MEET THE NORTHEAST ARTS KC BOARD
Our Board of Directors
Member Mgr., St. John Gardens
Rebecca Koop has been a resident of Northeast since 1967, has served as the Executive Director of the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and currently holds the position of Business and Community Events Director with that organization. She was a founding member of the KC Clay Guild, an active supporter and volunteer for the 12 year run of the NE Chamber’s “Historic Northeast Fall Festival”, and has been a driving force behind many of Northeast Arts KC’s programs.
Rebecca holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, where she graduated in 1979. An accomplished professional potter and ceramics instructor, her work may be found in specialty shops and galleries around Kansas City. The majority of her work is functional - kitchenware in Stoneware, Porcelain, and Terra Cotta earthenware. A love for Japanese Koi Fish has turned her focus to playful, colorful fish forms. She produces pottery and teaches classes at her studio, Back Door Pottery, located at 3922 St John. More info is available at www.backdoorpottery.com.
"Tea For One"
Stoneware by Rebecca Koop
Scott "Rex" Hobart is a local musician / artist who came to KC in 1989 from St.James, Mo. to study at the Kansas City Art Institute.
Curator, Summer Dusk Concert Series
Still an active local musician, Scott fronts his original Honky Tonk band, REX HOBART AND THE MISERY BOYS (Bloodshot Records Chicago, IL / Little Class Records Kansas City, MO). He has been Technical Director / Master Carpenter and Resident Artist at The Coterie Theatre since 2006. He also curates the Northeast Arts' SUMMERDUSK Summer Concert Series.
"Wanted: The Chalk Dust Bandito"
Chalk Art by Scott Hobart
After spending more than a decade as a nationally touring road musician in rock and country bands, he discovered theatrical scenic design and construction by way of a passion for "silly haunted funhouses" - the portable/reusable haunted house he designed and built for Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood's annual Halloween celebration has been a big hit with kids and adults of all ages.
Margarita Friedman is a lifelong entrepreneur, and educator Her formal education is in Psychology, Business Administration, and Art in Mexico and NY at Academia de San Carlos, NYU, NYAA. As educator, Friedman was owner and director of several Business Schools. She exported printed academic and government information to the USA, was an art dealer before moving to the USA. She studied and work at the University of Pittsburgh as assistant to the Director of Revista Iberoamericana, In NY I studied and taught at NYU. She was the original founder of the Art Garden KC. In her words: "My work is about cathartic introspection and social portraiture. I work in oils and encaustic."
Heather Inez Benoit
Heather is a mother, artist and teacher living in the northeast area. She has a background in journalism and photography and now works full-time as a community artivist. She volunteers as a studio monitor at the KC Clay Guild. Her passion is working with at-risk and inner city youth through ArtsTech and Synergy Services through their Youth Resiliency Center. She shows her artwork regularly at various galleries in the Crossroads Arts District. In her down time, she works to nurture a Paseo Academy student, snuggle her dog and is working to build her own community art studio in the Pendelton Heights Neighborhood where she will teach ceramics, painting, jewelry design and various other media.
Clay Jarratt is a life-long Kansas Citian. By day, Clay is Program Manager for local hunger relief organization, After the Harvest. On his evenings and weekends Clay can be found volunteering, traveling, spending time outdoors, beekeeping, performing, reenacting and more.
Clay is a visual artist, focusing on handbuilt pottery which he makes in his home studio in the historic Northeast and Belger Craneyard Studios in the Crossroads. His love of nature and history are reflected in his work; bees, butterflies, skulls and pirates are common subject matter. Clay and partner Wick recently co‐founded "Clay and Wick Co." with handmade clay by Clay and natural candles by Wick using beeswax from our own bees.
Advisory Board Member
Bobbi Baker is a resident of the eclectic Historic Northeast area of Kansas City. She is a creative, enthusiastic small business owner and community activist who strives to partner the efforts of citizens, investors, businesses, KCPD, and KC Parks & Rec, as well as the City of Kansas City with community organizations, service providers and KCMO Schools. Employing an holistic collaborative approach to improve the economic development of a culturally diverse community, reduce crime and improve quality of life and sustainability of our urban communities is her desire.
Bobbi is a real estate broker and a member the Missouri Board of Realtors and currently serves on KC City Planning Commission, serves on the boards of Guadalupe Center, Historic Northeast Events (HNE) and Independence Avenue Community Improvement District and is the current CEO/ president of NE KC Chamber of Commerce.
"Indian Mound of Bissit Bay"
Sculpture by Bobbi Baker
Wick Thomas grew up in the small town of Drexel, Missouri but has always thought of Kansas City as home. A graduate from UMKC with a BA in communications, Wick has lent their skills to many nonprofits and campaigns over the years and has spoken nationally on various topics. They have been dedicated to public service and advocacy for Kansas City youth as the Teen-Services Librarian for the Kansas City Public Library and as Manager of Teen Programs for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Wick is a recent graduate of Artist, Inc. and has dedicated much of their time fixing up their 130 year old house in Scarritt Renaissance, training as a Master Gardener, and starting a new art business with their partner.
Community activism takes a special kind of individual. We are proud to call this group of "artivists" our board of directors. They share a passion for art, community, music and the mission of hope. Through many hours of dedicated volunteerism, they share resources, create opportunities and forge new paths for a better and brighter Northeast Kansas City. Every one of our board members resides within the NE Kansas City boundary and many play multiple roles in the community..