Staff & Board

Staff

Melinda Steffy
Melinda Steffy
Executive Director

Melinda Steffy


Executive Director As a visual artist and musician with a career in nonprofit work, Melinda is passionate about intersections between the arts and social change. She joined LiveConnections as General Manager in 2011, the organization’s first full-time staff position, and was named Executive Director in 2014. She has been instrumental in developing infrastructure and programming, growing LiveConnections from a start-up nonprofit into an important presence in Philadelphia’s arts scene. She previously held administrative positions at The Music School of Delaware, SteegeThomson Communications, Woodland Montessori School and Brethren Housing Association, and served on the faculty at Woodland Montessori School and the Summer Institute for the Gifted. She volunteered with Tshwane Leadership Foundation (South Africa); has been a guest lecturer at Tyler School of Art, Arcadia University, Friends Central School and Finlandia University (Michigan); and worked as a freelance art writer in the Philadelphia region. Her music-inspired visual artwork has been on display at galleries across the region, including Tiger Strikes Asteroid NY, Crane Arts, 20*20 House, Rowan University and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, among many others. Also a classically trained singer, Melinda currently sings with the Chestnut Street Singers and was a founding board member of the Wilmington Classical Guitar Society. Melinda received a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from The University of the Arts, a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University (Virginia), and is a 2013 LEADERSHIP Philadelphia Fellow.

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Jacinda Arellano
Jacinda Arellano
Program Coordinator

Jacinda Arellano


Program Coordinator Jacinda is a social worker and musician; she joined LiveConnections as Program Coordinator in 2018. While completing her bachelor’s degree at West Chester University, Jacinda took part in several organizations dedicated to community outreach and advocacy. She served as an intern at Girls Inc, teaching extracurriculars such as economic and media literacy to girls in schools throughout Philadelphia. While at Girls Inc, Jacinda helped found a mentorship program at West Chester University, Women’s Education & Empowerment, which focused on providing mentors to girls of color during the years leading to college. After graduating, Jacinda worked as a Service Coordinator with Liberty Community Connections, where she developed a passion advocating for accessibility in the community. As a musician, Jacinda performs throughout the Philadelphia region and hopes to incorporate accessibility into music as much as possible. She is excited and encouraged by LiveConnections’ focus on making a wide variety of music available to the community and the voice it provides to those who wish to share it.

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Blair Bodine
Blair Bodine
Director of Development

Blair Bodine


Director of Development Blair joined LiveConnections in 2017 as the Director of Development. She is a longtime admirer of the organization. In 2010, while earning her master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, Blair interned at LiveConnections, coordinating school partnerships. Blair has worked at a variety of arts and culture nonprofits, serving as the Director of Education and Community Engagement for the Nashville Symphony and serving as the Education Project Manager for the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation. She has worked as a Grants Associate for the United States Golf Association and served as the Deputy Director of PA Women’s Vote during the 2008 Obama campaign, coordinating major donor events. Blair is also a performing singer-songwriter. During her undergraduate studies at Columbia University, Blair travelled to Accra, Ghana, study songwriting and creative peacekeeping. She has released two CDs of original compositions and in 2014 won the grand prize for lyric-writing from American Songwriter Magazine. She is particularly inspired by the work that LiveConnections does in the area of songwriting, helping young people find their voice and share their story.

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David Bradley
David Bradley
Founding Director & Education Curator

David Bradley


Founding Director & Education Curator One of LiveConnections’ co-founders, David brings decades of experience as a producer, theater director, writer and arts educator to his work with the organization. Throughout his career he has specialized in boundary-crossing artistic collaborations which frequently explore civic and community themes. David has been part of the leadership of LiveConnections since it began and heads up all educational programming. He’s been a producer on all of  LiveConnections’ collaborative albums with Philadelphia schools. In his work outside LiveConnections, he’s a long-time member of the resident ensemble at People’s Light, where his more than 30 productions as director include The Diary of Anne Frank, Row After Row, Of Mice And Men, The Crucible, A View from The Bridge, Young Lady from Rwanda, Doubt and The Giver. He’s the director of A Fierce Kind of Love by Suli Holum, commissioned by Temple University’s Institute on Disabilities. The play tells the story of Pennsylvania’s intellectual disabilities rights movement, had a sold-out run in Philadelphia and continues to be presented. He was playwright and director of Voices of Voting, commissioned by the Committee of Seventy as part of events surrounding the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He’s Artistic Director of Living News, which since 2006 has dramatized Constitutional issues at the National Constitution Center, where he also directed the exhibition/theater hybrid Fighting for Democracy. For Philadelphia Young Playwrights, he directed The Lost Hour at the Kimmel Center for the 2013 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. David has been a participating artist with Outside the Wire, which creates theater projects addressing public health and social issues, and has led and facilitated projects for them at conferences, military bases and V.A.’s across the country and in the Middle East. David is a recipient of the Brighter Futures Historical Award from Philadelphia’s Intellectual Disability Services for his work with LiveConnections and A Fierce Kind of Love. He teaches at Arcadia University and is a graduate of Yale University.

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Mary Wheelock Javian
Mary Wheelock Javian
LiveConnections Presents Curator

Mary Wheelock Javian


LiveConnections Presents Curator Mary’s goal as an artist is to use music to create positive social change in communities. She works towards that goal as a performer, educator, curator and public speaker and has had the privilege of presenting around the world in those areas for nearly two decades. Mary has toured and performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and other world-class ensembles as a double bassist. She has served as principal bassist of the IRIS Orchestra in Memphis, Tennessee and has recorded with the Philadelphia Orchestra, IRIS Orchestra, the Tanglewood Music Center, Network for New Music and the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. As a soloist, she has performed recitals and given masterclasses in the US, Europe and Asia. Mary is on the faculty at the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music where she serves as Chair of Career Studies, and on the faculty of the prestigious Verbier Festival in Switzerland. She has created a dynamic social entrepreneurship curriculum that develops the entrepreneurial and advocacy skills necessary for 21st century musicians. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Mary studied with Harold Robinson, principal bassist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She received fellowships from the National Symphony, the Tanglewood Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra and the Verbier Festival.

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Daquisha Jones
Daquisha Jones
Development Associate

Daquisha Jones


Development Associate Daquisha studied Political Science at Hanover College in Hanover, IN. Her time there was spent both researching cultural opportunities and making them available to her surrounding community. Through her organization Kaleidoscope, she helped bring artists from the Midwest to campus, with showcases ranging from Gospel to Flamenco. Her passion for justice was explored as a member of the Templeton Scholarship program and through an internship with the National Conference for Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE). Through these programs she advocated on behalf of student voices. Her time as a Boren Scholar allowed her to study the Swahili language in Zanzibar, Tanzania. After graduating, she moved to the East Coast, where she worked in human resources as a recruiter. Her love for culture, people, and accessibility led her back to the arts, and she joined LiveConnections in 2018 to be part of mission-driven, music-focused work.

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Board of Directors

Hal Real
Hal Real
President & Co-Founder

Hal Real


President & Co-Founder

President, Real Entertainment Group and World Cafe Live

Luke Butler
Luke Butler
Vice President

Luke Butler


Vice President

Senior Director, LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs, Comcast

Steve Barnes
Steve Barnes
Treasurer

Steve Barnes


Treasurer

Chief Financial Officer, Accolade, Inc.

Paralee Knight
Paralee Knight
Secretary

Paralee Knight


Secretary

Community Affairs Representative, Wells Fargo Foundation

“This is a qu0te.”

David Bradley
David Bradley

David Bradley

Theater Artist, Educator & Arts Consultant

Anthony J. Brown
Anthony J. Brown

Anthony J. Brown

Director of the Friends Program, The Curtis Institute of Music

Sally Bullard
Sally Bullard

Sally Bullard

Chief Financial Officer, PNB LLC

Val Chavenson
Val Chavenson

Val Chavenson

Independent Consultant

Robert Crowder
Robert Crowder

Robert Crowder

Managing Director, Chapman Farrell Group

Lori Landrew
Lori Landrew
Co-Founder

Lori Landrew


Co-Founder

Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP

Helen Leicht
Helen Leicht

Helen Leicht

Assistant Program Director, Midday & XPN Philly Local Host at WXPN 88.5 FM

Andrew Lipke
Andrew Lipke

Andrew Lipke

Musician & Teaching Artist

Tamar Lelkes Oded
Tamar Lelkes Oded
Co-Founder

Tamar Lelkes Oded


Co-Founder

Independent Consultant

Robert Penn
Robert Penn

Robert Penn

Director, IP Video Product Operations, Comcast

Greg Reh
Greg Reh

Greg Reh

DTTL Global Life Sciences Sector Leader, Deloitte

Alex Shaw
Alex Shaw

Alex Shaw

Musician & Teaching Artist

Tayyib Smith
Tayyib Smith

Tayyib Smith

Co-Founder, Little Giant Creative & The Institute of Hip-Hop Entrepreneurship

David B. Thornburgh
David B. Thornburgh

David B. Thornburgh

President & CEO, Committee of Seventy

Tia Wilson
Tia Wilson

Tia Wilson

Vice President for Production, Aon Risk Solutions