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Rachel McGrain

Executive Director


KRISTIN COX - Board Co-Chair

Term Start: December 2020

Treasurer: June 2021 - Dec 2023

Co-chair: Jan 2024 - present

Manager of Quality Control for Gas & Electric Programs, Baltimore Gas & Electric

Kristin Cox is a Towson, MD native. She holds a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a Masters of Business from Loyola University. Kristin has been teaching dance since the age of nine at the Greater Loch Raven Recreation Center serving a diverse group of students in a variety of dance styles. Kristin’s professional career started as an engineering intern for BGE in their Gas Operations before moving into a variety of leadership positions across the company. She now lives in Bel Air, MD with her family.

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Term Start: January 2021

Co-chair: Jan 2024 - present

English and Theater Arts Educator, Baltimore City College

Christen Cromwell is a theatre artist from Baltimore, MD with 20 years of experience. After becoming passionate about equity in education, she earned her MAT in Secondary English and Theatre Education. Her resume includes acting, directing, and writing credits in theatre and film, primarily comedy. She currently teaches English and Theater Arts for Baltimore City Public Schools, a faculty member at her alma mater, Baltimore City College. She is the Director of Play Development for the newly founded Two Strikes Theatre Collective, an organization whose primary goal is to prioritize stories by Black women. She also serves as a board member for The Strand Theater Company.

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BYRONE BROWN - Treasurer

Term Start: May 2023

Treasurer: Jan 2024 - present

Senior Healthcare Consultant, Noblis

Byrone Brown is a Senior Healthcare Consultant at Noblis, an independent, nonprofit organization with a history of objectively providing federal clients with the highest caliber of scientific and technical excellence. Mr. Brown’s leadership in the healthcare profession spans over 15 years and includes project management, strategic planning, data analysis, health policy, and using data analytics to achieve health equity and reduce health disparities.


Mr. Brown is impassioned about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEI&A). As a cisgender African American male, and member of the LGBTQ+ community, he embraces the importance of a cross-cultural environment where there is a true sense of belonging and equity. He is a founding member of the DEI&A Champions League at Noblis, where he wrote a white paper on the importance of DE&I and coined the name “Champions League.” Mr. Brown served as a member of the Champions League Steering Committee alongside members of the CEO suite and co-wrote the DE&IA corporate strategy. He is an active member of the Black Employee Network resource group, the Pride resource group, and the Community Outreach task force at Noblis, where his service reinforces how organizations can benefit from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

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JANE COFFEY - Board Member

Term Start: 2016

Co-Chair: June 2021 - Dec 2023

Director of Development, ORCH Kids Baltimore

Jane Coffey is the Director of Development at BSO OrchKids in Baltimore. She is an Information Technology, Business Development and Sales professional who has worked in the Banking, Staffing, IT and Renewable Energy industries. Her most recent positions were at Microsoft (10 Years) and CleanChoice Energy (until 2018). Jane is an ardent arts supporter in Baltimore. She is the wife of a professional musician and songwriter (Arty Hill) and the mother of an animation artist-in-training (her daughter Josie is a freshman at the Columbus College of Art and Design). Jane served on the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s Board from 2005–2015. From 2010–2012 she served as CSC’s Board Chair, spearheading their initial strategic planning process. As a member of the AEMS Advisory board in 2016, Jane completed the Project Charter for the Maryland Artlook Map project. Jane has served on the AEMS Board of Trustees since 2017. 


SHEILA GIBBS - Board Member

Term Start: June 2021

Of Counsel, Kramon & Graham, Attorneys at Law

Sheila Gibbs practices in the firm's litigation group. She focuses on business litigation and government contracts. Sheila represents individual clients, as well as corporations. She has also represented clients in the defense of medical-malpractice and toxic tort claims and in corporate litigation. In addition, Sheila has experience preparing homeowner association documents for developers of residential housing projects. Before joining with the firm, Sheila practiced law in Chicago in the areas of business litigation and personal injury.

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ANITA LAMBERT - Board Member

Term Start: January 2021

Co-chair: Jun 2021 - Dec 2023

Coordinating Supervisor, Department of Creative & Performing Arts, 

Prince George’s County Public Schools

Anita Lambert has been teaching and involved in music and education since her earliest memories. She began taking piano lessons at the age of four, and teaching students while playing for Vacation Bible School at age ten. An epiphany occurred when watching ''The Sound of Music'' when first released, declaring “I’m going to TEACH someone to sing like THAT!” Her love for teaching everyone, regardless of other abilities, led her to major in Music Education and Music Therapy at East Carolina University. Her early career was spent in Fairfax County Public schools with Emotionally Disabled students. Her work created the first program of its kind where all students were mainstreamed in music classes. Currently Anita serves Prince George’s County Public Schools as an Administrator. Anita is privileged to be a member of the Board for AEMS and with the outstanding arts organizations in Maryland.

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KATIE WEXLER - Board Member

Term Start: June 2021

Senior Director of People & Culture, Repair the World

Katie Wexler (she/her) is the Senior Director of People & Culture at Repair the World and brings extensive human resources experience to her new role as board member of AEMS. Katie is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder and holds certification from SHRM (The Society for Human Resources Management). As the parent of an active and artistic 3rd grader in Montgomery County, Katie is excited to advocate on behalf of arts education for all students in Maryland. Katie lives in Kensington, MD with her family and in her spare time enjoys all things Broadway, baking and books.

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Term Start: August 2023

Director of Development, American Heart Association

Jessika Williams is an accomplished development professional with a wealth of experience in the non-profit sector. Throughout her career, she has held pivotal roles in various organizations across Maryland, including Arts Education in Maryland Schools and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. She is currently the Senior Manager of  Partnerships at the Greater Baltimore Committee. Jessika graduated from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland with a degree in Applied Liberal Studies and a minor in Music. Her musical talents have taken her around the world, performing in esteemed concert halls across North America, South America, Africa, Australia, and Europe.


Prior to pursuing her career in non-profit development, Jessika worked as a music educator in Baltimore City Schools. She taught General Music, Choir, Theater, and Movement, and was dedicated to fostering creativity and passion for the arts in her students. Jessika is actively involved in several community organizations, including the Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity Inc., where she serves as Chapter President of the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter, and the Harford County NAACP where she serves on the executive committee.  

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(H.E.A.T. Force)

HEATForce consists of arts education faculty from higher education throughout Maryland.  Virtual meetings are held quarterly via Zoom with the mission of identifying gaps in arts education and bridging the divide between primary and tertiary education to promote paths to arts education pursuits in Maryland’s colleges and universities.

Jessica Hebron (Chair)

Arts for Learning Maryland

Elizabeth Ahearn

Goucher College


Mya Ajanku

Coppin State

Truly Austin

Bowie State University

Steve Barker

Maryland Theatre Education Association

Kay Broadwater

Towson Arts Integration Institute (Emeritus)

Katie Coogan

University of Maryland

Tamara DeSilva

Bowie State University

Crystal Davis

University of Maryland

Julia Di Bussolo

Arts Every Day

Jennifer Dorsey

Bowie State University

Wyletta Gamble-Lomax

Coppin State University

Lisa Hochtritt

Maryland Institute College of Art

Jaye Knutson

Towson University

Diane Kuthy

Towson University​

Julian Lazarus

Maryland Theatre Educators Association

Morna McDermott

Towson University

Glendola Mills

Morgan State University

Lizzie Morales

Maryland State Arts Council

Diya Hafiz-Slayton

Baltimore City Schools, Director of Fine Arts

Kathy O'Dell

University of Maryland Baltimore County (retired)

Nan Park

Maryland Institute College of Art

Susan Rotkovitz

Towson University

Margaret Walker

University of Maryland College Park

Anna Winthrop

University of Maryland College Park




190 W. Ostend St.

Baltimore, MD







EIN: 52-2056349

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