Laura Marotta is an elementary art educator in the Worcester public school system, and has written and been awarded several grants from the MCC to fund visiting artists to create large-scale community artworks in the North Shore. Ms. Marotta previously worked at both Diamond Newman Fine Arts as well as Newbury Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts as a fine arts sales consultant. She was also employed at Tourneau, inc. as an office manager. Laura is currently the president for the Massachusetts Art Education Association. Both Stacy and Laura serve on the board of the Massachusetts Art Education Association.
Stacy Lord is the co-founder of the hugely successful non-profit arts festival, stART on the Street, and has taught in the Worcester Public Schools for over 15 years. Fourteen years later, she is still fully immersed with stART as Co-Director, allowing for a greater collaboration between the community and her students. Stacy is an active member of the NAEA, having presented over the past several years at the national conventions and just ended her 4 year term as the Eastern Region Director for the Middle Level.
2017 Board of Directors
Jess Baer is a 2007 graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design, currently focusing in both illustration and ceramics. Being employed by Worcester Polytechnic Institute has allowed her to become more involved in the Worcester community and find inspiration in the work that students are capable of. Jess has previously worked for Apple Inc., and Natick Public Schools, blending technology, teaching, and visuals in her career.
Yves Falanga is a board member of Creative Hub Worcester, and works on outreach and communication. Yves has always been involved in the local culture of his community throughout his life. In Worcester, he volunteers for Sofar Worcester and founded Belcourt Unplugged, a Worcester-based platform that promotes and supports local musicians and artists by organizing small music concerts.
Yves is a Ph.D. Scientist working on Pediatrics infectious disease and breast cancer immunology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Born in the Congo, DRC, Yves obtained his undergraduate degree in cell and molecular biology from Rennes 1 in France, and earned his Ph.D. degree in Integrative Life Sciences with a focus in immunology from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.
Claudia Fiks has more than 20 years of experience working in education, arts and culture nonprofit organizations providing the direction, policy, funding, and strategic vision for art-integration programs including: K-12 in-and-out of school programs, studio art classes for people of all ages, skill levels and backgrounds, summer art programs, exhibitions and related events, artist-in-residence and professional development for artists and art educators. Claudia served as the Education and Program Director at the New Art Center in Newton, and as the Program Director for Children, Youth and Families at the Jewish Community Center in Providence. Claudia has experience working abroad as an art educator in underserved areas of South America and at immigration centers. She has a background in dance, painting, art history, art education and she holds a BA in Education, an MS in Arts Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Fundraising and Nonprofit Management both from Boston University. Claudia is currently a board member at the Newton Art Association and serves as artist portfolio reviewer and art show juror.
Colleen McShea is a grants specialist at WPI and has worked in the education field for the past several years. She has previously volunteered for Horizons for Homeless Children and as an ESL tutor. Having grown up in Worcester, and recently having moved back to the city after living in the Boston area, she is excited to be an active member in the community again as part of Creative Hub Worcester. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, running races with friends, rock climbing, cooking, and reading.
Sara Petrie is a director of business strategy, top line revenue growth, and expanding partnerships on behalf of a large regional professional services firm. She has a multi-year track record as a top 10 revenue generator amongst a sales organization of over 300 employees, and she is recognized by her clients for outstanding service. Sara specializes in breaking new ground, having been a stakeholder in tripling an operations sales revenue in under 24 months. Furthermore, Sara is active on two boards, and the Representing Business Member of her firm with DDIFO and PFIFA.
Elizabeth Wambui is the Director of Advancement at Nativity School of Worcester, the city’s only private, tuition-free middle school for boys from low-income backgrounds. Prior to joining Nativity Worcester, she served as a Major Gifts Officer and the Regional Financial Development Specialist at the American Red Cross of Massachusetts. She has also served as the Development Associate at Easter Seals Massachusetts.
Elizabeth’s community involvement has included serving as a committee member on the Hanover Theatre Young Professionals committee, Veteran’s Inc. Gala committee, Young Professional Women’s Association member. She is the incoming President of the Holy Cross Club of Greater Worcester Alumni club, Greater Worcester Community Foundation Early Childhood Committee member, Diverse Professionals Roundtable member, and serves as a Board Member for Creative Hub Worcester. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the College of the Holy Cross. She was part of the Leadership Worcester Class of 2016-2017 and was one of the honorees in the Worcester Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Class of 2014.