Our Team





Jim Grace

Executive Director
jim@artsandbusinesscouncil.org; 617.350.7600 x 7010

Jim Grace is the Executive Director of the Arts & Business Council. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts (VLA) from 1998 until 2008, when it merged with the A&BC.  Jim has experience working with artists and arts organizations in the areas of publishing law, public art, copyright, trademark, nonprofit incorporation and mergers, negotiation training, and artist live/work and nonprofit board issues.  Jim was an adjunct professor for Boston University’s Masters in Arts Administration Program for over five years where he co-taught a course on Legal Issues in Arts Administration.  In addition, Jim is a working author, book editor, and publishing attorney.  He is the co-author of best selling The Worst Case Scenario Handbook: Golf. To date he has been involved in the publication of over eight books. Jim serves on the board of Associated Grant Makers and the Private Sector Council of Americans for the Arts. He is also a founding board member of the Arts Services Coalition and a former founding board member of the Fort Point Cultural Coalition.


Megan Low

Director of Services
megan@artsandbusinesscouncil.org; 617.350.7600 x 7016

Megan Low is the Director of Services for the Arts & Business Council, where she oversees the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts program.  Megan is a graduate of Boston College Law School and holds a degree in Art History from Harvard University. Prior to law school, Megan graduated from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York and managed the art gallery at a nonprofit cultural center in Manhattan.  She has also worked as a travel writer, a freelance grant writer for nonprofit arts and education groups, and a producer of undergraduate theater.


Emily Abramovich

Operations and Programs Manager
emily@artsandbusinesscouncil.org; 617.350.7600 x 7014

Emily Abramovich is the Operations and Program Manager for the Arts & Business Council. She has experience in arts administration as a volunteer for local organizations and community programs including the Nave Gallery and City Heart in Somerville, MA and ArtLifting in Boston. Emily acquired a background in studio art and art history from Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. Since moving to Boston from Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 2010, Emily has exhibited her work at local businesses and community centers within the region. She previously served as a patient scheduler and administrator in Surgical Oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital for six years. Emily earned her Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from Boston University in September of 2015 and is thrilled to be granted the opportunity to work with the Arts & Business Council. Emily is driven to fuse her enthusiasm for community outreach and public art initiatives with the practice of managing operations and programs at the A&BC.


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Liam Abramson

Nonprofit consultant, speaker, and facilitator

Liam is the founder and CEO of HighgateGlobal, a consultancy specializing in helping organizations develop for the future. With an emphasis on leadership development, change management, sales training, board development and executive coaching, HighgateGlobal helps organizational managers and leaders of all disciplines enhance their strengths and grow. Liam is a highly experienced corporate consultant and workshop facilitator with 20+ years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations. He has been a regular speaker and consultant for the A&BC’s Business on Board program since 2009.


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Chris Hawthorne

Insurance professional

After owning a business for eight years and experiencing the confusion, frustration and expense insurance and loss can bring, Chris became both a licensed insurance broker and a licensed insurance advisor to work with and assist clients understand and manage their insurance programs. His end goal is to provide a business owner with confidence in the coverage selected and a sense of control over their program. Chris works closely with the A&BC to help artists, creative entrepreneurs, and cultural organizations protect themselves from the unknowable.


Seth Lepore

Performing artist, educator, and connector

Seth Lepore currently tours an audience-driven solo show, does a monthly observational satire show in his hometown of Easthampton, MA (when he isn’t on the road), and teaches artists how to build up their business chops through workshops, consultations, and group networking. His crash course The Nuts and Bolts of Being a Performing Artist has been hosted by the A&BC as well as Springboard for the Arts, SIU Carbondale, Pierce College, Assets for Artists, and Easthampton City Arts+. He currently writes an ongoing series for HowlRound about the entrepreneurial mindset that artists can utilize to further their careers and is working on a book based on his Nuts and Bolts teachings.


Julie Ann Otis

Personal coach

Julie Ann Otis is the Founder and Creative Director of Samana Coaching and Consulting. Julie works with individuals who want to develop more mindfulness, balance, ease, clarity, and success in their personal and professional lives. As a consultant, Julie works with executive leaders to develop powerful strategic planning, communications, and stewardship practices. She regularly leads meditation and creative practice workshops as well as writing retreats in the New England area. Julie brings to clients her background in Buddhist psychology, somatic psychology, creative practices, healing arts, and over a decade of experience in not-for-profit management. She received her Masters in Arts Administration from Boston University and her B.A. in Philosophy and Drama from Tufts University. www.samanaconsulting.com


D’lynne Plummer

Marketing and communications consultant

D’lynne is the Principal of Exponent Collaborative LLC, a marketing and creative services agency that provides strategic marketing and communications solutions for businesses and nonprofits. She is professional copywriter and content strategist and has a background in arts journalism. D’lynne and her team provide the A&BC and its constituents with content, design, and marketing and communications strategy.
; dlynne@exponentcollaborative.com


Candelaria Silva-Collins

Marketing, community outreach and programming consultant

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a consultant, facilitator and nonprofit professional based in Boston, MA. She has administered an award-winning Cultural Economic Development program that informs her consulting practice.  She is a member of the Leadership Team for the A&BC’s Creative Entrepreneur Fellowship program.

She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company and is Program Manager for the Fellowes Athenaeum Trust Fund of the Boston Public Library.  Another recent project was creating the Door2Door to the Arts initiative for SCM Community Transportation.

Candelaria was director of three non-profit programs including ACT Roxbury, the cultural economic development program of Madison Park Development Corporation. As the first director of ACT Roxbury from its start in 1998 until 2007, and conceived, planned and raised funds for its signature programs including Roxbury Film Festival, Roxbury Open Studios, Roxbury Literary Annual, and the Roxbury is Rich Holiday Shopping Guides.  She provided leadership in the creation of Hibernian Hall. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook.


Almitra Stanley

Professional development consultant to artists

Almitra provides mentoring to Arts & Business Council fellowship recipients, assisting them in identifying and implementing solutions to career challenges, and helping them achieve their goals. Following a 20 year career in the arts, Almitra founded her consulting practice, Art Maven Consulting, to foster visual artists’ professional development. Leveraging expertise gained in the contemporary gallery scene and non-profit arena, she works with private clients nationwide, as well as organizations such as the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She holds a B.F.A. from Massachusetts College of Art, and an M.A. in art history and museum studies from Tufts University.




Salesforce consulting

Virsys12 is an award-winning technology consultancy and a Nashville-based salesforce Silver Consulting Partner. Founder and President Tammy Hawes, along with her leadership team, bring more than 50 years of executive success achieved across a wide variety of large, small, public and private enterprises. Their rapidly growing individually certified team maintains top customer satisfaction ratings. They offer clients nationwide a lean process and creative, high-touch service.


Clifford Watkin

Human Resources Consultant

As Managing Partner of Ipswich Bay Advisors, Cliff has over 25 years of human resources and employee benefits experience. Throughout his career, Cliff has built a reputation for effective leadership, critical communication, and detail oriented administrative skills. As a human resources expert, he regularly consults to clients on a range of human resource issues including legal compliance, performance management, on-boarding and creating effective corporate cultures. He works closely with the A&BC to provide expert HR audits and consulting support to cultural nonprofits as part of our Investing in the Creative Workforce Program. Cliff has received certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Human Resources Certificate Institute. He has been a regular speaker at the Northeast Human Resources Association and New England Employee Benefits Council meetings on a variety of Human Resources and Employee Benefits Topics. Both the Employee Benefit News and the Boston Business Journal sought Cliff’s expertise for his compliance commentary for various human resources legislation. He is an adjunct instructor for Human Resources at Salem State University.