Meet the Team
Tamara Harkavy, CEO and Artist Director, founded ArtWorks in 1996. Since its launch as a job-training and employment program for talented teens, ArtWorks has become a leader in employing artists of all ages, creating public art and initiating innovation arts programming for the city of Cincinnati. Under her leadership, ArtWorks has employed more than 2,500 teens and over 700 professional artists to work on countless arts projects. Many of these works of art remain, in public and private venues, as testaments to the artistic talents of the participants. Tamara and her team were also the creative force behind both the 2000 and 2012 Big Pig Gig. Since 2007, the ArtWorks team has created 90 murals in 36 Cincinnati neighborhoods and 7 nearby cities. They are now working on several new initiatives, including Hero Design Company working with artists and children facing challenges to discover their super powers, and CO.STARTERS – a business development course for Creative Entrepreneurs. Ongoing work includes ArtWorks Murals and Queen City Art Racks – sculptural bike racks and a host of public art projects.
In 2010 ArtWorks was the winner of the City Livability Award, by the U.S. Conference of Mayors for its mural program. In 2010 Representative Steve Driehaus invited Tamara to deliver the keynote address at the 2010 Congressional Art Competition ceremonies in Washington D.C. ArtWorks has also been awarded three prestigious Post-Corbett Awards; the Ambassador Award from the Convention and Visitors Bureau, a Community Impact Award from the American Marketing Association, and recognition from Hillary Rodham Clinton for ArtWorks’ leadership and vision. In April ArtWorks was awarded the Star Award for Non-profit of the Year by the Over-the-Rhine Chamber.
Tamara, a 2007 Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year, serves on the board of the Art Academy of Cincinnati. She was a trustee from 2007-2010 on the board of Tender Mercies, was a founding member of the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund. In 2012 and 2013 Tamara served as co-chair of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Pride event, raising money for the CSO and honoring the contributions of David Herriman and Michelle and Sara Vance Waddell respectively. She has also served as co-chair for two major event celebrating Israel’s 50th and 60th birthday’s for Cincinnati’s Jewish Federation and acts in an advisory capacity for many smaller arts organizations. She has recently joined the group, CEO’s for Cities. She holds a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State. She is the mother of Jazz drummer (a graduate of University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music) Ben Sloan, and is married to artist and real estate guy, Matthew Kotlarczyk.
Vice President of Programs & Operations
As Vice President of Programs and Operations, Colleen is responsible for project and partnership development, management and implementation of all ArtWorks programs. In this capacity, Colleen serves as a chief community outreach liaison for ArtWorks. Colleen has been instrumental in the growth, strategic positioning, organizational change and success of ArtWorks and its many programs in Public Art, Creative Enterprise, ArtRx. She has been directly involved in building strategic partnerships to produce the painting of 130+ public murals in 36 Cincinnati neighborhoods and in 6 nearby cities. These programs are helping create a more vibrant region and are a clear indicator that our communities and arts are thriving. The success of the mural program and its impact on Cincinnati was acknowledged by the U.S. Conference of Mayors Livability Award in 2010.
Colleen oversees all programs that transform people and place through investments in creativity at ArtWorks .Colleen leads a talented team of nine individuals who manage ArtWorks’ programming efforts to produce an average of 35 major projects, recruit and employ over 300 professional and youth artists, and train over 60 creative local businesses annually to transform the vibrancy of the Greater Cincinnati region.
Prior to her tenure at ArtWorks, Colleen graduated with a BA from Warren Wilson College where she customized a degree in Public and Social Art. Colleen continues to work as a consultant and volunteer to many community arts projects including CoSign, which enhances the economic activity in tri-state neighborhoods by pairing artists and designers with small businesses and professional sign fabricators to design and install unique handcrafted signage for local retailers. In 2014 she was awarded a Next Generation Leader Award and is a graduate of the EXCEL program of the Non-Profit Leadership Institute of Greater Cincinnati.
Vice President of Finance & Administration
As Vice President of Finance and Administration, Lyle has ownership of financial planning and reporting, the pursuit of activities that lead to a more sustainable organization, and overall responsibility for HR, Risk, IT and the Finance and Accounting functions of ArtWorks. In this, capacity Lyle provides leadership for strategic direction setting, financial oversight and organizational effectiveness.
Lyle joined ArtWorks in 2016, bringing over two decades of corporate experience in strategic business planning, organizational leadership, financial analysis, technology management and procurement, to lead the continued growth and advancement of the ArtWorks organization. Lyle spent 10+ years at Dunnhumby in a variety of senior level positions within the finance and technology functions. He also served as Director of Finance at Trillium Health Care Products and spent over a decade at Procter & Gamble in multiple finance and technology positions.
Lyle is a proud graduate of the University of Cincinnati with bachelor degrees in finance and information systems. He lives in Hyde Park with his wife, Jen, and their two daughters, Caroline and Genevieve. Lyle enjoys the arts broadly, from the visual arts at our local museums and galleries to the performing arts at the many theaters in the city, and he has recently begun to explore his creative side, taking up sketching and painting in his spare time.
Director of ArtRx
Marie has been on the ArtWorks team since May 2011. Starting off as the Development and Marketing Intern, Marie has traded hats around the office coordinating events like Secret ArtWorks, managing projects like the Big Pig Gig: Do Re Wee, and serving as ArtWorks’ Executive Assistant, Office Manager, and most recently Sponsorship and Events Manager. In her current role as Director of ArtRx, Marie blends her experience, education, and passion for working with children to administer theraputic arts-based programming for children, families and hospital staff. Marie graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and holds a BFA in Painting and a BA in Psychology.
Megan Rahill joined the ArtWorks staff in June 2014 as the Coordinator of ArtRx, the division of ArtWorks that is dedicated to promoting health and well-being through the healing power of art and art-making. Megan’s experience with project management and network of local nonprofits will be put to good use as she and the Director of ArtRx, Marie Elyse Krulewitch-Browne, work to expand the program and serve partners beyond the healthcare world. In her previous position as a Public Ally at Faces without Places, Megan worked with Cincinnati’s family emergency shelters to provide educational support and enrichment opportunities to children experiencing homelessness. She hopes to combine her knowledge of the economic issues faced by families and individuals in our community with her passion for the creative, to remove all kinds of barriers through the healing power of art. Megan has a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Earlham College.
Development & Communications
Matt comes to ArtWorks after years of experience in Cincinnati’s creative scene. Whether working in design, music, painting, or photography, he finds the medium used to create less important than the act itself. Matt hopes his diverse knowledge base will help ArtWorks to further establish this city as a creative hub. When not staring at a monitor, forgetting to blink for an inordinate amount of time, you will probably find him in the photo pit of a local show or chasing his son through the woods. Matt is a 3 time champion of the International Donal Logue Look-Alike Contest.
Rachel started with ArtWorks in 2002 when she was a youth Apprentice on the Editorial Ink project. When she joined ArtWorks again in 2014, she was the Creative Enterprise Marketing Coordinator and the Project Coordinator for CincyInk. Today, she is the Communications Manager. Rachel hopes to attract, retain and harness the talent of artists and makers of all types in an effort to bring more attention to Cincinnati.
Lisa Beshara Saia
Director of Community Partnerships
Lisa is a skilled relationship builder and idea person, developing strategic partnerships with the Cincinnati business community and ArtWorks. As an accomplished senior level marketing and advertising professional with years of experience driving the success of multi-million dollar brands and businesses, Lisa has worked with global businesses and brands, such as P&G, J.M. Smucker Company, Abbott Pharmaceuticals, The Discovery Channel, and MTV Latin America. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati and Colegio de Espana, Lisa is proficient in both the Spanish & Arabic languages and has traveled and lived in Europe and the Middle East. When she is not busy working, Lisa loves trying out new restaurants, traveling and taking Pure Barre or Cycle Bar classes. She is a Cincinnati native and loves this city!
Director of Individual Giving
As a local broadcast journalist, Kit found she enjoys telling stories. It is the ArtWorks story, and those of the many Student Apprentices we serve, that she now takes to potential funders as the Director of Individual Giving. Kit joined ArtWorks in 2016 after 33 years at WKRC TV, 19 of them on the main anchor desk. Prior to that, Kit was a reporter for KHQ TV in Spokane.
A Seattle native, Kit lives with her husband Mike in Northern Kentucky. She enjoys baking, walking across the purple people bridge with dog Dot, reading, and time with their three children.
Director of Public Art
Prior to her current position as Director of Public Art at ArtWorks, Cori served as Executive/Artistic Director and Gallery Curator of two esteemed non-profit arts organizations—Buffalo Arts Studio in Buffalo, NY, and the Olean Public Library Visual Arts Program in Olean, NY. In these roles, she presented aesthetically and conceptually compelling solo and group exhibitions by emerging and renowned local, national, and international artists. Cori was awarded “Best Curator” (2011/13) and “Best Arts Administrator” (2012) in Buffalo Spree Magazine’s “Best of Western New York” awards. She was also named “30 Under Thirty” by Business First and was identified as a “Forward Thinker” by Visit Buffalo Niagara in 2013. She earned her Graduate Certificate in Critical Museum Studies, Master of Arts in Art History, and Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Philosophy from the State University of New York at Buffalo. For the past ten years, Cori has been actively involved with several arts and cultural organizations as a teacher, juror, presenter, independent curator and volunteer. She enjoys providing food for thought with baked goods and creative writing and looks forward to running with her sweet pup, Kali, in her new neighborhood of Northside.
Senior Public Art Manager
Originally from Michigan, Meredith is returning to Ohio after graduating from Miami University in 2009, earning an M.F. A. in Printmaking. For the last four years, she has lived in Metro-Detroit- working for both Pewabic Pottery as Design Coordinator and for Oakland University as Special Lecturer and Academic Adviser for Studio Art, Graphic Design, and Art Education. While maintaining her home and art studio in Dayton, Ohio, she continues to create new creative work and is in the process of building her own printing press. Joining the ArtWorks Cincinnati Public Art Team in June 2014 has provided an opportunity for Meredith to nurture her passion for public art, creative dialogue, and community engagement.
Public Art Manager
Linnea joined the Public Art team in May 2015 after serving ArtWorks as Talent Coordinator since December 2014. She is originally from Southern Minnesota and received her undergraduate degree in Art History from Minnesota State University Moorhead focus on contemporary art and curatorial practice. Prior to moving to Cincinnati, she worked at Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota where she acquired a love for social and community engagement through the arts. As Public Art Manager for ArtWorks, Linnea is excited for the opportunity to have a stronger hand in serving the ArtWorks mission of empowering creatives and transforming our city.
Business Operations Manager
Francesca joined the ArtWorks team in April 2011. As the Business Operations Manager, she oversees the financial integrity of Artworks. This includes all financial reporting and maintenance. Francesca is also responsible for maintaining personnel records and payroll. She has been in the Cincinnati area since 1997, and is also involved with local theater programs. Francesca enjoys event/wedding planning, floral arranging and spending time with her family.
Executive Assistant and Office Manager
Amy is a native of Cincinnati, currently living in Brighton. Prior to joining the ArtWorks team, in 2014, Amy worked in the Admissions department of the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where she graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Sculpture, in 2010. She is also a graduate of ArtWorks Co.Starters program where Pull Club Studio, a girl powered printmaking studio was born. Amy is passionate about public art, place making, and engaging young, emerging and student artists.
Talent & Creative Enterprise
Director of Talent
Colleen O’Connor joined the ArtWorks team in September of 2013 as the Executive Assistant and Office Manager. She is responsible for managing all scheduling and correspondence for the CEO and Artistic Director; is the lead key staff contact for the communication and record keeping for the Board of Trustees; and is responsible for the organization and daily management of the ArtWorks office. Colleen holds a BFA in Photography from the University of Dayton and is completing course work towards her MA in Nonprofit Visual Arts Administration from New York University. Colleen has recently moved back from Brooklyn, NY, where she had been working in higher education and the arts. She is extremely passionate about public art, community engagement and creative placemaking, and has curated two recent exhibitions (2012) on the impact of digital technology on perception and society.
Chelsey joined the Talent team in 2016 after working as a Teaching Artist on the OTR: New Lines project. She came to Cincinnati in 2006 to attend the Art Academy of Cincinnati, earning her BFA while studying Illustration and Printmaking. Before joining the ArtWorks team, Chelsey worked as a graphic designer and freelance illustrator. When she’s not at ArtWorks, you can usually find her at Pull Club, a print studio she co-owns located in Camp Washington.