8:00 – 9:00

Registration and Networking Breakfast

9:00 | Welcome

Angela Wilson (Facilitator)
Executive Director
The AngelWing Project
Donna Anderson
Executive Director
Chesapeake Arts Center
Steven Skerritt-Davis
Executive Director
Maryland State Arts Council
April Nyman
Executive Director
Arts Council of Anne Arundel County

9:15 | Radical Creativity – Racial Justice Principles in Art-Centered Spaces 

Alysia Lee
Baltimore Children & Youth Fund

10:00 | Building Community through Partnerships – Panel Discussion

April Nyman (moderator)
RonShaye Clark
Arts Educator
Gabriel Rodriguez
Executive Director, Centro de Aroyo /
Interim Director,
Baltimore Classical Guitar Society /
Director, Guitars for Change

Kenny Starkes

President/Chief Executive Officer, Community Transitions, Inc.
Debbie Wood
Executive Director, Chesapeake Children’s Museum



11:00 | Keynote Speaker

Daryl Davis
Musician, Author, and Activist

12:00 | Lunch

We will take a group photo in front of the building at 12:45

1:00 | Breakout Session I (select one topic)

  • Leading the way in DEIA (Leadership)
    Nicholas Cohen, Maryland Citizens for the Arts
  • Eliminating barriers (Accessibility)
    James Phillips, ARC Central Chesapeake Region
  • Creating an inclusive message (Marketing)
    Ruby Lopez Harper, CERF+
  • Programming that is OF and FOR the community

    Donna Anderson and Nicole Caracia,
    Chesapeake Arts Center
  • Attracting and recruiting a diverse team (Hiring/Volunteer Recruitment)
    Pamala Williams, Chesapeake Arts Center

1:30 | Breakout Session II (select one topic)

  • Leading the way in DEIA (Leadership)
    Nicholas Cohen, Maryland Citizens for the Arts
  • Eliminating barriers (Accessibility)
    James Phillips, ARC Central Chesapeake Region
  • Creating an inclusive message (Marketing)
    Ruby Lopez Harper, CERF+
  • Programming that is OF and FOR the community (Programming)
    Donna Anderson and Nicole Caracia, Chesapeake Arts Center
  • Attracting and recruiting a diverse team (Hiring/Volunteer Recruitment)
    Pamala Williams, Chesapeake Arts Center



2:15 | Unconscious Bias

Kashonna Marrow
Public speaker, coach, author,
and corporate trainer

2:45 | Marketing to a Diverse Audience

Ruby Lopez-Harper
Executive Director

3:15 | The Diversity of Artists’ Voices Shaping the Landscape of the Arts – Panel Discussion

Wilfredo Valadares-Lara, Sculptor / Associate Professor, ACAAC
Terry Koger, Musician and Music Educator
Nefertari Rasaq, Actor/Storyteller/Writer
Garrett Matthews, Actor/Singer

3:45 | Closing

Angela Wilson


Click the arrow next to each person’s name to learn more about them!

Donna Anderson

Donna Anderson’s career in non-profit management includes more than 20 years in the arts as VP for Marketing and Development at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and as Public Affairs Officer for the National Building Museum. In addition to management positions at Goodwill Industries of Washington, D.C., and American University, she’s operated two businesses, most recently Anderson Creative Solutions, LLC, to provide organizational capacity to area nonprofits in fundraising and marketing.

A New Jersey native, Donna received her bachelor’s degree in communications and political science from American University. She was named by the Annapolis Capital as “One of the 10 Most Interesting People of 2005” for her leadership as President of the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce during a period of transition. A resident of Anne Arundel County since 1990, Anderson is a 2022 graduate of Leadership Anne Arundel and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. She lives in Gambrills with her husband Joshua and has two grown children. In her spare time, she enjoys watching sports (especially Washington Capitals hockey), music, reading, movies, volunteering, visiting museums, and traveling.

Nicole Caracia

Nicole Caracia is an artist and VP/ Artistic Director from Annapolis, Maryland. She has worked with an impressive number of artists and companies over the past 20 years in a wide range of industries, however, photography, marketing and programming have been her primary focus for the past decade.

Nicole got her start in Marketing when she worked for Sony/ BMG and continued as the Marketing Director at the Rams Head Group from 2007-2012. She oversaw creating engaging social media content, press releases, and coordinating events for the restaurants and helping with the music venues.

In 2013, Nicole was hired as the Marketing Director and Gallery Coordinator at the Chesapeake Arts Center. She has curated over 100 gallery exhibitions at the CAC and off-site pop-up galleries, along with working with the CAC staff on marketing the center’s upcoming events and developing programs. In 2018, Nicole was promoted to become the center’s Artistic Director and soon she began developing a relationship with Anne Arundel County Public Schools to provide free after school programming for the Northern Anne Arundel County Elementary students. In 2022, she continues to develop and collaborate with AACPS, The AngelWing Project, TCP, Next One Up, Star Ltd., Maryland Concert Series and other local organizations that will provide quality and affordable art programs for the community.

In addition, she runs Nicole Caracia Photography, and is also a house concert photographer for I.M.P and Live Nation. Working at the arts center has helped Nicole realize she was an artist herself. “Walking through the doors at CAC brings me so much joy. It’s my home to be creative. I love being inspired by other artists that walk through the doors.”

Ron-Shaye Clark

Ron-Shaye Clark is a graduate of University of Delaware and currently in school for psychology and education. She is well-known for directing the R.E.A.C.H program with the City of Annapolis as well as being a Community Ambassador with her very own program M.E.G.A which means Manifesting Every Great Accomplishment. M.E.G.A empowers youth, families, and all ages that come from all areas, especially communities that lack positive opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive. Ron-Shaye and her visionary program have worked in partnership with Creating Communities, Charting Careers, Maryland Hall, and more to bring academic success, creativity, art, and mental well-being to foster success within all communities. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Maryland Nonprofits’ 30th Anniversary Service with Distinction Award and the 2023 Anne Arundel County Executive Michelle Obama Award, and is a two-time winner of the ACHI Magazine Award.

Nicholas Cohen

Over the past 13 years, Nicholas Cohen has been a strong advocate for the arts in Maryland as a musician, educator, and administrator. Currently, Mr. Cohen is the Executive Director of Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA). In this role, he oversees the statewide strategy, implementation, and engagement for advancing public policy and investment in the Maryland Arts Sector. Before coming to MCA, he served as Director of Community Engagement & Education Program for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, overseeing programming that provided access to music and arts for the Mid-Atlantic region. Nicholas has also served on Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh’s Youth Development Committee which was charged with developing a comprehensive plan for Baltimore City youth.

An avid musician, Nicholas is currently the contrabassoonist with the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Bethesda, Maryland, and has performed with the Annapolis Symphony, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and other ensembles throughout North America. Nicholas and his partner, Stephanie, a professional flutist and musical entrepreneur, reside in Baltimore City where both are deeply invested in utilizing the arts as a vehicle to help build and sustain local communities. Nicholas received his Bachelor of Music with a minor in Developmental Psychology from the University of Florida and a Master of Music Performance in Bassoon from Carnegie Mellon University.

Daryl Davis

Daryl is an international recording artist, actor and leader of The Daryl Davis Band. He is considered to be one of the greatest Blues & Boogie-Woogie and Blues and Rock’n’roll pianists of all time, having played with The Legendary Blues Band (formerly the Muddy Waters band) and Chuck Berry. As an actor, Daryl has received rave reviews for his stage role in William Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life. Daryl has done film and television as well and had roles in the critically acclaimed five-year HBO television series The Wire.

As a race relations expert, Daryl has received acclaim for his book, Klan-Destine Relationships and his documentary Accidental Courtesy from many respected sources including CNN, NBC, Good Morning America, TLC, NPR, The Washington Post, and many others. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Elliott-Black Award, the MLK Award and the Bridge Builder Award among many others. Filled with exciting encounters and sometimes amusing anecdotes, Daryl’s impassioned lectures leave an audience feeling empowered to confront their own prejudices and overcome their fears.

Ruby Lopez Harper

Ruby is the Executive Director of the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+). Ruby’s work has included external equity strategies and field education, leadership development, local arts advancement, and cohort building for the local arts agency field, arts and culture administrators, and arts marketers. She currently works on projects with the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums and has consulted with numerous local, state, regional and national organizations on grantmaking, equitable practice, and capacity building initiatives.

She was selected for the 2021 BIPOC Leadership Circle Cohort with Artequity. She was a 2019 Arizona State University Practices for Change Fellow. She was recognized as a 2019 Inspirational Woman (Arts Advocate) by “And I Thought” Women in Literature. She is a steering committee member for the National Coalition on Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, serves as Chair of the Gard Foundation, serves on the board for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (Grants Committee/Advocacy Committee) and serves on Aha Creative board and WETA Community Advisory Council.

Ruby’s work has focused on equitable access, grantmaking, supporting individual artists, community development, economic development, cultural tourism, marketing, and public art. She draws on a varied background that includes corporate affairs, community relations, volunteerism, employee engagement, marketing and communications, and business administration. She served on the Emerging Leaders Council for Americans for the Arts, was the primary contact for the Arts and Economic Impact Study for Central Ohio and served as a mentor with Arts Administrators of Color DMV. She is a 2017 National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Advocacy Leadership Institute Fellow, Class of 2017 American Express Leadership Academy Alumni and Class of 2010 Next Generation of Leaders Fellowship program.

Terry Koger

Terry Koger was the 2022 Arts Council of Anne Arundel County Performing Arts Annie Award recipient. He began his musical training at a young age on piano, and later alto saxophone. His first jazz instructor, Thomas Grice, was instrumental in his education, teaching him about improvisation and the art of teaching music. In addition to his love of music and especially jazz, Terry continues to pursue a lifelong interest in researching Black music, studying its history and the contributions of Black Americans, and has published works in the Black Music Research Journal and the Black Perspective in Music.

Terry is deeply involved in the jazz world, performing both solo and as part of his group the Terry Koger Quintet. He has played at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, the Anacostia Arts Center, An Die Musik, Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Center, The Arts Barn, Caton Castle, The Eubie Blake Center, Germano’s and Keystone Korner Baltimore. Terry has been influenced by many saxophonists including Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Johnny Griffin, Rashaan Roland Kirk, Jackie McLean, Oliver Nelson, Charlie Parker and Sonny Stitt. He continues to hone his craft in jazz on piano, vocals and improvisation by attending the Vince Evans Jazz Workshop following the dynamic teachings of jazz pianist Barry Harris.

Terry also gives back to the community by performing for the “young at heart” at nursing homes throughout Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia. In these settings he may feature the music of the big band era, Great American songbook, or the 60s, or focus on a holiday or special event like a birthday. He has also created a special “musical bingo” with a particular theme such as a television show, and he plays an excerpt or a complete song for the residents to identify and check off their card. At his home in northern Anne Arundel County, Terry has converted his garage into a private music studio where he can teach and practice perfecting his art.

Alysia Lee

Formerly the education program supervisor for Fine Arts for the Maryland State Department of Education, Alysia work centers on anti-racism, creativity, and justice.

Presently, Alysia Lee is the inaugural President of the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund (BCYF), the bold hyperlocal grantmaker stewarding $14 million in public funds this year to support the success of Baltimore’s young people. Lee is also a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist and the Founding Artistic Director of Sister Cities Girlchoir, the El Sistema-inspired, youth empowerment choral academy operating in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Camden.

Lee composes music for vocal ensembles and is the series editor of Hal Leonard’s Exigence for Young Voices, the new choral series uplifting Black and Brown composers for young ensembles.

Kashonna Marrow

Kashonna Marrow is an engaging speaker, an inspiring coach, a motivational author, and an insightful corporate trainer. Kashonna is the President & CEO of Simply Kashonna, a business built to promote BOLD, FEARLESS and COURAGEOUS living. She goes beyond surface issues to address the challenges that inhibit personal, professional, and spiritual growth, leading her clients to embrace their evolution.

Kashonna has activated the purpose and call of many, helping them to discover, define and develop their authentic self. Both in the corporate arena and in the non-profit world, strategic growth and development of people have always been the focal point of her service. Corporately, she has held positions in both Human Resources, as well as the Staffing industry. Additionally, Kashonna spent years in an executive pastoral role where crisis intervention and spiritual guidance were her primary responsibilities. Understanding that leadership training and development is essential to any corporation or organization’s growth, Kashonna launched SK Leading Forward, which is dedicated to enhancing employee engagement, performance, productivity, and morale.

Through corporate relationships and interactive group/focus sessions, she has facilitated workshops in Customer Service, How to Handle Difficult People, Navigating Conflict, Emotional Intelligence, Developing Yourself and Others, Behavioral Based Interviewing, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to name a few. In addition, she has facilitated and provided training for various personality assessments. Kashonna’s area of expertise is transformational leadership development and personal empowerment.

Kashonna is also the author of 7 Days to Simply Shift: A Daily Guide to Transforming Your Mindset Personally, Professionally and Spiritually. Kashonna has been a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and Association for Talent Development. She has deepened her knowledge by obtaining a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University and by becoming a National Licensed Consultant (including Pennsylvania Association) through the Standards for Excellence. She also serves her community on the Board to Promote Self-Sufficiency, the Commission for Women, Women’s Giving Circle, the ARC of Howard County, and as a Rotarian. No matter the venue, Kashonna will impact you with her professional agility, contagious energy, vibrant smile, and engaging delivery.

Garrett Matthews

Garrett Matthews (He/They) is an active member in the DMV theater scene. They have performed with The AngelWing Project in the plays “Clay’s Place” and “N” and has performed in musicals with Creative Cauldron: “Audrey”, “On Air”, “Charlotte’s Web” and “Beauty and the Beast” as well as with Ovations Theatre: “Urinetown”, “Legally Blonde”, “The Wild Party”, “Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde”, and “Spring Awakening”. Garrett has been seen with In Series: Opera and More, The Arlington Players, Rockville Musical Theatre, Laurel Mill Playhouse, and other local venues. They have also worked as an assistant to James Beard Award Winner and recent Jewish Book of the Year winner Michael W. Twitty (The Cooking Gene, KosherSoul).

April Nyman

April Nyman began her career as a corporate marketing and events specialist within the hotel and mall industries. Because of a strong belief in giving back to the community, she has served as a volunteer in every community where she has lived. This passion prompted a career change, and she entered the non-profit management field in a professional capacity. April has previously served as the Executive Director of a number of historical organizations, as well as the Navy League in Florida.

Ms. Nyman has led the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County since 2007, initially as Executive Director and now as President and Chief Executive Officer. She was recognized by the Annapolis Capital Gazette as a 2010 Woman of the Year and has served on the boards/commissions of the Community Arts Agencies of Maryland, Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Maryland’s Women Commission, Four Rivers Heritage Area, the Yumi Cares Foundation, and the Annapolis and Anne Arundel Visitors Center Board. She is a member of the current class of Leadership Maryland, a graduate of the Executive Leadership Series for Leadership Anne Arundel, served as Treasurer for the Annapolis Rotary, and is active in both the United Way and Combine Federal Campaigns. April is the 2023 recipient of the Leadership Anne Arundel Excellence in Leadership Award.

James Phillips

As the Vice President of People & Culture, James Phillips provides visionary leadership as an internal influencer and agent of change leading The ARC’s talent acquisition and talent experience teams. He works collaboratively to develop, implement, and manage strategies that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in all of The ARC’s practices.

Prior to The Arc, James worked as the Director of Human Resources & Administration at Business Health Services and also as the Senior Director of Human Resources at The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region, where he streamlined recruiting processes, implemented leadership training programs, and managed compensation and total rewards strategies while the organization restructured.

James is a motivated, results-driven leader who has a wide range of experiences related to talent management, development, and onboarding. He holds a bachelor’s in business administration and human resources from Old Dominion University as well as a Senior Professional Human Resources certification.

Nefertari Rasaq

Nefertari Medford Rasaq admits that storytelling is her superpower, but her love of acting comes from giving a voice to the power of a life once lived. With a strong theatrical background starting with writing and performing in church plays then off-Broadway productions in NYC, Nefertari makes telling a story a part of everything she does.

Her theatrical work includes the titles of Aime Cesaire’s “A Season in the Congo,” August Wilson’s “Radio Golf,” Shadrack Boakye’s “The Secrets of NaciRema,” Angela Wilson’s “Clay’s Place: Inside My Blue Mind” and Odell Ruffin’s “Campaign 72.”

As she continues to expand into short and feature film projects, acting as a whole has transformed her storytelling as a ghostwriter and motivational speaker. Nefertari truly believes that there is beauty in the truths of every person on this earth and it is our responsibility to tell of our struggles in order to help other people get through theirs.

Gabriel Rodriguez

Gabriel Rodriguez has built a multifaceted and impactful career spanning the nonprofit, higher education, and arts sectors. With a master’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance and over a decade of experience as an adjunct professor at the PRBC, Rodriguez has consistently leveraged his unique blend of skills and experiences to make a difference in the communities he serves.

In the nonprofit sector, he has made significant strides as the Director of Programs, and now Executive Director, at the Center of Help (Centro de Ayuda) in Annapolis, Maryland. This organization is committed to providing immigrants with comprehensive educational, family, and health and mental health services. Here, Rodriguez has led key initiatives, secured vital funding, and cultivated a positive work culture, significantly benefiting the community.

Parallel to his commitment to the nonprofit sector, Rodriguez has enriched the arts community. His contributions have included serving as the Deputy Artistic Director for the National Classical Guitar Competition in Puerto Rico, the most prestigious and significant classical guitar event in the island at the time. Additionally, he has held the interim directorship of the BCGS Orchestra and led the BCGS’s “Guitars for Change” program. This groundbreaking program supports at-risk immigrant youths, highlighting his dedication to education and community outreach.

Since May 2023, Rodriguez has taken on the role of Executive Director at the Center of Help. Drawing from his extensive background in strategic organizational leadership, he guides the organization’s mission and future direction. Rodriguez’s diverse background, strong leadership, cultural sensitivity, and unwavering commitment make him a vital part of the ongoing efforts to support and uplift the immigrant community served by the Center of Help.

Ken Starkes

Born and raised in Prince George’s County, Ken Starkes now resides in Annapolis with his beautiful wife of twenty years, Doreen. Starkes is committed to creating change for families living in underserved and often forgotten communities. While serving at Anne Arundel County Public School System, Starkes has worked with Crofton Middle (one on one), Bates Middle as a Behavioral Specialist, Annapolis HighSchool as a student Advocate and called to Annapolis Middle to assist with community issues. The relationships made with families of the many different communities as well as with educators he’s met along the way has propelled his passion for service.

After leaving the school system Starkes was recruited to join the B&GCAA as a Club Director at Wiley H.Bates Center where he worked alongside of an incredible staff to grow the number of opportunities and community partners. With his non-profit, Community Transitions, Inc., Starkes continues to serve all communities as well as provide a voice for the voiceless with partnerships throughout the county and city of Annapolis.

Wilfredo Valladares-Lara

Born in Trujillo Colon, Honduras, Central America, Wilfredo Valladares Lara began his career as an artist and educator. Due to his creative abilities and challenging perceptions as a teacher during a time of conflict in his country, it was necessary to seek political asylum.
In the early 1990s, he arrived in the United States, where he continued his journey as an artist. He attended Montgomery College then the Maryland Institute College of Art, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture. He continued his studies at the University of Maryland where he earned his Master of Fine Arts in sculpture. It was evident that his chosen path would lead him to make contributions in the academic and artistic arenas.
Throughout his career, Wilfredo has been part of numerous artistic and educational events such as group shows, solo exhibits, workshops, and environment installations. In 1997 he had his first international sculpture show in Milan, Italy, where he had the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse community of artists and curators. Lara’s work is designed to cross boundaries and move beyond the traditional paradigm of cross-cultural art. One of his most notable installations, “Ofrenda al Dios del Maiz,” explored Mayan mythology. It captivated the imagination of its viewers and transported them to a place cloaked in mystery with endless discoveries yet to be uncovered. His most recent commission project is a sculptural stainless-steel form designed for the Georgia and Wayne Avenues Park in Silver Spring.

Pamala Williams

Survivor, charismatic, and transparent are just some of the adjectives that people use to describe Pamala. As a former radio show host and Ms. Corporate America, Baltimore City, she has made her mark in the world. Having published four books and won many awards, Pamala is doing great things. She is a proud graduate of Baltimore City College High School and Coppin State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English/Communications. She also graduated from the University of Baltimore with a Master of Science in Health Systems Management. Pam is now in her last year as a doctoral student at Capella University,

Currently, she works at Chesapeake Arts Center as the Director of Finance/Human Resources. She has held several leadership positions in different non-profit organizations in the Baltimore area during her career. She serves as the Board Chair of Family Health Centers of Baltimore where she continues to make her impact in the community.

Pamala is married to Mgary Williams and the mother of three, and the proud grandmother to two beautiful grandchildren.

Angela Wilson

Angela is the founder and Executive Director of the AngelWing Project, Inc.   She leads the non-profit organization in their mission to “Positively impact the community by providing uplifting, entertaining shows and events to inspire appreciation for and participation in the arts.”  The AngelWing Project is currently in residence at the Chesapeake Arts Center – a premier regional arts center – where they collaborate on myriad projects. 

Angela is an award-winning playwright, producer, director, and an independent artist with a vision. As a teacher and artist, she has found her niche in writing plays that tell stories of her cultural experiences in honest and compelling ways.  Her plays are truthful and sincere and tell important stories about the African American experience in a highly entertaining yet thought provoking manner. She can move audiences as she ensures that they are learning while being entertained, informed, and inspired.  

Angela’s work has been widely recognized and in 2022 she was one of 69 artists from across the state selected to receive an Independent Artist regional award from the Maryland State Arts Council for Literary.  Angela’s critically acclaimed stage play, Tears of the Soul, premiered at the Chesapeake Arts Center in 2018. It has since been published and licensed by Heuer Publishing, one of the oldest publishing houses serving the educational community theater markets from amateurs to stock (professional) performances in the US and other countries. Tears of the Soul also won the DC Black Theater and Arts Festival in Washington, DC in 2019 as it was voted the Festival Favorite in the full-length play category. Her latest work, Clay’s Place: Inside My Blue Mind was a quarterfinalist in the 2021 Screencraft national playwriting competition.

Angela’s writing style is real and honest.  Her fictional characters are authentic, valid, and amazingly human so they feel very familiar to her audiences.  Her plays provide a reflective look at life and the intermingling of its beauty and atrocities.  Her skillful prose enables her to write fictionalized stories with multifaceted characters inhabiting communities during historically real moments.  These are people living in and through fear, pain, and unspeakable challenges yet still finding a way to live courageously and love with an endurance of spirit that touches hearts. Angela states that she writes what her soul tells her, and believes this authenticity is why her audiences are so moved by her work.  Her writing themes focus on respecting our shared human experience, and the similarity of our individual frailties. 

Angela has also had a successful career in human resources for over 23 years. She has a Bachelor of Science in business Management and a Master of Science in Organization and HR Development and has been a leader in Learning and Development as well as Diversity and Inclusion. She left her corporate job in 2020 – at the height of the pandemic – to start her own consulting company, and to commit more time to her writing, leading The AngelWing Project, and helping others learn skills and tools to help them improve outcomes through effective communication and inclusive practices.

While there is nothing new under the sun, Angela believes that what makes someone a true artist is their unique perspective on life expressed through their individual creative lens.



Funding for this event was provided by:

The Arts Council of Anne Arundel County would like to thank the following organizations
for their logistical and planning support for this event:

Stay in the Know. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST


Copyright 2023 Arts Council of Anne Arundel County. All Rights Reserved.

Skip to content