Board of Directors

Learn more about the members of our talented and hardworking Board of Directors below!

Bruce Hoppe, Secretary

Bruce joined the Board in December 2016. He is founder and president of Connective Associates LLC and has helped organizations large and small to improve productivity, innovation, and leadership with a network perspective. He co-founded Arlington Porchfest and is especially passionate about designing, facilitating, and evaluating collaborative learning and impact. Bruce is a drummer and pianist and keeps the beat for Spy Pond Groove, a local jazz funk band. He has a PhD from Cornell University and has lived in Arlington since 1995.

Catherine Garnett

Cathy joined the Board in December 2017. She is a visual artist, primarily a painter and printmaker. She has worked as a professional landscape architect and project manager for several high profile design firms in Boston and Cambridge and for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) on large scale park projects. She has a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture as well as recently receiving a degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts Studio Diploma program.

Christopher LeGare

Chris joined the Board in December 2019. He holds a BFA from the Mass College of Art. He teaches in the Newton Public schools. At ACA, Chris teaches classes in Animation, Urban Arts & Graffiti and the Friday Night Teen Clubhouse.

Emily Belz

Emily joined the Board in December 2019. She is an independent photographer and educator. She holds a BA in photography and art history from Hampshire College; an MA in community art education from RISD; and an MFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Emily is represented by Gallery Kayafas in Boston. She teaches photography classes and workshops at the Griffin Museum of Photography, deCordova Museum, and at Lasell College. Learn more about Emily on her website

Jacquie Chakrabarty

Jacquie joined the Board in December 2017. She is an expert in sustainability and clean energy, and is a Director at Boston University's Institute for Sustainable Energy. She is also Vice-President of New England Women in Energy and the Environment (NEWIEE), a non-profit organization that connects and provides learning opportunities for women working in energy and the environment sectors. Jacquie enjoys the theater regularly and periodically tries her hand at craft-based art projects. She has two daughters at Thompson Elementary School who have enjoyed ACA Vacation Camps.

John Oliver, Treasurer

John Oliver joined the Board in December 2020. He is a Senior Assistant Branch Manager at Cambridge Savings Bank, and originally met the Arlington Center for the Arts as their Personal Banker. John graduated with a B.A. in English Literature and a Certificate in Religious Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2013. He is the President and Co-Founder of The BeatHeart Foundation, a small Non-Profit based in Reading, MA, whose mission is to celebrate local art and music while promoting addiction awareness and recovery. John is also an amateur drummer.

Judi Berman

Judi joined the Board in December 2017. She has been a classroom teacher, an exhibiting artist (painting, pastels), an entrepreneur, and an Orton-Gillingham reading specialist. She was the program coordinator for the Boston Visual Artist Union, did major fundraising for the Atrium School, and created a system to teach reading to Spanish speaking children in Guatemala. Judi has received a National Endowment for the Arts award, a Boston Arts-Artist Excellence award, and three artist residencies across the country. Presently she is working with Arlington Eats and volunteers as a reading helper at the Thompson School.

Julie Brown Neu

Julie Neu joined the Board in December 2020. She is a quilt and fiber artist whose work has been included in several recent ACA group shows and in the “Disarming: Memorial Quilts for Mass Shooting Victims” exhibit in 2019. She is also a digital strategist for Baker Library at Harvard Business School. Julie holds a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. She and her family have lived in Arlington for more than a decade.

Karen Brown, Co-Chair

Karen joined the Board in December 2015. She has worked in arts administration for 16 years in Boston and New York. She currently serves as Director of Performance Operations at Celebrity Series, a non-profit performing arts presenter of music and dance performances that take place at a variety of venues within the cities of Boston and Cambridge. Her most recent work includes producing community-focused, large-scale, participatory outdoor projects (Street Pianos Boston, Le Grand Continental, Let’s Dance Boston). She recently moved from Somerville to Arlington with her husband and son.

Kirsten Swartz

Kirsten Swartz joined the Board in December 2020. She is an arts administrator and educator. She holds a BA in English Literature and Classical Languages from Hamilton College and an MA in Museum Education and Art History from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. She works as the Community Arts Administrator at the Cambridge Arts Council managing programs like Open Studios, the River Festival, and the Grant Program, and has worked in exhibits and education at art museums.

Liz Buchanan

Liz Buchanan joined the Board in December 2015. She works as an assistant teacher at the Children’s Own School in Winchester. She is also on the roster of performers at Young Audiences of Massachusetts and has served as a music specialist for many preschools and libraries. Her four recordings of original songs for children have received numerous awards. Liz holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College and an MEd from Lesley University with a specialty in Creative Arts in Learning. Liz led a summer drama camp for young children at ACA for ten years. She also raised two daughters who attended camps at ACA; one was an ACA counselor and is now a successful artist!

Margaret Moody, Co-Chair

Margaret joined the Board in December 2016. She loves old stories and the characters that inhabit them. Her work as a puppeteer includes performing, teaching and presenting public shows. Having a vibrant arts center has made it more fun for Margaret to be an artist and mother in Arlington. She can’t wait to see the new ACA.

Nandana Mewada

Nandana Mewada joined the Board in December 2020. She is an independent consultant with 20 years of experience in leading environmental, social and governance (ESG) research in the financial sector. Until 2016, Nandana was Vice President for Global ESG Norms Research at MSCI, Inc., where she was responsible for product management, research operations, client support and business strategy. An ACA "camp parent", Nandana has been an active resident volunteer for the arts, diversity and learning enrichment in Arlington, and also served two years as Co-President for the Thompson Elementary School PTO. She and her family enjoy participating in community-based art projects in Arlington. She holds a Masters degree in Economics from Tufts University.

Patrick Guthrie

Patrick Guthrie joined the Board in December 2014. He is an architect specializing in adaptive use of existing buildings and historic preservation. Many of his clients are private not-for-profit organizations and institutions. He is a California transplant who has made his home in the Arlington area for the last twenty years. He currently serves as President of the Arlington Preservation Fund. He has dabbled in ceramics, stained glass, watercolors, photography and playing the recorder. He is making slow progress toward mastery of the mountain dulcimer.

Romy Wilhelm

Romy Wilhelm joined the Board in December 2020. She is a board-certified music therapist and Arlington mom. She has worked for ACA’s Young at Art camp as a music teacher since 2015, and has a private practice focused in early childhood and senior populations. Before completing her Master's degree at Lesley in 2011, Romy spent a decade entrenched in operations management for House of Blues and the Paradise Rock Club, as well as international music festivals. She has lived in Arlington since 2009 with her family in their big purple house, and cannot imagine representing a more worthy organization than our beloved ACA.

Sarah Buyer

Sarah Buyer joined the Board in December 2020. She is an arts administrator specializing in programming and education. She holds a BA in History and Art History from Wellesley College, and an Mlit in Museum Studies from the University of St Andrews. Sarah currently works in Learning & Engagement at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and sits on the Boston Committee for Wellesley Friends of Arts. As the former Director of Education at ACA, Sarah has close ties to the community and mission of the Arlington Center for the Arts.

Thomas Kekelik

Thomas joined the Board in December 2016. He is a tax attorney working for a local software company. He moved to Arlington last year with his wife after completing his J.D. at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He has previously worked as a banker. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Connecticut. Tom plays the tuba and took some acting and directing courses in college. He enjoys the symphony and musicals, and makes it a point to visit as many museums as possible when he travels.

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Arlington Center for the Arts | 20 Academy St | Arlington, MA 02476 | (781) 648-6220 |

© 2014 Arlington Center for the Arts.