2014 Music Grant Recipients

A special thanks to our 2014 Review Panelists

Music Panelists:

Luis Cotto
Maura Mendoza
Anne Riesenfeld
Steve F. Smith

Luis Cotto is a current member of the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Arts Council. He comes directly from his hometown of Hartford, CT where he was a two term City Councilor. As a Councilor he became known for his rabid advocacy for the arts and parks. He brings with him a background in arts administration that stretches more than two decades and is currently on the Voter Action Network for Mass Creative. He lives in Central Square with his spouse Mercedes and 5yr old son Angel.

Maura Mendoza started her musical training when she was 14 years old in El Salvador and later in Panama. She attended college in Havana, Cuba and Mexico City. Her background includes musical theater, acting and dance. After moving the US and launching her career as a solo singer Maura has played many local venues exploring rock, jazz, acoustic and pop music. During the last year, she has developed a musical workshop for kids called: "Ding-Dong: Quién Es? – Playing & Learning Latin Rhythms" a multicultural and bilingual show that aims to introduce families to Latin-American songs and Hispanic heritage. The program has been successful around New England, venues includes Boston Public Libraries, Framingham State University, the Harvard Peabody Museum, The New School of Music, Somerville Public Schools among other institutions. 

Maura has demonstrated a strong commitment of create original musical material, helping to keep alive the Hispanic heritage in Boston area. She performs regularly in Cambridge, blending her Latin roots in music with local jazz musicians.  For more info, please visit:

Anne Riesenfeld is the Executive Director of Musica Sacra, a non-profit chamber chorus currently in its 54th season rehearsing and performing in Cambridge, MA. Prior to her work with Musica Sacra, Anne was the Executive Director of the New School of Music, Cambridge, MA. As a professional singer, Anne has experience singing throughout the United States and abroad, and was a voice teacher for over a decade. She holds a BA from Bennington College, Bennington, VT, and a MM from the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA. A former 10-year resident of Cambridge, Anne and her family currently live in Sudbury, MA.

Steven F. Smith began his tenure as Executive Director of Revels, Inc in March 2011. A magna cum laude graduate of the Arts Management program at Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music, Steve has served as an arts administrator for 28 years. Most recently, he led the acclaimed Boston Gay Men’s Chorus through an unprecedented period of growth in which he tripled its annual audience and grew its budget four-fold. Previously, he produced more than 125 diverse concerts and special events for Northeastern University’s music department and coordinated classical programs by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at the Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts. Steve also managed an international roster of concert organists and English cathedral choirs for Karen McFarlane Artists Management.

As a presenter and consultant, Steve has worked with local and national non profits and given seminars on strategy, audience development, marketing, corporate sponsorship and fundraising for Arts/Boston, Greater Boston Choral Consortium and for national conferences of GALA Choruses and Chorus America. He serves on the Boards of Arts Boston and GALA Choruses and is a past board chair of the Greater Boston Choral Consortium. He was selected by the Massachusetts Cultural Council to participate in the “Achieving Excellence” Executive Leadership Program for nonprofit cultural organizations at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.


Dance Panelists:

Peter DiMuro
Elizabeth Olds
Lauren Simpson
Matt Weinburg

Peter DiMuro is a choreographer, director, teacher, facilitator and arts practitioner/engager. His fifteen-year collaboration with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange including 5 years as Artistic Director, laid the foundation for his current creative umbrella, PDM: Public Displays of Motion, housing artistic works along with dance and arts literacy, advocacy and engagement. He was also Director of Dance/MetroDC, a branch of the national advocacy organization for dance, Dance/USA, shepherding the organization to independent status as its own nonprofit. In July, 2013, Peter became the Executive Director of The Dance Complex in Central Square, Cambridge.

Peter's work has appeared on tour and been commissioned internationally, including at The Kennedy Center/DC, DanceNow/NYC, the Emerson Majestic/Boston, Bates Dance Festival, Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts/MD, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, AURAS/Lithuania, LATC/Los Angeles, as well as on a nationally aired television commercial for the National Institute on Aging. He has taught throughout the world including at festivals and universities in Croatia, Poland, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Great Britain, Hong Kong and in 42 US states.

Peter was named a White House Millennial Artist in 2000, a 1995 Mayor of Boston/ProArts Arts Award recipient, and he has received grants from the National Performance Network, the Mass Artists’ Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, MetLife Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Current creative projects include Future Preludes, sub-commisioning12 artists from diverse genres to engage in “artistic-speed-dating” to create new preludes to music by Rachmaninoff. Peter is the creative consultant, host and curator for VelocityDC Dance Festival and conducts leadership workshops for Whole Foods. A 2014 Boston Center for the Arts residency for May of this coming year will result in creative explorations on the life of Nijinsky with an intergenerational cast. 

Elizabeth Olds began her dance training in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and continued her studies with the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Olds joined Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 1982, and spent 16 years with the company, ten as a principal dancer. Olds also spent one season with Ballet du Nord in France. Throughout her dance career Olds performed in hundreds of cities in over 25 countries, in noted roles that included 'Juliet' in Rudi van Dantzig's Romeo and Juliet,  'Giselle' in Peter Wright's Giselle, 'Lizzie Borden' in Agnes de Mille's Fall River Legend and 'The Cowgirl' in de Mille's Rodeo. She danced principal roles in The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Les Sylphide, Raymonda, and works by AntonyTudor, Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, José Limon and Jirí Kylián, among many.

Retiring from the stage in 1997, Olds has remained in the dance world in capacities that include guest teaching for dance festivals and schools in Canada and the U.S.A., and Festivals Coordinator with the 1999 Pan American Games. Olds was with Alberta Ballet in Calgary, Canada, as the Artistic Assistant and faculty member with the School of Alberta Ballet. For three seasons, Olds was Assistant to the Choreographer and a lead performer for the YTV Treehouse children’s television series The Toy Castle, now broadcast worldwide.  She joined Boston Ballet as Assistant to the Artistic Director /Artistic Administrator in 2002. Olds continues to perform character roles in Boston Ballet productions including Madge in Bournonville’s La Sylphide, Stepmother in Kudelka’s Cinderella, and Lady Capulet and the Nurse in Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet. Olds also represents Boston Ballet’s resident choreographer, Jorma Elo and his work internationally.

Lauren Simpson is a dance teacher at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Lecturer in the Dramatic Arts at Harvard College, and co-founder/director of Moving Target Boston, a community dance class series held at Green Street Studios. She is also a working choreographer and dancer. Recent projects in the Cambridge area include dancing with Annie Kloppenberg and Company, Alli Ross, and Liz Lerman. She has worked as a rehearsal director/dancer for John Jasperse and Andrea Miller during their residencies at Harvard. Lauren has shown her own work at the Boston Center for the Arts’ Movement at the Mills, CRLS, and the Loeb Theater. She received her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, M.F.A. in choreography from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and her B.A. from Carleton College.

Matt Weinberg has worked as the Associate Project Manager of the ARTS FIRST festival, Harvard University's annual celebration of the arts and for Harvard University’s Office of the Arts in a variety of capacitates.  He is an independent consultant for projects in arts and museum administration.  Currently Matt is working as the Events Coordinator for Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins’s Center for African and African American Research. Additionally, Matt serves as a Cambridge Arts Council Advisory Board member.


Theater Panelists:

Alan Brody
Lori Damon
David Gammons
Georgia Lyman

Alan Brody is Professor of Theater Arts at MIT. His plays have won numerous awards and had productions at such theaters as The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Aspen Playwrights Conference, The Live Oak Theater in Austin, Texas, The Berkshire Theater Festival and The Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. His play, Invention for Fathers and Sons, was the first winner of the annual Rosenthal Award at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in 1989. It was subsequently produced at the American Jewish Theater in New York City. The Company of Angels was the recipient of the 1990 Eisner Award from the Streisand Center for Jewish Culture in Los Angeles. It had its world premiere at the New Repertory Theater in Massachusetts in the spring of 1993, and has been produced at the T. Schreiber Studio in New York and Theater Emory in Atlanta.

The Housewives of Mannheim was produced at the New Jersey Repertory Company this April. Three of his plays, Five Scenes from Life, Greytop in Love and One-on-One were developed at the Missouri Repertory Theater. Greytop in Love was subsequently seen at the Walnut Street Theater, Philadelphia, in 1998 starring Kim Hunter. Operation Epsilon had its world premiere at the Central Square Theater under the auspices of the Nora Theater Company and the Catalyst Collaborative at MIT in 2013. It was nominated for 3 Elliot Norton Awards. The dramatic oratorio, Reckoning Time: A Song of Walt Whitman, which he wrote in collaboration with composer Peter Child, had its world premiere at Jordan Hall with the John Oliver Chorale in March of 1995. Among his credits as a director are Vinie Burrows' internationally acclaimed one-woman show, Sister! Sister! and the world premieres of two operas, T.J. Anderson's Soldier Boy, Soldier and Ken Guilmartin's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Mr. Brody is also the author of two novels, Coming To (1973) and Hey Lenny, Hey Jack (1975)

Lori Damon has worked in the creative design field for the past twenty years. Her experience includes working with a network of artists, art consultants, gallery owners, museum directors, designers, photographers, writers and editors. She is currently an art advisor whose recent projects include; project manager for The Boston Globe outdoor historic photo exhibit, art advisor and art acquisitions for Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., curator and art/science presentation for The Broad Institute’s artist-in-residence program, art advisor and acquisitions for Incite Architecture, art associate for “Best of Boston” art consultant Barbara Cole Lee, and art associate for Chase Gallery in Boston. She will tell you that her greatest joy is collaborating with clients and her greatest strength is nurturing the talents of others.

Prior to working in the fine arts field, Lori worked in editorial publishing as a senior designer for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s national magazine, Technology Review (where the design department received numerous design awards from Print magazine and Communication Arts). She also was a freelance graphic artist and designed promotional brochures, magazines, logos, and posters. An aside, she won a national design award for a poster design that is published in the Creative XX2 design book. But the real aside is that she fell in love with Cambridge artist, Kyle Damon, whose work appears in the poster. They have two sons and Kyle is still her favorite artist.

Queen of Volunteering is the name her husband calls her, and HE has the list to prove it: Cambridge Arts Council Advisory Board (since 2008 and currently holds the Chair position, since 2011), Massachusetts Cultural Council, Local Cultural Council, Cambridge Public Schools District University Partnership Board (2010), Catalyst Conversations Board (2012), Maud Morgan Art Center Board, ARTcetera Boston AIDS Action Host Committee (2012 and 2013), deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum auction board member (2009). She has also served as a review panelist for the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum website redesign (2008), the Boston Architecture Center student final projects design (2007), and the Cambridge Arts Council Grant applicants in the Visual Multimedia and Fine Arts categories (2008, 2010).

David R. Gammons is a director, designer, visual artist, and theatre educator.  Mr. Gammons has served as the Director of the Theatre Program at Concord Academy for the last fourteen years, where he has taught courses in acting, directing, playwriting, and design, and directs a company of performers devoted to developing original experimental work for the stage.  He has delivered guest lectures on the craft of drama at Harvard University, Emerson College, Brandeis University, Wellesley College, Lesley College, and Suffolk University, among others.  In 2013-14, David serves as Rev. J. Donald Monan S.J. Professor of Theatre Arts at Boston College.  Mr. Gammons is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies (Studio Art), and a graduate of the Directing Program of the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University.

Recent directing projects include the New England premieres of The Motherfucker with the Hat (2013 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production), Red (2012 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production), and Blackbird for SpeakEasy Stage Company; Cherry Docs, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, and My Name is Rachel Corrie at The New Repertory Theatre; Adrienne Kennedy's Funnyhouse of a Negro with Brandeis Theatre Company; the world premieres of The Farm by Walt McGough and The Salt Girl by John Kuntz at Boston Playwrights' Theatre; The Winter's Tale as part of the Shakespeare Exploded Festival at the American Repertory Theatre; and Medea, The Hotel Nepenthe, The Duchess of Malfi, and Titus Andronicus (2007 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director) for Actors’ Shakespeare Project.  Stage designs for the American Repertory Theatre include Robert Woodruff’s production of Richard II, Robert Scanlan’s production of Beckett Trio: Eh Joe, Ghost Trio, and Nacht und Tråume (which toured to Strasbourg, France), and Spencer/Colton’s original dance work Winter Circus.  Mr. Gammons has designed numerous sets and costumes for productions with: Actors' Shakespeare Project; the A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training; Philadelphia’s Headlong Dance Theatre and Pig Iron Theatre Company; and Concord Academy.  For more information, please visit

Georgia Lyman has numerous theatrical, film and television credits, and has received 5 Eliot Norton awards, including one for Best Solo Performance and two for her role as producer for Orfeo Group.  Most recently she has been accumulating producing experience as the Associate Curator for the Outside The Box festival, with Honest Ghost Productions and as the events curator for Cambridge Historical Tours.


Literature, Film/Video & Multidisciplinary Panelists:

Simone Beaubien
Garen Daly
Diana Lempel
Jerrie K. Lyndon

Simone Beaubien is a decade-plus-veteran of the New England slam poetry scene, seven-time competitor at the National Poetry Slam, and SlamMaster of the world-famous Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge. Called "the woman who made Wednesday night Saturday night" by Harlym125, she has hosted the Cantab's weekly show since 2004 and appeared as an MC from coast to coast, including the 2007 Individual World Poetry Slam Finals in Vancouver and the 2010 College Poetry Slam Invitational Finals in Boston.

She served as Host City Director for the National Poetry Slam, the largest poetry slam in the world, in Boston in 2011 and 2013. As player-coach for the Boston Poetry Slam, Beaubien performed her work on the Finals stage of the 2008 National Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin. She has been invited to feature across North America, including at established venues in Vancouver, Seattle, Columbus, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Upon request, she produced and presented a booking and touring workshop exclusively for the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City. Selected New England appearances include Yale University, Boston University, and the Berklee College of Music. Her poem One-Watt Lover has been featured on and was performed by John Malkovich as part of Jacob Marshak’s chamber ensemble Unsent Domestic Letters. She works a paramedic in the greater Boston area.

Garen Daly has been in the Boston film scene for over 35 years. His career started as a cinema manager which morphed into an operator for several of Boston's better known art houses. He revived such places as the Somerville Theatre and the Dedham Community Theatre. He is an award winning programmer/consultant who continues to produce the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival, the oldest genre festival in the country. With entertainment roots stretching back 100 years to his Vaudevillian opera singing grandparents, his critical and analytical side has seen him review films on TV, espouse commentary on NPR stations and occasionally write for such publications as Yankee Magazine.

His latest project is a documentary film on Cambridge's legendary Orson Welles Cinema complex. Currently he sits on the Filmmaker's Collaborative board of directors. Previously, he was on the boards of the Somerville Cultural Council, Boston Film & Video Foundation, Dedham Visionary Access and Somerville Community TV.  He has international stature, sort of, as a Board member for (in)famous Museum of Bad Art (MOBA). In his spare time he sleeps, cooks, writes, gardens and collects ex-wives. His dog makes him laugh, a lot.

Diana Lempel is a PhD student in Urban and Environmental studies at Harvard, a collaborator with informal learning and cultural institutions, and the editor of Cultivating Places blog, where she writes, and works in oral history and environmental sound.  She is a member of the Arts Council advisory board and has experience as a curator of art, archival historical material, and foodways.

Jerrie K. Lyndon's passion lies in multiculturalism, creativity and the community. Having lived all over the world including Argentina, Russia and Colorado, Jerrie draws on inspiration from both the previous and current locations, striving to encourage community participation and to bring temporary public artwork to the streets. She is currently working in Arts Administration in Cambridge as well as creating Chalk Art in communities throughout the Boston Area.

Visual Arts Panelists:

Dina Deitsch
Paul Kroner
Nadeem Mazen
Stella A. McGregor

Dina Deitsch is Curator of Contemporary Art at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum where she organized the 2010 and 2012 deCordova Biennials of contemporary art of New England, the PLATFORM exhibition series of new, commissioned work, group exhibitions Temporary Structures: Performing Architecture in Contemporary Art and PAINT THINGS, as well as numerous solo exhibitions and projects. She has previously worked in the curatorial departments of the Williams College Museum of Art and the MFA, Boston. She received an M.A. in art history from Williams College and is currently working on her Ph.D. at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

Paul Kroner is a visual designer and artist who has lived in Cambridge for the past 30 years, and where he has run his own visual brand design business, Kroner Design, since 1998. Paul is also a visual artist working in 2D and 3D mediums. 

At the heart of his personal artwork is a desire to find the intersection of art and design, where the relationship of shape, color, line and mark-making work in harmony to communicate, guide, and engage the viewer in a unique experience. For Paul the intent and process of creation is as important as the final outcome. This is where the magic exists and where, as a viewer, you can connect with the humanity of the artist which makes a piece of work come to life.

Paul has taught design classes at the Art Institute of Boston, Mass College of Art, Montserrat School of Art, and most recently a design composition class for painters at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. 

Nadeem Mazen has had the good fortune to work professionally along many of his passions: he has led education teams in innovative research, directed award-winning viral music videos, created commercial animations, programmed software, and generated digital and interactive media for Discovery, Showtime, and CNN. His next venture brings a low-cost, disruptive education platform to market.  For the present, though, Nadeem is a co-founder/co-owner of danger!awesome, a laser cutting and engraving studio, based in Central Square, Cambridge. danger!awesome’s aim is to bring high-end fabrication equipment to the community. Nadeem is also the CEO of, a design and consulting firm that works in strategy & interactive media, video production, and web app design & development.  Nadeem is now also a City Councilmen Elect for the City of Cambridge.

Stella Aguirre McGregor is the founder and artistic director of the Urbano Project, a non-profit studio and exhibition space in Jamaica Plain dedicated to fostering partnerships between urban teens and professional artists. Urbano’s programming emphasizes large-scale collaborative works, integration of audience participation, and self-discovery though the artistic process. Through programming designed to address pressing social and environmental issues affecting our urban youth and our global community, Urbano seeks to foster a new generation of artists and engaged citizens.

Stella has been an artist and cultural worker for over 25 years, working on projects in Boston, Macedonia, New Orleans, and Taiwan. As an artist, curator, and arts administrator she is interested in exploring the role of art in society, as an integral part of life, and as a catalyst for social change. Stella served as Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation from 2003-2009 where she conceived and developed the acclaimed Teen Curatorial Program and Artists’ Workshops. Previously she served as Program Manager for Individual Artists at the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and was Senior Arts Administrator for the Boston Central Artery/Tunnel project’s public art program. In 1986 Stella founded The Space, an award-winning non-profit artist-run gallery in Boston’s South End where she produced over 200.

McGregor has served in the board of the National Association of Artist’s Organizations (NAAO), the Cambridge Public Art Committee, and of the UrbanArts Institute at Mass College of Art and Design. Stella was named one of Boston’s Top 10 Women in the Arts in 2008 and in 2011 she received the Jorge Hernandez Arts Leadership Award.