The Network for Arts Administrators of Color

Mentorship & Sponsorship Program 4.0

Thanks to the generous support of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, NAACBoston is pleased to announce the return of the Mentorship & Sponsorship Program 4.0!

Now in its fourth year, NAACBoston’s Mentorship & Sponsorship Program builds upon research showing both that arts administrators of color are under-mentored and that mentoring under-represented categories of professionals (women and people of color)—by itself—does not drive systemic change in the current power structures of our predominately white institutions and sectors.

What is needed is both mentorship and sponsorship. Mentorship provides valuable individual support, guidance, and role modeling, whereas sponsorship focuses on advancement by tapping into resources of power and opening doors that add value to mentoring relationships and disrupt entrenched power dynamics.

The Mentorship & Sponsorship Program 4.0 uses both components of this two-step process to help increase the talent pipeline and develop propel emerging leaders of color in Boston’s arts sector.

This year’s program is themed around Sustainability, building on the lessons from the 2019 to 2023 programs to address the ever-changing needs of BIPOC arts administrators as we continue to navigate the pandemics of racism and COVID-19. This year’s program will include workshops and tools centered on how to responsibly maintain momentum and avoid burnout in the changing arts sector.  

2022/23 Mentorship and Sponsorship Program 3.0 Participants


  • Yhinny Matos
    Yhinny Matos Youth Workforce Manager, Madison Park Development Corporation
  • Malik Williams
    Malik Williams Composer, Producer, Engineer, Educator, Reel Sync Music (freelance)
  • Karthik Subramanian
    Karthik Subramanian Co-Executive Director, Company One Theatre
  • Kendrick Evans Digital Content Manager, Exchange Programming, American Public Television


  • Alkia Powell
    Alkia Powell Event Planner, The Powell Agency
  • Rene Dongo
    Rene Dongo Radio Station Manager, ZUMIX
  • Mehdi Raoufi
    Mehdi Raoufi Director of School Programs, Open Door Arts
  • Mark Merren
    Mark Merren Creative Director, Authentic Lifestyle
  • Kathy Eow
    Kathy Eow Foundation Relations Manager, ArtsEmerson
  • Ashton Lites
    Ashton Lites Executive Director, StiggityStackz Worldwide Inc


  • Jessica Roseman
    Jessica Roseman Director, Jessica Roseman Dance
  • Terrance Bordenave
    Terrance Bordenave Artist and Teacher, Indie Genius
  • Dara Cheek
    Dara Cheek Director of Adult Programs & Engagement, The Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts
  • Maria Servellon
    Maria Servellon Filmmaker and Educator, Emerson College
  • Adrienne Hawkins Artistic/Managing Director, Impulse Dance Co


  • Elizabeth Mochizuki
    Elizabeth Mochizuki Artistic Director, Asian American Ballet Project
  • Ruben McFarlane
    Ruben McFarlane Department Coordinator, Academic Affairs, Berklee College of Music
  • Kiara Cole
    Kiara Cole Administrative Manager, The Loop Lab, Inc.
  • Sandy Saenbounmy
    Sandy Saenbounmy Associate Director of Institutional Giving Boston Center for the Arts
  • Amber Torres
    Amber Torres Public Art Project Manager, Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture
  • Gabriela Alvarado
    Gabriela Alvarado Committee Chair, International Alliance for Women in Music and Manager of Community and Patron Engagement, Sphinx Organization

Learning Cohort

  • JR Sullivan
    JR Sullivan Owner, Odessa
  • Kimberly Saunders Co-Founder & Art Director, ODESSA Boston
  • Michelle Mullet
    Michelle Mullet Artist, Community Organizer, Freelance
  • Yung-Chi Sung
    Yung-Chi Sung President & CEO, YUAN3 CHIH4 EDUCATION, INC.
  • Pranav Swaroop
    Pranav Swaroop Violinist trained in Indian Classical Music, Freelance
  • Bedel Omar
    Bedel Omar President, East Africa Cultural Center
  • Carolina Galván-Alvarado
    Carolina Galván-Alvarado Freelance animator and illustrator, Freelance
  • Maliaka Shepard
    Maliaka Shepard
  • Charlene Browne
    Charlene Browne BPS Arts Expansion Program Assistant EdVestors
  • Flolynda Jean
    Flolynda Jean Education Assistant, Studio Programs, ICA Boston

2021/22 Mentorship and Sponsorship Program 2.0 Participants


  • George ‘Chip’ Greenidge
    George ‘Chip’ Greenidge Director, Greatest MINDS
  • José Nieto
    José Nieto Chief Strategy Officer, ThinkArgus, ArtsBoston Board Member
  • Yvonne Cain
    Yvonne Cain SVP, Group Media Director, Mediahub, ArtsBoston Board member
  • Andrés Holder
    Andrés Holder Executive Director, Boston Children's Chorus
  • Ruth Mercado-Zizzo Vice President, Programs and Equity, EdVestors


  • Maria Servellon
    Maria Servellon Filmmaker and Educator, Emerson College
  • Cameron Lane
    Cameron Lane Sales and Community Outreach Associate, Artists for Humanity
  • Leslie Condon
    Leslie Condon Program Manager, Pao Arts Center
  • Lani Asuncion Founder & Events Manager, Digital Soup
  • Kat Nakaji
    Kat Nakaji Project Manager of Technical Operations , ArtLab at Harvard University


  • Rodrigo Guerrero
    Rodrigo Guerrero Consultant, Freelance
  • Adriana Zuñiga
    Adriana Zuñiga Marketing Manager, Broadway in Boston
  • Kortney Adams Education Manager, Central Square Theater; Managing Director, Theatre Espresso
  • Jazzmin Bonner
    Jazzmin Bonner Executive Assistant to the Executive Director, American Reperatory Theater ; Managing Director, Fresh Ink Theatre


  • Jamison Cloud
    Jamison Cloud Operations Manager Now+There
  • Noelle Villa
    Noelle Villa HR Assistant/Project Specialist, Harvard Museums of Science and Culture
  • Amy Chu
    Amy Chu Program Officer, CYD, Mass Cultural Council
  • Holly Dyer
    Holly Dyer Community Engagement Manager, Community Music Center of Boston
  • Merlo Philiossaint
    Merlo Philiossaint Artist, Merlo Philiossaint

How It Works

“I really love NAAC and want to see the best for it. This pilot program was very impressive and to think of the next phase is super powerful.” –Romy St. HilairePilot Program Mentee


For mid-level administrators (4 or more years in the field) as a pathway for upward mobility in the field through supportive relationships with executive-level sponsors who can open doors, provide a seat at the table, and guide toward next-level leadership.


With structured professional development for junior– and entry-level arts administrators (1 to 3 years experience in the field) to accelerate their learning with personalized support from mid-level arts administrators of color.

The Mentorship/Sponsorship program consists of three components: program pairings and learning cohort, program workshops and panels, and a program toolkit.

Program Pairings: There will be one 6-month cycle for pairings to meet, consisting of 10 mentor/mentee pairings and 10 sponsor/sponsee pairings. Mentors and Sponsors will meet with their charges once a month (virtually or in-person) in addition to bi-weekly email check-ins.

Learning Cohort: All NAAC Members are welcome to join the learning cohort by attending any of 6 monthly workshops alongside the Mentorship/Sponsorship program pairs. Following each workshop, while mentees and sponsees meet with their mentors and sponsors, NAAC members will be invited to convene for a facilitated conversation centered in peer learning and support. NAAC will provide each attending member with a Learning Passport, which we will stamp following each workshop you attend. Participants who collect five stamps will receive a certificate of completion.

Program Workshops: NAAC Boston will host professional development workshops and panels to complement program participants’ learning. Program participants will be required to attend a minimum of 4 learning events over the year. These events will be open to the full NAAC membership and ACOM participants, with a small entrance fee. NAAC Boston will also host four socials over the course of the year, in which program participants will have the opportunity to build networking skills and opportunities.

Program Toolkit: NAAC Boston will partner with NAAC members on “Navigating the Recovery” Toolkit based, providing all program participants with important resources, including: 

  • Arts Administrative Glossary 
  • Self-Care Resources
  • Legal Services
  • Navigating Racism in the Arts
    • Learning Links
    • Books and Reading List for Continued Learning 

2019 Mentorship and Sponsorship Program Pilot Participants

Five mid-career mentors and five executive-level sponsors were matched with five mentees and five sponsees for our inaugural program, which ran March to December 2019.


  • Lecolion Washington Executive Director, Community Music Center of Boston
  • Harold Steward
    Harold Steward Executive Director, NEFA
  • Lisa Simmons
    Lisa Simmons Community Initiative Program Manager, Massachusetts Cultural Council
  • Candelaria Silva-Collins
    Candelaria Silva-Collins Author, Consultant Self
  • David Howse Executive Director, ArtsEmerson



  • Marsha Parrilla
    Marsha Parrilla Director/Choreographer, Danza Orgánica
  • Karthik Subramanian
    Karthik Subramanian Co-Executive Director, Company One Theatre
  • Ngoc-Tran Vu Visual Artist. Organizer. Strategist , Freelance
  • Ashleigh Gordon Artistic Director, Castle of our Skins
  • Jazzmin Bonner
    Jazzmin Bonner Executive Assistant to the Executive Director, American Reperatory Theater ; Managing Director, Fresh Ink Theatre


  • Adriana Zuñiga
    Adriana Zuñiga Marketing Manager, Broadway in Boston
  • Falyn Elhard
    Falyn Elhard Program Coordinator, New England Presenting & Touring, New England Foundation for the Arts
  • Rebecca Kelley MA Program Manager, FoodCorps
  • Romy St. Hilaire
    Romy St. Hilaire Founder, Art in the Antilles

Leadership support provided by

Additional support provided by