Kris Rodolico, Board President is the founder and Executive Director of Follow Your Art Community Studios. She is an artist, art therapist, and art facilitator with 25 years of experience bringing creative art experiences to children and adults. Kris has a Masters degree in Art Therapy and has been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Massachusetts and Registered Art Therapist since 2001. From 2008-2019 Kris owned Follow Your Art, the small community art studio that later became FYACS. Before that, she worked in schools and treatment centers, with individuals, groups, and families. In her own creative work, Kris uses mainly clay, paint, and mixed media/found object collage.
Sara Reish Desmond, Board Secretary is a long time educator having spent more than 15 years in urban Los Angeles and Boston public and charter schools where she taught High School English. She is passionate about bringing to life a community art space that supports artists of all kinds and exposes and engages the broader community in the power of the arts. Sara received her undergraduate degree from Kenyon College and an MFA in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has appeared in publications including The Kenyon Review, Water~Stone Review, The Los Angeles Review, Cutthroat, and Front Porch. Her stories have been finalists for the Rick DeMarinis Award in short fiction and the Copper Nickel Award in short fiction.
Martha Grover, Board Treasurer has served on the boards of several local non-profit organizations including the Melrose Cultural Council and is an active community volunteer. During the day, Martha is the City of Melrose Energy Efficiency Manager, leading the City’s efforts to promote renewables and energy efficiency. She is thrilled be a founding member of the FYACS, Inc. board and contributing to the creation of a much-needed place for making arts of all kinds in Melrose.
Adam C. LaFrance, Esq. is an attorney in the field of legal ethics working with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers (BBO). He is a member of the Melrose Human Rights Commission and Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Human Rights Coalition. Before joining the BBO, Adam worked for several years in private practice, prior to which he was a public school educator.
Sue Dragoo Lembo moved to Melrose 14 years ago. Looking to meet local Melrosians in her community, she immersed herself in the visual arts: volunteering and teaching painting. She also formed a monthly artist challenge group called “Media Mavens” which has been running strong for the last 5 years.
Sue worked as a technical illustrator for the Entergy Nuclear plant and then as a graphic designer for NSTAR before deciding to follow her true passion and pursue painting full time. Her Work is represented by 3 major galleries and locally at Hourglass Gift gallery. She considers her long term involvement in various art associations, including the Copley Society of Boston, to be an asset in helping guide her board in their vision for an all inclusive art center.
Elizabeth Christopher is a working writer with 20 years of experience writing about the people and technologies shaping major industries. As a Melrose resident and active community member, she was a founding board member of the Melrose Education Foundation and has served as a PTO president. She’s proud to be a founding member of the FYACS Writing Room and Writers’ Committee, whose focus is to build a supportive writing community in Melrose. Her creative pieces have appeared in various places, including HuffPost, the Boston Globe, Slow Trains Literary Magazine, Moveable Feasts: An Anthology, North End Waterfront, the Melrose Free Press, the Melrose Weekly News and other outlets. She received her master’s degree in English Composition from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and has taught writing to children and adults.
Alaine Breen, CPA has served on several nonprofit boards including AbilityPLUS Adaptive Sports and Friends of the Melrose Public Library; in her work as a CPA, she has a wealth of experience working with nonprofit organizations, bringing this experience to her board position with FYACS. After growing up in Melrose, she moved back to our city when her son (now 18!) was a toddler. She’s been an active volunteer in our schools over the years, including work with the Melrose SEPAC and serving on the MVMMS and MHS site councils.
Past Board Members
Jane Foley came to the FYACS board with a background as an administrator, for First Parish UU Church in Lexington. She has lived in Melrose for almost 30 years and spends her time parenting and volunteering for different organizations around the city, including the Friends of Melrose Drama and the Melrose Unitarian Universalist Church.
Brian Souza and his husband, Darren, lived in Melrose for nearly 15 years. In addition to being a lifelong lover of the arts, Brian has worked with healthcare non-profits for more than two decades. and currently serves as the CEO of Primary Care Progress (PCP), a national non-profit organization working to support and strengthen the national primary care workforce.
Brian has left our board to pursue a new chapter in his life with his husband in Beverly MA.