New Alliance Staff
The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County (Alliance) has recently added two new employees to the staff.
Alliance executive director, Jim Shirley, states, “We are excited to have two top level professionals with Michelle and Ria’s backgrounds join the Alliance team. They both bring knowledge and skill sets that will have a dramatic impact on our ability to achieve our mission for the community.”
Michele Des Verney Redwine has been named the Director of New Initiatives. This newly created position allows the Alliance to respond to the needs of Sarasota County’s ever changing arts and culture landscape.
Michele comes to the Alliance with 46 years of executive-leadership experience in not-for-profit organizations, public sectors, educational institutions and local government entities. She is recognized as a visual artist, educator and an accomplished executive with expert knowledge and certification in diversity integration; linking education and business in programs supporting institutional diversity vision, recruitment and cultural learning. All of this has led to growth towards healthier communities.
Ria Cooper joins the Alliance as the Director of Education. This position has been an vital part of the Alliance since its inception. Ria will continue the Alliance’s commitment to creating a collaborative arts education environment in Sarasota County that ensures that all members of the community have access to the arts.
Ria has worked domestically and internationally with various populations. Prior to moving to Sarasota, she lived and worked in NYC for many years as a theater director and teaching artist with various arts education organizations, theaters, and the NYC DOE. For the past five years, Ria served as the Community Engagement Specialist at Asolo Repertory Theatre, where her work included writing and directing Faces of Change, a community-based documentary theater project and co-facilitating Kaleidoscope, a residency with adults and teenagers with special needs that culminated in a mainstage performance.