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Board & Team

Sara Mraish Demeter, ARCK Founder and Executive Director

Demeter, Sara

Sara is an artist, an informal educator, passionate arts activist and committed and loving community member. Sara received her B.A. degree in Psychology, with a minor in French, from Framingham State University and attended Boston University’s Executive Education Certificate Program – Institute for Non-Profit Management and Leadership. Sara is multi-lingual: fluent in Arabic, French, Spanish, and learning Greek. For the past seven years, she has proudly worn the hat of mother, now with three young children entering their school years in the Boston Public Schools.

At Josiah Quincy Elementary School, Sara was the co-chair of the Arts Committee and currently sits on the School Site Council. She spearheaded the “Diversity Thru Art” arts education initiative, recruiting artists to lead workshops for all 840 students and coordinating all public relations efforts. She organized the end-of-year art festival, inviting elected officials and the Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools as well as students, families and community members, to spur a fundraising campaign in support of the following year’s art initiative.

A decade ago Sara began her work as an education activist, serving on a committee to acquire and transform the former Brimmer and May school into a Boston Public School, serving Beacon Hill and Back Bay areas. The objective of this committee and the project was to bring diversity to these neighborhoods.

Being an adamant believer in quality public education and having an innate love for art, she also volunteered on the Social Responsibility committee for Commerce Bank (formally Mercantile Bank). Sara is a provisional member of the Beacon Hill Circle for Charity, supporting women and children.

Alberto Bianco, Program Manager

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Alberto is honored to join ARCK’s team as a Program Manager. Alberto was born and raised in Sicily, and then at the age of 22 moved to Toulouse, France where he spent the last 20 years, working as a Teacher, Teacher’s Trainer and as a Certified translator for the Court System. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Literatures from the University of Palermo, Italy and a Master’s degree in Political History from the University of Toulouse, France. Moreover, he got his National Teaching Certification from the French Ministry of Education. He has taught a multitude of students from the elementary school level to the graduate school level. He taught History of Renaissance Art at the University of Toulouse and in the last ten years, he was appointed by the School District of Toulouse as a Certified Instructor to teach the Core curriculum requirements and to prepare graduate students for their teaching certification.

He has a long experience in non-profit management. He founded and ran the Italian Society « Machiavelli » in Toulouse in France and he has been on the board of directors of the LGBT Film Festival in Toulouse « Des Images Aux Mots » from 2009 to 2015, as treasurer, in charge of fundraising, movie selection and event organization.

He is a tour guide at the Institute of Contemporary Art of Boston.

BOARD of DIRECTORS

Bob Robbins

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Bob has spent his entire career launching new companies and brands as well as transforming large multinational companies. He has helped numerous clients worldwide to achieve a strategic business advantage while optimizing the value of their brand equity. Bob has worked with CEOs and executive teams for global consumer and business-to-business companies including Abbott Laboratories, Unilever, American Express, VeriSign, Partners Healthcare, Dunkin’ Brands, CVS/Caremark, GE, Staples, Kraft Foods, DuPont, and Johnson & Johnson. Bob is adept at ensuring that clients have a strong understanding of the interplay between brand, business and culture.

Prior to Founding CatchPoint Partners, Bob was a Founding Partner of Protobrand Sciences and served as Chief Operating Officer of BrandEquity International. He has held senior management positions with BBDO Worldwide and Ogilvy & Mather in NYC. Bob is an author, lecturer and consultant on strategic development, brand asset management and integrated communications strategies

Evie Black Dykema

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Evie Black Dykema’s interest in offering public school students access to visual arts programs was inspired by the example of her mother, whose career was devoted to launching a series of enrichment programs in public schools. Evie was drawn to ARCK by its mission, the passion of the leaders that are pursuing it, and the clear competence of everyone on the team. She enjoys working with the ARCK team, drawing on the lessons she’s learned through her work with for-profit businesses to be as helpful as possible in a pro bono advisory capacity. Evie enjoys her day job at NAVSTAR Advisors, a strategy boutique that she founded following many years of CEO- and board-level experiences at two other strategy consultancies. Although the pursuit of an MBA at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business (First Scholar Program) paved her path for two decades of roles with for-profit organizations, she was initially trained for public service (as a Public Policy Studies major at Duke University). Evie’s favorite artist is her daughter Vivian (born in 2008), and she’s recently noticed that the professional art that she most admires often reveals an artist who harnessing the power of his or her “inner child”.

Mojgan M. Lefebvre

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Mojgan Lefebvre is SVP & CIO for Liberty Mutual Global Specialty. In this role, she leads all aspects of technology planning and execution, and is accountable for technology strategy, business capability delivery, application development, and support.

Before joining Liberty Mutual in 2010, Mojgan was EVP and Global CIO for bioMerieux, a medical device company with business in over 100 companies. In addition, she has also held various leadership positions in both business and technology at Teletech, eRoom, and Bain & Company. Mojgan received her MBA at Harvard Business School.

Mojgan Lefebvre is one of Boston Business Journal 2015 women to Watch in Science and Technology honorees.

Panos Demeter, ARCK Treasurer

Panos Demeter is a founding owner of G & P Management Group, Inc., and Demeter Development Group, LLC in Boston. He is actively involved in real estate investment, management and adaptive reuse of properties in the Metro Boston and Cambridge areas. He recently ended his fifteen year position as Chairman of the Board of Mercantile Bank and Trust Company after successfully spearheading the sale of the institution to Commerce Bank. He has an undergraduate degree from Babson College and an MBA from Columbia Business School with a concentration in real estate finance. His social responsibility contributions to the city of Boston have been exemplary and include the Project Place Financial Literacy Program and Mercantile Social Responsibility Committee.

Joelle Tomb, ARCK Clerk

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Joelle Tomb is a Ph.D student in Education at the University of Montreal. Her research interests include teacher training, curriculum development, art integration and creative methodologies to explore plural identities of individuals.

Joelle was born in Lebanon and raised in a family that has an artistic heritage, hence her interests for the art and arts education. She has lived in various parts of the world, including throughout the Middle East, Europe, Central America and North America. Her life trajectories have granted her a keen understanding for cultural diversity and intercultural exchanges.
Joelle served as a lecturer in French and French culture at MIT and Brandeis University. She has also coordinated a number of art exhibitions and projects in North America and the Middle East. She is currently a staff member at the ICA, where she leads educational tours of the museum.
Joelle is fluent in French, Arabic, English and Spanish.
Joelle currently lives in Newton with her husband and three sons.

 

HONORARY BOARD

Scott Ruescher  – Scott has been working in the area of arts education for many years. Since 2002, he has served as coordinator for the Arts in Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, coming into contact with educators from various artistic backgrounds.

In 2009 he received the Mack Davis Award for Public Service for his participation in the Reading Buddies/Lectores program at the bilingual public Amigos School. He taught English for nine years in the Boston University Prison Education Program—and for several years did the same for UMass/Boston’s now defunct program. Scott is the author of Sidewalk Tectonics, a 2009 chapbook of poems from Pudding House Publications, and has contributed poems to the Boston Phoenix, Agni, Ploughshares, the Harvard Educational Review, and other publications. In recent years he has been drawing and painting as well. He offered two still-life drawing workshops at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School in 2012, an activity that led to his happy new affiliation with ARCK.

Liz Byron – Liz Byron is a special education teacher, art teacher and practicing visual artist. In addition, she has taught general education and ESL.

She graduated from Boston College with a B.A. in elementary education and a B.A. in visual art. She received a Masters in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education as well as a second masters in special education from Lesley University. She has taught in five different countries as well as in New York City. She is currently the 6th grade Learning Specialist at Gardner Pilot Academy in Allston. She is committed to providing high need, low-income students with an exemplary education complete with access to the arts. Liz accepted a faculty position at Boston College and is coteaching a graduate course on Universal Design for Learning.

Ron Lawner – FMR CHAIRMAN & CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER, ARNOLD WORLDWIDE

Susan Symonds – Susan Symonds is the owner and principal creative artist at Infinity Portrait Design & Mainframe Photographics in downtown Boston. With a degree in Photography from Endicott College, she started her career as a classically trained photographer, over 25 years ago, when Mainframe Photographics was founded.

Susan has two locations that bare her creative thumbprint: a portrait studio in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill, and for almost two decades now an onsite office at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital as the BWH Photo Department. As a local business owner for 28 years, a past president & current Chairman of the Board for the Beacon Hill Business Association and a 12 year veteran of Business Networking International, Susan has a very rooted view of how to make a small business successful. ARCK is a concept that is very near and dear to her heart. Early arts education is an incredibly vital opportunity that all kids should have access to. Susan’s own early art opportunities have literally impacted her entire professional career. Without them and the guidance of countless mentors, she would probably be living a very different life than the one she enjoys now.

 

BOARD ADVISORS

Antonia Ramis Miguel, Artist

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Antonia Ramis Miguel was born in Spain and has been painting since childhood. Trained in Europe, she studied for seven years with Professors Edgardo and Alceu Ribeiro, themselves students of the renowned constructivist Joaquín Torres-García. Following her formal training and pursuing an interest in conservation, she spent several years studying the techniques of, among others, Rubens, Sargent, Velázquez, and Vermeer. She has also spent more than a decade painting portraits, both for exhibitions and on commission.
Miguel paints primarily in the medium of oil, on canvas and on wood; subject matter includes street scenes, still-lifes, landscapes, and figures. Recent work has included commissions for large-scale murals, as well as painted wooden sculptures. She has shown her work in individual and collective exhibitions in her native Spain, the United Kingdom, Austria, and the United States.

Miguel divides her time between Washington, DC, Palma de Mallorca (Spain), and South Wellfleet, Massachusetts. She teaches at the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill, affiliated with the Art Institute of Boston, and also at the South Shore Art Center. Her work can be seen at the Julie Heller Gallery in Provincetown, MA; and the Watergate Gallery in Washington, DC.

Anthony Corey, Community Art Advisor

AnthonyCoreyAnthony Corey is a Boston based designer of men’s accessories and a Style Commentator for Television and print media.

He is also an accomplished artist and instructor of classical drawing, oil painting, and sculpture.
He believes strongly in the benefit’s he received from exposure to the arts at a very early age in his core curriculum from elementary school on.
The work that ARCK is doing is near and dear to his heart because of the artistic, creative, and social outlets it is providing students who otherwise, because of budget restrictions, would be at a defect in these areas.

 

Jamaal Eversley, Art Education Advisor

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Jamaal Eversley, born in 1988, hails from Randolph, MA. With a business degree in hand, from Boston College, he has decided to chase after his dreams and passionately pursue his talents as an eccentric abstract artist intertwining business with the arts in order to serve the community. His art has been exhibited twice in Massachusetts General Hospital’s Illuminations program and shows throughout the South Shore and Boston area. Within the past two years, he has received a couple public grants to bring his colorful patterns to the community and was most recently featured in the Boston Globe for one of them.  Jamaal constantly creates to spur the juices of creative genius and put the “F” meant for “Fun” back into Fine Arts.

You can see more about him and his work at jamonit.carbonmade.com

 

 

Marian Dioguardi, ARCK Advisor

Marian Dioguardi was born and raised in the Italian-American neighborhood of urban East Boston.

Her father worked his entire professional life as Boston Public School teacher and administrator. Her mother served the lunches for the children at the Samuel Adams School in East Boston. It was not a surprise when Marian also chose to become an educator. Marian Dioguardi received her MA Ed from Lesley College in 1978 and taught Early Childhood Education in Boston Public Schools for her first year out of college and later taught at the KLH Day Care Center in Cambridge. Marian is now a full time professional fine art painter but her interest and desire to continue the art education for children served by the public school program remains a passion.

Sandra (Sandy) Larson, ARCK Advisor

SandyLarson Sandra (Sandy) Larson is a freelance journalist who has covered Boston issues and people for the past 15 years. Her work has appeared most recently in the Bay State Banner, Exhale magazine, and the South End News. She has also contributed to Glue magazine and ArtsEditor and volunteered as an arts editor and writer for Spare Change News.

As a reporter and as a Boston Public School parent, Sandy has witnessed the impact art education can have on children, and also the fragile state of arts programs in the public schools. She first saw the power of Sara Mraish Demeter’s work when Sara co-led a year-long “Diversity Through Art” effort at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School that reached more than 800 students and culminated in a highly successful exhibit and art sale.

Sandy has worn many hats, including director of a nonprofit aptitude testing center; technical writer; and co-director of a South End contemporary art gallery. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts in Journalism from Harvard University and is currently pursuing a Master of Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.

 

TEACHING ARTISTS:

Meredith Hofmaier – Gardner Pilot Academy

Alicia Herman – Blackstone Innovation School

Leah Craig – Gardner Pilot Academy

Gabrielle Eisenberg – East Boston Early Education Center

Amanda Hockensmith – Gardner Pilot Academy

Carl Vestweber – Gardner Pilot Academy

Marjorie Almstead – Tobin, Gardner Pilot Academy

Jonathan Kindness- Blackstone

Claudia Arcia – J. F. Kennedy Elementary School

Sheryl Chen – Gardner Pilot Academy

Brooke Scibelli – J. F. Kennedy Elementary School

Karuna O’Donnell – Gardner Pilot Academy

Marissa A. Gutiérrez-Vicario – Gardner Pilot Academy

Christos Hamawi – Josiah Quincy Elementary and Gardner Pilot Academy

 

Volunteers and Interns:

We are profoundly grateful to our dedicated, talented volunteers. Thanks in part to them, we are able to thrive and provide high quality art programs to our students. ARCK is fortunate to have amazing parents from the Boston Public Schools and interns from the SMFA who help to truly deliver our mission, and ensure the success of ARCK. Together at ARCK we collaborate to drive home the message that art education in a creative, positive environment is a necessary part of our schools’ curriculum.

Please click here to check out our volunteer page if you would like to become a volunteer!

  • Mabel Albert (Education Intern, SMFA)
  • Chealsea Anagnoson (SMFA Intern)
  • Bruce Bemis (Artist)
  • Heidi Boulogne (BPS Parent)
  • Brittany Brannelly (New England Institute of Art)
  • Claire Brown (BU)
  • Darcie Brown
  • Griffin Case (Artist, STEAM teacher)
  • Mary Catallo
  • Emily Chesbrough
  • Renee Coppola (SMFA)
  • Ariel DiOro (Mass College of Art)
  • Ali Foreman (Communication and Admin Intern)
  • Allison Gray (SMFA Intern)
  • Hanadi Hamzeh
  • Yen Yi Huang ( Emerson College)
  • Divya Joseph (BU Intern)
  • Jeanette Juba-Liang (BPS Parent)
  • Lindsey Kunisaki (Harvard Arts and Education)
  • Liu Linlin (Northeastern University)
  • Juliette Mann (Wellesley via MIT DLab)
  • Meaghan Mahoney (SMFA Intern)
  • Kara Modiszwski
  • Callan Moody (BU)
  • Dan Moon (Volunteer)
  • Maia Plantevin (TUFTS Intern)
  • Leilani Roser
  • Adriana Sevila (SMFA Intern)
  • Rebby Sim (Lesley University)
  • Lauren Sobolewski (SMFA Intern)
  • Maria Speridakos
  • Gianna Stewart (SMFA Intern)
  • Sandy Teng (Northeastern University)
  • Sharnetta Tyler (Harvard AIE Intern)
  • Jaclyn Weissenberger
  • Shannon Whalen (Mass College of Art Intern)