Board of Directors

Nette Forné Thomas.

Nette Forné Thomas, President

Nette Forné Thomas grew up in the Silver Lake section of Belleville, NJ and attended Belleville public schools from Kindergarten through high school. She was one of the top ten students in her graduating class, achieving many academic honors and art awards. Because of her artistic achievements she was accepted to and attended Pratt Institute […]

Rashidah Ismaili AbuBakr.

Rashidah Ismaili AbuBakr, First Vice President

Rashidah Ismaili AbuBakr; 1st Vice President, was Co-Chair of the African Heritage Month Celebration, Chair of Poetry and Performing Arts, is originally from West Africa. She has had an extensive and long academic career in both college/university and cultural institutions. Her teaching experiences have been in African and African Diaspora Culture and Literature, and her […]

Liz Cenedella.

Liz Cenedella, Treasurer

Liz Cenedella graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in Greek and Latin, and from Boston University, School of Fine and Applied Arts, with an M.F.A. in Stage and Costume Design. After graduating, Cenedella worked in regional theatre, summer stock and off-Broadway in Costume Design and Production. In New York in 1970 she began her […]

Anne Dushanko Dobek.

Anne Dushanko Dobek, Secretary

Anne Dushanko Dobek is an artist/activist whose multidisciplinary installations reference issues of social justice and or the environment. Often located in alternative venues including oceans, forests and fields, the artist’s work invites social engagement as well as conversations on the status of women and refugees in an increasingly dangerous world. A graduate of Pratt Institute (MS) […]

Elyse Topalian.

Elyse Topalian, Director

Elyse Topalian is an independent arts consultant specializing in communications. Over a 30-year career at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she was Vice President for Communications for the past eight years, she promoted the breadth of the institution’s exhibitions, announcements, and activities, and oversaw its advertising program. Earlier, she was the U.S. editor of […]

Janice Sands.

Janice Sands, Director

Janice Sands served as Executive Director of Pen + Brush from 1998-2020 before joining the board. She has over 37 years of experience in nonprofit management and administration and has served as a director for Planned Parenthood and The Los Angeles County Bar Association. Her work with arts and entertainment organizations began in 1992 when […]

Athena George, Director

Athena George is a versatile finance executive with more than 25 years of progressive experience in finance, operations, and business management within start-ups and global multibillion-dollar organizations. She is a proven team builder who delivers effective support to C-level executives and other stakeholders. A graduate of Newark’s acclaimed Science High School, who then went on […]

Heejung Kim, Director

Heejung Kim is an artist and art educator. Kim received her B.F.A. from Duk-Sung Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea, and received a scholarship from that university to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she obtained an M.A. in Art Education. She received her M.F.A. degree at the State University of New York […]