The steering committee oversees and manages the Roc Arts United initiative and all of its committees.
Jason Barber is an educator and artist with over a decade of experience in the arts and non-for-profit sectors, with a focus reaching out and initiating communications with leaders within the arts and cultural sectors along with the business sector for developing partnerships. He has worked as a creative consultant or as gallery director for the Rochester Brainery, Oxford Gallery, Memorial Art Gallery, Wall\Therapy, and the Yards Art Collective. He has been the professional face for the Yards Art Collective at many of their events, and has spearheaded designing and planning events at the Memorial Art Gallery (Museum of the Dead) and the Yards Art Collective (Artist in Residency and Spectral Carnival).
Elizabeth Cameron’s long-standing role as Archivist at Paley Studios provided her with a wonderfully creative and fast paced proving ground to hone a wide ranging skill set including asset and collection management, conservation, photography, authentication, curation, publication design, and public art process. In addition to heading the archive of Albert and Frances Paley, Elizabeth has provided archival consultation for Kaneko Studios and the Ilan Lael Foundation, among others, helping them plan and structure archival programs. When not organizing, cataloguing, and appreciating art, Elizabeth can be found hiking and running trails or reading books in her garden among her beehives.
Bleu Cease (he/him) has worked as a museum professional, curator, and educator since 2002 and currently serves as the Executive Director/Curator of Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo) in Rochester, NY. In addition to curating exhibitions of regional and national artists and supporting guest curators and co-curators, Cease helped to coordinate the Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass project, organized Current Seen, Rochester’s Small Venue Biennial for Contemporary Art, and initiated First Friday, Rochester’s Citywide Gallery night. Bleu has served on several boards including the Landmark Society of Western New York, The Arts & Cultural Council, Rochester Community Television and the Art Committee at the Memorial Art Gallery. Cease holds a BA from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina and an MFA from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY.
Kelly Cheatle specializes in elegantly loud design and is a materials and process maven. Her artwork varies in scale by several orders of magnitude, from multi-story massive installations to sculptures small enough to sit comfortably on a penny. She is Artistic DIrector of Airigami, a team of artists who create large-scale installations, illustrations, and experiences entirely out of balloons—from small single sculptures to stadium-sized, record-breaking installations.
Amanda Chestnut is a multimedia artist, curator, educator, and local arts loud-mouth in Rochester, New York. She has made image-based art as a photographer for 25 years. Chestnut holds an MFA in Visual Studies from Visual Studies Workshop through The College at Brockport, SUNY. During her time as a student, she held graduate assistantships at Visual Studies Workshop and in the Criminal Justice Department, both at the College at Brockport. Currently, she is an adjunct professor at SUNY Geneseo and Saint John Fisher College. Recent lectures and radio appearances focused on community action, equity in user experiences in digital platforms, curatorial practices, arts funding, the English language, and the over-policing of Blackness in the United States.
Megan Colombo is heavily steeped in the local theatre scene as a frequent performer, writer, community partner, and avid supporter. As the Sr. Community Manager for Yelp here in Rochester, Megan’s work allows her to collaborate with local businesses and arts organizations through event partnerships and online engagement. Prior to Yelp, Megan worked as the Marketing & Outreach Manager at Blackfriars Theatre, where she frequently performs and volunteers. Megan writes a column for 585 Kids Magazine, sits on the Board of Directors for Pittsford Musicals and the Young Women’s College Prep Foundation, served as a Steering Committee representative for the membership arm of Visit Rochester, and can occasionally be found substitute teaching at Canalside Music Together. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Nazareth College.
Quajay Donnell is a Rochester, NY based photographer and writer with a passion for public art and capturing his community. His work has been published in Departures Magazine, The Washington Post, CITY (Rochester, NY), The Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, NY), 585 Magazine (Rochester, NY), The Waterbury Observer (Waterbury, CT) and seen on WXXI (Rochester, NY). Quajay is a WALL\THERAPY crew photographer, and the recipient of the 2020 George Eastman Museum Award for the Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s 30th Annual Members Exhibition.
Luticha Doucette is a 36 year veteran disability justice advocate who hopes to one day get out of that job. Luticha lives as a free black person and business owner in Rochester, NY with two cats, Luna and Callie. Luticha is a graduate of the Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Fellowship program, an AUCD Emerging Leader and an inductee into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition. Luticha’s research and writing has been featured in various publications such as Insect Molecular Biology, Toxicon, The New York Times, and Yes! Magazine. She is the owner of Catalyst Consulting, which helps organizations, leaders, and advocates examine equity across race, gender identity, and disability in policies, practices, procedures, and relationships.
Mia Ferraro is an artist from Utica NY, with a focus on stained glass and illustration. She has a Associates in studio art from Onondaga Community college and is currently working on her Bachelors of Arts majoring in Art History and minoring in Museum Studies at SUNY Geneseo. Ferraro plans on continuing her studies and attending graduate school. Mia’s goals are to fully embody and support the arts. She is passionate about all aspects of the arts while also being an advocate. Her goal is to learn more and to make a name for herself. As a walking, talking advertisement for arts education she will bring new and exciting forms to the people she meets.
Zachary J. Frazee
Zachary J. Frazee (they/them) is a mover, creator, educator, photographer, and creative entrepreneur based in Rochester, NY. In 2014 they graduated from SUNY Brockport with a BFA in Dance and since then have gone on to perform with companies and choreographers such as the New York State Ballet, Project 44, Cheryl Johnson, Biodance, electricGrit Dance, Zoe Walders, and Saratoga City Ballet. In 2018 they founded their dance company, Frazee Feet Dance, with which they have created 3 evening length shows, a myriad of shorter choreographic works that have been featured in performances and festivals locally and nationally, and hosted community based dance classes geared towards adult and professional dancers in the Rochester area. In 2021, they were selected as a recipient for the Western New York Choreographers Initiative, a program of the NYS DanceForce, a NYSCA partner, that provided them funding and resources to research and develop new work with the Company Dancers of Frazee Feet Dance. While they are not performing and choreographing, they teach at several dance schools across NYS and recently served as an Adjunct Professor at Hobart & William Smith Colleges where they taught an Advanced Contemporary Ballet course. To further their movement education, Frazee became certified in Pilates through Evolution Pilates of Rochester in 2019 where they now teach, combining their love for movement with fitness and somatic movement practices. In 2020, they decided to add an additional creative pursuit to their repertoire and started their photography business, ZJFrazee Photography. They specialize in portraiture and editorial style photography, focusing on mostly working with other artists in the area. One of their photographs was recently featured at Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s exhibit “Last Year on Earth” in 2021. Frazee encompasses creativity in every aspect of their life and is very grateful to the Rochester community for creating space for them to pursue their creative passions and discover their voice as an up and coming queer artist.
Tom Graber (he/him) is a fundraising professional with years of experience in development, sales, and customer service. Working for arts non-profit organizations such as the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and The Hochstein School, he’s organized in-person, virtual, and hybrid fundraising events; managed a grants portfolio worth upwards of $1.5 million; overseen direct mail and digital fundraising campaigns; and advocated for arts funding at government hearings. During Rochester’s colder months, you can find Tom in the kitchen baking holiday treats, outside skiing or ice skating, or cheering on the Buffalo Bills in his living room. During the summer, he and his wife regularly hike the area trails with their dog and even take him kayaking! Tom holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Music Industry from SUNY Fredonia and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from Canisius College.
Hannah Lightbody is a career arts professional polymath with world-class experience. She is an alumna of Emma Willard School and holds a BFA in Studio Art from Rochester Institute of Technology where she extended her studies to include art history, photography, graphic design, and gallery management in New York and abroad. Professionally trained at Paley Studios, her proficiencies grew to include archive and collection management, studio operations, domestic and international logistics, marketing, publications, and public art. She curated the first-ever temporary sculpture exhibition for Sonnenberg Arts at the Gardens in 2016, assisted with the logistics of the Garth Fagan 75/45 fine art auction, and has aided in the management of the Bausch + Lomb corporate archive and rotating art program. A natural hype machine, she is undoubtedly here for whatever it is you got going on
Cielo Ornelas MacFarlane
Cielo Ornelas MacFarlane (she/her) is the daughter of two dancers, who from an early age encouraged her to express herself in creative and artistic ways. She was raised all over the United States, spending time in New York, New Jersey, Texas, New Mexico, and Michigan. She is a graduate of the Visual Arts department at SUNY Fredonia and currently a member of The Yards Art Collective. She has experience organizing and jurying art shows and is interested in helping to create a space for dialogue and communication through art in the Rochester community.
Brittany M Reid
Brittany M. Reid (she/her) is visual artist focused primarily on mixed media collage. Born and raised in Rochester, NY, she studied fine art at Saint John Fisher college. She co-founded the Instagram movement #BlackCollagesMatter, encouraging artists to create pieces that centered Black subjects, later publishing a book of these selected works. Her work has been published in Allure and Kolaj Magazine. She is passionate about uplifting emerging and marginalized artists through education and mutual aid. Outside of her creative endeavors, Brittany enjoys gardening, weightlifting, cooking, and hiking.
Mona Seghatoleslami is the host and producer on WXXI Classical 91.5 FM weekdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. She also hosts the lunchtime concert series Live From Hochstein, interviews musicians, produces special programs, and works on any project she can find that helps connect people and music. She books the bands for one of the coolest live music venues in Rochester – The Little Theatre Café and serves on the board of creative modern chamber music ensemble fivebyfive. When she’s not on the radio, you can find Mona attending concerts and movies, playing viola in community orchestras, occasionally strumming the ukulele, riding her bike everywhere, and reading as much as she can – especially The New Yorker and sci-fi novels.