About Us //
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 (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 (she/her/hers) is a Somali-born American citizen. Kosar moved to America in 2003 with her son and family after fleeing her home country. From age 9, Kosar lived in refugee camps in Kenya for 12 years before coming to America. She began her formal education in Upstate New York, where she earned her associate degree in Arts and later a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UMass Boston. Kosar has worked as a case manager, parent educator, and family advocate on and off for the last 11 years both in Minneapolis and Boston. In the years between her human service work Kosar also became a real estate agent. Her passion has always been to help others. In her downtime, Kosar’s hobbies include painting, decorating candles, bottles, and journals. She enjoys helping various organizations in her community; cooking for her family, and spending time with her niece and nephew at the playground.
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 (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.
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.
Christ Genty (he/him/his) Born and raised in Massachusetts, is a local film director, photographer, and CEO of his own Production company GentyProVisions. Growing up, Genty always had a passion for the arts, being born into an artistic family with roots from the country of Haiti, he's always been influenced by family members and the culture he grew up in. Before Joining the Community Art Center, Genty's background in media arts ranged, his primary line of work is music video production, portrait, & fashion photography, while also having done work in wedding videography & photography, marketing production, and even having managed his own photo production studio GPV Studios. Genty's photography was also formally published in The Boston Voyager magazine 2018 July issue. Now, having accepted the position as the new Teen Program Manager, he is looking forward to helping guide and teach the youth to become excellent filmmakers and photographers as well as creative-minded individuals who use their skills to produce great works of art, and are continuously inspired.
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.
Mars Boucher (they/them) was born and raised in Massachusetts and has always had a love of the arts. They attended & received a BA from Bennington College, where they studied subjects ranging from art history to drama to screenwriting. Prior to the Community Art Center, Mars interned at GrubStreet, a creative writing center in Seaport. Mars’ commitment to lifelong learning has led them to the CAC, where they look forward to growing alongside a team of creative and motivated individuals.
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 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 (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!
Joey Remy (they/them) is a 2D artist born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Growing up in the city, from childhood through college, is a large part of who Joey is and a big inspiration for their work. The city hosts a collection of vibrant cultures and specific colorful aesthetics you just can’t find anywhere else. Joey often draws from the cultures and views around them when creating their work. Joey is the child of a Haitian immigrant, which has led to many challenges. But Joey's connection with music helps to motivate them through these challenges, and inspires them to create.
The poetry in rap, the electric beats in hip hop, and soul in vocals motivate Joey to create not just for themself, but for voices often left unheard. Musical inspiration, as well as cultural inspiration, are prevalent themes in their work. Joey has undergone many changes while growing up, and has had some hard realizations about their sexual orientation and gender identity. These changes have taught Joey the importance of love and the power it has to unify communities. During these growing pains, Joey always had cartoons to make them smile. Joey believes that there is no greater joy than the opportunity to make others smile in the same way.
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.
Carmen Maria Hernandez (she/her) is a Latin American visual artist/educator from Wilmington, California.
She started her involvement in the arts as a teenager while interning at a local studio called Slanguage, where she was introduced to the impact art has on her own community. It was that experience that led her to utilize her love for creating to pursue a career in the arts.
After graduating from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a Bachelors in Fine Arts, Hernandez devoted her time to becoming a mentor and educator of k-12 youth within mid-sized museums and nonprofits in Southern California.
She recently relocated to Massachusetts to pursue a Masters degree in Art Education from Boston University. Hernandez hopes to continue to inspire and mentor youth at the Community Art Center through the process of creating.
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 (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.
Ashleigh Hinds (she/her/hers) was born in Long Beach, California, but was raised in the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado. After experiencing the joy of facilitating art engagement for youth, at an internship in Denver, Ashleigh decided to pursue her studies in Boston, where she is now an undergraduate student at Lesley University studying art therapy. During her childhood and adolescent years, Ashleigh was involved in competitive sports and also enjoyed creating short stories and illustrative storybooks. Since graduating high school, she has maintained an interest in the use of creative writing, visual storytelling, and art-making to navigate one’s social identity and to empower self-development. The art center offers her a supportive environment to explore paths for her future career in social work and youth services. A professor of her’s used to say, “If you can work with kids, you can work with anyone”— although her education may empower her to work with a variety of populations, she is eternally grateful that the art center has introduced her to her passion for arts-based care.
Toni Fuller (she/her/hers), Founder & CEO of Kids with Keys Transportation, is a former certified teacher with over 15 years of experience of teaching children with disabilities. Toni is an advocate for childhood development for over a decade and has built long lasting relationships with students, parents, educators and organizations as well as school administrators. In addition to providing transportation services, she has a lifelong interest in assuring legal protections for those with disabilities.
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.