Executive Director

Emily’s background is in international performance work & non-profit leadership. She holds degrees from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Liverpool Institute of the Performing Arts and Interlochen Arts Academy. Emily has focused her work on community-based art programs and innovative models of education.

Program Director

Trevor has produced arts programming that seamlessly integrates education, community building, community service and event production for over 15 years. He has produced programming for institutions such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, California College of the Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and the Neutral Zone Teen Center.

Outreach Coordinator

Ariel is the founder of Ward 1 Productions, a youth-based creative agency to train youth in job skills valued in the new media economy and founder of Ursus Ventures LLC, a consulting company facilitating startup fundraising & market-entry strategies.  She currently serves as Vice-President of the Board for the Ypsilanti Housing Commission. Previous to her work here in Ypsilanti, Ariel served as Director of Nuclear Support for DTE Energy.


Marisa studied Interpretation and Performance Studies at Eastern Michigan University. Upon completing her MFA, she has worked with theatres, performance collaboratives, and independent initiatives throughout Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Ypsilanti. She is the co-founder of Friends with Benefits, a monthly dance and performance show which raises funds for local charities. She’s pretty sure we could all be friends if we all got a bit more comfortable with being uncomfortable.


Jason is an artist from Detroit and an Eastern Michigan University Alumni where he earned a degree in accounting. He has been a long time resident of Ypsilanti where he shares his passion for the arts and community building. Jason works at Beezy’s Cafe and is working on his studio practice including upcoming shows and collaborations with other local artists.


Lisa is the Assistant Director for the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition (SEMIS).  Her role is to work with teachers, students, community partners and field coaches to support Place-Based and Eco-Justice Education learning. Lisa holds an undergraduate degree in Visual Arts Education and a MA in Social Foundations of Education, both from Eastern Michigan University. Prior to joining the SEMIS Coalition she taught PreK-8th Grade Visual Arts in Ypsilanti Township at East Arbor Academy.

Board of Directors

Chair Donald Loppnow

Chair-Elect Akosua Dow

Past Chair William Kinley

Treasurer David Armstrong

Secretary Barry LaRue

Kim DeBord

Brian Filipiak

Jessica French

Marla Gousseff

William Knudstrup

Linette Lao

Barry LaRue

John E. Lawrence

Sally McCracken

Jelani McGadney

Sandra Murchison

Benjamin Muth

Lynne Settles

Greg Sheldon

Betty Stremich

Bette Warren

Chad Wiebesick

Cynthia Wilbanks

Linda Yohn

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