Mass Cultural Council is governed by a board of private citizens appointed by the Governor for staggered three-year terms. Board members represent various regions of the state and have demonstrated distinguished service, creativity and/or scholarship in the arts, humanities, or sciences.
Barbara Schaffer Bacon, Belchertown Close Open
Barbara Schaffer Bacon co-directs Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts that inspires, informs, promotes, and connects arts and culture as potent contributors to community, civic, and social change. She has written, edited, and contributed to many publications including Civic Dialogue, Arts & Culture: Findings from Animating Democracy; Case Studies from Animating Democracy; Animating Democracy: The Artistic Imagination as a Force for Civic Dialogue; Fundamentals of Local Arts Management; and The Cultural Planning Work Kit. She has delivered presentations and workshops for cultural, nonprofit, and foundation leaders nationally and internationally in Canada, Australia, and England. Since 1990, Barbara has worked as a consultant in program design and evaluation for state and local arts agencies and private foundations nationally and has served as a panelist and adviser for many state and national arts agencies. Barbara previously served as executive director of the Arts Extension Service at the University of Massachusetts. An arts management educator, she has served as a primary instructor for the Fundamentals and Advanced Arts Management seminars. Barbara served for 14 years on the Belchertown, MA School Committee. She is a board member of WomenArts. She serves as president of the Arts Extension Institute, Inc. A graduate of UMASS, Barbara was born and raised and has raised her family in western Massachusetts.
Karen Barry, Duxbury Close Open
Karen Barry has hold the position of Deputy Director for The Plymouth County Sheriffs Department in Plymouth, MA since 2011. Her primary responsibilities include being a community liaison, responsible for responding to press and the public’s inquiries and facilitating strategic planning for the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force. During her professional career, Karen has developed communication and business plans for various applications and enjoyed expanding networks through the use of traditional and social media.
Her passion for advocacy work is most evident with communities that are in need of support for people with developmental disabilities, senior population, and education & policy initiatives to address the opioid epidemic.
Jacob Brennan, Arlington Close Open
Jake Brennan is an independent media producer working primarily in music and experiential events. He is the Producer of the Boston Music Awards, Coordinating Producer of the award-winning public space, The Lawn On D, founder of the bespoke music house, RAMS: Recording And Music Services. In 2011, Jake co-wrote and produced original compositions for the Parker Posey film, “The Love Guide.” He occasionally performs on his own and with Cast Iron Hike. He is currently working in partnership with GYK Antler on “1Band1Brand”, the strategic alignment of bands and brands that helps musicians access resources in an increasingly fragmented music industry.
Kathleen Castro, Fall River Close Open
Kathleen Castro is an Adjunct Faculty Member at the Bristol Community College’s English Department and host of “Arts Alive” on local cable television.. She is heavily involved in the community and is a former Board member of the Board of Directors of Little Theatre of Fall River, New Bedford Festival Theatre, and the New Bedford Educational Foundation. She is also a 27-year member of the Rotary Club, serving as a past president of the NB Club.
Kathleen Castro, Fall River
Jo-Ann W. Davis, Esq., Springfield
Lillian Do, Greenfield Close Open
Lillian Do is a successful businesswoman in the food industry and is heavily involved with the community.
Sherry Dong, Boston Close Open
Sherry Dong has held the position of Director of Community Health Improvement Programs for Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA since 2008. She is a familiar face around the blocks of Boston’s Chinatown.
Known for her dedication to promoting Asian-American health, Dong’s involvement in the community goes above and beyond her role at Tufts Medical Center.
She was born and raised in New York City, on the Lower East Side, Chinatown and holds a Masters in Public Administration at Northeastern University.
Sandra Dunn, Holden Close Open
Sandra L. Dunn has held the position of General Manager for the city-owned Arena and Convention Center in Worcester, MA since 1997. She oversaw the construction and grand opening of the Convention Center in 1997 and the $31.5M expansion and renovation project of the 14,000-seat Arena in October 2013, as well as the opening and management of the Worcester Common Oval Public Ice Skating Rink on the Worcester Common in 2013. She has been an instrumental contributor to Central Massachusetts and the Greater Worcester region for more than 15 years, having served on several volunteer boards and participated in many community outreach programs. Currently, Dunn serves on the Worcester Municipal Research Bureau Board of Directors (Former Chair), Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Destination Worcester Executive Committee and Economic Development Coordinating Council Committee. She is a graduate of Allegheny College in Pennsylvania.
Nina Fialkow, Boston, Chair Close Open
Nina S. Fialkow is an Emmy Award winning producer and an independent filmmaker who worked for many years at Boston’s public television station, WGBH. Currently, she is a member of the film partnership, Impact Partners, which focuses on social justice-themed documentaries.
An avid supporter of the Arts, Mrs. Fialkow is on the National Committee for Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and sits on the Executive Committee. As a longtime trustee of the Boston Ballet, she is the past Chair of the Board of Overseers. She is also an Overseer at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and is a member of the Fashion Council at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
Education is another area of interest for Mrs. Fialkow and her husband, David Fialkow. In 2005, they founded the Margot Stern Strom Teaching Award for Facing History and Ourselves, an internationally taught social justice curriculum. She sits on the board of two schools, Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, MA and the Cambridge School of Weston in Weston, MA. Mrs. Fialkow resides in Boston, MA with her husband David Fialkow and has two grown children.
Karen Hurvitz, Esq.
Cecil Barron Jensen, Nantucket Close Open
Cecil Barron Jensen has worked for cultural and educational organizations on Nantucket since 1996. She is currently the executive director of ReMain Nantucket, an island-based organization dedicated to strengthening the lasting economic, social, and environmental vitality of downtown Nantucket, while preserving its unique character and spirit.
Prior to joining ReMain, Cecil was the executive director of the Artists Association of Nantucket for ten years. She oversaw the association’s efforts to open the Island’s first visual arts center. She was also on the development staff of the Nantucket New School and the Nantucket Historical Association.
Cecil also helped to establish the Nantucket Cultural District with the support of the Mass Cultural Council.
Matthew D.M. Keator, Lenox Close Open
Matthew D.M. Keator is a Senior Partner and Owner of Keator Group, LLC. a nationally recognized wealth management firm located in Lenox, MA. He holds his series 7,63 and 65 securities registrations. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business Executive Education Program. He holds his CFS designation and is a member of the Fixed Income Analyst Society. Matthew has been recognized by the Heritage Registry of Who’s Who in Business. He is frequently quoted as a source in major financial news outlets such as: Wall Street Journal, Fortune, BusinessWeek, MarketWatch, Smart Money, and Reuters.
He is a graduate of West Virginia University’s Eberly College of Arts and Science and received his degree in political science and communications. He is a member of West Virginia University’s Marmaduke Dent Society. Matthew is currently serving as an Ambassador to the school and is a lifetime member of the WVU Alumni Association. He serves on the boards of the Mass Cultural Council, Lenox Library Association, Country Club of Pittsfield, and trustee for Berkshire Housing, Inc. He is a former board member and big brother of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berkshire County.
Prior to his work in the securities industry, he worked in Washington, D.C. with lobbyists and legislators across the country helping to educate them on a wide range of legislative matters.
Matthew and his wife Hannah live in Lenox with their 3 children.
Susan Winston Leff, Boston Close Open
Susan Winston Leff is an independent consultant with over 30 years’ experience in commercial real estate finance, having served in senior positions at several national commercial banks. Her experience encompasses both conventional and innovative capital structures for private and nonprofit developers and investors. She has worked in depth on affordable housing.
She was originally trained as an art and architectural historian and has taught those disciplines at Princeton, UMass/Boston and Wellesley College. Susan graduated from the University of Chicago in General Studies in the Humanities and has Master’s degrees in Art History from the University of Chicago and from Princeton University. She has an MBA in non-profit management from Boston University. She is a co-author of the inaugural volume of ‘This Old House,’ the companion book to the award-winning PBS TV series about adaptive use.
Susan is a past board chair of Mass Humanities, the List Visual Arts Center at MIT, and The Boston Children’s Museum. She is the current Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston. She also serves on the board of Tufts Medical Center and the Healthy Neighborhood Investment Fund. She is a founder of New England Women in Real Estate and a former President of the Real Estate Finance Association. She is a frequent speaker on topics in management and commercial real estate finance.
Susan lives in the Leather District in Boston.
Victoria Marsh, Arlington Close Open
Victoria Marsh is the World Channel Outreach Manager and the Senior Programming Coordinator for WGBH Television. She served as the Board President of Company One Theatre from 2006-2015 during a period of explosive growth for the theatre and for the Boston Theatre community in general. Company One Theatre is the recipient of an Official Resolution by the Boston City Council for “Countless contributions to Boston’s Art community and dedication to diversifying arts and theater in Boston.” Company One Theatre productions have received 12 Elliot Norton Awards and 10 Independent Reviewers of New England Awards since 2007. Victoria directed 6 Company One productions including 2 Boston premieres by Kirsten Greenidge and a world premiere by Lois Roach. She co-directs the Company One Theatre Professional Development for Actors program with Rosalind Thomas-Clark and is an Honorary Board Member of TC Squared Theatre Company, producers of labs, readings and performances of new work by Boston Arts Academy alumni and other Boston-based artists.
Ann S. Murphy, Waltham Close Open
Ann S. Murphy is a senior vice president in the communications practice at O’Neill and Associates. She brings to her role more than 25 years of experience with the media including professional roles in print and broadcast news as well as government, political and corporate public relations. Women’s Business Boston has featured Ms. Murphy in their annual “Top 10 PR Specialists” list twice in three years.
Prior to joining O’Neill and Associates, Ms. Murphy was the director of media relations at Cablevision in Boston, Massachusetts. In this capacity, she served as the company’s chief spokesperson, coordinated media events with cable partners such as C-SPAN and Home and Garden TV, and supported marketing efforts to launch new products such as digital television, cable modems and other high tech options.
Ms. Murphy also served as director of communications for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue where she was instrumental in developing the public information/education campaign on the agency’s innovative tax filing technology. At the D.O.R., she contributed to numerous awards including the Computerworld/Smithsonian Award for Telefile, tax filing by telephone.
She also served as press secretary for former U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney and was deputy press secretary for Gov. William Weld and Lt. Gov. Paul Cellucci.
Ms. Murphy’s experience extends to the working media as she was an assignment editor at WBZ-TV, an assistant news director at WBZ radio and a news reporter at radio stations in Brockton, Fitchburg and on Cape Cod. She started her journalism career as a newspaper reporter for the Cape Cod Independent in Buzzards Bay.
Ms. Murphy is a board member and past president of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. She served on the advisory board of GRLZ Radio, a radio station originated and operated by teenage girls in Boston to give them a voice in their community, and the board of the Under the Tree Foundation, a nonprofit that provides disadvantaged 12-17 year olds with gifts during the holiday season. Additionally, she serves on the board of Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of women and children in Afghanistan through community-based education. Ms. Murphy also serves on the board of Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
Ms. Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree in journalistic studies and English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She resides in Waltham, Mass.
Allyce J. Najimy, Boston Close Open
Allyce J. Najimy is the CEO and Executive Director of the Foundation To Be Named Later (FTBNL). Named after the Major League Baseball trade term, “player to be named later,” the foundation was launched ten years ago by Theo Epstein, former Red Sox EVP and General Manager and current Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations and his twin brother Paul Epstein, MSW, with the mission of supporting youth and families from disadvantaged neighborhoods. The foundation raises money and has donated over $7.3 Million in grants to more than 200 innovative, creative, effective non-profits that promote education, leadership and healthy development in Boston and Chicago. FTBNL also sends deserving young people to college through their Peter Gammons’ College Scholarships, which Allyce created. FTBNL hosts bi-annual concerts and baseball and diversity panels, celebrating music, baseball and giving back to raise awareness and funds.
Allyce has spent the past two and a half decades working in sports, higher education and community service organizations to live up to her hero Jackie Robinson’s words that, “the importance of one’s life is measured in the impact it has on other lives.” After beginning her career as a teacher, she joined City Year as a founding staff member in 1990 and later worked as the COO for the Center for Sport in Society at Northeastern University.
Today, in addition to her work at Foundation To Be Named Later, Allyce is an adjunct professor in Assumption College’s MBA Program, consults with UMASS Boston developing their new Sport Leadership Bachelor Degree Program and works on events for Chicago Children’s Choir, Hot Stove Cool Music, The Pearl Jam Foundation and Jake Peavy’s Concert Series. She serves on the board of Beacon Academy, the National Consortium for Academics and Sports, The New England Sports Museum and the Mass Cultural Council. She has her Masters in Education from UMASS Boston and Bachelor in Psychology from Assumption College.
Troy Siebels, Shrewsbury Close Open
Troy Siebels serves as President and CEO of The Hanover Theatre, a 2,300-seat world-class performing arts center in downtown Worcester which opened in 2008 following a $32 million dollar historic restoration. The theatre presents more than 140 performances to audiences of more than 180,000 annually. The theatre is a key catalyst to the city’s revitalization, and anchors Worcester’s new Theatre District. Troy serves as Chairperson of Discover Central Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Performing Arts Center Coalition, on the Boards of Directors of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and MassCreative, and as a member of the Mass Cultural Council.
Board Meeting Schedule – Fiscal Year 2019
Tuesday, August 28, 2018 12-3PM
Lawrence Heritage State Park
Lawrence, MA Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Buckland Town Hall
Shelburne Falls, MA Tuesday, January 15, 2019 12-3PM
Peabody Essex Museum
Salem, MA Tuesday, March 19, 2019 12-3PM
Rose Art Museum
Waltham, MA Tuesday, May 21, 2019 12-3PM
Perles Family Studio at Jacob’s Pillow
Becket, MA Board Meeting Schedule – Fiscal Year 2020
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 12-3PM
Peabody, MA Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Edgewood Farm at Center for the Arts
Truro, MA Future Days/Times TBD