Umberto ‘Bert’ Crenca is an artist and Founder of AS220, an artist-run organization committed to providing an unjuried and uncensored forum for the arts which celebrated its 30th year in 2015. As a visual artist, performance artist and musician, Bert’s works and performances have been exhibited globally in galleries and on stages including the Galleria Del Corso in Latina, Italy; La Galeria Matadero in San Juan, Puerto Rico; the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum in Providence; the Newport Art Museum in Rhode Island; and the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. In addition to his accomplishments as an artist, Bert has been internationally recognized for his work with AS220, sharing best practices with organizations as far away as New Zealand, Taiwan, Ukraine, Estonia and Kuwait. In Providence Bert has also served on transition boards for the last three Mayors of Providence, most recently as Co-Chair of the Economic Development Transition Team for Mayor Jorge Elorza. He served on the Providence School Board from January 2005 to December 2008 and is currently Vice President of the Providence Downtown Improvement District (DID) Board. Bert has received numerous awards, including the Making a Difference Award from the Providence/Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau; The Rhode Island Foundation’s Community Service Award; the Charles B. Willard Professional Achievement Award from Rhode Island College; and the Rhode Island Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 2003 Bert was the recipient of a scholarship in Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management from The University of Harvard Business School and has also received fellowships from the Rhode Island Foundation and the Pew Civic Entrepreneur Initiative.
Marina Balko is an artist and Director of Practice//Practice. Marina received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with focuses in Curatorial Studies and Art and Technology. Prior to her degree, Marina served 3 years as Operations Manager for Pittsburgh Filmmakers, overseeing the use of film, video and photography equipment and facilities. Primarily exhibiting in mixed-media installations, her artistic disciplines include film, video, 3D modeling and animation, creative coding and interactive design, digital and darkroom photography, fibers, costume design, performance and curation. Additionally, Marina has worked as Head Chef and Kitchen Manager for ACRE, an artist residency program based in Chicago, and has managed numerous independent cafés and a kosher bakery in Pittsburgh, PA. Marina is a trained ballet and modern dancer as well, and has studied dance at Goucher College, Chatham College, and Bodiography Dance Studios.
Ruth Harvey has recently moved to Providence from New Zealand, where she was working as the Manager of Programs and Experiences at Puke Ariki, a combined museum, library and visitor information center in New Plymouth. In 2013 Ruth was awarded a grant from Creative New Zealand to undertake a month-long administrative residency at AS220, which grew into her serving as AS220 Adjunct Staff in New Zealand. She has a Master of Arts in Art History and Theory from the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand and was a recipient of a Winston Churchill Memorial Scholarship in 2010. She has also worked as a curator and arts administrator in both New Zealand and Australia. Ruth is a writer and has published numerous essays and articles about art and photography. Next she wants to write children’s books about contemporary New Zealand artists.
Shey Rivera Rios is the Artistic Director of AS220. With a professional background in administration, she is also a performance and installation artist, musician and writer. At AS220, she focuses on community engagement strategies, cultivating partnerships, and facilitating strategic planning, alongside a team of program leaders. Shey was part of the founding team of Festival de la Palabra in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2010 (the largest literature festival in Puerto Rico, still ongoing), and reactivated the historic Museum House Concha Melendez in San Juan with literary arts programming. She was awarded attendance to the Leadership Institutes hosted by the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) and the National Association of Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC)’s Leadership Institute. Shey is a Certified NonProfit Accounting Professional (CNAP) by the and has also served on multidisciplinary art grant panels for the National Endowment of the Arts, NALAC, and RISCA. She has been a speaker on arts management and/or visual culture at Tulane University, the University of Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras campus), Philadelphia Mural Arts, NALAC Regional Workshops, and the Alliance of Artist Communities’ Annual Conference. Shey completed a BA with double major in Psychology and Sociology in the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus, and coursed the graduate program in Contemporary Media and Culture in the University of the Sacred Heart, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Shauna M. Duffy, CPA, MBA – Shauna was born and raised in Rhode Island and has been hanging around AS220 since she was a young teenager. She began volunteering at AS220 while at Brown studying ethnomusicology, and became the Treasurer of the Board of Directors after completing her MBA in Accounting. She spent the last 8 years in public accounting working with RI not-for-profits including museums, social service agencies, schools and arts and culture organizations. Shauna officially joined the staff at AS220 as the Managing Director on 11/9. Shauna also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Prometheus Radio Project in Philadelphia and the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Dirt Palace Public Projects, and is a former Board President and Treasurer at Everett: Company, Stage & School.
Lucie Searle has worked in real estate development since 1981. Projects she has been associated with have accounted for over 1,200 units of housing as well as retail and commercial space, and have included both restoration and new construction. She has a particular interest in the revitalization of downtown Providence and has often worked on initiatives that further that effort. In particular, she has served as Development and Project Manager for each of AS220’s historic rehabilitation projects, converting 3 vacant and blighted buildings into vibrant mixed use complexes. These projects represent 100,000 sq ft of space and an investment of $25 million. Current board memberships include the Providence Preservation Society and Grow Smart Rhode Island. She is the former President of the Board of Trustees of the Providence Preservation Society. Previous Board memberships include AS220, Economic Development Foundation of RI, Providence Revolving Fund, Farm Fresh Rhode Island. Lucie served on the 2012 Providence Charter Review Commission; and the 2014 Economic Development Task Force of the Providence City Council.
Marc B Boucai is an arts advocate, administrator, scholar, writer, director, teacher, and performance artist. He completed his PhD in Performance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of California Berkeley. In November 2013, he filed his dissertation, “Narrating Normal: Arabs, Queers, Neoliberal Spectatorship,” which explores how Arab and Queer—as identities and as points of identification, as cultural movements and as social signifiers of difference—are performed on national and local stages in the contemporary United States. He is currently the Theatre Coordinator at AS220 in Providence, RI, where he manages a 100 seat performance space, live arts residencies and community outreach initiatives.
Susan Clausen has been part of AS220 since 1985 . She is a mixed media visual artist who creates various bodies of work including cabinets and wall-mounted bobbleheads to simple stop motion animation. She is also is a musician and plays with Monkeehead, a band made up of AS220 employees. She is one of two Property Managers at AS220 and has shared oversight on the tenancy and maintenance of AS220’s properties.
Dave Dvorchak has served as AS220’s Communications Director since 2012, arriving here from the Providence Community Library system. Though not really, since he first set foot in AS220 in 1997 and has been hooked ever since. In his spare time he shoots film, both still and motion picture, spends lots of time in the Paul Krot Community Darkroom, and has recently become interested in screen printing.
Luke Krafft, Property Manager – Luke has worked in construction, renovation, repair, and maintenance since 1994. He has been part of various Providence art, music, and anarchist communities since 1999. In his spare time, Luke vacillates between building experimental contraptions, community organizing, and extrapolating near-future dystopian scenarios. After doing occasional volunteer and contract work for AS220 over the years, Luke joined the Property Management team full time in 2014. Together with Susan, he continues to maintain, improve, and increase the efficiency of AS220’s buildings, and to foster connections between the AS220 residents, staff, tenants and larger community.
Jacob Nathan is the Director of Live Arts at AS220, responsible for programming the AS220 Main Stage and Psychic Readings room. He is a electronic musician, sound engineer, and drummer that has performed in a smorgasbord of local and nationally touring bands. He once tried to write a musical. Sometimes he dresses up like a cat and meows pop-songs. He moonlights as a Jingle Writer. He attended Clark University in Worcester, AKA ‘Paris of the 80s’, where he received a Masters in Communications and a B.A. in Music Technology. He has booked more shows than the bible has psalms.
Anjel Newman, AS220 Youth Director and program alumna, leads AS220 Youth programs by working to codify studio practices and enhance the overall quality of programs. Anjel has been involved with AS220 for the past 14 years in various capacities and looks towards providing incarcerated and beyond-risk youth with even deeper artistic and mentorship experiences. In her current position she is also focusing on innovative professional opportunities for young people, as well as evolving AS220 Youth into a national advocate and model for arts and juvenile justice reform in America. Anjel is a proud mother of two and a practicing visual, digital and performing artist.
Neal Walsh is the Gallery Director for the Providence arts organization AS220 and a visual artist. Walsh was recently part of the RISD Museum’s Locally Made exhibition and has exhibited widely. Walsh recently curated NIGHTVISIONS a series of experimental site-specific films and performances for the City of Providence, the group exhibition We Don’t Make Mistakes, at the Chazan Gallery and co-curated with Maya Allison, the exhibition, Among the Breakage: New painting from Providence at the David Winton Bell Gallery.