Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Announces the Election o
f Officers and Board Members


Baltimore, MD – May 29, 2015
– Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) elected the following officers for its fiscal year 2016 at a board meeting in Baltimore on May 8, 2015: E. Scott Johnson (MD), Chair; Hal Real (DE), Vice Chair; Barbara Bershon (MD), Secretary; and J. Mack Wathen (DE), Treasurer.

E. Scott Johnson is Chair of the Intellectual Property Group at Ober│Kaler, a law firm with offices in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. His practice includes copyright, trademark, licensing, entertainment, and media law matters. Since 2003, Scott has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law; he was named Best Lawyers’ Baltimore “2013 Music Lawyer of the Year”; and Baltimore “2015 Copyright Lawyer of the Year.” Johnson served on the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Board from 1997-2007 and was Chair from 2003-2006. He is a past Chair of the Maryland State Arts Council and recipient of the 2011 Arts Advocate of the Year Award from Maryland Citizens for the Arts. Johnson has served on the boards of CityLit Project (past Chair), Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (past President), and Creative Alliance. He currently serves on the board of Young Audiences of Maryland (past President) and Maryland Film Industry Coalition (Chair). He is a member of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Hal Real is President of Real Entertainment Group, creator and operator of the World Cafe Live music, restaurant and event venues located in Philadelphia (2004) and Wilmington, Delaware (2011). In 2008 he helped a team of artists and educators launch Live Connections, a nonprofit organization that creates innovative boundary-crossing music programs for children, special needs populations and the community-at-large. Currently he is a board member of Philadelphia’s Fringe Arts, the Philadelphia Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Board, and the Light Up the Queen Foundation. Real is board Chairman of LiveConnections and he co-Chairs the Wilmington Business Leaders Network and the Wilmington CEO Executive Summit. He also serves on the President’s Advisory Council of the Delaware College of Art and Design and the Chairman’s Council of the Philadelphia Zoo. In the past he served as board Chair of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, a board and executive committee member of The People’s Light Theatre Company (Malvern, PA), and as Chairman of the Main Line Chamber of Commerce.

Barbara Bershon was appointed to the Maryland State Arts Council in 2008 and served as Chair from 2012 to 2014. Bershon is the Emeritus Executive Director of the Chesapeake Orchestra in Southern Maryland. She is also a past president of the St. Mary’s County Arts Council. For many years Bershon was Director of Arts Outreach at St. Mary’s College of Maryland where she was the Managing Director of the River Concert Series at the College. She earned her Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Maryland and has been an Adjunct Professor in Psychology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and American University in Washington, DC. Her publications include: Tales of teenage survival: Former teens recount their adolescence and lived to tell about it, Lincoln, Nebraska: iUniverse (2007) and “Cooperative problem solving: A link to inner speech,” In N. Miller & R. Lazarowitz (Eds.) Interaction in cooperative groups: The theoretical anatomy of group learning, New York: Cambridge University Press (1992).

J. Mack Wathen is Vice President, Support Services at Pepco Holdings, Inc. (Potomac Electric Power Company, Delmarva Power, and Atlantic City Electric Company). He is a member of the Delaware State Arts Council and a board member of the Arts Consortium of Delaware. Wathen has served in a volunteer capacity with other organizations in the arts community and beyond including the Delaware College of Art and Design, the Center of the Creative Arts (Board Member), and the Food Bank of Delaware (Board Member). He served as the Corporate Chair for the Delaware College of Art and Design’s capital campaign.

In addition to the election of officers, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation elected four new board members: Romona Riscoe Benson (PA), Theresa Colvin (MD), Susie Farr (MD), and David E. Fedeles (VI). The Foundation also elected five current members for additional terms: Barbara Bershon (MD), Philip Li (NY), Charlene “Suny” Monk (VA), Hal Real (DE), and J. Mack Wathen (DE) for additional terms.

Romona Riscoe Benson is Manager of Corporate Relations at PECO. She oversees a $5 million contributions budget and leads PECO’s sponsorships, community partnerships, employee engagement, and event and sports facility management programs. Previously she was the President and CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia. She served for five years as the Executive Director of the PCVB’s Philadelphia Multicultural Affairs Congress where she produced the PECO Jazz Festival. Benson has also held the position of Senior Director of Visitor services and Community Relations with the New Jersey State Aquarium. She has more than 25 years in strategic leadership in the areas of programming, marketing, community affairs, museum management, event and convention planning, tourism and promotion. Benson is a well-known jazz vocalist and has been performing in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for over 30 years.

Theresa M. Colvin
is the Executive Director of the Maryland State Arts Council. She directs and administers all aspects of the Agency’s programs and operations. She first joined the Maryland State Arts Council as the Program Director for Community Arts Development and Music following several years of service at the local arts council in Howard County, MD. She has served on many local and national boards including the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and has been a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and other state arts agencies. Colvin received her B.S. in Business Administration from La Salle University and an M.S. in Arts Administration from Drexel University.

Susie Farr is a member of the Maryland State Arts Council. She was the Executive Director of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park from 1999 until 2013 where she was responsible the stewardship of the Center as a place for learning, exploration and growth through the performing arts. Farr was the Executive Director of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters from 1986 until 1999. During her tenure at Arts Presenters, she administered the National Task Force on Presenting and Touring the Performing Arts and published “An American Dialogue.” Prior to her tenure at Arts Presenters, she served for six years as Director of Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley. She also held arts management positions at Stanford University. Farr has served on numerous review panels for private foundations, state arts agencies, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

David E. Fedeles is one of St. Croix’s leading real-estate brokers with over 25 years’ experience. He is also a licensed Broker in New York City and has worked with both Douglas Elliman and Charles Rutenberg. Prior to entering the real estate business, Fedeles held executive positions in corporate sales, marketing, and general management with several Fortune 100 firms. He has served as President of the St. Croix Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. He is a member of the St. Croix Board of Realtors and the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce. For nine years, he served as a Trustee of the Good Hope School in Frederiksted, an independent, multicultural, college preparatory educational community.

Philip Li is currently Chief Administrative Officer at The Century Foundation. Previously he held the positions of Chief Operating Officer at the Brooklyn Community Foundation, and Senior Managing Director at Changing Our World, a nonprofit consulting firm. He began his career in financial services starting at Merrill Lynch and finishing at Moody’s Investors Service. Li serves as a trustee of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Mary J. Hutchins Foundation and the Bulova Stetson Fund.  He is the incoming board chair of Philanthropy New York, the primary association for foundations and grant makers in New York City.

Charlene “Suny” Monk is retired as Executive Director of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), a position she had held from 1997 through 2011. Under her leadership, VCCA established and developed its international studio center in Southwest France, Le Moulin á Nef. VCCA is among the nation’s largest artist residency programs, and its international exchange program is the oldest and largest of its kind in the United States. Monk is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of New Vistas School in Lynchburg, is president of Second Stage|Amherst, an emerging center for creativity and community, and a past President of Virginians for the Arts. She is a past board member of Virginians for the Arts Foundation and Endstation Theatre Company. She has served on the boards of The Alliance of Artist Communities, Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, and the Academy of Fine Arts (Lynchburg). In 2006, Monk was named Woman of the Year in the Arts by the YWCA Academy of Women of Central Virginia.

Executive Director Alan Cooper commented that “Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation is extremely fortunate to have these strong and experienced volunteers in leadership positions with the Foundation both as officers and board members.”

About Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation develops partnerships and programs that reinforce artists’ capacity to create and present work, advance access to and participation in the arts, and promote a more sustainable arts ecology. For more information on the Foundation’s programs and services, please visit: www.midatlanticarts.org.