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Mariana Alonso Jusufaj, Emlyn Taveras, Michele Westrick Join Board of Directors at Pelham Art Center

Pelham Art Center is pleased to announce the welcome of three new members to its Board of Directors. Mariana Alonso Jusufaj, Emlyn Taveras, and Michele Westrick have joined the Pelham Art Center board, bringing with them a diverse background of community outreach, arts programming, and legal expertise. The three women are excited to bring their knowledge and enthusiasm toward Pelham Art Center initiatives that support its mission to provide the community access to study, experience and appreciate the arts.


Mariana Jusufaj is a bilingual graduate of Universidad Autonoma de Baja California with a Bachelor of Science in International Business and a Paralegal Certificate from Pace University, Mariana Alonso-Jusufaj has vast experience in community outreach, community activism, case management, translation/interpretation and extensive knowledge of program creation, coordination and development. She is actively involved in diverse social initiatives within different community based organizations National and local to her community. She is dedicated to the protection and expansion of economic access, educational attainment, political influence, and increasing opportunities for underrepresented communities. She organized Latina and Black Domestic Workers in New York State and worked in collaboration with the National Domestic Workers Alliance and The worker Institute of Cornell University to create the We Rise Training Program, a Professional Development Training for House cleaners and Childcare workers. She serves as a Board Member of the Pelham Art Center and as a member of the Hispanic Advisory Board of Westchester County. Founder of the Digital Organization Mujeres en New Rochelle, Mariana has organized more than 1800 Hispanic women in the City of New Rochelle with the purpose of empowering and connecting these women and their families to resources and services and support them to become more active members of the community. In addition, Mariana is the Chair of the Hispanic American Advisory Committee who is commited to work collaboratively to promote the City of New Rochelle’s programs and efforts. Mariana currently works as a consultant for the Department of Development in the City of New Rochelle and serves as the businesses liaison in providing education, licensing and economic opportunities as well making them aware of the various funding opportunities that are available to them. Mariana lives in New Rochelle with her wonderful husband, Betim Jusufaj, and their amazing young son, Ardian Jusufaj.


Emlyn Taveras is a New York based artist and educator with over 25 years of experience creating multimedia works of art, and immersive art experiences. Emlyn holds a dual Masters degree in Art Education and Visual Arts from The College of The City of New York. She offers culturally relevant Professional Development for Educators, Administrators and students of all ages. She also offers public workshops in local communities with a focus on youth leadership, community engagement and public programming. Emlyn is inspired by the possibilities of transforming spaces through the arts and works with a variety of partners and collaborators to realize this vision. She sits on the Village of Pelham Council of the Arts. Her collaborations and projects include the transformation of several NYC buildings and businesses into Art Schools in the Bronx. Her current transformation projects for uplifting localized communities include the Golden Lady Strip Club, Sin City Gentleman’s club, and the revitalization of a new Arts school in San Juan, Puerto Rico.





Michele Westrick and her husband Scott have been living in Pelham for nearly nine years. She is a commercial attorney at Mastercard specializing in issues related to data, technology and digital media. She holds a BA from Barnard College and a JD from Brooklyn Law School. As an avid art lover, Michele is excited to join the Pelham Art Center Board and support its outreach programs. She is also looking forward to exposing her five year old son Rowan and nine month old daughter Leila to all the Art Center has to offer.



The Pelham Art Center Board of Directors invites the community to come engage and learn about some of the organization’s recent updates and initiatives at Pelham Art Center’s upcoming Community Art Day on August 27th. 



Pelham Art Center is a non-profit educational and cultural institution committed to providing public access to see, study and experience the arts, foster lifelong arts appreciation and thereby strengthen the community.  The Art Center was founded in 1970 and now serves more than 16,000 people each year. These events and programs are made possible, in part, by ArtsWestchester with funds from Westchester County Government with the support of County Executive George Latimer. Pelham Art Center also receives funding from: New York State Council on the Arts, A State Agency, TD Charitable Foundation, The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), and Pelham Community Members and Annual Fund Donors.