Cultural Affairs Staff

Michelle Isabelle-Stark Michelle Isabelle-Stark

Director, Arlington Cultural Affairs
Leading the Division since 2014, Ms. Isabelle-Stark brings more than two decades of experience in strategic planning, marketing and program management for arts, visual media and technology organizations. Most recently the Director of The Office of Film & Cultural Affairs for Suffolk County, NY, her accomplishments there included an estimated $500 million in economic impact from film production, the $14 million Artspace Patchogue affordable artist housing project, the national award-winning Live on the Vine cultural tourism project, and New York State grants to support the Long Island Path Through History and STEaM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Center initiative. Known for her entrepreneurial skills, she is responsible for promoting and growing the cultural sector of the Arlington County economy.  She develops and oversees the work of a staff of 16 in Public Art, Cultural Development, Arts Enterprise, and Facilities and Technical Services, providing artistic excellence in curated programs and exhibitions, and services to artists and arts organizations.  She holds a B.S. degree in Mathematics from SUNY Stony Brook and a M.B.A. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is an active member of Grantmakers in the Arts, Americans for the Arts, and the National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture. Email

Angela A. Adams portraitAngela A. Adams

Public Art Administrator
Angela Anderson Adams has worked as a curator and arts administrator for over 30 years, 20 of those years directing Arlington Public Art. Under her leadership Arlington Public Art has grown from being one of the first developer-sponsored programs in the country to an internationally renowned, award-winning public and privately funded program. The program contributes art and design enhancements to most major civic projects undertaken in the County. Prior to working for Arlington County, Adams served as adjunct curator at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, and exhibitions director/curator for the Arlington Arts Center, now known as the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington. She holds a B.A. in Art History from the College of Wooster, Ohio, and a M.A. in the History of Art from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Email

Jim Byers portraitJim Byers

Marketing Director
Byers has served as Arlington Arts’ Marketing Director since 1996. He has been integral to presentations ranging from concerts by Melba Moore, Ray Barretto and Lila Downs, to the large-scale Planet Arlington World Music Festival and Rosslyn Jazz Festival, garnering regional, national and international coverage for County events, installations and exhibits. Previously, Byers was Marketing Director for DC’s Dance Place, a national hub for modern dance and performance art. Jim is now in his 21st year as producer/host of WPFW 89.3 FM’s Latin Flavor Classic Edition, an archival Latin-jazz radio show, and frequently lectures on the genre for Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress and numerous area universities. Since 2004, the McLean, Va-raised DC-resident has led the annual WalkingTown DC tour of Hillcrest, Southeast, his neighborhood of 21 years. Jim also authored the community’s chapter in the 2nd edition of Washington At Home: An Illustrated History of Neighborhoods in the Nation’s Capital (Katherine S. Smith, editor.) John’s Hopkins University Press, 2010. Email

Cynthia Connolly Cynthia Connolly

Special Projects Curator
Cynthia Connolly joined the Division in 2003 as Curator for the County-run Ellipse Arts Center Gallery in Ballston. In 2010, Connolly became Visual Arts Curator of Artisphere where she curated over 70 exhibits to national and international acclaim. During this time she initiated and curated Art on the ART Bus, an Arlington Transit bus containing rotating exhibits of original work by regional artists for ten years. With a National Endowment for the Arts grant, she launched the Arlington Art Truck in 2018 which continues to operate to this day.  She is a photographer, letterpress printer, curator and artist whose work is shown internationally. She exhibited in Beautiful Losers establishing herself as a pioneer in DIY culture and was reviewed extensively, including Art in America. Her photography is in many private collections including Shepard Fairey, musicians Michael Stipe and Ian MacKaye, filmmakers Jem Cohen and Gary Hustwit, and in institutions such as The J. Paul Getty Museum, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Smithsonian Museum of American History and the Corcoran Gallery of Art Legacy Collection. She is a graduate of Corcoran College of Art and Design and from Auburn University’s design/build architecture program, The Rural Studio. Email

Jared Davis pictureJared Davis

Arlington Scenic Studio Manager
In his over 20 years managing Arlington's scenic studio, Jared has designed and painted many productions for Cultural Affairs supported groups, recently Man of La Mancha for The Arlington Players (earning him two WATCH awards) and Avenue Q for Dominion Stage (also earning a WATCH award). Jared loves teaching users best practices in theatrical design and carpentry, but his true passion is scenic painting.
Jared has a BFA in Painting from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI and grew up in the Detroit area before moving to DC in 1999. Jared has continued his education and professional development through a scenic residency at The Kennedy Center, a certification from The Corcoran School of Arts, and scenic painting "camps" at Cobalt Studios in NY.
In addition to being a scenic designer and artist, Jared is also a fine arts painter whose work often involves surrealist landscapes populated with tikis, monkeys, and Halloween imagery. He has received several Artist Fellowship Awards from the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities, among other exhibitions and honors. Email

Antoinette Essex

Operations Manager
Antoinette (Toni) Essex is the Operations Manager for Arlington County Cultural Affairs. Antoinette joined Arlington County as a temporary employee in 2007, moving to a permanent employee in 2013 as a Facility Manager. In early 2020. Antoinette was promoted to Operations Manager and continues that role today. Antoinette responsibilities include but are not limited to the coordination of our scheduling, maintenance, and staffing of Arlington County’s joint use theater spaces in the Arlington County Public school system (APS), and the day-to-day operations of the Cultural Affairs offices and rehearsal studios. Email

Kate Fleming Kate Fleming

LAC Studios Administrator
Kate Fleming is an artist, designer, and exhibits specialist based in Arlington, VA. After graduating from the College of William and Mary in 2014, Kate went on to receive an Arlington County Cultural Affairs Spotlight Artist Grant to paint her first mural: a 100-foot-long wall on Langston Boulevard and North Veitch Street. She has completed residencies at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, VA; Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC; and Capitol Hill Arts Workshop in Washington, DC, and she painted for DC Walls international mural festival in 2018. Kate spent three years as an Exhibits Specialist at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, working on 25 different exhibitions including the blockbuster Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. She left the Hirshhorn in 2019 and created The 50 States Project: a mobile artist residency through which she and her partner Tom traveled to all 50 states. She now works as a studio administrator at LAC Studios and as a freelance artist and designer. Kate’s work was included in the exhibition Inside Out, Upside Down at The Phillips Collection in 2020. Email

Kylene King portraitKylene P. King

Cultural Affairs Program Coordinator
Kylene has worked as a production manager, company manager, stage manager, props designer, stagehand, production assistant, and more for shows ranging from educational presentations for children to large-scale musicals and operas. She served as the Production and Events Coordinator at the Katzen Arts Center at American University for over six years where she coordinated performing and visual art events produced by AU Arts. Kylene also taught eight semesters of a stage management class and the accompanying practicum course where she mentored students as they stage managed productions at American University. She began her career in St. Louis at COCA (Center of Creative Arts) where she worked in various roles in education, administration, and production.
Kylene is also a company member of Arts on Horizon, an Alexandria-based non-profit theatre company with a specific focus of providing high-quality performances and education programs for an audience of young people ages 0 to 6 years old and their families. Email

Andres Luque PortraitAndrés Luque

Facilities Manager
Andrés comes from the local DC theater community, beginning his career in the area 15 years ago with Signature Theater.  He has a AA in Fine Arts with a specialization in Technical Theater from NVCC.  He’s originally from Bogota, Colombia, but grew up in Arlington, VA and was a graduate of Yorktown High School. Aside from his seven year tenure with Signature, Andrés has worked as the Technical Director of GALA Hispanic Theater for 5 years and has had the pleasure of working with various other theaters in the DMV during his career. He now serves as Assistant to the Director of Technical Services for Arlington County and helps maintain the multiple theater facilities used by the County. Email

Joan M Lynch portraitJoan M. Lynch

Director, Arts Enterprise
Joan M. Lynch has served as Director of Arts Enterprise for Arlington Cultural Affairs since 2015. From 2008 to 2017 Joan served as the Manager of Grants and Artists Services, working with Arlington County’s multi-disciplinary arts community. Joan has collaborated on several successful NEA Grants for the Division, including: the Bolivian Festival, and the Mongolian Festival and gallery exhibit sponsored by Arlington cultural Affairs. Her work is further informed by her decades of continuing work in costume design and wardrobe supervision (having initially joined Arlington County’s Costume Shop staff in 2009). Continuing to work for such organizations as the Washington Ballet, Joan’s artistry also has been utilized by Washington Opera, Wolftrap, Dance Theater of Harlem, Kennedy Center, Debbie Allen School of Dance. She also was Costume Supervisor for the Wolf Trap Opera from 1986 to 1992. A member of both IATSE Local 772 (stage), and IATES Local 487 DC/Baltimore (Film/TV), her film credits include The West Wing, The Wire, The District and the film ‘Forrest Gump.’ Joan holds a BFA of Fabric Design & Crafts from Virginia Commonwealth University, and also is a graduate of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology summer program. Email 

Lore Potoker Lore Potoker

LAC Studios Administrator
Lore Pierson Potoker is a ceramic artist, ceramic educator, and marketing professional. Lore joined Arlington’s LAC Studios as Studio Administrator when they reopened in 2022 following the pandemic. She has been instrumental in outreach to area artists and in growing the membership of LAC Studios. Lore graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wittenberg University with special focus on Graphic Design, Ceramics and Marketing. She has taught ceramics to students from elementary age to teens, adults and seniors for over 20 years in Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax. Lore has worked in private industry as Marketing and Communications Manager(s) for engineering firms and government contractors. She is a passionate teacher, artist, Navy spouse, and mother of two daughters and a dog named “Clay”. LinkedIn | Email

Sharon Raphael

Community Arts and Event Manager, Arlington Arts Grant Administrator
Sharon brings a diversified background in both the arts and events to Cultural Affairs. She has been with Arlington County since 2011 and currently serves as the Cultural Affairs Division Project Manager. Prior to her tenure, Sharon was an Account Executive at Hayes & Associates where she planned events and galas throughout Washington, DC including the White House, Pentagon, and the Capitol building.  Her previous experience also includes being Director of Special Events and Catering at the City Tavern Club, Senior Catering Manager for Hilton Hotels, and Promotions Assistant for WASH-FM. Her background allows for a unique perspective on events in Washington, DC.  Sharon discovered her love of events while earning her BA in Psychology at The American University here in Washington, DC. After graduation Sharon moved back to NYC and planned events for a year before returning to DC to earn a certificate in event management from the George Washington University.  In her free time she volunteers for Alpha Epsilon Phi and was elected National Vice President in 2011. She has been re-elected for 3 two additional terms. Email

Josh StoltzfusJosh Stoltzfus

Deputy Director of Cultural Affairs
Josh Stoltzfus joined Arlington County in 2012 as an arts programming specialist with a concentration in music. In his role as Director of Cultural Development he leads the programming for such notable annual Arlington events as The Rosslyn Jazz Fest, Columbia Pike Blues Festival, and The Lubber Run Summer Concert Series. He brings over 20 years of experience in the arts working locally at institutions such as Wolf Trap, The Kennedy Center, Columbia Festival of the Arts, and Artisphere. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music and an MA in Arts Management from American University. He spent his early career as an artist representative working with some of the leading names in American Roots and World Music. Before his career as arts administrator he was a working musician with numerous recording and performance credits. Email

Thomas-Vannatter-Headshot.jpg Thomas Vannatter

Public Art Project Manager
Thomas Vannatter is an arts administrator, curator and maker dedicated to the impact that public art can have on communities, civic design and the built environment. With an MA in Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a BFA in Sculpture from Indiana University, he has worked in the arts for over 15 years. A formative internship at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, PA, opened the door to his career in arts administration and sparked his drive to help provide the necessary structures to support working artists. Prior to this position with Arlington County, he served as the Public Art Manager for Northeastern University’s global campus community, based in Boston, MA and in art administrative positions at the Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, MN and the Boston Center for the Arts in Boston, MA. Email

Tomora Wright Tomora Wright

Public Art Project Manager
Tomora Wright is a dedicated arts manager and curator committed to advancing the contemporary art field by prioritizing intersectional representation and diversifying program and engagement strategies within art institutions. She holds a master's degree in Art Management from American University and a BA in Communications. Before joining Arlington County Public Art, she worked as the Marketing Manager at Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center, Glen Echo Park's Visual Arts Exhibition Manager, both in Maryland, and most recently served as Fellowship Director at Hamiltonian Artists. Wright has curated exhibitions in the DC region at Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center (2018), College Park, Maryland's MilkBoy ArtHouse (2018), Banneker– Douglass Museum (2020), Higgins Gallery (2020), Glen Echo Park (2019–2021), Hamiltonian Gallery (2021), BlackRock Center Center for the Arts, The Kreeger Museum (2022).
Tomora has lived and worked in the DMV as an arts manager since 2017 and continues her efforts to support the arts ecosystem across the region. Email