Meet the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture’s newest members

Special to the Sun

Over the past few months, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC) has welcomed several new staff members.

These new roles have allowed MOAC to build a team focused on cultural planning efforts, expand our grants and programs, foster creative placemaking, and improve their outreach to constituents.

Billy Dean Thomas: City Hall Plaza Engagement Manager

As the City Hall Plaza Engagement Manager, Billy Dean Thomas (pronouns: they/them) is responsible for programming events and building relationships with organizations and community members to activate City Hall Plaza. With a background in grant administration, arts equity, and program design, Billy Dean has partnered with several agencies and organizations to build frameworks that support creative placemaking and entrepreneurship for artists.

Billy Dean is also a Grammy-nominated Hip-hop recording artist and was named a 2019 City of Boston Artist Fellow!

Samantha Rose Hale: Director of Grants and Programs

As Director of Grants and Programs, Samantha Rose Hale (pronouns: they/them)  is responsible for the strategic direction and implementation of the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture’s year-round grants and programs for individual artists and organizations, public programs, workshops, and programmatic partnerships.

Samantha brings an extensive background in performance, arts education and administration, grassroots organizing, nonprofit management, and philanthropy. Over the past two decades, they designed and facilitated public dialogues, community advocacy events, and major arts-based performances.

Jared Staley: Cultural Planning Project Manager: Development Review

Jared Staley (pronouns: he/him/his) prioritizes equity, justice, and transparency in his work and life. In his role as Cultural Planning Project Manager – Development Review, Jared works on issues of cultural space instability and helps to direct the development pipeline in Boston to better support and sustain our cultural and creative industries. Under the supervision of the Director of Cultural Planning, Jared engages with internal departments and external project development teams to guide development proposals, including both spatial and operational considerations.

Prior to his role with the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, Jared worked for the Boston Planning & Development Agency as a neighborhood planner, collaborating with several of Boston’s communities.

Anita Morson- Matra: Cultural Planning Project Manager: Community Engagement

As Cultural Planning Project Manager (Community Engagement), Anita Morson-Matra (pronouns: she/her) serves as the key point of contact between communities, arts and culture stakeholders, and Boston’s cultural spaces and other assets. Her role is dedicated to equitable civic engagement and public participation in service of cultural planning efforts.

Anita is an urban planner, creative, place leader, and organizational strategist. She is also the Creator/ Founder/ Curator of Nubian Nights: the Sights and Sounds of Jazz in Roxbury and Baldwin in the Park. Anita was recently recognized by WBUR as one of The Makers, 15 artists and creatives changing the cultural landscape in the Greater Boston area.

Kenny Mascary: Chief of Staff

Originally from Haiti, Kenny Mascary (pronouns: he/him) first arrived in Boston for college in 2004. Kenny then cut his teeth at mission-driven organizations like the West End House Boys and Girls Club, Cambridge Youth Programs, the Cambridge Public Library and more recently, Now + There, before joining the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture as Chief of Staff.

As a DJ, therapeutic mentor, film photographer, board certified basketball referee, and plant dad, Kenny is passionate about connecting with communities and individuals that share a passion and excitement around conversations and experiences that open minds and help co-create spaces to celebrate the creative diversity of Boston’s dynamic and ever-changing cultural fabric.

Morgan Clark: Digital Media Manager

As the Digital Media Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, Morgan Clark (pronouns: she/her/hers) supports and manages storytelling related to our programs, resources, and investments in creative placemaking on social media and through other channels.

Morgan is originally from Connecticut and graduated from Boston University in 2022 with a B.S. in Public Relations. During her time at BU, she conducted research on social media as a tool for arts education. Morgan also has a background in dance and currently enjoys finding a creative outlet through crochet.

Interested in joining the team? We’re currently hiring a Public Art Registrar to manage information related to the City’s art collection and support the coordination and administration of our public art program.

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