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.
Due to COVID-19, the board is currently meeting remotely via GoToMeeting. Please contact us if you are interested in being sent a link to an upcoming meeting. We also share the agenda for the month’s meeting a few days ahead of time on the meeting archives page, and the link to the virtual meeting can be found there as well.
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Fred Joiner, Chair
Anita Mills, Vice Chair
Delia Keefe, Secretary
Sean T. Bailey
John Claude Bemis
Fred Joiner, Chair
Fred Joiner is a poet and curator living in Carrboro, NC, where he currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Carrboro. His work has appeared in Callaloo, Gargoyle, and Fledgling Rag, among other publications. Fred is a two-time winner of the Larry Neal Award for Poetry and a 2014 Artist Fellowship Winner as awarded by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. One of Fred’s poems won the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art’s Divine Comedy Poetry Contest, in response to Malian artist Abdoulaye Konate’s textile work. Most recently, Fred was selected as one of 13 recipients of the Academy of American Poets’ inaugural Poets Laureate Fellowship.
Anita Mills, Vice Chair
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.
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.
Sean T. Bailey
Sean Bailey is a photographer and print maker currently living in Hillsborough, NC. His innate desire to study and understand the world’s natural and cultural complexities led him to degrees in zoology, anthropology, and a doctorate in genetics & molecular biology. Sean is a strong advocate for learning and conserving traditional light sensitive printing techniques. He is thankful to serve on this board and looks forward to opportunities that build life-long relationships between artists and their communities.
John Claude Bemis
John Claude Bemis is the award-winning author of seven books for young readers including The Wooden Prince (Disney-Hyperion) and The Nine Pound Hammer (Random House). He was selected as North Carolina’s Piedmont Laureate for Children’s Literature in 2013 and received the Excellence in Teaching Award from UNC-Chapel Hill for his work as an author-educator. He leads writing workshops and story consultations for adults, kids, and teens. John is also a visual artist and songwriter who performs with his band Hooverville. He lives with his wife and daughter in Hillsborough. johnclaudebemis.com
Krista Bremer is a published author and also associate publisher of The Sun, a Chapel-Hill based literary magazine that goes out to about 70,000 subscribers around the country. She has taught memoir at the Center for Documentary Studies and has organized panel discussions at Flyleaf and elsewhere in the county. For the past twenty years, Krista has been steeped in literature locally and nationally. Her writing has won a NCAC Arts Fellowship and she has served on the committee to select future recipients. Krista’s work has also won a Pushcart Prize, a Rona Jaffe Award, a Breadloaf scholarship, and other accolades.
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.
Matthew Keith is a Senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Morehead-Cain Scholar double majoring in Communications and Dramatic Arts with a minor in Writing for the Screen & Stage. He is an active member in the campus’s arts communities, having been the Executive of Outreach for the UNC Pauper Players, a performer in multiple student musicals, and most recently a writer, director, and actor for short films on UNC’s campus. Matthew looks forward to connecting the surrounding community with UNC’s student artists and showcasing the diversity of talent on campus.
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.
Lindsay Metivier is a photographer, an educator, an independent curator, and a gallerist based in Carrboro, North Carolina. She holds a BFA in both Photography and Art Education from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and an MFA in Studio Art from UNC-Chapel Hill. From 2011 until 2021 Lindsay owned and directed a gallery called Aviary in Boston, Massachusetts. Lindsay recently opened an art space (called Peel) in Carrboro, North Carolina. Peel is part gallery, part digital photo lab, part art book store, part gift shop, and also a community event space. Her work has been exhibited widely, most recently at Lump Gallery, Block Gallery, Oneoneone Gallery, The Nasher Museum at Duke University, The Ackland Art Museum at UNC-Chapel Hill, The John and June Allcott Gallery, The Front Gallery, and Transmitter. Her work has been featured on The Heavy Collective, Humble Arts Foundation, and A New Nothing.
Brad Porter served as Managing Director of The ArtsCenter Carrboro for four years, working three years prior in operations and performance booking. He currently works for Five Head Entertainment, an artist management company that handles Mandolin Orange, and Michaela Anne (both Yep Roc artists), among others. He is a recording and touring drummer with 20+ years experience.
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.
Dr. Crystal Wu
Crystal, a pianist, teacher, and collaborative artist, has been committed to the arts from an early age, filling her time with piano, violin, and ballet lessons. Her love for music never faltered as she went on to earn her BM in Music Performance from UNC-Chapel Hill where she was a recipient of the prestigious Kenan Music Scholarship. She continued her studies and received a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and a Doctorate in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from the University of Georgia. Returning to Chapel Hill in 2019, she currently serves as the marketing and development communications manager for Arts Everywhere at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she strives to share, promote, and amplify all the wonderful arts opportunities in the community.