Meet our team.

We are caregivers. We are optimists. We are artists. We are you.

 

 
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RASHANDA FREEMAN
Community Engagement Co-Director

rfreeman@cultureworksphila.org
267 597 3808

Rashanda a lover of concerts, yoga, and black coffee has been working in the cultural sector for over 9 years. Her experience in arts advocacy, theatre, and education has made her deeply passionate about creating equity for all artists. Prior to her role at CultureWorks Rashanda served as the Community Engagement Manager at the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, where she came in contact with diverse community groups, and rad teenagers looking to reshape the arts and culture scene in Philly. Rashanda holds a B.S. in Business Economics from Arcadia University (Glenside, PA). Rashanda is one-part of a podcast called Black Girls Laughing, which covers all things politics, pop culture, fitness, & how to be a Boss!

 
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CRYSTAL GONZÁLEZ
Copilot Director

CGONZALEZ@cultureworksphila.org
267 597 3802

Prior to joining CultureWorks, Crystal worked at L.E.K. Consulting for six years. She has worked with clients around the world across a diverse set of industries and functional disciplines. During that same time, Crystal launched two independent projects reflecting her deep commitments to cultural work and community-building. In 2010, she founded Marimacho, a clothing company offering seasonal collections of gender non-specific menswear. In 2011, she founded Azucar!, a monthly queer Latin dance party featuring rotating, all-POC DJs and live acts. Crystal holds a B.A. in Economics and Anthropology from Columbia University. She lives with her boo, Knox, two dogs and two cats.

 
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MELISSA HAMILTON
Community Engagement Co-Director

MHAMILTON@cultureworksphila.org
267 597 3809

Melissa is an arts administrator, educator, and artist who has been involved in Philadelphia arts and culture for over a decade. Committed to economic and social justice, Melissa understands that art is a vital tool for community building and a conduit for change. Melissa has worked in office, nonprofit, and educational environments. Most recently, she served as the Program Assistant for the Leeway Foundation, a philanthropic organization supporting women and trans* artists and cultural producers. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and continues to teach courses at local universities while researching comics. A Philadelphia native, Melissa holds a B.A. in English/Gender Studies + an M.A. in English/Communications.

 
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ALEXA SARKUNI
Business Operations Coordinator

asarkuni@cultureworksphila.org
267 597 3801

Alexa is a mathematician, musician, and movement artist. She’s also a writer with an appreciation for alliteration. Raised concurrently in scenic Central New Jersey and in the village of Anjar, Lebanon, Alexa has enjoyed a multicultural upbringing. Her love of artistic expression was cemented upon discovering her passions for writing and object manipulation in her teen years. An advocate of art and its capacity to facilitate transformation, she has made it her life's goal to expose as many people as possible to the wonders of creativity. Prior to CultureWorks, she discovered a love for accounting and finance through a role as a bookkeeper at Susie Q Bookkeeping. 

 

JAMAINE SMITH
Trust Director

jsmith@cultureworksphila.org
267 597 3807


As a mixed media artist, Jamaine is quite comfortable with getting his hands dirty and combining traditionally distinct mediums to create meaningful work. With a background in the arts, higher education, non-profit administration and social work, Jamaine uses the same creative approach to add efficiency, innovation, and a dash of “pretty” to the processes of organizations and individuals alike. Guided by the belief that everyone has innate worth, dignity, and their own “slice of genius”, Jamaine’s ultimate goal is to aid others in living their most authentic, purposeful life. Jamaine holds a BA in Social Work from Nyack College, a MA in Urban Studies from Eastern University, and a MBA (Strategic Design) from Philadelphia University.

 

ELLEN SNYDER
Finance Director

esnyder@cultureworksphila.org
267 597 3805

Ellen brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to CultureWorks, having served in accounting and management capacities for many years. She values the role of culture in everyday life and well understands the world of the cultural non-profit. She spent 17 years as Accounting Specialist for Darlington Arts Center, in Garnet Valley, PA. Before Darlington, Ellen spent 5 years at TSO Management in Media, PA, overseeing the accounting needs of a multi-office, multi-state organization. Ellen earned her BS in Business Administration with a minor in Accounting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

 

THADDEUS SQUIRE
Managing Director

tsquire@cultureworksphila.org
267 597 3803

Thaddeus has been hailed as a visionary voice in the contemporary arts by David Patrick Stearns of The Philadelphia Inquirer, and was named one of Philadelphia’s top 76 “Creative Connectors” by Leadership Philadelphia in 2011. As a curator, consultant, writer, and producer, Thaddeus has worked across a wide variety of disciplines. His particular interest is in building creative collaborations and new models for resource sharing for the cultural and creative industries. Thaddeus has a degree in music from Princeton University with a concentration in the history and philosophy of science and was a J. William Fulbright Scholar at the University of Leipzig, Germany. He also holds an orchestral conducting degree from the Leipziger Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.”

 

LIZ SYTSMA
Associate Director

lsytsma@cultureworksphila.org
267 597 3804

Liz has been working with cultural organizations and artists for the past 10 years. Her experience in the cultural sector has molded her optimistic and empathetic approach to caring for our staff while providing fiscal and business strategy support. Prior to CultureWorks, Liz founded a Brooklyn-based management consulting firm dedicated to advancing the social and economic impact of cultural organizations. She started her career on Madison Avenue in advertising after graduating from Bucknell University with a dual undergraduate degree in Fine Art and Business Management. She earned an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell University. Liz resides happily in Mt. Airy with her husband, daughter, cat and dog. Most days you can find her balancing a cup of coffee while she knits away on the train.

 

BETH WARSHAW
Member Manager

bwarshaw@cultureworksphila.org
267 597 3804

Beth has been working with arts, cultural and social impact organizations for 15 years, where her role has always centered around saying yes to people’s ideas, then working collaboratively to make them possible. A Philadelphia native, she recently returned from Seattle, where she was Co-Director at the Vera Project, the largest all-ages music and art space in the United States. Beth also produced the NPR music program The World Café and founded Girls Rock Philly, an organization that creates liberatory pathways for girls and women through music creation. Concurrently, she was also a writing instructor at Penn, a certified teacher, and a sound engineer. She is a sporadic mid-distance runner and a drummer in search of a surf band.