Tom Miles, President
Tom is a Trustee at the University of the Arts and one of the founders and senior partners of Miles & Generalis, Inc. He has 36 years of experience in the Philadelphia business community and has served on various volunteer boards, including Avenue for the Arts, Philadelphia Game Lab, and Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, the American Red Cross, and the Samuel Fleisher Art Memorial. Tom is perhaps best known for his work of public art, Big Ben at Franklin Town, which presides over Interstate 676. Tom is currently focused on being a sculptor.
J. Conor Corcoran, Treasurer
Conor is a graduate of Vassar College and is an attorney in Philadelphia. He regularly litigates copyright infringement cases on behalf of artists against major media corporations, and handles contract negotiations concerning multiple facets of the entertainment industry. He also serves as legal counsel for non-profits in the region.
Jennifer Snead, Secretary
Jennifer is a former Associate Professor of English at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, where she teaches, researches, and writes about literature, religion, book history, and letterpress printing. She is also active in the Lubbock area arts community, working with local arts organizations like the Charles Adams Studio Project and the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts on outreach, publicity, and printing workshops. She has trained in letterpress printing and bookbinding at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. Prior to her arrival in west Texas, Jennifer worked as the Director of the Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania, overseeing the busy literary arts center’s budget, staff, and programming. As Director of Writers House, she collaborated with Penn departments and with many Philadelphia-area arts and culture organizations, including the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Rosenbach Museum Library, Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Art Sanctuary, and others. She also oversaw the House’s term and endowment fundraising campaigns. She received her PhD from Duke University and her BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Sebastienne Mundheim, Founder and Artistic Director
Sebastienne is an interdisciplinary storyteller, installation artist, and educator. Mundheim has been creating arts-based interdisciplinary performance and community events for 20 years. She began her arts career as a painter and writer, earning her BA and BFA at the University of Pennsylvania in 1990. Wanting to get away from the solitary practice of studio and get out into the world to make work with clearer social impact, Mundheim began creating interdisciplinary community arts programs and events in Philadelphia and New Orleans, designing and implementing parades, installations, and arts-based learning experiences through museums, cultural organizations, schools, and community centers. In 1994, Mundheim began to include performance into her practice. Since then, she has created 21 interdisciplinary performances, performed nationally and internationally. Works include: A Potable Joyce: A Watered-Down Ulysses The Story of James Joyce and His Manuscript, Under the Hat: The Life and Works of Marianne Moore, Currently Franklin: The Story of a Paper Boy, Sea of Birds, Paris Wheels and The Ready–Maids. Works have been commissioned and/or presented by: The Rosenbach Museum and Library, The University of Pennsylvania, Franklin and Marshall College, Keene State University, Vermont Performance Lab, Marlboro College, The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts, The Irish Ministry of Arts and Culture, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Kimmel Center for Performing Arts. Mundheim has collaborated in the works of other artists, including Whit MacLaughlin, New Paradise Laboratories, Kate Watson-Wallace, Anonymous Bodies, Thaddeus Phillips, Lucidity Suitcase, and Stan Heleva, Walking Fish Theatre, and Hua Hua Zhang. Mundheim’s work has been supported by the Dolfinger McMahon Foundation, Lenfest Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, Pennsylvania Performing Artists on Tour, and numerous commissioning organizations. Mundheim has study puppetry at the O’Neill Center, Sandglass Puppetry Institute, and with Hua Hua Zhang. In 2010 she received a Philadelphia Theatre Initiative Fellowship to study with the Handspring Puppet Company in South Africa. In 2011, Mundheim was finalist for the Pew Fellowship in the Arts. She received her EdM from Harvard in 2000.
Melissa MacNair, Studio Associate, Bookkeeping and Media Management
Melissa is a freelance designer, fabricator, and project manager. She is a graduate of the University of the Arts (2011) with a BFA in sculpture and has provided bookkeeping and administrative services to many artists around the city. Melissa has worked as a controller and events coordinator to several restaurants and entertainment venues. Besides administration work, Melissa also works in design conceptualization and creation in a studio setting. Melissa is an active member of the Vaudevillains New Year’s Brigade, a social activism-oriented Mummer group based out of Space 1026.
Stephen Shuster, Carpenter
Stephen is a Philadelphia-based carpenter/woodworker. He studied carpentry at the North Bennett School in Boston and has been doing fine carpentry since the 1990s. He currently works for Phillip Johnson Construction.
Morgan spent over a decade at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, with both Joseph Papp and George C. Wolfe, in various capacities ranging from literary manager to Director of Play Development to Associate Producer. She was Associate Artistic Director at the New York Theater Workshop, and an Associate Director at the Los Angeles Theater Center in charge of new projects. She has worked as a dramaturg, workshop director, and/or artistic consultant at theaters and new play programs across the country, including the Young Playwrights Festival, the Mark Taper Forum, The Playwrights Center/Playlabs, The Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Double Image/New York Stage and Film, CSC, Victory Gardens, Hartford Stage, and Center Stage. She has participated as a visiting artist and adjunct in playwriting programs at the University of Iowa, Brown University, Breadloaf, Columbia, and NYU and is adjunct faculty at Fordham University. She has served on peer panels for various funding institutions, including NYSCA and the NEA, with whom she served as a site evaluator for almost a decade. In 1998 Ms. Jenness joined Helen Merrill Ltd., an agency representing writers, directors, composers, and designers, as Creative Director. She now holds a position in the Literary Department at Abrams Artists Agency. In 2003, Ms. Jenness was presented with an Obie Award Special Citation for Longtime Support of Playwrights.
Whit is an Obie and Barrymore Award-winning creator of performance theatre work. He serves as Artistic Director of New Paradise Laboratories (NPL). He has conceived, written, directed, and designed 14 original performance works with the company since its inception in 1996. Prior to his founding of NPL, he was a charter member, for 17 years, of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, originally under the artistic direction of famed theatre teacher Alvina Krause. Thus, since 1978, he has acted in, directed, or written hundreds of theatre productions, many devised in collaborations between several producing organizations. He is also a well-known director of theatre works for young audiences and families. He is the Artistic Director of PAPAYA, a large-scale theatre project for transitional audiences developing in Philadelphia. His most recent original work in this vein includes FATEBOOK: Avoiding Catastrophe One Party at a Time, which was created for young adults aged 18 to 25. It existed both in real space and cyberspace. His award-winning projects have been presented at the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis and at the Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia.