Meet the Team
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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.
President & Member Mgr - St. John Gardens
A native of Louisiana, Marianne moved to Kansas City in 1992, when she married her husband, Shane. They have lived in Northeast KCMO since 1998
and have 2 grown children, Ian and August.
Marianne has worked as the Wardrobe Supervisor at KC Rep since 2013. Prior to that, she worked in many aspects of theatre, including dresser, props
master, set builder, stitcher, and in stage management. She has had a 30-year career at ½ a dozen theatre companies in KC, as well as several before coming to the area.
Marianne has been on the board since 2008. She has helped with Chalk Walk, Cultures without Boarders, Scarecrows in Scarritt, Window Dressing, St. John Gardens and many other projects with Northeast Arts!
When she has free time, she enjoys reading, knitting, renovating her ca. 1913 house and spending time with her cats.
Treasurer & Board Member
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.
Board Member & Community "Artivist"
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 she 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."
Board Member & Web Designer
A native of Texas, Dawn came to Kansas City to obtain her BFA at Kansas City Art Institute around 2019. Now that she successfully earned it in the Winter of 2022, she has stayed around every since.
With her time at the Art Institute, she has gotten the chance to do a whole range experiences. She was able to be an intern for the known art non-profit, Kansas City Artists Coalition, and was chosen to be one of two volunteer leaders for the National Illustration Conference during the summer of 2022. Seeing that she's this friendly infectious ball of helpfulness and laughter, she won the Mentorship Award (Illustration) during graduation.
On top of that, she comes back to guest lecture to the Illustration students twice in the fall semester due to her innovative, curious nature as a young artist.
Now, from being the newest board member for Northeast Arts KC to being the gallery assistant for the Bunker Center for the Arts -- you will always find her progressing her new life as a young artist in the KC art scene with a huge smile across her face.
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.
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.
Advisory Board Member
Elizabeth Bettendorf Bowman
[ BIO & PIC COMING SOON ]
Ms. Hernandez was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. She is a self taught artist that has
always had a passion to create art. Ms. Hernandez was selected by the Northeast Chamber of
Commerce to create a mural in the Historic Northeast neighborhood during the summer of
2020. Creating a mural allowed her to bring recognition to her Mexican culture. Painting the
mural inspired Ms. Hernandez to open a new art gallery. Sala de Arte (Room of Art) is owned
and operated by Ms.Hernandez. The gallery is located in the Historic Northeast neighborhood.
Her goal was to provide a safe and welcoming place for local artists of color to showcase their
Ms. Hernandez works with several types of mediums. She also designs and sews traditional
Mexican folkloric dresses for a local elementary dance group.
She hopes to inspire the youth in her community and bring recognition to the hidden talent in
Ms. Hernandez currently sits on the Northeast Arts KC board, Guadalupe Center Charter
School Board, and was recently appointed by Mayor Lucas to the newly formed Kansas City
Small Business Task Force.
Ms. Hernandez also is currently the Community Outreach Coordinator for Art As Mentorship.
She is also the Community Listening Project Lead organizer for Jerusalem Farm.
Board Member Emeritus
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.
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
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.
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 a holistic collaborative approach to improve the economic development of a culturally diverse community, reduce crime, and improve the quality of life and sustainability of our urban communities is her desire.
Bobbi is a real estate broker and a member of 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.