Meet the Team
Click on each photo for full length bio
Loree Jones has served in top leadership positions in the nonprofit, higher education and government sectors, including Managing Director, or chief operating officer, of the City of Philadelphia. She is currently Chief of Staff for Rutgers University—Camden. A graduate of Princeton University and Spelman College, she has been recognized for her dedication to public service. She currently serves on the boards of Health Partners Plans, the Philadelphia Health Partnership, the Independence Foundation and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) and is a former board member of a wide range of civic organizations, including Project HOME, Committee of Seventy, the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, Operation Understanding, the Philadelphia Planning Commission, and the African American Museum of Philadelphia.
Born and raised in Camden, New Jersey Vedra Chandler graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government before pursuing a career in business. She spent several years in the private sector while dancing part-time for Bon Jovi’s Philadelphia Soul arena football team. Eventually Vedra’s heart led her away from Corporate America and on to the open road when she joined the touring company of the hit Broadway musical Hairspray. From there she performed in various theater projects until in 2010 she ran away with the circus to perform the role of the Soul Singer on Kooza by Cirque Du Soleil. A few laps around the world with the circus led Vedra back to her hometown of Camden, where she worked for two years as Associate Director of The Neighborhood Center, Inc. There she developed programs to cultivate creativity and stimulate critical thinking in young people before accepting the position of Community Events Manager at Cooper’s Ferry Partnership where she uses the arts as a vehicle to tap into the potential of Camden city and its residents, revitalize underutilized spaces through the Connect the Lots initiative. Vedra serves as President of the board of directors at the Ritz Theatre Company, is on the board at Perkins Center for the Arts and is a proud member of the Camden County Arts and Heritage Commission. She is a member of Macedonia A.M.E. Church in Camden, NJ, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and performs with her musical ensemble CPR: Music Invincible on the 3rd Thursday of each month at the Victor Lofts on the Camden Waterfront. For art is one of the vehicles by which we tap into the potential of Camden and fuel the resurgence of this “City Invincible.”
Kimberly Camp began her career as a professional artist over 50 years ago. Since then, her paintings and dolls have been shown throughout the US in over 100 solo and group exhibitions. Her list of exhibitions is extensive, including the American Craft Museum, Smithsonian Institution, International Sculpture Center, University of Michigan, the Hand Workshop, Sawtooth Center for the Visual Arts, CRT Craftery Gallery and Manchester Craftsman’s Guild. Her work has been prominently featured in traveling exhibitions including “Spirit of the Cloth: African American Quilters”, for the Craftery Gallery; “Touch: Beyond the Visual”, for the Arlington Art Center, VA; and “Uncommon Beauty in Common Objects” for the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Ohio. Camp’s workshops and residencies include the Baltimore Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Longwood Gardens, the Smithsonian Institution, the African American Museum Philadelphia, and Indiana University, Pennsylvania. Her paintings and dolls are in the collections of Anne Wollman, Faith Ringgold, Judith Jamison, the Reader’s Digest, Manchester Craftsman’s Guild and the J.B. Speed Art Museum. Additionally, she has been featured in Essence, Nouvel Objet, the New York Times, FiberArts, National Geographic World, the Village Voice and Smithsonian. Camp has served internationally as a panelist and speaker for the National Black Arts Festival, National Endowment for the Arts; the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Foundation International Arts Program; and the arts councils of Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and New Jersey, to name a few. She has received numerous awards including two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the Kellogg National Leadership Program Fellowship, Smithsonian International Travel fellowship as Visiting Scholar for Tokyo Gedia University, and the Roger L. Stevens Award for Contributions to the Arts and Culture from Carnegie Mellon University. Camp, a native of Camden, NJ pursued a dual career as president and CEO of The Barnes Foundation, founding director of the Smithsonian Institution Experimental Gallery, and president and CEO of the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit. From 2005-2011, she led the creation of a science, technology and natural history project, the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, in Washington state. Her work as an artist and administrator puts her ideas about the role art plays in democracy, social equity and diversity into practice. Ms. Camp received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her Master of Science degree from Drexel University. In 2013, she opened Galerie Marie in Collingswood NJ, which features Camp’s paintings and dolls, and work by 120+ artists from around the world. Currently, Camp serves as a curator for A New View public art project and is on the faculty of Drexel University’s Arts Administration program. She consults for non-profit organizations on strategic planning, leadership transition and best practices in governance.
Cassie MacDonald, Coordinator of Camden FireWorks Cassie has been a resident of the Waterfront South neighborhood for twelve years, where, besides her work at the gallery, she serves as Hearthkeeper of Brigid’s House, a writing arts collaborative and house of hospitality. Prior to becoming Coordinator for Camden FireWorks, she worked at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. She earned her undergraduate degree in English at the University of Northern Colorado and her J.D. with a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law at Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, in between which she served three years as a Peace Corps teacher in Maun, Botswana. While earning her law degree, Cassie served on the founding editorial board of the first animal law journal in the country. She has been active in the effort to create Camden FireWorks from its conception and served as the organization’s first President before taking on the role of Coordinator in 2017. She writes poetry and in her free time enjoys crosswords, movies and road trips, when someone else is driving.
JUDITH TANNENBAUM Artistic director, Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy Combining academic training in English and Art History, Judith Tannenbaum began her career in contemporary art as a critic for Arts Magazine in the 1970s. In 1977, after the publication of the New York Art Yearbook, her primary activity shifted from writing about art to working directly with art objects as a museum curator. She has organized numerous exhibitions focusing on painting, sculpture, video, and interdisciplinary work--with a particular interest in connections between visual art and performance and relationships among fine art, craft, and design. From 1986 to 2000, Tannenbaum served as curator, associate director, and interim director at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. In 1989-90, as interim director, she became a spokesperson for the defense of public funding for the arts and artistic freedom in relation to the controversial Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition, The Perfect Moment, originated by ICA. Among the shows she curated for ICA are: Glenn Ligon:Unbecoming (1998), PerForms (1995) featuring the work of Janine Antoni, Charles Ray, and Jana Sterbak; Vija Celmins (1992), a retrospective exhibition that toured nationally; and Interactions (1991), a large group show about collaborations between the visual and performing arts. In 2000, Tannenbaum assumed a new position as the first Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Exhibitions and publications for RISD include What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present (2014); Arlene Shechet: Meissen Recast (2014); Painting Air: Spencer Finch (2012); Lynda Benglis (2010) organized with the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), Le Consortium (Dijon) and New Museum (New York); Styrofoam (2008); Wunderground: Providence, 1995 to the present (2006); Betty Woodman: Il Giardino dipinto (2005); Island Nations: New Art from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the Diaspora (2004); and On the Wall: Wallpaper by Contemporary Artists (2003). Tannenbaum retired from her position at RISD in 2013 and returned to Philadelphia. In 2014-15, she curated the exhibition Framing Fraktur: Word & Image at the Free Library of Philadelphia, funded by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. In 2016-17, she was guest curator for the Barnes Foundation’s exhibition Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flânerie She is currently artistic director of Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy, organized by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries (also PCAH funded). Tannenbaum has taught professional practice courses for graduate students at Moore College of Art & Design, and she has taught courses about the relationship of art and design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation. In 2014, Tannenbaum was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Moore College of Art & Design.
Meishka has established herself as a leader in the community, equally respected by government officials, community partners, city residents, and her peers. Drawing on her background as a Camden native, as well as her education and experience, she brings a keen and unique perspective to her work in community planning and neighborhood revitalization at Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. Meishka joined the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership staff as a graduate intern in 2003 and took the helm as the Vice President of Neighborhood Initiatives in 2010. Meishka has played a key role in broadening Cooper’s Ferry Partnership 's mission to address planning and redevelopment efforts in Camden's neighborhoods, overseeing the development of plans and implementation of key neighborhood projects with a high level of community input and participation. Meishka has managed the implementation of numerous critical infrastructure and park improvement projects and is instrumental in Camden’s innovative sustainability and placemaking initiatives. Meishka has a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Meishka is also certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners and maintains a Professional Planners license with the State of New Jersey.
Associate Director for Education at Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts (RCCA), Rutgers-Camden Campus, Camden NJ, where she has directed arts education and community arts programs since 1990, now serving up to 20,000 participants annually. Arts education programs have included the Arts and Literacy Partnership with Camden schools; the Poetry Out Loud Program, as a statewide program since 2008; nine community arts programs through The Big Read/NEA; as well as multiple Camden school arts education programs supported by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Current projects include the Museum Mentorship Program, focused on teaching museum studies skills to Camden middle and high school students, and funded by an Arts Education Special Initiative Grant from the NJ State Council on the Arts for 2018-21; and an expanded series of art-making courses for older adults, Encore Arts, part of the Vitality Arts in Museums program funded by a 2019 grant from Aroha Philanthropies. Garrity serves currently as President of the Board of Trustees of the South Jersey Cultural Alliance, as a board member of ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, and as a member of the NJ Arts Education Collective. Garrity previously held the positions of Program Coordinator at Please Touch Museum (1989-90) and the Chicago Children's Museum (Expressways), (1987-88). Garrity has a BFA from the University of Delaware, Newark Delaware (1986), and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (1988). Garrity has received awards for arts education programming and her own artwork, including a 1998 Applause Award for Accomplishment in Education from the Markeim Art Center, Haddonfield, NJ; a New Leaf/Marion Parry Travelling Fellowship from the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago’s Annual Competition; The Isobel MacKinnon Excellence in Drawing Award from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Hometown Hero Award from the Campbell Soup Foundation (2011) for community arts in Camden, NJ.
More head-shots and bios coming soon!