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Team

WHITE SNAKE PROJECTS

Cerise Jacobs Executive Producer
Tian Hui Ng Music Director
Nihan Yesil General Manager
Stephen Jackson Arts Administrator
Curvin Huber Director of Innovation
Jon Robertson Inventor/Resident Audio Engineer
Hannah Huling Production Manager

Amyas McKnight Community Curator
Collin Knight Community Engagement Consultant
Jeff Levenson & Tammy Lynch Development Directors

Glenn Petry & Noel Steier (21c Media Group) public relations
Amanda MacBlane & Michele Yang (21C) digital marketing

THE BOARD

Dan Dain
Chair

Cerise Lim Jacobs
Co-Founder & Clerk
| [email protected]

Charles Jacobs*
Co-Founder & Chair Emeritus

*In Memorium

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CERISE LIM JACOBS

Blessed with “an imagination that rather literally knows no bounds,” creator + librettist Cerise Jacobs “might be seen as having single handedly brought on a radically new operatic dispensation, to wit: librettist-driven opera” (La Scena Musicale). An opera developer of vision and irrepressible enthusiasm, she stands at the very center of each development process, initiating the concept, writing the text, and choosing the composer according to her libretto’s stylistic demands. Through her production company, White Snake Projects, an activist opera company, she produces original opera with high production values, investing in American composers adept at communicating stories of the collective imagination. Cerise’s first opera, Madame White Snake, composed by Zhou Long, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for music. Jacobs has gone on to create many original operas exploring subjects like mass incarceration, domestic violence, disability, and religious pluralism. One of her recent operas, Alice in the Pandemic, has been acquired by the Library of Congress Performing Arts COVID-19 Response Collection. Musical America has named Cerise one of the Top 30 Professionals of the Year in 2021 and a Mover & Shaper in 2017. She has also been selected as one of Boston’s 100 Most Influential People of Color in 2018.

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DARCY BARTEL

Darcey Bartel was raised in Concord, New Hampshire.  In 1994 Bartel graduated Cum Laude from Dartmouth College with a BA in Geography.  She made a career in business, working as a Merchandising Manager and Oilseeds Traders for Cargill, Inc., one of the largest privately held companies in the US, before becoming a Vice President in the Capital Markets Group at Morgan Stanley in New York City.   Bartel subsequently moved to Fleet Bank as a Director in their Capital Markets Group. She is currently at home with her husband, Chris and their three children.  She is active in her local church and a volunteer at her children’s schools.  She recently completed a 6 year term as a Director of the Wellesley Free Library Foundation, including two years as President.  Bartel is also active in the Women of Dartmouth Boston organization and has been a local co-chair and a regional mentor.  She is a member of the Centennial CIrcle at Dartmouth College- a leading women’s philanthropic group.   Bartel is an Advisor and member of the Advisor Steering Group at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  An avid athlete, Bartel spends her free time reading, skiing, hiking, playing tennis, running and participating in local triathlons.  In October 2021 she completed her third Ironman.

CAROL BRAMSON

TBG Capital founder, Carol Bramson, built her company in 2001 on over a decade’s worth of private equity investment experience, and continues to lead their efforts to develop and deliver innovative business solutions. She has cultivated a deep insight into the healthy living sector, specifically the areas of food and beverage, consumer health and wellness, and process manufacturing. Driven by a passion to share her “Lift while you climb” philosophy on entrepreneurship, her professional and personal goals are simple—to help people live a better life by building careers that enable them to give back. Carol has developed lasting relationships with like-minded organizations such as the American Heart Association and her alma maters’ Coleman Center for Entrepreneurship at DePaul University, and Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. Her genuine commitment to “doing the right thing” fuels her work in both the profit and non-profit sectors, as she continues to be a passionate leader that lifts the potential, morale, and motivation of her team, while they all climb together.

PAULINE HO BYNUM

Born in China, but raised in the United States, Pauline Ho Bynum attended Wellesley College, earned a B. A. from Barnard, and M. A. and M.Phil. in history from Columbia University. She taught Western Civilization and Asian history at Brooklyn College and at Central State University in Oklahoma. A resident of the Brookline/Newton area since 1979, Pauline was instrumental in the organization of The Friends of Larz Anderson Park and Boston Midsummer Opera.  She has served on the boards of Boston Lyric Opera and Brookline Library Foundation and is the New England Regional Chairman for Met Opera National Council Auditions — a position she has held for over thirty years. Her daughter, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, who lives in Los Angeles, is a short story writer and novelist.  Her son, Taylor Ho Bynum, a jazz musician and composer, is the Director of the Barbary Coast Jazz ensemble at Dartmouth College.

DANIEL P. DAIN

Dan Dain co-founded the Dain Torpy, the premiere boutique law firm for the commercial real estate industry in Massachusetts. Super Lawyers has recognized him as one of the top five percent of lawyers in NE. He lectures regularly on land use and litigation issues at Boston College Law School and MIT’s Center for Real Estate. He is active on land use issues in his home town of Needham, MA, and serves as treasurer of the Needham land Trust. He fundraises for the Lymphoma & Leukemia Society, the United Way and Heading Home, Inc. He also co-founded the Restaurant Investment Group to raise and manage a fund to help chef-owners start their own restaurants and served on the board of the Restaurant Discovery Project, a nonprofit that sought to identify and support minority chefs.

DAVID HOWSE

Named one the 100 most influential people in Boston, David C. Howse is a recognized speaker and commentator on the arts and social integration. He is Vice President of Emerson College and Executive Director of ArtsEmerson, fiscally and administratively responsible for multiple cultural venues in Downtown Boston. He previously served as the Executive Director of the award-winning Boston Children’s Chorus, an organization that brings youth from the ages of 7 to 18 from the Greater Boston area to create harmony both musically and socially through a shared love of music. Howse holds degrees from Bradley University and New England Conservatory of Music and is a graduate of The Partnership, Inc.’s Next Generation Executive Leadership Program at Harvard University.  He remains active with the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, a consortium of 100 of the world’s top cultural leaders, which addresses the critical issues that face the arts and cultural sector world-wide. Howse has received numerous awards including Root Cause’s Social Innovation Achievement Award and Boston Business Journal’s “40 under 40” Award, recognizing him as one of Boston’s best and brightest young executives.

COLLIN KNIGHT

Collin Knight was born and raised in Roxbury, and he genuinely believes in giving back to my community. He went to a predominantly white private school and always heard them speak of the school as our community. “I realized early on that their idea of WE didn’t exactly include ME, so I took that idea of community back to Roxbury.” Collin started off working as a paraprofessional in the Boston Public Schools, teaching theater and Improvisation.

He then went on to become an actor-educator for a theater nonprofit that focused on using Improvisation to tackle issues like peer pressure, friendship, bullying, etc. It created a safe space for students to express themselves about the topics that mattered to them. In 2018 Collin started exploring other ways to support the community and left his job in June of 2019 to pursue Live Like A Local Tours Boston.

Giving back to his community has been a lifelong mission. Aspiring to make an immediate impact by creating a business model that uses some of the revenue from providing tours to circulate dollars back into the neighborhood. Live Like A Local’s goal is to connect people to Roxbury’s history from a native’s perspective by nurturing and building solid and sustainable relationships with local businesses of color.

Collin Knight was born and raised in Roxbury, and he genuinely believes in giving back to my community. He went to a predominantly white private school and always heard them speak of the school as our community. “I realized early on that their idea of WE didn’t exactly include ME, so I took that idea of community back to Roxbury.” Collin started off working as a paraprofessional in the Boston Public Schools, teaching theater and Improvisation.

He then went on to become an actor-educator for a theater nonprofit that focused on using Improvisation to tackle issues like peer pressure, friendship, bullying, etc. It created a safe space for students to express themselves about the topics that mattered to them. In 2018 Collin started exploring other ways to support the community and left his job in June of 2019 to pursue Live Like A Local Tours Boston. Giving back to his community has been a lifelong mission. Aspiring to make an immediate impact by creating a business model that uses some of the revenue from providing tours to circulate dollars back into the neighborhood. Live Like A Local’s goal is to connect people to Roxbury’s history from a native’s perspective by nurturing and building solid and sustainable relationships with local businesses of color.

NYACKO PEARL PERRY

Committed to finding and providing opportunities for renewed compassion in our world, Nyacko Pearl Perry (she/her/hers) works as an independent consultant and as a Managing Partner at All-in Consulting.She holds an M.S. in Organization Development, with distinction, from American University, and during her time there was awarded the prestigious Segal-Seashore Fellowship for her demonstrated commitment to social justice.  From 2012-2014, Nyacko served in the Peace Corps as an HIV/AIDS Capacity Building Volunteer in Botswana.
Outside of her consulting work, Nyacko also serves as an Organization Development Partner at Comfort Kitchen, a restaurant celebrating foods of the African Diaspora that is managed and owned by women of a Black and immigrant backgrounds.
Nyacko devotes her free time to work as a professional level yoga teacher, and enjoys interweaving mindfulness from this practice into her consulting.  She is currently based in Dorchester, MA, with her spouse, Biplaw, and two Old English Bulldogs, Moxie and Momo.

MIGUEL A. RODRÍGUEZ

Miguel A. Rodríguez is the Founder and President of Athlone Artists, a boutique artist representation agency dedicated to classical music singers, conductors and stage directors. He was the Executive Director of Boston Baroque, America’s oldest period-instrument orchestra, during which time he launched Boston Baroque Radio and developed new community outreach initiatives. He was selected to participate in the first Executive Leadership Program for Non-Profit Cultural Organizations at Havard’s JFK School of Government and in The 21st Century Fellow Program, a multi-year leadership development program for LGBT people of color. He has served on the Boards of Early Music America, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Coro allegro and the NE Orchestra Consortium.

DAWN MEREDITH SIMMONS

Dawn M. Simmons is a co-founder and artistic director of the Front Porch Arts Collective, a black theater company committed to advancing racial equity in Boston through theater. Before stepping down to focus on her work with Front Porch, she was the Executive Director of Stage Source, an arts service organization focusing on work force development and sector improvement in theatre across New England. Dawn is originally from Buffalo, NY, where she received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Buffalo. She went on to study playwriting at Boston University. She has since gone on to direct for regional theatres such as WAM Theatre, The Nora Theatre, Greater Boston Stage Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Bad Habit Productions, Fresh Ink Theatre and Lyric Stage Company.

JAN STEENBRUGGE

Jan Steenbrugge is the Founder and President of Fundopolis, an equity crowdfunding platform focused on helping small businesses raise capital. A serial entrepreneur, Jan is also the Founder & President of Ad Meliora, a real estate investment firm with over $200M in assets under management, and Ad Meliora Construction and AM Building Supply – an import/export business providing products for the real estate development market. With over 15 years of experience in diverse areas of the commercial real estate and investment industries, Jan is a visionary leader with a track record for setting company strategy and driving execution. Jan makes frequent speaking appearances on the topics of entrepreneurship, real estate and investing. An accomplished musician, Jan sits on the executive director advisory council of Berklee College of Music and is President of the Board and Principal 2nd violinist for the Boston Civic Symphony.

KIM WHITENER

Kim Whitener is the Founder and Creative Producer of KiWi productions, dedicated to new artistic visions in the contemporary opera-theatre, music-theatre, and other multi-genre landscapes, furthering work that grapples with the issues of our time through compelling visual, aural, and emotional language.
From February 2007 to October 2018, Kim was the Producing/Executive Director at HERE Arts Center in Hudson Square/West Soho, working in partnership with Founding Artistic Director Kristin Marting to curate and produce all of HERE’s activities. During her tenure, the company’s budget grew by 150% and major initiatives were undertaken: the PROTOTYPE festival of opera-theatre and music-theatre of which she is a Co-Founding Director, and the MADE HERE online video documentary series about NY performing artists.