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March 17, 2015

What is the road between a first idea and the launch of a new residency program? In LAUNCH...

March 13, 2015

Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) and Project Row Houses have announced 2:2:2 Exchange...

March 10, 2015

How can residencies bring reimagined relevance, audiences and pathways for future development to...

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Deb Dormody, Director of Operations + Programs

Deb DormodyDeb Dormody has a high level of skill in both the operational practices of successful organizations, as well as an expertise in mission-driven programming. Prior to joining the Alliance, Deb was the Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Providence. She acted as the liaison to the city’s arts and cultural community, providing consultation and advocacy for non-profit organizations, as well as artist management, technical support, and coordination of city services for events and films, all while intent on making government both more streamlined and transparent. She ran a grantmaking program aimed at enriching Providence’s diverse neighborhoods through the performing arts. Deb also provided policy and strategy input for city projects related to ordinances, public space use, and planning. As Program Director for Greater Kennedy Plaza, Providence’s placemaking initiative for transforming the downtown core, Deb launched a series of programs aimed at creating a positive, safe, and flourishing environment for residents and visitors alike, netting a dramatic decrease in crime and forging strong partnerships with private and public stakeholders.

For 8 years, Deb was a co-owner at Craftland, Providence’s multi-functional shop that houses a craft school and artists’ gallery showcasing fine art and craft from local and national independent artists. Additionally, Deb founded If’n Books + Marks in 2000 and continues to sell and exhibit her handmade blank journals and photo albums to boutiques and galleries around the country. She is featured in the film documentary and companion book Handmade Nation by Faythe Levine. Deb is originally from Bristol, CT, where annually there is a festival dedicated to the Chrysanthemum. She earned her degree from Bradford College in Massachusetts. Though the 200-year-old institution no longer exists, she was successful in completing what felt like 200 years of payments on her student loan.

Flannery Patton, Director of Member Services + Communications

Flannery Patton joined the Alliance in summer 2011. She has worked previously as a Development Associate at WRNI (Rhode Island Public Radio), as a Research Coordinator in the Center for the Study of Human Development at Brown University, as a Life Skills and Computer Literacy Teacher at the Rhode Island International Institute, as a public programs producer for the National Park Service, and as an English teacher and Curriculum Developer at Open Book in Denver. Most recently, Flannery also worked as Program Coordinator for Greater Kennedy Plaza, a non-profit offering art and culture programming in downtown Providence; and coordinated monthly art activities for The Hive Archive, a feminist art collective. Originally from Colorado, she came to Providence in 2003 for college; she has a BA in psychology and a BA in art history from Brown University. 

Stephanie Storch, Office + Business Manager

Stephanie was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, NY, and went to Skidmore College, also in Saratoga Springs. She received a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology and Geology. While attending school, she worked in the kitchen at Yaddo, providing meals to artists-in-residence. After graduating from Skidmore she moved to Erie, PA, and attended Mercyhurst College, earning a master’s degree in Forensic Anthropology. In 2007 she relocated to Rhode Island and worked for a variety of businesses in sales and as a Business Manager. She currently studies at Johnson and Wales University in pursuit of a degree in Culinary Arts and is also an active member of Providence Roller Derby.

Caitlin Strokosch, Executive Director

Caitlin has been involved in professional arts management for nearly two decades; she has served the Alliance since 2002 and was appointed Executive Director in 2008. During her tenure with the Alliance, she launched "New Voices of Modern Arab Literature" -- a collaboration of more than 20 residency programs around the world to support emerging Arab writers; produced "Surviving to Thriving" -- a major study on the sustainability of artist residency centers in the U.S.; and initiated the Alliance's consulting services, working with clients that include the Taiwanese Ministry of Culture, McColl Center for Visual Art, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Rhode Island Foundation. Caitlin has actively sought new resources for the residency field and since being appointed director has developed new funding partnerships with the Ford Foundation, Pew Fellowships in the Arts, 3Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others. She edited the third edition of Artists Communities: A Directory of Residencies That Offer Time and Space for Creativity and has authored numerous reports, essays, and articles about artist residencies and support for today's artists. Under her leadership, the Alliance membership has grown by 40%, conference attendance has doubled, and the organization has granted more than $2 million in funds to artists and residency programs.

Prior to joining the Alliance, Caitlin managed several nonprofit music ensembles in Chicago -- including the acclaimed chamber choir Bella Voce and the pioneering new music group CUBE. Caitlin is a frequent public speaker and has served as a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, The Joyce Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America, the Rasmuson Foundation, and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. She serves on the Boards of Grantmakers in the Arts and Girls Rock! Rhode Island, and on the Advisory Boards of Transcultural Exchange and Outpost Journal. Caitlin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in music performance from Columbia College Chicago and a Master’s in musicology from Roosevelt University, where her research focused on music as a tool for building communities of resistance and social dissent.


Alix Refshauge, Research + Special Project Associate

Alix Refshauge

Alix was born and raised in South Carolina, and studied studio art at Furman University. Her post-college career included working for Christies Auction House with 19th C. European Furniture, working for Burton Snowboards as a traveling/snowboarding nanny, spending a summer in Denali, AK, as a hotel housekeeper and dishwasher, working in Spartanburg, SC, as a faux finisher/painter, and getting an MPA in Arts Management in Charleston, SC. Alix returned to her hometown of Spartanburg in June of 2007 when she was offered the dream job of working for HUB-BUB as the Director of the Artists-in-Residence Program and Director of Development. In 2009-2010, Alix was selected as the Alliance’s Emerging Leader Ambassador by Americans for the Arts and joined the Alliance staff in 2011. Alix has lead the Alliance’s “Best Practices at a Glance” series of research and reports, and has developed installments on earned revenue, artist selection processes, supporting emerging visual artists, and residencies for artists with families. She served on the Sustainability Project team and managed the Alliance’s regranting programs from 2011 to 2014. Alix lives in San Diego and continues her art-making practice in painting and printmaking.

Jassen Strokosch | Communications + PR Consultant

From the early days of campaign sites in the 1990s to today's social media, Jassen has spent nearly 15 years advancing public agenda via the Web. After earning his bachelor's degree in political science from Drake University, Jassen was an IT pioneer and soon combined his two passions to specialize in online advocacy.

His clients have included the AFL-CIO, World Wildlife Fund/EarthHour, the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Midwest Democracy Network, the Laborers Employers Cooperation Education Trust (LECET), IUOE Local 150, the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 17, the Illinois Film Office, FutureGen for Illinois, the Ministerial Alliance Against the Digital Divide, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), the University of Illinois Chicago Urban Daley Forum, DeVry University and the Illinois Road Builders Association.

Jassen currently serves as Director of Strategic Communications and Engagement at Children's Home + Aid in Chicago.

Lilli Weisz | Event Management Consultant

Lilli Weisz

With a background in arts management, Lilli Weisz previously worked with the Alliance of Artists Communities to examine the landscape of artist residencies for dance makers, culminating in 2011 with the report Mind The Gap: Artist Residencies + Dance. Lilli also works as a productivity specialist who assists people in simplifying their physical and digital spaces. 

Lori Wood | Research + International Affairs Consultant

Lori Wood

Lori Wood has an extensive background in the field of artist residency programs and social entrepreneurship, and conducted one of the first field assessments for artists’ communities in the early 1990s. Lori directed the Villa Montalvo Artist Residency Program in California from 1991-1995, where she organized the NEA-funded “El Taller Nepantla,” a collaboration between Villa Montalvo and Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA), and other international residencies. She spent two years on the boards of both the Alliance of Artists Communities and Res Artis: The International Network of Residential Arts Centres, and helped run artist residency conferences and planning sessions in Budapest, New Delhi, and Dublin. She has created literary arts programming and fundraising programs for organizations such as the National Steinbeck Center and UCSC Division of Humanities. Lori produced two NEA Big Read programs, created and implemented the 2007 Steinbeck Festival, A Culture of Discontent: Steinbeck in the 60s, and led the early creation process of the 2008 Steinbeck Festival, Steinbeck in Mexico. She is currently managing a two-year IMLS leadership grant, a collaboration between the Salinas Public Library and the National Steinbeck Center, re-imagining Salinas, California as a City of Letters. She is also the founder and director of a social venture project in Fes, Morocco which is restoring traditional properties in Fes’ medieval medina and will provide non-profit residencies for artists from around the world. Lori holds a BA in Literature from Harvard College, an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School, and a Masters in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on France and North Africa.