Announcing Expanded Leadership

Passion, coupled with creativity, hope, and determination, leads to growth… growth of students, of artists and educators, of entire communities, and yesof organizations! With immense excitement, we are thrilled to announce that leadership at Young Audiences of Maryland is growing!

Join us in welcoming two new hiresChief Operating Officer Hector Garcia and Chief of Arts & Learning Academies Kendra Banksand congratulating Chief of Innovation & Strategic Initiatives Kurtis Donnelly and Director of Arts & Learning Academies Michael Brush on their promotions!

These new leaders and the wide range of talents and ideas they bring are both a testament to and necessity of our organization’s recent growth. Our opportunity has never been greater to reach more students, artists, and educators, to equitably expand our programs, and to push the boundaries of what is possible in arts-integrated learning. Hector, Kendra, Kurtis, and Michael will help make that happen.

Hector Garcia is a seasoned leader who brings strong experience leading and growing nonprofits, working with school districts, and helping guide impactful organizations such as the American Red Cross—serving there as COO of the Mid-Atlantic Region. In addition, he led FIRN (Foreign Born Referral Network) for nine years and worked as VP of Operations for the American Cancer Society. Hector connects with people with compassion, shares our commitment to equity, and he is passionate about service and the role the arts play in transforming learning for students.

Kendra Banks worked in Baltimore City Public Schools for more than seven years as teacher, administrator, and Director of Restorative Practices. She has extensive experience working directly with students and families, and has brought artists to schools and communities through the nonprofit she founded, One World Cultural Arts Society. She currently chairs the Education Committee of the Howard County Branch of the NAACP.

As Young Audiences’ Chief of Arts & Learning Academies, Kurtis Donnelly played a central role in the creation and expansion of the Summer Arts & Learning Academy. In his new role as Chief of Innovation & Strategic Initiatives, Kurtis will lead us in exploring, planning, and pursuing new ideas that push our organization and programs to the next level for students.

As Director of Arts & Learning Academies, Michael Brush will lead the management, development, and ongoing enhancement of our Summer Arts & Learning Academy and After School Arts & Learning Academy. His five year experience supporting this work as Assistant Director of Arts & Learning Academies puts him and Young Audiences in a fantastic position to continue making progress.

Welcome and congratulations to each of these leaders!