Melissa is an arts administrator, educator, and artist who has been involved in Philadelphia arts and culture for over a decade. Committed to economic and social justice, Melissa understands that art is a vital tool for community building and a conduit for change. She believes that progress never happens in a vacuum, but instead occurs when we dream together, share resources, and cooperatively build visions for a more just and creative world. She gets high on strategic planning, inclusive engagement, and well-attended events with brilliant folks.
Prior to CultureWorks, Melissa worked in office, nonprofit, and educational environments – experiences which led her to create both long-standing and emerging connections with a variety of art, activist, and cultural communities in the Delaware Valley region and beyond. Before CultureWorks, she served as the Program Assistant for the Leeway Foundation, a philanthropic organization supporting women and trans* artists and cultural producers. She has taught courses at local universities revolving around literature, counterculture, and social change – and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013. Most recently, she is researching how comics can act as maps for memory, trauma, and life narrative.
A Philadelphia native, Melissa holds a B.A. in English and Gender Studies and an M.A. in English and Communications. She lives in Mt. Airy with her wife, Michelle, and their super-adorable cat.
Fun fact: Melissa loves comix. Her most recent comic book love-affair is with Lynda Barry.