Alissa Novoselick
Executive Director

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Alissa is known for her expertise in nonprofit arts administration, education, and policy.

Novoselick received her MBA from Antioch University and has a BA in English with teaching certification from the University of Michigan. Prior to accepting the position at Living Arts, Novoselick worked in West Virginia for 6 years as Executive Director of the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts and Director of Development for Carnegie Hall. She also taught high school in Camp Verde, AZ and Southfield, MI.

In West Virginia, Alissa increased revenue for her organizations and was known for her skill in arts and economic development policy. Novoselick was named one of the State Journal’s “40 Under 40,” the 2016 YWCA Woman to Watch, 2016 West Virginia Woman Rising Star, a 2015 WV Living “Wonder Woman” and served an appointment by the Governor on the Broadband Enhancement Council. She also volunteered her time on the boards of Generation WV, Fund for the Arts, and on the Philanthropy WV policy committee.  Novoselick is currently part of the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program through Harvard Business School and the University of Michigan. 

Novoselick is delighted to be coming back home to Michigan to take the helm at Living Arts and looks forward to working with the team to continue the exciting work of the organization. 

Julie Brunzell
Director of Administration

 

Julie comes to Living Arts with a background in theatre, having worked at the Purple Rose Theatre Company as a stage manager, Company Manager and Managing Director. She also served as the Managing Director of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival’s 2014 season, and the Idlewild Theatre Company’s inaugural season. She earned her B.A. in Theatre Arts and her M.A. in Arts Administration from Eastern Michigan University and studied Irish theatre and film at Trinity College, Dublin.

 

ERIKA VILLARREAL BUNCE
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS

Erika is an art administrator, art educator and visual artist. She earned her MFA in Studio Art from Purdue University in 2010 and her BA in Studio Art from the University of Dallas. Since 2003 she has developed, taught in, and directed community based art programs in Texas, Indiana, and now in Michigan. Her area of focus has been arts programming for youth in urban areas, increasing arts access for all. Since her move to the Detroit metro in 2012, Erika served as the Director of Programs at the Ann Arbor Art Center and the Community Liaison for Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts in Detroit before joining the Living Arts Team.

 

TARA TUOMAALA
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

Tara is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia University. She brings Living Arts great experience with arts and cultural organizations—large and small—in Detroit and New York. She has raised special project funds, general operating support, and capital gifts for The Jewish Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Detroit Zoological Society, and Detroit Waldorf School. Tara joined Living Arts in 2015.

 

SUSANNAH GOODMAN, 
PROGRAM MANAGER: DETROIT WOLF TRAP & IN-SCHOOL PROGRAMS

Susannah is an art educator and potter, born and living in Detroit. As a teaching artist, she has worked for Pewabic Pottery, The Heidelberg Project, and Garagé Cultural. Working in the Detroit Public Schools, charter schools and preschools, Susannah has taught in both in-school and after-school settings. Before joining the team at Living Arts, Susannah worked at the Detroit Institute of Arts as a Gallery Teacher, leading school tours and coaching Tri-County educators in learner-centered arts-infused teaching practices. She is also an Adjunct Faculty member in the Art Department at Oakland Community College. She has served as Studio Manager for the Southwest Detroit clay cooperative, Ladybug Studios, since 2012. Susannah also works in arts advocacy, serving as a councilperson on the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

 

ZACK BISSELL
OUT-OF-SCHOOL ARTS MANAGER

Zack grew up in Frankfort, MI, a small beach town up north near Traverse City, which makes him a true beach bum at heart. He has a BA in Arts and Humanities with a minor in Spanish and a specialization in Latin American and Caribbean studies from Michigan State University, where he graduated with high honors. Music, travelling, culinary arts, and languages are some of his biggest passions, taking him to many countries around the globe. Besides English, Zack also speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and can understand basic Korean. Since graduating from MSU, he completed a year of service with AmeriCorps in Albuquerque, New Mexico working in HIV prevention and education, followed by 7-months of teaching English in Korean public elementary schools, and a year managing a gourmet oil and vinegar store.

 

MARIANNE BRASS
DANCE PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Marianne is a native of Warren, Michigan and is a 2011 graduate of the prestigious Maggie Allesee Department of Dance at Wayne State University. Upon earning her degree, Marianne has worked professionally in Detroit as an independent artist and educator. Previous credits include ArtLabJ, Nerve, LaMarre and Dancers, and an artist in residence program with Spread Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, where she collaborated with local artists to curate numerous performances.

 

ZOË VILLEGAS
OFFICE MANAGER & OPERATIONS ASSISTANT

Zoë Villegas is a lifelong Detroiter from a family of five. In addition to working for Living Arts, she is a freelance journalist. Zoë has written for various independent news sources such as the Michigan Citizen, Critical Moment, and Bridge Magazine. Zoë researches and writes on a broad spectrum of Detroit-related topics covering the current state of affairs; as well as folk and paranormal history in the city. Zoë has conducted hundreds of interviews with Detroit residents regarding various social conditions, such as the current water shut-offs, and the lack of heat in family homes during the winter months through the Heat and Warmth Fund. She is proud to be a native Detroiter.

 

ROBYN MAZZA
DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT

Robyn Mazza is a Michigan native with a passion for non-profit and volunteer work focused in community building and the arts. With degrees in Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University, and English Literature from Northeastern Illinois University, she uses her writing to explore and further causes near to her heart. Having lived in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Californa and Massachusetts, Robyn has contracted as a program coordinator for Child’s Hope, and as a freelance writer, social media marketing consultant, and in client care and administration in veterinary clinics across the country. She volunteers her time as the board Vice President for the Dearborn Public Library Foundation and with the Mom’s Club of Dearborn. She also designs and creates chainmail jewelry for her business Clad Jewelry.

 

ROBERTA LUCAS
DETROIT WOLF TRAP PROGRAM SPECIALIST

A Living Arts teaching artist since 2008, Roberta led El Arte Early Learning and then became the Affiliate Director for Detroit Wolf Trap from its inception through 2016. Her contributions to Living Arts include; the creation and implementation of ACT I: A PK-3rd grade drama program to support sustained reading growth, language acquisition and social emotional development, professional development for educators, coaching for teaching artists, and choreography for showcase performances. She performed and choreographed professional Dinner Theater and Children's Theater but modern dance was always the creative informer. Dance credits in Michigan include Linda Z. Smith, Lisa Novak, The Detroit Dance Collective and Laurie Eisenhower. She trained nationally with Judith Jamison, Deborah Hay, Trisha Brown, Bill Evans and Anna Halprin. As a National Master Artist for the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Through the Arts, Roberta conducted numerous classroom residencies, teacher professional development, and artist trainings throughout the United States and internationally. Roberta is a special lecturer at Oakland University teaching dance and education majors, “creative dance for children” and “performing arts (drama & dance)  in the elementary classroom”. Lucas maintains a Michigan L.L.P. and completed a MA in clinical and humanistic psychology at MiSPP. She is a 2015 graduate of Tamalpa Institute, Kentfield, CA.—Expressive Arts and Movement Therapy.