Board of Trustees


Karen LaShelle, Executive Director, Austin Together; Austin, TX

Karen LaShelle is the Executive Director of Austin Together, an organization dedicated to strengthening nonprofits in Central Texas through sustained collaborations that increase capacity and maximize impact. Karen is a highly respected nonprofit leader and was instrumental in the success of Creative Action where she currently serves as part-time Director of Strategic Initiatives overseeing the development of a new collaborative arts education facility. During her 20-year tenure at Creative Action, the organization grew from a grassroots startup into one of the largest arts education organizations in Texas, reaching more than 20,000 students every year. Karen has received many accolades for her leadership, including the 2022 Learn All the Time Legacy Leader award, being named 2015 Mission Capital Executive Director of the Year, being recognized as a finalist for the 2012 and 2013 Ernst and Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year and receiving the 2011 “Austin Under 40” Award. Since 2016, Karen has been a trustee of the National Guild for Community Arts Education where she has served as the co-chair of the Racial Equity Committee and is the current Board Chair. She holds a BFA from Illinois Wesleyan University and an MA in Community Based Arts from New York University.

Vice Chairs

Sandra Bowie; Weehawken, NJ

Sandra Bowie previously served as the Executive Director for Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy where she led the award winning art and culture organization, currently with over 25 years of service to the Brooklyn and greater New York City communities. Prior to Ifetayo, Ms. Bowie served as Executive Director for Arts Education at the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education (NUA), where she designed and led arts education programming and advocacy for one of the leading and most innovative urban teaching and learning models in the country. Ms. Bowie also co-founded the National Urban Arts for Impact Network. Ms. Bowie served as Vice President for Arts Education at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) from 2008 -2012. At NJPAC she led one of the leading arts education programs in the country.

Lecolion Washington, Executive Director, Community Music Center of Boston; Boston, MA

After over 20 years as a performing musician, 15 years as a music professor, and 10 years as an arts administrator, Lecolion Washington has established himself as a leader for the next generation of arts entrepreneurs; and he has been a staunch advocate for the relevance of music as an agent for social change. Lecolion is the Executive Director of Community Music Center of Boston. Prior to moving to Boston, Lecolion was the Co-Founder/Executive Director of the PRIZM Ensemble in Memphis from 2009-2017, and he was the founder of the PRIZM International Chamber Music Festival. In 2015, he was named as one of the Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40. In 2018, he was selected as one of Musical America’s Top Professionals of the Year. In addition to his work in the community, Washington served as a bassoon professor over the course of 15 years, and he was tenured in 2008 at the age of 33. As a performer, Washington has performed solo recitals and master classes at colleges and universities all over the world. Washington has been a featured solo and chamber musician throughout the U.S., Brazil, South Africa, Canada, and Switzerland among others. As an orchestral musician, Washington has performed as guest principal and/or co-principal bassoon with orchestras such as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, IRIS Orchestra, and Sphinx Symphony Orchestra. He served on the faculty of the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in South Africa from 2006-2013. His CD entitled Legacy: Music for Bassoon by African-American Composers was released on the Albany Records label.   


Katie Smythe, Founding CEO and Artistic Director, New Ballet Ensemble & School; Memphis, TN

After a 17-year career as a professional dancer and arts educator, Smythe saw a need for a community dance program offering a high standard of ballet training for children from every corner of the city, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or ability to pay. She founded NBE based on that mission in 2002. A 2006 capital campaign to transform an unused Midtown warehouse into a 14,500 square foot facility that includes three state-of-the-art dance studios, a Pilates studio, costume shop, administrative offices, and in 2018 an Educational Resource Center for students opened.

Under Smythe’s leadership, NBE has continued to broaden its mission, expanding community engagement and reaching more children. New Ballet Teaching Artists, toured Memphis City Schools, performing and looking for talented young people, while also working with human service organizations to recruit young dancers. In 2009, NBE entered a partnership with the community of Orange Mound, creating an after-school dance program in Dunbar Elementary School. The residency has brought a number of talented young dancers into the NBE program, and it continues today.

Ms. Smythe was first elected to the National Guild Board in 2014 and served two three-year terms before rotating off the board for a year. She is seeking reelection to her third three-year term.

Term Trustees

Duffie Adelson (Immediate Past Chair), Life Trustee, Merit School of Music; Chicago, IL

Duffie A. Adelson served until June 2015 as president of Merit School of Music, a community music school located in Chicago nationally renowned for the caliber of instruction and level of financial support provided to thousands of students annually. Prior to her work at Merit, Adelson directed school music programs in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Illinois. Adelson began her tenure with Merit as an instructor in 1982. She was appointed associate director in 1987, executive director in 1993, and president in 2007. Under her leadership student population and instructional offerings grew significantly and the organization launched a campaign raising nearly $20 Million, allowing Merit to purchase a building and to grow the endowment fund significantly.  In addition to serving as a National Guild trustee and a life trustee of Merit School of Music, she serves on the boards of ChiArts High School, the Chicago Philharmonic, the Pilgrim Chamber Players, and the Lawrence University Alumni Board. She is a member of the WFMT Radio Committee of Window to the World Communications, Inc; is a member of the Know Your Chicago Committee of the Graham School, University of Chicago; and an advisory board member of Omnia.


Ivonne Chand O'Neal, PhD​, Chief Research Officer, MUSE Research; Washington, DC 

Dr. Ivonne Chand O’Neal, Founder and Chief Research Officer of MUSE Research, leads a full-scale arts impact evaluation firm focusing on equity and access. With a robust background, she pioneered comprehensive research platforms for renowned organizations like the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, analyzing the impact of the arts globally. Her roles include strategic positions at Crayola and VSA: The International Organization on Arts and Disability, along with chairing the Arts, Culture, and Museums Division at the American Evaluation Association. She serves on boards for the Minnesota Opera and National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and advises the University of Pennsylvania’s Human Flourishing Initiative. As a federal reviewer for esteemed institutions like the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for National and Community Service, she advocates for creative education. Her work, highlighted by media outlets and government bodies, precedes her upcoming publication, "The Impact of the Arts on Human Flourishing" (Springer, 2025).

Matt D'Arrigo, Co-Founder and Director of the Center of Creative Youth Development at the Clare Rose Foundation; San Diego, CA

Matt D’Arrigo has dedicated the past 20 years of his life to being a champion and advocate for the arts and young people. He is the Co-Founder and Director of The Center for Creative Youth Development (CYD) at the Clare Rose Foundation in San Diego, CA. The Center is a philanthropic intermediary established to ensure that CYD funders, practitioners, organizations, and young people have access to the resources, tools, opportunities, and relationships they need to thrive. Through a collective action approach D’Arrigo oversees all local, regional, and national strategy, investments, advocacy, coalition building, and field building activities. 

Prior to joining Clare Rose Foundation, D’Arrigo was the Founder and CEO of A Reason To Survive (ARTS), a nationally recognized CYD organization based in National City, CA. His work with ARTS was the subject of the 2013 Academy Award winning documentary short “Inocente”, featured on the Today Show, was a case study in the New York Times best selling book "Decisive" by Chip and Dan Heath, and profiled in Darius Graham’s book “Being the Difference: True Stories of Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things to Change the World”.

Dr. Roque Diaz, Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, MacPhail Center for Music; Minneapolis, MN  

A first-generation neurodivergent Puerto Rican college graduate, Dr. Roque Diaz has shaped his career goals and qualifications by combining leadership, administration, scholarship, teaching, and performance through nonprofit arts organizations, higher education institutions, and K-12 school teaching in multiple countries. Dr. Diaz started at MacPhail Center for Music as the Director of School Partnerships and currently guides the Center’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies and initiatives as the Senior Director of DEI. Dr. Diaz's journey as a historically excluded and marginalized person in predominantly white spaces underlies his commitment to assuring more inclusive, culturally aware, and relevant experiences through the lens of DEI. As a trumpeter, Dr. Diaz has performed with major international orchestras and continues to perform orchestral, chamber, contemporary, Latin, jazz, and other music.

Sofia Fojas, Arts Coordinator, Santa Clara County Office of Education; Santa Clara, CA

Sofia Fojas has been a K-12 educator for over 25 years. She was a classroom music teacher and high school music director for 20 years. For 5 years, she worked in the San Francisco Unified School District’s Visual and Performing Arts Department as Supervisor for Cultural Equity and Social Justice in the Arts. She was the founding director of the SFUSD Mariachi Program in 2014. Ms. Fojas then served as Director of Visual and Performing Arts for the Elk Grove Unified School District in Sacramento County. Ms. Fojas has a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Hawaii and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership at the California State University East Bay. She has served on the boards of the California Alliance for Arts Education, the California Music Educators’ Association, and the California American String Teachers’ Association. Ms. Fojas was a violinist with the Stockton Symphony for 20 years and continues to play violin and viola professionally.

Aurora Toshiko King, Executive Director, Free Spirit Media; Chicago, IL 

Aurora Toshiko King has spent her career working at the intersection of community arts, teaching artistry and intergenerational art making in the Bay Area and Chicago. She envisions a world where young people have everything they need to step into their power and brilliance, community-based artists are thriving, and everyone has access to holistic creative spaces that uplift our collective humanity and our interdependent liberation.

Gayle Morgan; Brooklyn, NY

Gayle Morgan lives in Brooklyn, NY. She was the director of the Mary Flagler Cary Trust’s music grant program until 2009 when her retirement coincided with the closing of the Trust. She has served as chair of the National Guild and is formerly treasurer. Gayle is also on the boards of New Music USA, a national service organization that supports composers and their engagement with communities; and Roulette, an experimental music concert presenter in Brooklyn. She is on the Kaufman Music Center’s advisory board for Merkin Concert Hall in Manhattan.

Robyn A. Newhouse, Vice President/Assistant to the Publisher, The Republican; Springfield, MA

Robyn Newhouse, Ph.D., currently serves on the boards of Bay Path College, the Community Music School of Springfield, the National Conference for Community and Justice of CT and WMA, the Springfield Symphony, and WGBY (PBS channel 57 in Springfield, MA). Newhouse is actively involved with many organizations in Springfield area. She sits on the Rays of Hope Steering Committee (part of the Baystate Health Foundation), and serves on the distribution committee of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. A licensed psychologist in Connecticut and Massachusetts, Newhouse received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the United States International University in San Diego, CA (Now Alliant University, Alhambra, CA). 

Nancy Ng, Executive Director of Creativity & Policy, Luna Dance Institute; Berkeley, CA

Nancy Ng is on the Professional Learning faculty at Luna where she facilitates professional development workshops; and mentors and coaches teaching artists, teachers, and social service workers committed to dance education as a way to strengthen communities. Prior to joining Luna, Ng was the Administrative Director and a resident choreographer with San Francisco’s Asian American Dance Performances (AADP). In her eight- year tenure with AADP, she presented the work of regional, national and international artists; directed outreach and education programs; and choreographed her own works which delved into Asian female stereotypes, immigration and racism. Ng is a co-founder of MPACT (Moving Parents and Children Together), Luna’s nationally-recognized program for families in the child welfare system. Ng helped author the state of California’s Early Learning Foundation’s in the Visual and Performing Arts, and she was an invited reviewer for the National Core Arts Standards. 

Dr. Karin Orenstein, Dean, Settlement Music School; Philadelphia, PA

Karin Orenstein (she/her) is an arts leader dedicated to fostering a vibrant creative environment with community at its core. As the Dean of Settlement Music School, she brings a wealth of experience from her previous role as the Director of the Wynnefield Branch. Prior to her time at Settlement, Karin worked in the K-12 school sector and taught at George Washington University and Towson University. With a Bachelor's degree in Piano Pedagogy from Shenandoah Conservatory and a Master's and Doctorate degree from The Catholic University of America, Karin's expertise extends to understanding learning styles and the transformative power of arts education. She is an alum of the National Guild for Community Arts Education's Leadership Institute (CAELI) and has contributed to the National Guild for Community Arts as the Co Ambassador of the Large School Network and a Member of the Creative Youth Development Steering Committee. Karin is also a member of the Jazz Philadelphia Education Team supporting jazz education across the Philadelphia region.

Erin Perry, Executive Director, Legacy Arts Project; Pittsburgh, PA

Erin Perry is a mother, wife, teacher, artist and arts administrator, and long time advocate for culturally relevant education and community engagement. She is the executive director of the Legacy Arts Project (LAP) and is passionate about the healing and transformative power of the arts. Since her first immersive experience with West African drum and dance, Erin has been on a mission to learn more about herself and the world through cultural exploration, appreciation, and expression.

As Ms. Perry has continued to evolve, so has her work. Rooted in cultural exploration, she has grown to understand the role of arts and culture in the development of a strong self-identity. As such, she has traveled throughout the African diaspora, experiencing culture through direct immersion in the activities of the people and places she has visited. From these experiences, relationships have been formed, knowledge transmitted, and bridges built, enabling Erin to develop a foundation from which to share her knowledge.

Traci Slater-Rigaud, Senior Director of Member Engagement & Partnerships, United Philanthropy Forum/Lewis Prize for Music; Washington, DC

Traci Slater-Rigaud is the Senior Director of Member Engagement & Partnerships at the United Philanthropy Forum. Prior to coming to the Forum, Traci served as the Director of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards with the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities for over 12 years, most recently under the Obama administration. She is the former Program Coordinator for Arts in Education with the National PTA where she managed the Reflections Program. Before the National PTA, Traci was the Curator of Education at Miami Art Museum. Her background also includes the role of Public Programs Manager at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Traci also remains connected to her first love, arts education, through her work with the Lewis Prize for Music. She currently serves on the boards of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) and the board of Dance/USA.

Martha Rochelle, Board President, Armstrong Community Music School; Austin, TX

Martha P. Rochelle is President of the Board of Directors of the Armstrong Community Music School in Austin, Texas.  She has worked with the school for over ten years, having served on its Advisory Board and later as a member and then chair of the Education Committee of Austin Lyric Opera, the school’s founder. Ms. Rochelle served two terms as a trustee of the opera and became president of the school’s board of directors in February 2012, when it separated from the opera and became an independent institution.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor from the Southern Methodist University School of Law.