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Team
Jim Grace
Executive Director

Jim Grace is the Executive Director of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston (A&BC). A practicing attorney, he previously served as 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 extensive experience working with artists and arts organizations in the areas of legacy planning, publishing law, public art and social practice art projects, copyright, nonprofit incorporation and mergers, negotiation training, real estate development of creative spaces, and nonprofit board development. Jim was an adjunct professor for Boston University’s Masters in Arts Administration Program for more than five years where he co-taught a course on Legal Issues in Arts Administration. As a national leader in the field, Jim trains locally and nationally on a variety of board, legal and artist professional development topics. 

In addition to his non-profit leadership and legal work, Jim is a working author. He is the co-author of the New York Times Best Seller The Worst Case Scenario Handbook: Golf. To date he has been involved in the publication of over eight books. Jim currently serves on the Boards of the Brookline Community Foundation and the AIR Institute in Washington, DC as well as the Advisory Board of Brain Arts Org.  He has served on the Board of Associated Grant Makers (now Philanthropy Massachusetts) and the Private Sector Council of Americans for the Arts. He is a founding Board Member of the Arts Services Coalition and a former founding Board Member of the Fort Point Cultural Coalition (FPCC). The FPCC developed Midway Studios — 89 units of artist live/work space in downtown Boston and merged with A&BC in 2015. 

Luke Blackadar
Deputy Director

Luke manages the Arts & Business Council’s legal programs. An attorney himself, he helps artists, creative start-ups, and arts nonprofits manage legal issues involving copyright, trademark, contract, entity formation, and corporate governance. He frequently speaks to groups of artists on art law issues and has recently presented to the Americans for the Arts, the City of Boston, and students at Brown University, RISD, MassArt, and Lesley University.

Luke also enjoys training law students. In addition to managing the Arts & Business Council’s legal interns, he teaches Contract Drafting at Roger Williams University School of Law, and he mentors students through the Northeastern University and Northeast Regional Black Law Student Associations.

Prior to joining the Arts & Business Council, Luke was an associate in a midsize litigation firm, where he represented architects and engineers in professional liability suits in state and federal court.

Luke is a graduate of Clark University and Northeastern University School of Law, and in his spare time, he enjoys drawing, running, reading, and playing video games.

Alexis Dearborn
Director of Operations & Programs

Alexis joined the Arts & Business Council team in 2018 as the Operations and Programs Manager with a background in theatre operations and production, project management, facility management, and customer service. Alexis served as General Manager at New Repertory Theatre for five years, coordinating daily operations of a mid-sized theatre company and contracting of over 100 artists annually. Her theatre experience includes work at Huntington Theatre Company, Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Maryland, and as an independent stage manager. She also worked as a Project Coordinator at Leadership in Medicine. Alexis holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Linguistics from Dartmouth College and a master’s in Arts Administration from Boston University.

Yen Nguyen
Art Law Fellow

Yen rejoins the Arts & Business Council as its first Art Law Fellow. Yen focuses on supporting and assisting with the expansion of legal services and the delivery of all legal programming provided by the Arts & Business Council, specifically its Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts programs.

During law school, Yen joined the Arts & Business Council as an Art Law Intern working with the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Yen researched, wrote, and provided supervised counseling on a wide range of legal issues specific to artists, cultural organizations, and creative entrepreneurs. 

Yen is a graduate of Bentley University, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and New England Law Boston.

Key Program Partners
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.

D’lynne Plummer
Marketing and communications consultant

D’lynne is the Principal of Exponent Collaborative, 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.

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.

Preserving 350 Artist Spaces in Lowell

The Arts & Business Council is delighted to announce the preservation of Western Avenue | Studio & Lofts, a vibrant artist community in Lowell, Massachusetts, through purchase of the property as the next phase of…

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Available Grants from Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation

Our partners at Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation have two new grant programs available to help small businesses continue to recover from the pandemic. While not all of the artists and arts organizations we work with…

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Meet Our Spring 2022 Interns

Sara Alrehaili (she/her) Legal Intern Sara is a 2021 LLM graduate from Boston University School of Law. Originally from Medina, Saudi Arabia, Sara completed her undergraduate studies with a bachelor’s degree in Law from Taibah…

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