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About Us //

Our

Staff

Erin  Muirhead McCarty

Erin Muirhead McCarty

Executive Director

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Erin  Muirhead McCarty

Erin Muirhead McCarty (she/her/hers) is a seasoned development professional whose work has focused primarily on directing annual fund campaigns, individual and corporate giving, institutional fundraising, and strategic partnerships. In this capacity, she has experience within the  world of higher education and also as the annual fund manager for an international nonprofit; she has raised monies for the arts, as well as for social services. She holds a degree in studio arts, and art history from Virginia Commonwealth University’s nationally ranked School of The Arts, and studied visual arts and restoration in Florence, Italy. She's also spent time living and working in London, England. Erin has a love of pop-culture, politics, travel and adventure, and enjoys binge-watching documentaries, she relies on her two teenage daughters to keep her current on all of the latest Tik Tok challenges, Instagram trends, and viral memes.

Michael Matfess

Michael Matfess

Director of Operations and Finance

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Michael Matfess

Michael Matfess (he/him/his) comes to the Community Art Center after a long, storied career in finance and operations with companies ranging from 3 employees to ones with over 100 employees.  After decades in both the for-profit and non-profit world, Michael is committed to working with organizations that support young people and underserved communities.  In his most recent role before joining Community Art Center, Michael was the CFO and STEM Day Camp Director for a non-profit that offers informal education through the use of live action role playing.  Michael lives north of the city with his wife of over 30 years, Judy.   Together they have a daughter who lives and works in New York and a son who is self-employed in Lowell.  Michael has a knack for storytelling that he honed while raising those children who still sometimes question if he’s making something up or not.  In the office you will often find Michael sitting at his desk behind a gnome named Jacques or wandering aimlessly around the halls and the classrooms.  When he isn’t working, Michael is often binge-watching shows on streaming services while contemplating the struggles of growing up with only black & white TV and 6 stations to choose from.  While Michael likes to cook, he continues his quest for the perfect breakfast/brunch location.

Kosar Mohamed

Kosar Mohamed

Port Family Advocate

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Kosar Mohamed

Kosar Mohamed (she/her/hers) embodies a journey marked by resilience and a commitment to service. Hailing originally from Somalia, she arrived in the U.S. in 2003, accompanied by her son and family, after spending 12 formative years in Kenya refugee camps. Kosar's educational path includes earning an associate degree in Arts in Upstate New York and later double majoring in psychology and political science at Umass Boston. These dual majors underscore her diverse interests, delving into the intricacies of human behavior and political dynamics. In addition, she undertook a double minor in Women & Gender Studies and Human Rights, showcasing her profound commitment to exploring issues related to equality, social justice, and human dignity.  


Over the past 11 years, she has taken on roles such as a case manager, parent educator, and family advocate in Minneapolis and Boston. Kosar's exploration of the real estate realm demonstrates her adaptability. Beyond her professional pursuits, she quietly contributes to various community organizations. In her leisure time, Kosar enjoys simple creative pursuits like crafts. Her love for cooking and cherished moments spent with her nieces and nephews at the playground reflect her commitment to family. In her journey, Kosar embraces values of resilience, ongoing learning, and a genuine commitment to supporting others in different aspects of her life.

Aishea Henry

Aishea Henry

Mental Health Clinician

Aishea Henry

Aishea Henry (she/her/hers) is a Jamaican born, American citizen who moved to America when she was in the 7th grade. Aishea lived in Cape Cod until she went off to college at Assumption College, which was later named Assumption University in Worcester, MA. Aishea earned a BA in Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies. Having enrolled in Assumption's 6 in 5 program, Aishea was able to complete her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling within an extra year post-undergrad. Aishea fulfilled her graduate practicum at Central Mass Collaborative High School and gained additional experience while interning at Family Continuity programs in Worcester. She went on to work part-time for Family Continuity as an Outpatient Clinician specializing in children and youth ages 6 - 22. Aiesha’s full-time work as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, makes use of her over 5 years experience working in the mental health field. In that time, Aishea has benefitted from working in a variety of settings, with a spectrum of ages. Aishea especially enjoys working with young children and adolescents, helping them to navigate their worlds, emotions, thoughts and feelings. In her free time Aishea enjoys reading, hiking, traveling, watching Netflix, and hanging out with friends and family.

Sarah Winter

Sarah Winter

Director of Programs

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Sarah Winter

Sarah Winter (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She formerly worked in education and interactive media at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where she worked on digital story-telling interactives and the early iterations of the Museums As Sites for Social Action (MASS Action) project, a national, collaborative project to create more equitable and inclusive practices in museums. In 2018, her adventurous spirit brought her to the West Coast; while in Eugene, Oregon, she coordinated community engagement and educational programs at an arts non-profit focused on arts accessibility, environmental sustainability, and recycled art. Sarah received her master’s degree in Art, Education and Community Practice from New York University, and holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her spare time, Sarah loves spending time with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, listening to podcasts and music (and singing along!), watercoloring, and trying out new baking recipes.

Jada Alleyne

Jada Alleyne

School Age Program Manager

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Jada Alleyne

A lifelong Cantabridgian, Jada Alleyne (she/her/hers) comes to the Community Art Center with a wealth of early childhood and youth work experience. She has worked with Cambridge Youth Programs, Amigos Community School and Campamento Cultural de Amigos, and Children’s Village. The daughter of an educator, Jada holds a degree in Early Childhood Education. She is also a licensed cosmetologist, a creative spirit, and beauty product junkie. These days, when she’s not working on curriculum plans and keeping up with attendance records, she can be found selling her boutique bath & body products through her Soap Her Girl website. Jada enjoys creating art and baking with her young daughter, or spending time twin-bonding with her twin sister.

Lionel Blaise

Lionel Blaise

Teen Media Program Manager

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Lionel Blaise

Lionel was born in Haiti. Ever since he was a child he had an interest in art-making. After immigrating to the U.S. He joined groups and attended schools that had a strong focus on art. As a result, Lionel worked for a variety of art-based nonprofit organizations. This garnered him a passion for teaching and mentoring youths. He then joined the Community Art Center and is now the Teen Media Manager. In this role, he can manage, mentor, and teach youth with the same passion that he has for art-making. His work usually involves comic book art, however, throughout the years He's expanded his skill sets into painting and filmmaking.

Jack O'Hearn

Jack O'Hearn

Teen Public Art Manager

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Jack O'Hearn

Jack O'Hearn (he/him/his) has spent nearly two decades as a professional artist, with experience in public art, grant administration, and higher education. He has worked with many non-profits, small businesses, and local governments to execute public art projects with a community focus. He believes the arts can be an important tool for community and economic development, enhancing pride and trust within a community and increasing equitable investment. Jack earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from Lesley University and his Master’s Degree from The University of Wisconsin. He has lived in many places throughout the country building a career in the arts, including New Mexico, Wisconsin, Indiana, and West Virginia. He now lives back in his hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters. In addition to being a visual artist, Jack also plays the guitar and is very passionate about music.

Shayla Young

Shayla Young

Administrative Assistant

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Shayla Young

Shayla Young (She/Her) was born and raised in Massachusetts and has always had a love for the arts. Shayla graduated from Bridgewater State University (BSU), where she majored in English and minored in African American Studies and Theatre Arts.

During her time at BSU, Shayla worked as an intern for the Martin Richard Institute for Social justice and the AFAM department, hosting a series of events and advocating for the students of color on campus. One of her main projects at BSU was creating a Black History BINGO game that helped people learn more about African American figures as well as having fun!

Shayla is a passionate advocate for equity and social justice. During her time at BSU, Shayla ran an Arts of Activism project called "The Bigger Picture" where she interviewed peers on their perceptions  of campus safety. Shayla then took those views and incorporated them into a larger art mural of the school mascot, displaying all the student voices and their concerns of campus. "The Bigger Picture" was displayed at the 2022 BSU Kente Cloth ceremony and currently resides at the Martin Richard Institute of Social Justice office in Bridgewater.

In her free time Shayla is an artist, she loves to paint and sketch cartoons from sight. Shayla also loves Theatre Arts. During her time at BSU, she performed in 3 major play productions, Macbeth, Richard III, and Blood at the Root. Shayla also participated in 3 student run productions, Milkmilk Lemonade, Julie, and The Squad. Being part of an ensemble feels very familiar to Shayla, so she is excited to now be a part of this arts community!

Noel Rubio

Noel Rubio

Grant Writer

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Noel Rubio

Noel Rubio (he/him/his) has over six years of experience driving smart growth for mission-oriented organizations. His work has spanned six countries and practice areas including tobacco control, domestic violence intervention, pollution prevention, public health promotion, access to justice, disability rights, health equity research, policy advocacy, and economic and community development. Noel is a strong believer in harnessing the power of partnerships to strategically build capacity and iterate on, innovate, and sustain community-based programs at scale. He is passionate about locally-led, evidence-informed, and holistic transformations—from the grassroots to the systems level—in health, human services, and youth development. He has written successful grants for individual, family, foundation, corporate, and government funders ranging from $500 to $10,000,000 in total award value; directed development and communications strategies for nonprofit organizations; and co-managed portfolios of award-winning programs cumulatively valued at over $40,000,000. At the Community Art Center, Noel engages executive and program leaders, as well as operations colleagues, to design, execute, and manage a comprehensive grants strategy that aims to secure the diverse and resilient funding from necessary to sustain and evolve the Center’s programming and budget. Noel studied public policy at the University of Chicago and has roots in the Philippines and Guam. An avid home cook, shower singer, and lapsed thespian, he has made it his life’s mission to advance the public welfare through meaningful work that centers diversity, equity, inclusion, access, anti-racism, justice, and impact.

Elizabeth Bernabel

Elizabeth Bernabel

School Aged Teacher & Group Leader

Elizabeth Bernabel

Elizabeth Garcia (she/her) Dominican-American Artist and Graphic Designer born and raised in Boston, MA. Liz has been passionate about art since early childhood, but it wasn’t until high school where she had the opportunities to embark on her artistic journey. Now, Liz is a first-generation alumni of Northeastern University, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in the Graphic Design concentration.


While at the CAC, Liz focuses on creating space for her students to express and find themselves through a diversity of art mediums and experiences. Liz’s main goal is to be the person she needed at their age, as a curious and creative child growing up in undervalued neighborhoods and schools.


In her freetime, Liz enjoys creating experiences with her own curious and creative child. All the while running her business and expanding herself artistically.

Antaliyah Maxwell

Antaliyah Maxwell

School Aged Teacher & Group Leader

Antaliyah Maxwell

Antaliyah Maxwell (she/her/hers) comes from a Cantabridgian family with deep roots in Cambridge. In fact, her mother actually attended Community Art Center as a youth, and participated in some of the earliest filmmaking projects! Antaliyah has worked as a Teacher’s Assistant at TechBoston Academy, where she assisted students ages 5-13 in behavior and honor roll classes; tutoring students in math, social studies, science and humanities. She has also worked as a home health aid for Cerebral Palsy of Massachusetts, where she took great care of some of the most vulnerable clients. Antaliyah is finishing up a bachelor's degree at the University of Massachusetts - Boston, majoring in sociology with a minor in early education. Coming from a large family, Antaliyah has tons of real-life, hands-on experience working with young children. She appreciates that working with children teaches patience, and enjoys viewing life through the observations of young children. In her spare time, Antaliyah loves delving into poetry - you may even catch her at an open mic in the area!

Anna Garrity

Anna Garrity

School Aged Teacher & Group Leader

Anna Garrity

Anna was born in Boston and raised in Milton, MA. After recently graduating from Barnard College, NY with a degree in Art History/Visual Arts, Anna moved back home to continue to work on her visual portfolio, learn more about the therapeutic elements of art-making, and how collaborative creating can ground us in empathy and compassion. From working with young people, Anna has learned a lot about how we all communicate our needs differently and how everyone can benefit from using forms of creative making as an outlet to express themselves and better understand each other.

Kenn Crestwell

Kenn Crestwell

School Aged Teacher & Group Leader

Kenn Crestwell

Kenn  Crestwell (he/him) grew up  in Prince George’s County, Maryland and has  lived in the greater Boston area since 2015. He attended Lesley  University for creative writing and later switched his major to  Illustration. Kenn’s favorite way of expressing himself artistically has  always been through writing fiction, poetry and visual art. He draws a  lot of inspiration from folk music, animated films, and illustrated  storybooks of classic fairy tales, fables and mythologies. Kenn is new  to teaching and working with kids, and is excited to get to know and  understand them more as he believes in the importance of  intergenerational connections and community.


Some  of Kenn’s core beliefs are that there is no such thing as “bad art”,  everyone can draw, and the idea that through teaching you learn just as  much from the students as they learn from you. Kenn’s life inspirations  and are Mr. Rogers (minister/author/television host), David Hockney  (painter), Trixie Mattel (musician/drag performer), and his late  grandmother Kathleen Crestwell (teacher). In the future, Kenn hopes to  go back to school and get his Masters of Divinity to pursue a career in  ministry with the goal of expanding his love for the arts, spirituality  and fostering meaningful connections.

Ckylah Murphy

Ckylah Murphy

School Aged Teacher & Group Leader

Ckylah Murphy

Ckylah Lee was born & raised here in New England. Devoting her life to being a multidisciplinary artist, activist, and historian. She believes in tying those things together to create both traditional and digital artwork. Ckylah has decided to pursue her passions both personally & independently. If she is not working or painting in her studio- you can find her flipping through her vinyl collection, watching documentaries, lacing up her rollerskates, or going to a thrift store.

Alyssa Tunno

Alyssa Tunno

School Aged Teacher & Group Leader

Alyssa Tunno

Alyssa Tunno was born in Vancouver, Canada, but was raised for most of her life in Framingham, Massachusetts. She is completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Lesley University, with an interest in painting and ceramics. Creative expression has been a passion of hers throughout her life, and she believes that art making is a vital outlet to share one’s ideas, emotions, and passions. Most recently, she has been interested in collaborative artwork, exploring the importance of the relationship between art making and community building.

Alyssa has experience as a youth figure skating instructor, and is excited to continue working in childcare and share her passion for art with her students! In her free time, she enjoys cooking, crochet, and jewelry making.

Emmanuella Fedé

Emmanuella Fedé

School Aged Teacher & Group Leader

Emmanuella Fedé

Emmanuella Fedé (she/her/hers) is an Early Childhood educator from Cambridge, MA. She holds her BA in Psychology from Lesley University and teaches Second Grade during the Academic year. She has been a part of the CAC community since she was a teen in the Teen Media program and DIYDS. Her hobbies include painting, learning a new language and teaching herself the violin.

Javhar Wallace

Javhar Wallace

School Aged Teacher & Group Leader

Javhar Wallace

Javhar Wallace (He/Him/His) was born and raised in Boston. His interest in working with youth was born from seeing his mother work in childcare. He previously worked as a teacher for grades 9-12 at the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House. Jay is passionate about empowering youth and hopes to become a 3rd grade teacher. In his free time, he enjoys reading thrillers, listening to music, and collecting canvases.

Jose Yax

Jose Yax

Custodian

Jose Yax

José Yax (he/him/his) is the Community Art Center custodian and resident ‘fix-it-all’ super-hero. It runs in the family for José; for years before him, his brother, Erick held the position until retirement. José’s easy going demeanor and kind ways bring a smile to everyone in his path.

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