AHCMC’s highly experienced and effective core staff serve a variety of constituents including organizations, individuals, educators and the general public. Core staff lead the key functional areas for AHCMC which includes: grants, communications, program services, advocacy, policy development, strategic planning and administration.
Suzan E. Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer
Suzan E. Jenkins has been a visionary leader in the non-profit arts and culture sector for over twenty years, serving in executive positions at the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the Recording Industry Association of America.
Recognized for her leadership and entrepreneurial endeavors, including by the Gazette of Politics and Business, Women Business Leaders of Maryland, Jazz Alliance International, the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival and Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, Jenkins is a Peabody Award winning producer of the radio series Let the Good Times Roll for Public Radio International; Jenkins has also produced several jazz recordings.
Jenkins is a strategic thinker and team builder who develops innovative projects that respond to and cultivate communities. It is in that light that Jenkins co-founded the Nonprofit Energy Alliance. Since its inception in May 2010, the Non-Profit Energy Alliance has collectively saved nonprofits over a half-million dollars compared to standard offer energy service, while supporting clean sources of energy that are essential to protecting our environment and building a new economy. The wind power purchased through this alliance has offset over 40 million pounds of CO2, which is equivalent to removing over 3,500 cars off the roads. Participating nonprofits used their collective purchasing power to save on a fixed expense, freeing up resources for essential services while also implementing environmentally sustainable business practices.
Jenkins serves on the Board of the Committee for Montgomery; as a member of the Silver Spring, MD Arts and Entertainment Advisory Committee; as Co-Chair of the Women of Color in the Arts Mentoring Committee; on the Community Advisory Council of WETA; on the American University Arts Management Advisory Council; and is a former Board member of Culture Capital and DataArts, previously known as the Cultural Data Project.
Suzan Jenkins’ work has supported freedom of expression and creativity though her efforts not only in the US, but internationally. She has served as a marketing consultant to the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music in the Imperial City of Fes, Morocco and worked with artists interested in exploring cultural exchange, such as bringing Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Essaouira, Morocco to participate in the Gnaoua Festival, and in bringing rhythm and blues musicians to Madrid, Spain in the 1990s and jazz students to the Hague and Panama.
As an educator, Jenkins has served as Executive in Residence in the College of Music at Loyola University and as Adjunct Professor at both American and George Mason Universities.
Suzan Jenkins holds an Honorary Degree in Public Service from Montgomery College, MD; a BS in Psychology and Management, and an MBA from the University of Maryland; she is currently a fellow in the National Arts Strategies: Chief Executive Program.
Joe Frandoni, Deputy Director
Joe Frandoni has worked in arts management and advocacy for the past seven years; advocating for expanded cross-cultural dialogue, increasing visibility for artists, and implementing innovative business solutions for cultural nonprofits. Having earned a Masters Degree in Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University as well as his Graduate Degree in Innovation and Organization of Culture and the Arts from the University of Bologna in Bologna Italy, Joe brings with him an extraordinary amount of knowledge and experience. Always striving to help arts organizations expand their brand and implement sustainable business solutions, he has held previous positions with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, the Center for Arts Management and Technology and as a private consultant providing capacity buildilng, strategic planning and marketing services to a myriad of different local and regional cultural organizations. A native of Ohio, he is very excited to work with all of the arts and humanities organizations that the AHCMC serves and become involved with the incredible cultural initiatives that are taking place in Montgomery County.
Takenya LaViscount, Senior Grants Program Manager
Takenya LaViscount has thirteen years of experience working for arts organizations, communicating the vital importance of the arts to the public both locally and nationally. Prior to joining AHCMC, she managed the Challenge America grant program for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and contributed to the agency’s role in grants management for eight years. Challenge America is a national, multidisciplinary funding source that enables eligible entities, particularly those organizations that are small or mid-sized, to extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—those demographics whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity / race, economics, or disability. She managed over 500 grant awards for professional arts programming and for projects that emphasize the potential of the arts in community development. Takenya was employed as a fundraising professional by Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). She earned a Masters Degree in Arts Management from American University, takes voice lessons, and loves to sing when time permits. A native New Yorker by birth, Takenya has proudly called the DMV her home for over fifteen years.
Karen Judson, Grants Program Manager
Karen Judson recently joined the team at AHCMC as Grants Program Manager. She comes to AHCMC from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington DC (RMHCDC) where she was Director of Programs and where for many years she was responsible for administering a grant making program. Until 2016, a separate and dedicated revenue stream permitted RMHCDC to support the work of other local nonprofits. Those nonprofits provided services to vulnerable and/or under-served children in the greater Washington DC region, including many focused on ensuring access to the arts. Karen holds master’s degrees in Social Work and in Public Administration. She has held various volunteer positions in the County, including serving on the Montgomery County Council’s Grants Advisory Group. A lifelong County resident, Karen appreciates the vibrant local arts scene and has enjoyed sharing it with her family. Karen is thrilled to be at AHCMC, supporting its mission of promoting and expanding arts and humanities in the community. She especially looks forward to assisting area artists and arts organizations submit proposals that make the best possible case for funding.
Ana-Alicia Feng, Grants Program Coordinator
Ana-Alicia Feng has over 4 years of experience in the arts and humanities sector, striving to streamline data systems and improve audience engagement through research. Coming from a passion for visual arts, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in Painting, a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, and a minor in art history from the University of Maryland, College Park to further her career capabilities in a creative yet practical approach to arts administration. Prior to joining AHCMC, she has held positions at the National Gallery of Art, the Phillips Collection, the Library of Congress, and the University of Maryland Art Gallery. She has also offered freelance marketing and graphic design services to artists, non-profits, and patrons of the arts. As a Montgomery County native, Ana-Alicia is excited to work with the organizations in her community to help the arts and humanities flourish.
Brittney Dubose, Marketing & Communications Manager
Brittney Dubose has six years of experience working in the field of arts administration; designing creative learning experiences for youth, developing strategies to elevate the visibility of artists and organizations, and communicating the power and impact of the arts through storytelling. After earning a Masters Degree in Public Administration, with a focus in Non-Profit Management from the University of North Texas, Brittney held a position with the City of Dallas’ Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA). In this role, she worked to rebuild and expand the OCA’s brand, create sustainable digital marketing strategies, and increase the visibility of the Dallas arts community. Passionate about uplifting arts, Brittney provides digital marketing services to several arts organizations and artists located in both in the DMV and Dallas areas. Originally from DC, Brittney is happy to have returned home and is excited about the opportunity to work with AHCMC to uplift the arts and humanities in Montgomery County.
Sierra Smith, Programming & Operations Coordinator
Sierra Smith is an experienced program coordinator with a history of working in nonprofit, law and county government. Sierra is a classically trained saxophonist having received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Morgan State University in 2015. Sierra has a passion for arts administration and holds a certificate in Management of Successful Arts & Cultural Organization from the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. Sierra is a native Washingtonian and has spent most of her adult life in Montgomery County. She is thrilled to join the AHCMC team and looks forward to capacity building with arts organizations throughout the county.
AHCMC contracts with consultants who are recognized specialists in their fields to manage discreet programs and provide key services. With the assistance of our consulting staff, AHCMC maintains an active public art program, a vibrant arts education program and is undertaking the development of a web-based multimedia exhibition on the folk and traditional arts of Montgomery County.
Interns provide invaluable support for the many programs presented by AHCMC.
Mariza June Avila, Public Art Intern
Mariza June Avila recently joined the team as Public Art Intern, through the Spring 2019 Art Internship with Montgomery College. As a returning resident to downtown Silver Spring, it was an obvious choice to select AHCMC as her internship site. Prior to joining AHCMC, Mariza served as a Peer Mentor in the Peer2Peer program at Montgomery College, helping new students adjust to the college environment and journey. She also completed 100+ volunteer hours with the Exhibition Department at Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring. Mariza received her A.A. in Art in December 2018 and looks forward to transferring to a 4-year university in Spring 2020. Her interests range from graphic design and printmaking to art history and museum studies. In addition to Public Art, she is a studio assistant to local artist, Leslie Holt, at Red Dirt Studio in Prince George’s County, and is the summer Management Fellow for the Alumni Program at Arts On the Block. Her screenprints are currently on display at VisArts, for the Next Gen 6.0 exhibition, open until August 11, 2019. Mariza is excited to be a part of AHCMC, as she will gain experience in arts administration and will be involved with the operation of Betty Mae Kramer Gallery.
The Board of Directors of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County includes artists, humanities scholars, business leaders, civic activists, arts administrators, artists, and non-profit executives with a diverse mix of ethnic, economic, geographic, and employment backgrounds. The board is dedicated to the mission of the Arts and Humanities Council and welcomes interested individuals to contact them with questions about the Arts and Humanities Council. For more information, or to attend an open upcoming Board of Directors’ Meeting, please call us at 301-565-3805.
Board of Directors
- Regina ‘Reggie’ L. Oldak, Esq.
Board Chair; Chair, Executive Committee
- Rose Garvin Aquilino
Vice Chair; Chair, Grants Committee; Chair Development Committee
Director of Grants and Sponsored Programs
- Elaine Robnett Moore
Artist and CEO
Elaine Robnett Moore Collection
- Dana Pauley
Board Treasurer; Chair, Finance Committee
Vice President, Philanthropic Investments
- Eric L. Siegel
Chair Governance Committee
Kalbian Hagerty LLP
- Ruby Lopez Harper
Chair, Advocacy Committee
Director of Local Arts Services
Americans for the Arts
- Suraya Mohamed
Producer, Programming & Partnerships
- Denise Saunders Thompson
President and CEO
The International Association of Blacks in Dance
- Eleanor Choi
Senior Project Architect and Project Manager
- Alan Heymann, Esq., ACC
- Mamie Bittner
Executive Coach, Communications Strategist
- Lauren Cook
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
- Ryan Lorey
Director of Planning
- Norman Rogers
- Kenneth A. Lechter, Esq.
- Suzan Jenkins
Chief Executive Officer