Board of Directors
David Acosta, President
Rose Adeline Irvin, Vice President
Mark S. Conti, Treasurer
Ona Kalstein, Secretary
Linda Dubin Garfield, Ed.D.
Dr. Les Spero
Martha Hope Carey, PhD
David Acosta, President
David is a poet, writer, and curator. His writings have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies. Among the most notable are Mayrea, The Evergreen Chronicles, The Americas Review, American Poetry Confronts the 1990s (Black Tie Press 1990), The Limits of Silence (Asterion Press 1991), Poesida (Ollantay Press, 1995), and Floating Borderlands: Twenty-Five Years of Latin American Poetry in The United States (University of Washington Press, 1998). He is also included as a contributor to Queer Brown Voices, the first anthology of Latino LGBT history in the United States and Puerto Rico published by University of Texas Press, in 2015. He has served on the literary panel of the PA Council on the Arts, the board of the Asian Arts Initiative, Taller Puertorriqueño, Spiral Q, Cosa Cosa Art at Large, and was co-founder of the Working Fund. He is currently on the advisory committee for the Will Cox Jr. Archives at the William Way Community Center one of the largest LGBT Archives in the United States. David has curated several shows including Rooted in Ancestors at Semilla Arts; Witness, 30 Artists Respond to 30 years of the AIDS Pandemic at the Asian Arts Initiative; M.A.D. Mutual Assured Destruction, at the Crane Arts Gallery; and Critical Paths Towards Liberation, a historical exhibition on the life of the Philadelphia activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya at the William Way Community Center.
A nationally recognized AIDS, health care and LGBT rights activist, he is the recipient of numerous awards for his long time work on LGBT civil rights, HIV/AIDS and health care advocacy. He was the founder and Executive Director of the GALAEI Project from 1987-1997. From 1997 to 2105 he was the Coordinator of HIV Prevention Programs for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s AIDS Activities Coordinating Office, stepping down in 2015 to focus on community arts and his own writing. He is currently Artistic Director for Casa de Duende.
Rose Adeline Irvin, Vice President
Rose Adeline Irvin originally from Wilmington, Delaware, fell in love with Philadelphia ten years ago and has been here ever since. She grew up in a creative household, forming the foundation for her support of arts and culture. Rose has a B.F.A. in Design from Moore College and a M.A. in Geography and Urban Studies from Temple University. She enjoys using her multidisiplinary background to approach creative problem solving and strategic design thinking. Currently, she is the Marketing Manager of an award winning design and planning firm.
Mark Conti, Treasurer
Born and raised in the Philadelphia suburbs, Mark Conti graduated from Germantown Academy in 1971. Went on to graduate from Juniata College in 1975 with a BA. He started photography seriously in college and continued to work freelance for a time after graduation. In 1978 he joined a technical sales company owned by his Father! He has worked in and managed the same business successfully for over 40 years and expanded It both in personnel and scope significantly over the years. He has served on several industry councils and boards and on the board of the former Philadelphia Chapter of the Victorian Society in America (for 10 years). He also currently supports The Crossing Choir www.crossingchoir.com and 11th Hour Theater www.11thhourtheatrecompany.org.
Ona Kalstein, Secretary
Ona Kalstein is the illustrator of the First Edition of Stories We Brought With Us, Beginning Reader for ESL (Prentice-Hall, 1986), for which she did the cover and sixty- one drawings. She studied children’s book illustration under Carolyn Croll at the Philadelphia College of Art, now University of the Arts. She received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from Temple University in 1966 and M.S. in L.S. from Drexel University in 1967. She is the former Assistant Head of the Art Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Central Library, retired in 2004. She has been a member of Philadelphia’s Da Vinci Art Alliance since 2007, board member since 2008, and became secretary in 2014.One of her drawings was in Art in City Hall’s “Likeable Art” show in 2008, and she has been a member of its Exhibitions Advisory Committee since then. She has also served as a juror for various AICH exhibitions. She continues to exhibit her drawings in Da Vinci Art Alliance members’ and other shows. Her work, including her popular caricature portraits, is also in private collections.
In her drawings, she attempts to capture a subject’s essence in terms of line, color, composition and humor, often employing her own calligraphy as an integral part of the overall design. She works in ink and colored pencils on vellum.
Christina is a lifelong resident of South Philadelphia and currently serves the community as a Realtor® with Coldwell Banker Preferred in Center City. Previously, she worked in property management for high-end condominiums and luxury apartment buildings. She graduated summa cum laude in 2008 from Cabrini College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology.
Linda Dubin Garfield, President Emeritus
Linda Dubin Garfield, award-winning printmaker and mixed media artist, creates visual memoirs exploring the mystery of memory and the magic of place, using hand-pulled printmaking techniques, photography, collage and digital imaging. Her abstract and dynamic works use multiple layers of ink that waver between background and foreground creating a fusion of surface design and abstract expressionism. She also creates installations that include public participatory art, especially when she is exploring themes relating to women in today’s culture. In 2005 she founded ARTsisters, a group of professional artists who empower each other and their community through art. In 2007 she started smART business consulting, helping emerging artists reach their goals and their audience by providing consulting and coaching on the business side of art through individual sessions, small groups, and workshop experiences as well as providing opportunities to exhibit work. Today she serves on several non-profit boards and appreciates her good fortune to be able to make art every chance she gets.
Martha Hope Carey
Martha Hope Carey was raised in New England and lived for years in the midwest and on the west coast before finally making the Philadelphia area home. She is an abstract painter, married to a musician, and together they run Another Moon Studios from their home in Elkins Park, PA. Martha earned her BA from Carleton College in 1988, her MA from Simmons College in 1991, and her PhD from Temple University in 2015.
Sandi Neiman Lovitz graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor's degree in Art Education and taught art in the Pittsburgh public school system for two years. She attended summer art classes at Carnegie Tech and was a juried member in the Pittsburgh watercolor society before moving to Philadelphia. She was President of the Tri-State Pennsylvania Artists Equity for two years and continued to serve on the executive board. She is also involved in ARTsisters, a group of women who are professional visual artists that not only support each other, but also reach out to women and children in the community. Sandi was juried in to the Centennial exhibition at the Delaware Art Museum by John B. Ravenal, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She was also juried into the Berks Art Alliance at the Reading Art Museum and was awarded an honorable mention by Lisa Tremper Hanover, curator of the Michener Museum. She participated in the Square Foot Art Basel Miami and was awarded the Nolan Painting Award at the Main Line Art Center in Haverford, Pa. by Moe Brooker, and was awarded feature artist on Artsy Shark, founded by Carolyn Edlund, Executive Director of the Arts Business Institute (Artsy Shark). Sandi is on the faculty at the MAIN LINE ART CENTER in Haverford, Pennsylvania and paints full time in her studio.
Sandra is an artist and an artist educator. She has over thirty years experience working with others in various creative capacities. Her artwork is primarily abstract and composed of intriguing layers, similar to the layers of her life. Sandra exhibits her work in competitive galleries, art centers, hospitals and universities both locally and nationally. Her work has won numerous awards and is held in private collections. She is a certified K-12 art teacher and encaustic instructor. Sandra conducts workshops at art centers and in her Woodstown, NJ studio. She serves on several non-profit boards, including DVAA, supporting visual and performing arts as well as arts education.
After earning her Associates Degree in Visual Communications from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Sandra earned a BA in Art and a BA in Art Education from Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. She added a minor degree in Early Italian Renaissance Art History at the Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy. Most recently, Sandra graduated with her MA in Art Education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA.
Dr. Les Spero
Dr. Les Spero is a member of the Philadelphia 100 Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame for his role as CEO of two fast growing startups. Les' companies have been on the INC 500 fastest growing companies list five times. Les was a national finalist for the E&Y Emerging Growth Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Twice, Les has led companies from startup to over 25 $Million in revenue. These startups were sustainable and continue to sell their products today. In 1981 Les Co-founded and became CEO of Strategic Management Group, the firm that pioneered the use of computer based simulations in developing executive talent. SMG grew by adding technologies and content areas throughout the eighties and nineties. SMG combined high levels of customer support, excellent teaching and customized computer simulations into an award winning “training and development “offering that grew to 28 $million in sales by 1999. In 2000, SMG was sold to a private equity firm.
In 2002 Les Co-founded (with his son Rafi) The Neat Company, a manufacturer of hardware and software in the scanner market. The Neat Company combines innovative scanners with unique receipt reading software into an award winning product. During Rafi and Les' leadership, Neat won awards for most innovative product, best design, and best place to work. Les has a Doctorate from Harvard Business School in the subject of Planning, Accountability and Control. He was an Assistant Professor at the Wharton School of Business from 1977-1984. He worked as Deputy Director of the Office of Corporate Finance in the U.S. Treasury Department during 1980.
Jamie Brunson - Executive Director, First Person Arts
Moe Brooker - Artist and Faculty, Moore College of Art and Design
Kimberly Baker - Engage Life Director, Atria Center City
Jim Cipar - Senior Human Resources Business Partner, Independence Blue Cross
Lauren Cooper - Interpretive Planner, Penn Museum
Jessica Jane Julius - Artist and Faculty, Tyler School of Art
Leslie Kaufman - Executive Director, Philadelphia Sculptors
Erica Minutella - Social Media Consultant, self-employed
Mark Squilla - Councilman, District 1
Gerard Silva - Faculty and Community Outreach Instructor, Fleisher Art Memorial
Bernard Solomon - CPA, retired
Hani White - Commissioner - Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
Rachel Zimmerman - Executive Director, InLiquid