Appointed by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, the Arts Commission Advisory Board consists of 15 Orange County citizens over age 18 who help to steer the commission’s future and provide suggestions to the BOCC on arts & culture issues. The advisory board meets the 2nd Monday of each month (except for December) at 6:30 pm, alternating between the Link Government Services Building in Hillsborough and the Chapel Hill Public Library.
For information on volunteering for the Arts Commission board, visit the Volunteer Advisory Boards & Commissions section of the Orange County website where you can fill out an online Volunteer Application, or request a hard copy of the Volunteer Application from the Clerk’s Office at 919/245-2125.
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Fred Joiner, Chair
Tinka Jordy, Vice-chair
Delia Keefe, Secretary
Fred Joiner, Chair
Fred Joiner is a poet and curator living in Washington DC and Bamako, Mali. His writing has appeared in Callaloo, Gargoyle, Warpland: A Journal of Black Literature and Ideas, Fledgling Rag, and more. Fred has read his work nationally and internationally and is continuing to work on a long-term multidisciplinary collaboration with Northern Irish photographer, Mervyn Smyth. Fred has hosted and curated events for the American Poetry Museum, Hillyer Artspace, the Phillips Collection, Goethe-Institut, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and others and has served as an editor for Words, Beats and Life and the Tidal Basin Review. Fred has been twice awarded the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Larry Neal Writers Award and is a 2014 Artist Fellowship Winner from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Joiner is currently pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University and is the co-founder of The Center for Poetic Thought in Washington DC.
Tinka Jordy, Vice-Chair
Tinka Jordy has been working as a professional artist for 38 years and her work is exhibited and collected internationally. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1977 after attending The Cleveland Institute of Art and The Kansas City Art Institute. Tinka is co-owner of Eno Gallery, a contemporary fine art gallery in Hillsborough, NC and she is a board member of the Hillsborough Arts Council and served as Chair from 2007 to 2010.
Delia Keefe, Secretary
Delia Keefe, artist and art educator, brings many talents to the Orange County Arts Commission. As a committed advocate for promoting the arts in education, Keefe has taught visual art in a school setting for many years. She earned her BA in studio art and art history at Emmanuel College in Boston, MA. Keefe studied graduate printmaking at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Keefe currently works as a studio artist in her Two Dog Studio and as an art educator.
Tim Hoke, the owner of Hoke/New Vision Architects, grew up and went to school in Durham. He got his architecture degree from NC State University School of Design. He has practiced architecture in the triangle area for the entirety of his career and has worked on projects as far afield as Kansas, California, and Poland. He has designed numerous projects at UNC-Chapel Hill. His interest in the Arts has been important all his life. He helped a local collector of Asian antiquities select and prepare two collections of pottery and has donated to the Ackland Art Museum locally and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University.
Chris Kubica is President of Application Architects, a Research Triangle-based custom software development company. Also a poet and fiction writer, Chris edited the nonfiction collection, Letters to J. D. Salinger for the University of Wisconsin Press, and was Associate Producer of SALINGER, a feature-length documentary film. Chris lives in Carrboro.
Doris Friend was born and raised in Columbus, OH. While attending The Ohio State University, Doris studied art history and psychology. In 1968 Doris moved to Chicago and went to work on Michigan Avenue directly across the street from The Art Institute. Doris spent many lunch hours every week attending lectures or just wandering through the galleries and later continued her study of art history and organizational behavior at Northwestern University. In 1981 Doris moved to Asheville, NC. She moved to Hillsborough in 1994 where she happily remains. In addition to Doris’ current service on the Orange County Arts Commission, she has served on the Executive Committee board of directors for Manna Food Bank in Asheville, Deep Dish Theater, and Compass Center in Chapel Hill and is currently serving on the Hillsborough Arts Council.
Justin is managing director of Playmakers Repertory Company at UNC-Chapel Hill. He has more than 15 years of not-for-profit theatre management experience. From 2007–20016, Justin served as Associate General Manager to Boston’s largest not-for-profit theatre, the Huntington Theatre Company, recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award. During his time at the Huntington, he oversaw production budgets, negotiated contracts with agencies and unions, oversaw Company Management, and worked with award-winning regional and national talent. Prior to his time at the Huntington, Justin served as Director of Development for Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, MA where he strengthened its foundation of engaged and generous community support. He also held multiple positions in development, marketing, and management/administration for the Yale School of Drama, Yale Repertory Theatre, and the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Justin holds an MFA in Theatre Management from the Yale School of Drama, and a BA in Theatre and Anthropology from Bowdoin College.
Daniel Y. Mayer has been the executive director of The ArtsCenter since August 2015, moving to the Piedmont for this position. Prior to his move, he lived in Seattle, WA, working for a variety of arts organizations. Mayer began his career as an arts and entertainment lawyer working in Chicago as Executive Director of Lawyers for the Creative Arts and as Executive Director of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York. As a lawyer and activist he also worked as Director of the ArtSave Program at People for the American Way in Washington DC, advocating for artists’ First Amendment rights during the late 1980s when many artists were defunded and under attack in Congress and state legislatures. Daniel Mayer received a BA from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA and his law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He has taught art and entertainment law and business planning for artists at Columbia College, Chicago, New York University, and Artist Trust, Seattle. He has served on panels for arts conferences throughout the country and on grantmaking panels for many foundations and state governments including New York State Council on the Arts, King County Arts Commission, Illinois Arts Council and Arts International.
Bronwyn Merritt was born in Florida and grew up in North Carolina after her family fled city life for a small farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. From an early career as a relief printmaker with an art-deco style, she switched to contemporary narrative paintings, and then to mixed media compositions. Her prints are in private collections around the world and in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery and the Weatherspoon Museum. She has exhibited in galleries around North Carolina for 25 years and has taught workshops, classes, and college courses in studio art and art history. She has maintained her own studio and gallery since 2000.
Anita Mills was born in Lubbock, TX in 1952. She attended public school there, eventually earning a BFA in Ceramics and Printmaking from Texas Tech University. After completing her MFA in Studio Art and Art History from the University of Texas at Austin in 1977, she took a teaching position at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. During her 12 years at St. Cloud, she taught all levels of design, drawing, painting, printmaking, theory of art, and “Women Artists: An Historical Survey.” She concluded her tenure there as Chair of the Art Department. A resident of North Carolina since 1989, Anita currently lives near Hillsborough where she maintains her home and studio. She is a full-time artist and teaches adults and young adults through workshops and courses offered in community education settings.
Ashley Nissler has served on the Orange County Arts Commission since 2013. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson and teaches at the Duke Creative Writers’ Workshop. Her work has been in Cricket, Ladybug, Strange Horizons, Tar River Poetry, Literary Mama, Poemeleon, The Black Boot, Vestal Review, The Mom Egg New World Writing, Dogplotz, Nailpolish Stories, and most recently in the anthology Red Sky. In addition to her story “Lungs once pink and fragile” being nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she received an Emerging Artist’s Grant from the Durham Arts Council in 2005.
In 2016 Marcela Slade relocated to Carrboro, NC after living abroad for 16 years. Slade is an artist, designer, curator, teacher, and advocate for love and culture. Recently she was appointed to the Orange County Arts Commission as Advisor Board Member at large. She comes from a multicultural, multidisciplinary background. Slade moved from Quito, Ecuador where she taught Art and Design at Universidad San Francisco de Quito and Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. She owned and operated the Xerrajeros Galeria studio shop, a space dedicated to art, design, and architecture. Marcela Slade’s painting style can be categorized as Expressionist / Instrumentalist using distortion as a statement about human nature. She attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where she received a BFA in Graphic Design and an MFA in illustration. She is the creator of Sladesign, a line of fashion and accessories designed and fabricated by the artist. She has had several fashion/art shows locally and internationally since 2000. Each show is designed and produced by Slade.
Marlon Torres is the Executive Director of North Carolina Arts in Action, an organization that uses dance, music, and performance to instill self-esteem, perseverance, and excellence in children. Marlon began his career as a principal dancer in Mini Pops – a highly-rated Venezuelan televised dance ensemble featuring child performers, which enchanted millions of loyal viewers in Venezuela and the Caribbean. As a former principal dancer of the international modern dance company, Galumpha, Marlon created and performed award-winning choreography showcased around the world. He has performed dancing roles on stages throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Marlon is a certified project management professional, has a BA in theatre and dance from Binghamton University, and an MBA in marketing from the University of Leicester in the UK. Marlon joined the Downtown Durham Rotary Innovation Fellowship class of 2017, was the recipient of the Diamante Latino Award 2017, and the 2018 winner of the Triangle Business Journal 40 under 40 Award.
A long time Orange County resident, Linda currently lives in the western part of the county with her husband and son. She lived in Hillsborough from the 5th grade through her college years at UNC-Chapel Hill. At Orange High School, Linda was very active in the theatre program and carried this passion to UNC where she double majored in theatre and mathematics. After finishing her undergraduate degree, Linda completed a year-long internship as company manager at Playmakers Repertory Company. She also completed an internship as company manager at the NC Shakespeare Festival in High Point, NC before attending the University of Cincinnati where she completed a Masters in Arts Administration at UC College Conservatory of Music, and a Masters in Business Administration from UC Lindner School of Business. While there, she worked at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and was a founder of a community music series. Though she changed from being an art administration professional to working in the corporate world, Linda is still an arts patron and enjoys all the arts available in Orange County. She is excited to help support the Orange County Arts Commission in its mission to promote and strengthen the artistic and cultural development of Orange County, NC.