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Class Acts Arts Staff
James E. Modrick, Executive Director
Jim is an arts administrator who has built a professional career that combines organization management experience, knowledge of public policy processes, and a passion for learning. He has published and presented papers that explore the role of the arts in education through policy and practice focusing on the topics of creativity, leadership, politics, and accessibility of the arts. His research interests include nonprofit arts management, governance, and arts education policy issues. Mr. Modrick currently encourages inclusive and strategic practice as principal consultant for JEM Consulting after serving as Vice President of Affiliate and Education Services for VSA arts, an international nonprofit committed to advancing the arts in the lives and learning of people with disabilities. Prior to this, he was Director of Membership for the National Art Education Association, the largest professional association supporting visual art educators in the United States, and Accreditation Specialist for the National Office for Arts Accreditation in each of the four arts disciplines: art and design, music, theatre, and dance (NASAD, NASM, NAST, and NASD). For many years he held a seat on the Steering Committee for the Washington, DC-based Arts Education Partnership, and is a member of the Fine Arts Advisory Panel for the Maryland State Department of Education.
Susan Fox, Arts Outreach Coordinator
Susan has a professional background in retail management with Imaginarium stores. As a community volunteer, she has served as a Brownie Troop leader, a tutor with the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, a food shopper for the Chase Men's Homeless Shelter, and is in her 5th year as chair of the Cultural Arts committee for the Cold Spring Elementary School PTA. Susan joined Class Acts Arts in September 2007. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in marketing from Columbia University.
Paco José Madden, Development Director
Paco joined Class Acts Arts in February, 2010. Paco has worked in theater and arts education for over seven years. Previously, Paco was employed as the Director of Development at Washington Shakespeare Company (WSC) in Arlington, VA, where he managed grants, fundraisers, and special events. He has also worked as the Program Associate at Young Playwrights Theater (YPT) in Washington, DC and as the Program Director at Inside Out Community Arts (IOCA) in Venice, CA. He managed a six figure grant from the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation while at YPT and wrote grants and reports for the NEA, Meyer, Cafritz and other funders. In his free time, Paco is a playwright and dramatist. He has had his work presented in venues across the country and received grants and won awards from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. His play, Pioneer on the Trail of Tears, is published by Brooklyn Publishers.
Claire Schwadron, Project Youth ArtReach Director
Claire facilitates arts programs for teenagers in at-risk communities and incarcerated youth in DC area correctional and detention settings. Project Youth ArtReach programs include visual arts, literary arts, dance, music and storytelling. Claire taught art and photography in high schools before becoming professionally involved in arts administration and youth outreach. She holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Liz Wheeler, Arts Outreach Director
Liz joined Class Acts Arts in October, 2006. She is a retired teacher from the Family Education/Early Intervention Dept. of the Maryland School for the Deaf. She is a past PTA cultural arts chair. Liz currently volunteers as the Vice President, Administration of the Montgomery County Council of PTAs, the Vice President of the Richard Montgomery High School PTSA and is an active member of the Montgomery District of the National Capital Area Council of Boy Scouts of America. She holds a BA in English and a M.Ed in Education of the Deaf from Western Maryland College.