Contact The Center
Welcome to The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. You’ll find contact and biographical information below for the artists, curators, and cultural thinkers that make up our staff, all of whom work together at the Center to identify and support artistic excellence, and to ignite creative vision.
For general inquiries:
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
1608 Walnut Street, 18th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Director, Heritage & Music
Bill Adair is Director of the music and heritage programs at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. He has over two decades of experience as a practicing museum educator and curator, most recently at the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, where he began an artist-in-residence program, commissioned several new media projects, and produced a range of educational and public programs. Bill has a BA in history from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in cultural planning and policy from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Senior Specialist, Music
Jeff Arnal is the Senior Specialist for the music program. Before joining the Center, Jeff was an active member of the New York City music community, both as a working artist and curator of music, dance, and multimedia events. From 2001–06 he was Co-Artistic Director of Improvised and Otherwise, an annual experimental music and dance festival in Brooklyn, NY. He also served as curator for On the Way Out, a monthly music series he founded in 2003. Arnal holds a BA in interdisciplinary studies: music composition and filmmaking from the University of Maryland, and an MFA in music from Bennington College.
Senior Specialist, Management
Michael Barsanti brings a broad range of experiences to his work as the Senior Specialist of the management program. Initially trained as an academic—earning a PhD in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania—he worked as a curator, administrator, and development officer for the Rosenbach Museum & Library for over 10 years. Prior to his work at the Center, he served on the boards of several arts organizations, and has been a founder of a literary nonprofit and a for-profit internet startup. He also teaches in the arts administration graduate program at Drexel University.
Bill Bissell is the Director of the dance program at the Center. Prior to this position, he was the residency and education manager for Dance Alloy in Pittsburgh, PA. A former choreographer and dancer, and teacher of contemporary dance, he holds an MFA in Dance from the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and an MA in museography and BA in history from California State University, Fresno.
Specialist, Pew Fellowships
Asimina Chremos joined the Center in late 2010, after working for over 20 years as an independent dance artist and cultural worker in Philadelphia and Chicago. In Chicago during the 2000s, she served the field as artistic director of the alternative performance venue Links Hall and as the dance editor of Time Out Chicago while also operating a live/work studio that functioned as a locus of creativity for many choreographers and performance artists. She is pleased to assist Pew Fellowships in its exceptional mandate to give direct support to individual artists.
Executive Assistant, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
A painter by habit, Gianna Delluomo holds an MFA in visual arts from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design, where she also worked for three years as an academic administrator in the Graduate Fine Arts program. Gianna came to the Center during a heat wave in 2011, looking to advance her adventures in arts administration. Happily accepting a position as Paula Marincola’s Executive Assistant, she quickly learned that although she lacks a window at her desk, the view of the Philadelphia cultural scene from here is breathtaking enough.
Director, Pew Fellowships
Melissa Franklin has been the Director of Pew Fellowships since 1995 and has been with the program as a senior staff member since its inception in 1991. In addition to stewarding the fellowship awards, she oversees all of the other professional development and programmatic activities related to the fellowships.
Senior Program Associate, Exhibitions and Pew Fellowships
Ali Gathers is the Senior Project Associate for the exhibitions program and Pew Fellowships at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Prior to joining the Center, she was employed at the Franklin Institute Science Museum. She holds a BS in English from the University of Maryland and is currently completing her graduate degree in Arts Administration at Drexel University.
Murph Henderson joined the staff of the Center's theatre program after serving as Director of New Play Development at Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre Company. Prior to working at the Arden, she spent nearly a decade with The Library of America, a nonprofit book publisher in Manhattan. Murph’s work history also includes years as an Equity actor and as a freelance book reviewer. A Chicago-area native, she holds an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence and a bachelor’s in theater from Northwestern.
Senior Specialist, Heritage
Laura Koloski is the Senior Specialist for the heritage program and has been since 2002. Prior to joining the Center, she worked as a museum educator for historic sites and local history museums. Koloski is co-editor, with Bill Adair and Benjamin Filene, of Letting Go? Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World, published by the Center in fall 2011. She holds a BA in American history from Villanova University and an MA in public history from Northeastern University.
Fran Kumin has been the Director of the theatre program since 2005. She has served as a consultant to foundations, performing arts organizations, and university theater programs, and she was Vice President of Programs for Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for nonprofit theater. A founding partner of Simon and Kumin Casting, she cast almost 40 Broadway plays and 100 regional theater productions, including premieres by August Wilson, Athol Fugard, and Tom Stoppard. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Yale School of Drama, where she later served on the faculty. She has lectured at other leading theater programs including NYU, Columbia, and Cal Arts.
Senior Program Associate, Heritage & Theatre
Jacque Liu is the Senior Program Associate for the heritage and theatre programs at the Center. He has a visual arts background and is very active in the art community through exhibitions of his own work as well as various artist collaborations. He previously served as a visual arts professor at Drexel University and the University of Delaware. He graduated from Cranbrook Academy of Art and received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Berlin, Germany.
Meeting and Event Planner, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
Ellen Maher is the Meeting and Event Planner for The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. She joined the Center as a full-time staff member in 2007. After graduating from Moore College of Art with a BA in illustration and printmaking, she promptly ended up in the food business where she combined her love of creativity and the visual arts, working the back of the house: testing recipes, planning menus, and as a party cook for restaurants and catering companies. She has coordinated panels and worked as a program assistant for Pew Fellowships in the Arts and the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative.
Executive Director, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
Paula Marincola was appointed the first Executive Director of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in 2008. She also designed and has been the director of its exhibitions program since 1997. An art historian by training, she was previously an arts administrator, curator of contemporary art, and art critic for many years. A quote from Henry James—“It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process”—serves to continually inspire and motivate her work.
Research Strategist, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
Senior Specialist, Exhibitions
Peter Nesbett joined the Center in 2010 after running an alternative space in Harlem, publishing an international art magazine, and working as an independent art historian. The art space was Triple Candie, known for presenting exhibitions about art yet devoid of it. The magazine was artonpaper, known for decades to aficionados of prints, multiples, and artists books as the primary source on the subject. As a historian in the 1990s, he researched and edited three books on the work of Harlem-trained American artist Jacob Lawrence. Today, he is interested in the relationship between curating and publishing, or rather, curating as an explicitly critical activity.
Administrative Coordinator, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
Erin Read joined the Center after serving as the Artistic Assistant at Arden Theatre Company. A transplant from the South, she initially came to Philadelphia to train as an Arden professional apprentice. Her time in the city has allowed her to work as an actor, dresser, audition reader, teacher, crew member, front of house staff, and understudy for many of the city’s theater companies. She is delighted at the opportunity to delve deeper into Philadelphia’s rich cultural life through the work of the Center’s talented constituents.
Senior Program Associate, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage & Management
Jordan Shue is currently seeking her MA in arts administration at Drexel University, where she also received her Bachelor's in design and merchandising. During her undergraduate degree she worked as the assistant to Philadelphia-based glass and mixed media artist, Jen Blazina. Before coming to the Center, she worked as the Assistant Director at the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, where she gained curatorial experience. Her knowledge of both sectors—the artist's and the nonprofit organization's—has given her the background and experience to transition to nonprofit funding work at the Center.
Senior Advisor, Management
Holly Sidford is a strategic planner, program developer and fundraiser with more than 25 years of experience leading nonprofit cultural and philanthropic organizations. She has been a management consultant since 2004, and currently runs her own firm, Helicon Collaborative. Prior to 2004, Holly founded Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), a national initiative to expand support for creative artists. She has also held leadership positions at the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund, the Ford Foundation, The Howard Gilman Foundation, the New England Foundation for the Arts, and the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities. She holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College and a Management Certificate from Columbia University.
Associate Director for Administration, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
Laura Silverman joined the Center staff in 2006 and manages operations and communications. Passionate about the arts from an early age, she studied art history at Yale and practiced as a graphic designer for several years. Subsequently, Laura’s interest turned to business and she has an MBA in Marketing from The Wharton School. Prior to arriving at the Center, Laura worked as a grant-writer, and as an account manager and business development specialist for design studios. Her marketing and management expertise is now put to good use supporting the Center’s vision and its commitment to the Philadelphia-area cultural community.
Josie Smith, originally from Chicago, holds an MFA in performance and choreography from Temple University. For over 20 years she has been an active member of the Philadelphia dance community, performing her own works, as well as in the works of numerous independent choreographers and dance companies, nationally and in Indonesia, Singapore, and Eastern Europe. Her work as a performing artist led her to recognize the importance of documenting dance as an art form through archival practice. To this end she recently earned an MA in library science from Drexel University. Josie became Specialist for the dance program in October 2010.
Communications Specialist, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
Nicole Steinberg has been communicating for the Center since January 2010. A transplant from New York to Philadelphia, she previously worked for publications such as BOMB, LIT, Entertainment Weekly, and TV Guide. Her studies in creative writing at Brandeis University and The New School provide a useful background as she crafts Center content for print, Web, and beyond. Her literary publications include an anthology, Forgotten Borough: Writers Come to Terms with Queens (SUNY Press) and a poetry chapbook, Birds of Tokyo (Dancing Girl Press). In 2005, she founded Earshot, a New York City reading series for emerging writers.
Senior Program Associate, Music & Dance
Lucy Warrington joined the Center as the Senior Program Associate for the music and dance programs in August 2011. She has a background as a classical violinist and bluegrass fiddler, and strong interests in arts education, music, and dance history. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Swarthmore College, where she also studied in a piano trio with Marcantonio Barone, and took African dance with C. Kemal Nance. Since graduation, she has worked as a Community Projects Coordinator at the YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, and in the music realm, played in a Penn community chamber music ensemble.
Senior Program Associate, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
Azuredee Webb joined the Center in 2011 and is charged with financial reporting, as well as managing several ongoing projects for the Center's administration. Additionally, she works closely with the staff of the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative on logistical strategies for constituent site visits. Her career in the arts began in the marketing and public relations department of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Prior to joining the Center, Azuredee worked in the development department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She holds a BA in communication from Wayne State University.