To build community and stimulate economic vitality through the arts by providing quality entertainment that engages and attracts audiences; offering educational opportunities which nurture learning and creativity; and encouraging synergism among performing, cultural and visual arts groups.
The Arts Collective is a 501(c)(3) organization created in July, 2017 to address the cultural and economic needs of Havre de Grace and the surrounding region.
William Price III, Chair, is the Vice President of AKT3, a manufacturer’s representative of Entertainment and Architectural equipment. William was the Chair of the Opera House Foundation and active with several entertainment industry organizations. He holds an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts Management and a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Maryland. He is Senior Warden at Saint John’s Church and resides in the Havre de Grace historic district with his wife Gay Lynn.
Jack Hirschfeld, Vice President/Secretary, worked in the New York film industry as a film editor, director, producer and screenwriter in the 60s and early 70s. Although he edited numerous TV commercials and a couple of horror films, his focus was on non-fiction film, especially educationals, industrials, and political propaganda. In the 70s he joined the US Postal Service where his focus was on training films and videos and developing a satellite network for management training. Since retiring from USPS in 1999, Jack and his wife Jan have created film programs and educational courses, presenting movies at libraries, colleges, Elderhostels, community centers, retirement homes, etc. On behalf of the Havre de Grace Arts Collective, he leads the team that selects and presents movies at the Cultural Center at the Opera House, promoting the art of film in our community
Karen Heppen, Treasurer, is the retired director of finance and operations of the Center for Food Action which operates food pantries throughout northern New Jersey and serves as an advocate for hunger issues throughout the state. She serves on the Harford County Cultural Arts Board and is the former treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maryland. An active member of the Warped Weavers Guild of Harford County, Karen is a committed supporter of the arts – folk, visual, fiber, literary and performing.
Irmgarde Brown, Director, is a retired librarian/manager of nearly thirty years from Harford County Public Library and a Havre de Grace resident since 1986. She has volunteered for the HdG Arts Collective and the Cultural Center at the Opera House since their early beginnings. Ms. Brown believes in the relevance of the arts (both visual and the performing arts) for people from all walks of life. She is a freelance writer and blogger, amateur photographer and sometime actress and director. Currently, she is learning the ins and outs of marketing a nonprofit. Ms. Brown holds a special place in her heart for the plight of orphans around the world and particularly, for the children and teens who live at the Villages of Hope in Zambia (All Kids Can Learn, Intl’). Her faith in God and inward spiritual journey are the lenses through which she serves.
Lilli Burril, Director, is currently employed at Johns Hopkins but has been involved with theatre her entire life. She has taken roles on stage, but her passion lies on the production side of theatre. Some of her roles have included running sound, back stage management, costuming, assistant directing and instructing. Lilli’s current passion is her role as a board member of Rogue Swan Theatre Company where she assists in the production, direction and implementation of their Vaudeville productions and any other shows produced by Rogue Swan. While she is the newest addition to the Havre de Grace Arts Collective, she is committed to the thriving arts community within Havre de Grace, and how local companies can help build that community.
Suzanne Chadwick, Director, performs with the Washington National Opera. She has been featured with The Austin Symphony, The Baltimore Symphony, Opera Moderne (New York), The Baltimore Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Baltimore, Maryland Lyric Opera, Annapolis Opera, The Frederick Symphony, Amici Opera (Philadelphia), Potomac Valley Opera and broadcast on WSCL. As vocal instructor, she’s taught at Morgan State University, Carroll Community college and privately. Her current teaching studios are in Havre de Grace and Elkridge, MD. While a classical performer, her love for music is far more expansive – including jazz, rock, world, folk, and other genres. Since joining the Arts Collective Board and Programming Committee, a new passion to program musical acts in Havre de Grace has been ignited. “Other than presenting artists I’m already familiar with; scouting, research, community collaboration and service has added a delightful and satisfying dimension to my life.”
Pat Fair, Director, has always been involved in the Arts. In 1986 she was one of the original members of the Havre de Grace Arts Commission and for the past 15 years she has served as President of the Commission. She served on the committee which worked with Havre de Grace Main Street to gain our Arts and Entertainment District designation from the state of Maryland. Arts by the Bay Gallery started with five artists and as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary in November we have 44 resident artists.
Steve Flickinger, Director, is a married father of two daughters. He works for Harford County Public Schools as an elementary school Physical Education Teacher. He is an avid sports fan and also enjoys performing as well as watching live theater.
Bambi Johnson, Director, began her dance training at age two and has been teaching dance since 1976. She is currently an Artistic Director for Harford Dance Theatre at Harford Community College and the Executive Director of the Havre de Grace Alliance. For the past 25 years she has been a professional director and choreographer for many of Maryland’s community theaters. She teaches annual theater camps for the Cab Calloway School of the Arts. Bambi has won the Broadway World Baltimore Award for Best Choreography the past six years for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cabaret, Shrek, Bring It On, Tarzan (for which she also won for Best Director and best Scenic Design) and Cats (which also included Best Director). For seven years Bambi was a cheerleader and dancer in the NFL. She was a member of the choreography team which produced the halftime show at the Pro Bowl for four seasons. Bambi is listed in the national Who’s Who Among American Dance Directors.
Lauri Orzewicz, Director, lives, works and plays in this great City of Havre de Grace! She has been a resident for over 20 years, the City of Havre de Grace Tourism Manager for 4 years and in the HdG Tourism Department for over 7 years. Part of her job is managing the Visitor Center at 450 Pennington Ave. This facility is your go to place for everything about HdG, including buying your Opera House tickets!
Gay Lynn Price, Director, was a teacher for 36 years ; 16 years as a Drama Instructor and Director at C. Milton Wright High School where she taught classes and directed and costumed 32 shows. Gay Lynn started performing on the Phoenix Festival Theater stage in 1986 with Annie and has continued with acting, dancing, choreographing, costuming and directing shows for Harford Dance Theatre and PFT since then. Since retiring in 2014 Gay Lynn has continued to costume for C. Milton Wright HS school ; Havre de Grace high school; Scottfield Theater Company and Rogue Swan.
Tracy Robertson, Director, works as a civilian Operations Fielding Lead for the U.S. Army Program Executive Office of Communications, Command and Control responsible for getting state of the art communications technology into the hands of the U.S. soldier. She has over eight years of logistics experience with the Department of Army. Prior to working for the Army, she worked in the real estate industry as a commercial property researcher, loan officer and realtor. She has a background in large scale event planning from her previous positions as Conference Planner for the World Affairs Council, the National Council of Social Studies and Conference Center Director for the International House of Philadelphia. She has a Master’s in Business Administration and Master’s of Science in Procurement & Contracting from University of Maryland University College. She obtained an Undergraduate degree in Sociology/Anthropology from Elizabethtown College. She resides in Havre de Grace with her husband and son.
Pam Spelker, Director, moved to the Havre de Grace area for its beauty, location, charm and small-town vibrancy after spending her 30+ year career in a multiple number of operational management roles working at AXA Equitable in NYC. She then went on to be the Coordinator of Economic Development for the City of Havre de Grace for 2 years before taking the job as Executive Director in the formation of the Havre de Grace Alliance Inc. During her 3 years with the Alliance, Pam also became a Board Member for the HdG Art Collective. She recently retired from the HdG Alliance but remains a dedicated volunteer for the Art Collective to help grow the arts in the city. Pam’s love of quality art and entertainment coupled with her love for the City of Havre de Grace gives her a deep appreciation for and commitment to the HdG Art Collective. She wants to help improve the lives and experiences of the city’s residents and visitors alike.
Laurie Starkey, Director, is a Havre de Grace Middle School teacher and President of the Tidewater Players. She has a long list of performing and directing credits. Performing credits include the Chaperone in The Drowsy Chaperone, Miss Hannigan in Annie, Mrs. Johnston in Blood Brothers, Mary in Merrily We Roll Along, Sr. Robert Anne in Nunsense, among many others. Directing credits include 1776, Les Miz, Altar Boyz, Spamalot, Hairspray, Spelling Bee, The Civil War, Dog Sees God, The Wedding Singer, Nunsense, Das Barbecu, Annie, Into the Woods and more.
Bill Watson, Director, is a local Havre de Grace marketing professional and fine artist. He has been involved in promoting Havre de Grace and the arts for over 25 years both as a professional and volunteer. He has served as an officer or member of several boards and city commissions including: President of Havre de Grace Main Street (2007-2010) and Chair of the A&E District, board member – HdG Alliance, Chair of the Public Art Committee – Community Projects of HdG, Inc., member – HdG Ethics Commission, member and former chair of HdG Tourism Commission. Bill is currently a member artist at the Arts by the Bay Gallery. He is currently focused on the promotion and installation of public art in HdG while enjoying all HdG has to offer with his wife Gia.
Rebecca Jessop, Executive Director, is an experienced nonprofit professional with over 25 years of experience in fields ranging from social services to the arts. She has held leadership positions with the Harford County Public Library Foundation, United Way of Central Maryland, Center for the Arts, Harford County Cultural Arts Board, Town of Bel Air Film Festival, and The Senator Theatre. Her background includes organizational development, fundraising, marketing & communications, television & radio production, event planning & administration, and grant writing. Rebecca’s community Involvement includes Harford Leadership Academy, Town of Bel Air Arts & Entertainment Advisory Board, Bel Air Downtown Alliance Design Committee, and the Southern Harford County Rotary.
Barbara Hartzell, Assistant, is a former member of the Tidewater Players Board, and has been active onstage and behind the scenes in both professional and community theatres in the Baltimore/Washington and Delaware area for over 30 years. She founded and led the Drama Program at Mountain Christian School, for 6 years, during which time she completed training with iTheatrics in NYC in all aspects of production for Junior Theatre. She previously served on the board of Liberty Showcase Theatre, and worked on the office staff of 2 other local theatres, where, among other duties, she ran the front of house operations and successfully wrote grants to aid in the funding of special projects. Barbara still actively performs in the area and currently directs children’s theatre at Center Stage Performing Arts Academy in Bel Air, MD. By day, Barbara is on staff at St. Matthew Preschool in Bel Air, MD.