The Arts and Education Council announced that Caren Vredenburgh, former senior director creative services at Caleres, has been elected as the nonprofit’s new board chair. Vredenburgh has served on the board for seven years. Four members of the board of directors have also been elected. Jeffrey D. Carter, M.D., Naretha Hopson, Janet Newcomb and Solomon Thurman, Jr. were each elected to a three-year term beginning January 1. Newly-elected Young Friends of the Arts President Alexandra Schenk, marketing director at Capes Sokol, also joined the board as an ex officio member.

Officers have also been elected to the following positions: Curtis Cassel, Vice Chair and Governance Committee Chair; Ken Haller, M.D., Vice Chair; Nicole Hudson, Secretary; Deanna Hohmann, Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair; Linda Lee, Development Committee Chair; Brad Liebman, Facilities Committee Chair; Terrance Good, Grants and Program Committee Chair; Sheila Burkett, Strategic Planning Committee Chair, and Kit Sundararaman, Marketing Committee Chair.

“We are thrilled to welcome Caren as our new board chair. Under her leadership and with these new board members, the Arts and Education Council is positioned to continue supporting more than 70 arts organizations through diverse grants and programing while developing exciting new initiatives,” said Cynthia A. Prost, Arts and Education Council president and CEO.

“On behalf of the Arts and Education Council, I’m pleased to welcome these four individuals to the board of directors. Their leadership, expertise and passion for the arts in our community will be valuable as we work to keep art happening across the St. Louis region,” said Board Chair Caren Vredenburgh.

Jeffrey D. Carter, M.D. is an anesthesiologist in Des Peres, Missouri, and is affiliated with Missouri Baptist Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine and has been practicing for more than 20 years.

Naretha Hopson is the Founder and Executive Director of Ever-Appropriate Etiquette Institute (EAEI), which educates youth and professionals in leadership, dining etiquette, business etiquette and impression management. Previously, she served as Director of Diversity Outreach and Assistant Editor for United Media International, a global publishing house for the Korean American Journal and Beauty Times Magazine. A St. Louis native, she has served on boards and committees including the United Way, Urban League, the St. Louis Regional Business Council Young Professional Network, Young Professional Boards of the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery and the Saint Louis Zoo.

Janet Newcomb is Director of Client Service at Kennedy Capital Management, Inc. where she is responsible for leading a team in all aspects of the client experience, including the oversight of client onboarding, client meetings and reviews, RFIs and all other client communications. Prior to that she was Senior Vice President and Market Director; Managing Director at PNC Capital Advisors, LLC for 18 years. She previously served one term on the Arts and Education Council’s board from 2016 to 2018.

Solomon Thurman, Jr. is an artist, researcher, and teacher who has been painting for more than three decades. His style can be categorized as conceptual realism and contemporary abstractions. His art focuses primarily on the American experience with an emphasis on the African diaspora. He has been featured in numerous one-man and group exhibitions in United States, Canada and Brazil. Thurman received the 2020 St. Louis Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.

To view a complete board listing click here.