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

Director, Arlington Public Art
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.  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 portrait 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. Ongoing projects from this period include Art on the ART Bus, an Arlington Transit bus containing rotating exhibits of original work by regional artists. 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 as well as the J. Paul Getty Museum, Smithsonian Museum of American History, National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Corcoran Gallery of Art from which she holds a degree. Email

Jared Davis pictureJared Davis

Arlington Scene Shop Manager
Since 2000, Jared has managed the County-run Scene Shop, overseeing the construction and painting of scenery by Arlington-based groups that perform in county-run venues, one of the critical and unique ways by which Arlington supports the arts. He also designs and paints scenery for Arlington Arts grantees. He specializes in backdrop painting and takes every opportunity to pass on the craft at the scenery studio. Jared’s skills have earned him 14 WATCH award nominations for supported groups and has won outstanding set design in a musical in 2013, for Dominion Stage’s Avenue Q and again in 2016, for The Arlington Players’ Man of La Mancha. A noted regional artist and event producer, Jared produces the popular Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club, Yuri’s Night and America the Game Show. Originally from Detroit, MI he moved to DC, in 1999, where he lives with his wife, son and Boston terrier. Email

Antoinette Essex

Operations Manager
[forthcoming] 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

Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams portraitDeirdre Ehlen MacWilliams

Public Art Project Manager
As part of Arlington Public Art since 20__ Ms. Ehlen MacWilliams has developed and managed County-initiated projects and advised on various public art and design enhancement requests. Previously, Deirdre worked as the public art coordinator for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and for Weitzman Studios in Brentwood, MD. Deirdre also works independently on creative projects and initiatives.  In 2014, she was a project manager for Finding a Line, working with local artist and skateboarder Ben Ashworth and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the curator for Georgetown GLOW Winter public art exhibition, the curator for Hickok Cole’s Art Night and curator and project manager for four new sculptures by Foon Sham located within Golden Triangle. She also directs Mid City Artists, a group of professional artists who have come together for the purpose of promoting their art and the mid-city section of DC. 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 Stoltzfus

Josh Stoltzfus

Deputy Director of Cultural Affairs
Primarily responsible for programming events presented by Arlington Arts, Stoltzfus brings over 15 years of experience in the arts working at such notable institutions 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. Additionally he spent his early career working as an artist representative working with some of the leading names in American Roots and Wold Music. Before his career as arts administrator he was a working musician with numerous recording and performance credits having studied with such master blues guitarists such as Ronnie Earl and Wendell Holmes. 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