclusion workshops. Des holds a BA in Theater and a minor in Psychology from Northeastern University.
Edwin Cabrera (he/him) is multimedia artist from Lynn, Massachusetts. Among being one of the co-founders of the Lynn Music Foundation, Edwin is the co-creator of Grind House Recordings, a Hip Hop media company that promotes local musicians from Lynn and surrounding areas. Through his work with Grind House Recordings, Edwin created the community engagement project the Lynn Hip Hop Wall of Fame, a way for the community to engage in community art celebrating the cultures that make the city unique. With the Lynn Music Foundation Edwin hopes to develop the music scene in Lynn through community driven development.
Jamison Cloud (he/him) is a Boston-based interdisciplinary artist. He has exhibited his work throughout the Greater Boston Area and has worked in the local arts community for over 1more than ten years. He was an artist in residence at Gallery 263 and recently completed The Network for Arts Administrators of Color Boston Mentorship & Sponsorship Program 2.0.
Kathy Eow (she/her) is Foundation Relations Manager at ArtsEmerson, board member of Boston Korean Adoptees, outreach coordinator for the Boston Asian American Film Festival (BAAFF), and a former steering committee/
Kendrick Terrell Evans
Kendrick Terrell Evans is a Roxbury native who has spent the past ten years working as an arts administrator in the non-profit theater and television scene in Boston. Kendrick has dedicated their time spreading and uplifting the voices of BIPOC and Queer people in the theater community.
Kevin Becerra (he/him/his) creates containers for conversation, connection and impact. He currently works as a Creative Producer at ArtsEmerson. He has been fortunate enough to be in brilliant cohorts including the Festival Academy’s Atelier for Young Festival Managers and APAP’s Emerging Leader Institute. He also consults and facilitates with Kimzin Creative in California’s Bay Area.
Leslie Anne Condon
Leslie Condon (she/her) is a Boston-area artist scholar, independent curator, and cultural worker. As an artist scholar and researcher, Leslie is interested in Critical Race Art History and issues of representation within the arts. Since 2022, Leslie has served as the Visual Arts Manager at Pao Arts Center, uplifting contemporary Boston-area AAPI artists while contributing to culturally affirming arts programming within the immigrant neighborhood of Boston Chinatown.
Pascale Florestal (she/her) is a first generation Haitian American Queer Woman. She is an Elliot Norton-nominated director, educator, dramaturg, writer, and collaborator based in Boston, MA. Recent directing credits: Fairview with SpeakEasy Stage; Spring Awakening at Brandeis University; The Colored Museum with The Umbrella Performing Arts Center; Once On This Island with SpeakEasy Stage; This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing with Emerson Stage; Everybody with Boston Conservatory. As an Assistant to the Director she has worked with Timothy Douglas, Liesl Tommy, Billy Porter, Paul Daigneault and M. Bevin O’Gara. Pascale served as the Associate Director to Gil Rose on X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X with Odyssey Opera and Kimberly Senior on Our Daughters, Like Pillars at The Huntington Theatre. Pascale also serves as the Associate Director for the North American Broadway National Tour of Jagged Little Pill. Pascale was named one of the WBUR ARTery’s 25 Artists of Color Transforming the Cultural Landscape in Boston. In 2020 she won the Inaugural Greg Ferrell Award for her excellence in teaching and supporting young people. She serves as the Education Director and Associate Producer for The Front Porch Arts Collective and is an Assistant Professor of Theater at Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music. Pascale is also a full member of the SDC Union.
Pedro Soto (he/him) is responsible for advancing TDI’s creative economy initiatives including TDI Creative Cities, TDI Creative Catalyst Grants, and incorporating this work into their broader programmatic areas in the department and division. He will be working closely with Alejandro Lopez and a position yet to be hired to amplify their data and storytelling work. Pedro will serve a leadership role with respect to arts, the cultural economy, and creative placemaking, as they launch their expanded TDI program. He received his Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts from Salem State University and a Masters of Regional Planning from UMass Amherst. Most recently Pedro served as Planning and Development Director with the City of Lawrence, where he administered the city’s land-use planning, oversaw the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeal, and advanced planning and economic development initiatives on behalf of the city. Prior to his work in Lawrence, Pedro served as the Associate Director at Beyond Walls, Inc., headquartered in downtown Lynn. There, he managed local government relations and project management. Before serving at Beyond Walls, Pedro was a City Planner with the city of Peabody.
Tarik Bartel (they/them) is a Thai-American artist and community organizer based in Providence, RI. They have worked in the Greater Boston area as a youth worker and educator since 2014. They believe art centered in community can leverage social change and connect us more deeply to one another. They hope to pour into others what has been poured into them.
Tatiana Isabel Gil
Tatiana Isabel Gil (she/her) is a queer Panamanian and Colombian writer, dramaturg, and actor with a passion for new work development, art that moves people to take action, and decolonization as a form of healing and empowerment. All of the work Tatiana engages in across disciplines is in service of her vision of artivism in this world. This vision includes thousands of nuanced stories about LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and disabled folks sitting at every intersection being told consistently all over the world in an entertainment and cultural sector that is built on community and solidarity economy. It also includes art and political activism having a deep interdependent relationship, where theatrical experiences are being used to inspire, radicalize, incite action, and be the action in fighting for an anti-racist world. Systemically, it looks like a world that centers and deeply integrates decolonized artistic modalities into the fabric of society (education, justice systems, popular culture, food, workplaces, etc.) with a restorative justice approach to cultivating community, communication, and anti-racist work. Recently, her play, Lithosphere Heart was a semi-finalist at Playwrights Realm. She is currently at the University of New Mexico working on her MFA in Dramatic writing and is a City of Albuquerque Resident Artist creating a community centered project and play about Latine people’s relationship to their indigenous ancestors/
Taylor Lena McTootle
Taylor Lena McTootle (she/her) is an educator and writer from the Washington, DC area now living in Roxbury, MA. Living, working, and attending school in vibrant metropolises has afforded her access to artistic discourse that centers elements of the creative along with all of the ways they are used to express the human condition. In particular, rhythm has been central to her studies as, from a young age, she explored classical ballet, modern dance, and poetry. From this, she has become sensitive to the subtleties of meaning and emotion that are necessary for critical thinking and understanding in young people. Over the last ten years, Taylor Lena has worked with students of color ranging from elementary to high school.
Todd McNeel, Jr.
Todd McNeel, Jr. (he/him/his) recently graduated with his Masters in Communications Management from Emerson College, where he was the recipient of the Communications Studies Graduate Dean Award for his academic performance and capstone project. He currently serves as the Manager of Marketing and Tourism at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, leading all marketing, tourism, and advertising strategies and initiatives. When he is not working on exhibition campaigns, you can catch him on stage performing with regional opera and theater companies nationwide. He is an Emerging Talent Award recipient of the Kurt Weill – Lotte Lenya Competition and has been praised by Theatre Mirror for his “tower of strength” presence and “powerful voice.” Prior to the MFA, Todd worked in Media and Publishing with Boston, Philadelphia, and Atlanta Magazines. He also has served as a Marketing and PR Specialist for Boston performing arts institutions such as ArtsEmerson, Boston Lyric Opera, and Bard College’s Longy School of Music. Todd holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Ouachita Baptist University and attended Longy School of Music for his graduate studies in Opera Performance.