A woman in a floral shirt with shoulder length hair smiles.
Communications Director

The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) announces the election of new Board members, officers, and renewed members. Elections took place at NEFA’s annual Board retreat, held this year in Providence, RI.

Outgoing board chair Lawrence Simpson was acknowledged for his six years of service as chair; he remains on the board as a member for a final year. “It has been an honor to serve as chair of NEFA’s Board of Directors for the past six years and as a board member for many more. I am happy to see Ann take on this role and excited to see where her leadership takes the organization.” –Larry Simpson, senior vice president of academic affairs/provost at Berklee.

A head shot of woman with short hair and glasses wearing a black top.
Ann Smith; photo by Ann Wicks

Ann Smith, executive director of the Featherstone Center for the Arts, has been elected chair after serving as vice chair and secretary. Since 2010, she has been the executive director of the Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs, MA. She is also chairman of the steering committee for Arts Martha’s Vineyard. In 2015, she received the Massachusetts Tourism Award in honor of her work to promote tourism and hospitality on the Island.  “It has been my pleasure to serve with Larry under his leadership of NEFA’s board. I’m excited to continue the great work thus far, to welcome our dynamic new board members, and to partner with NEFA’s executive director Cathy Edwards to lead the organization forward,” she remarked.

Three new members have joined the board. Iván Espinoza-Madrigal and Min Jung Kim are nominated for their first three-year terms, and Elizabeth Shapiro joins ex officio through her role at the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

Head shot image of board member Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal; he is wearing a blue shirt and smiling.
Iván Espinoza-Madrigal; photo by Ann Wicks

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, executive director of Lawyers for Civil Rights in Boston, MA, is an expert in legal protections for people of color and immigrants. He has filed and won dozens of life-changing and law-changing cases across the country on behalf of people of color and immigrants. He advises policymakers on the legal needs of marginalized communities. Previously, he worked at Lambda Legal, addressing needs of LGBTQ and HIV-affected people of color and low-income people. Iván clerked in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. A recipient of numerous awards and honors, he is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (BA, 2001), and received a Juris Doctor in 2005 from NYU School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Sinsheimer Public Interest Scholar.

Head shot image of board member Min Jung Kim; she is smiling and wearing a ivory jacket.
Min Jung Kim; photo by Ann Wicks

Min Jung Kim, director & CEO of the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, CT, has over 25 years of experience in the art museum field. At NBMAA, Kim has expanded the definition of American Art and diversified fiscal support for the museum. Previously, she served as deputy director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, providing strategic planning and management. While she was program director of content alliances at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Kim helped to establish partnerships among major international institutions. Kim has an M.A. in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, where she specialized in Contemporary Art, and a B.A. in Art History from Wheaton College in Norton, MA. Kim also attended the Getty Museum Leadership Institute in Claremont CA.

Head shot image of board member Liz Shapiro; she is smiling and wearing a black and white graphic pattered jacket.
Liz Shapiro; photo by Ann Wicks

Elizabeth Shapiro, director of arts, preservation, and museums at the Department of Economic and Community Development, State of Connecticut, had served as the interim director for nine months before being named director in May 2019.  In this role, she oversees the operation of the Connecticut Office of the Arts and the State Historic Preservation Office. Prior to her work with the state, Liz spent six years as the Executive Director of the Connecticut League of History Organizations, the professional networking and support organization for volunteers and professionals working in public history. Liz served as Executive Director of The Sharon (CT) Historical Society for twenty years and has worked as a consultant to nonprofit organizations in the areas of governance and strategic planning. Liz attended Haverford College and received a master’s degree in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

Additionally, the board voted to approve the following members and officers:

  • John Henry has been elected vice chair
  • Doug Keith has been re-elected treasurer
  • Amy Zell Ellsworth has been re-elected secretary
  • Julie Richard, Randy Rosenbaum, Larry Simpson, and Carrie Zaslow have been elected to serve as at large members of the Executive Committee;
  • Members Taylor Ho Bynum, Barbara Murphy, Chip Newell, and Lisa Wong have been re-elected.

About NEFA
The New England Foundation for the Arts invests in artists and communities and fosters equitable access to the arts, enriching the cultural landscape in New England and the nation.  NEFA accomplishes this by granting funds to artists and cultural organizations; connecting them to each other and their audiences; and analyzing their economic contributions. NEFA serves as a regional partner for the National Endowment for the Arts, New England’s state arts agencies, and private foundations. Learn more at www.nefa.org.


Ann Wicks | 617-951-0010 x534