The Center for the Arts introduces its new team!

Kelly Silliman, Joanna Faraby Walker, and Melissa Dimetres. Photo by Ian Bauer.

Kelly Silliman, Joanna Faraby Walker, and Melissa Dimetres. Photo by Ian Bauer.

The Northampton Center for the Arts is thrilled to welcome Joanna Faraby Walker as its new managing director. Joanna joins Associate Director Melissa Dimetres and Program Director Kelly Silliman in forming the team that will lead the Center as it continues to settle into its new home at 33 Hawley Street.

Joanna Faraby Walker joins the Center staff on June 1 after six years as an arts administrator with Five College Dance. Prior to that, she worked at Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, where she has also taught dance since 2011. Joanna has an MFA in Performing Arts Management from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been working in performing arts administration for over a decade, including stints with the North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC) and Jacob's Pillow Dance. Joanna is a strong believer in the importance of community arts, and is excited about working with local artists, educators, and arts enthusiasts in the great arts town of Northampton.

Melissa Dimetres is a writer who relocated from New York City and joined the Northampton Center for the Arts in July 2018 under the mentorship of former executive director Penny Burke and quickly became indispensable. She was promoted to associate director in February, and is thrilled to be an active part of such a thriving arts community. Melissa holds a BA from Smith College, and has previously worked as an advertising manager for Turner Broadcasting in NYC and as a writer and filmmaker in both New York and Los Angeles. She is passionate about arts administration and fostering the arts in our community and feels very lucky to be a part of such an incredible team at the Center for the Arts.

Kelly Silliman has been the program director for the Center since 2017, and worked closely with Penny Burke until her recent retirement. Kelly is a dance artist and educator who is also the director of the tinydance project. In her role as program director, Kelly created the Center’s unique summer arts program, ArtPlay, and supports broad multidisciplinary programming by local artists and makers. Kelly holds an MFA in Dance from Smith College and a BA in Theatre Arts from Stetson University, and is committed to investigating what it means to create programming through the lens of anti-racism.

The Northampton Center for the Arts provides affordable space for artists, performers, and educators while developing programming dedicated to arts education, multidisciplinary collaborations, and community connections. The Center is uniquely positioned to support artists and makers in producing their own performances, classes, workshops, and events. The new team invites community members to visit 33 Hawley Street this summer to learn more about what the Center has to offer and how they can be involved in its growth and success.