essex county

arts & culture summit


September 27 | 8am-4pm

The Cabot | Beverly, MA

The 2024 Arts & Culture Summit will be a day to celebrate the artists and creators working every day to make Essex County more vibrant and more resilient. We’ve planned a full day, all dedicated to the emerging trends and collective challenges that are being experienced in Essex County.

Together, we’ll be inspired by the innovative work happening across the region and learn from leaders in the sector whose creative practices, experience, dedication and insight are making an impact. 


Harold Steward, Executive Director, New England Foundation for the Arts
Vin Cipolla, Executive Director, Historic New England
Emily Ruddock, Executive Director, MassCreative
Andrew Zitcer, Director Urban Strategies Graduate Program, Drexel University
January Gill O’Neil, poet
Dariana Guerrero, spoken word 
uBuyile Toyvo Narwele, dance
Loida Love Dominguez and Nicholas, music
Cultura Latina, dance



Breakfast & Networking
Plenary Session
Lunch & Networking
Creative Democracy & Advocacy Panel Session
Wine Down



Harold Steward

Executive Director
New England Foundation for the Arts

Harold Steward, a modern philosopher, strategist, and educator, joined NEFA as executive director in July 2023. Prior to NEFA, they served as the executive director & cultural strategist at The Theatre Offensive (TTO), a Boston-based nonprofit organization that presents liberating art by, for, and about queer and trans people of color that transcends artistic boundaries, celebrates cultural abundance, and dismantles oppression. They previously served as manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center, which provides instruction and enrichment in the arts with an emphasis on the African contribution to world culture.

In 2009, Harold founded Fahari Arts Institute in Dallas after recognizing a gap in the landscape for local LGBTQ artists of color in Dallas. Fahari Arts Institute celebrated, displayed, and produced the work of queer artists from the African Diaspora.

Harold is chair of the board of directors of Theater Communications Group, the board clerk for MassCreative, a steering committee member of the Black Theater Commons, and a founding member of NextGen National Arts Network and founding partner of Steward Cultural Development Group.

Steward served as a cultural equity facilitator with Equity Quotient and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Theater Studies at Emerson College where his current research interests include The Queer Trap Aesthetic in American Theatre and Identity Reclamation, the process in which oppressed individuals reclaim agency over their identity through cultural production.

Vin Cipolla

Executive Director
Historic New England

Vin Cipolla has served as Chairman, President, and CEO across public and private organizations in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, and London, including serving as President and CEO of the National Park Foundation, President and CEO of The Municipal Art Society of New York, Executive Director of David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Chairman and President of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and as a President and CEO with Fidelity Capital of Fidelity Investments. Appointed in 2020, he is the President and CEO of Historic New England, the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive independent preservation organization in the United States. He has taught at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, and is the recipient of numerous honors for his civic and business leadership. A lifelong preservation and arts advocate, he has been on the forefront of protecting and sustaining our cultural fabric.

ECCF Logo in White Overlay


500 Cummings Center, Suite 5450
Beverly, Massachusetts 01915