Meet the Team Behind the Athena Awesomeness
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Executive Producer and Founder
Angela is the proud creator and producer of Athena Project and is continually excited by the synergy it creates. Angela is a Colorado native, with a degree in Business and Theatre from the University of Colorado at Denver. She made her New York directorial debut in 2008 with Retro Productions’ Mill Fire (nominated for five NYITA awards). A year later, she directed Flux Theatre Ensemble’s highly acclaimed Pretty Theft, by Adam Szymkowicz, and went on to direct and produce many new plays at New York venues and festivals over several years. Angela’s favorite Denver directing credits include The Laramie Project (Evergreen Players), and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Edge Theatre) for which she won an Edgy and Marlowe Best Director award. She is mom to two beautiful and smart children, Brooklyn and Jonathan, and the wife of Jason Astle, the most supportive husband ever!
President of the Board
Anne counts herself as an ‘almost’ native to Colorado, having lived in Denver since she was six years old. She graduated from South High School where Joyce Hettler, the drama teacher there, ignited her passion for acting. With an eye toward the practical, Anne graduated from the University of Wyoming with a major in French and a minor in theatre. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver and practiced law for many years with the firm of Nathan, Bremer, Dumm and Myers. She retired in order to pursue her interest in the arts. Since then, she has been active in the vibrant Denver theater scene, working as an actor. Anne is honored to serve as the President of Athena Project. Other hats she wears within the organization include Mentor Coordinator and Production Coordinator for Athena’s annual visual arts show.
Vice President of the Board
Lindsay, originally from Wilmington, DE, graduated from the University of Delaware in 2004 with degrees in Theatre Production and Spanish. She then taught high school Drama and Spanish for four years, before relocating to Denver in 2008, and discovering its robust nonprofit community. She started work for Ballet Nouveau Colorado (now Wonderbound and Colorado Conservatory of Dance), and quickly became an integral part of the organization’s promotional team. From 2011 to 2014, Lindsay returned to teaching part time at Englewood Middle School, and was part of a crucial team designing a new campus for grades 7–12, focusing on multiple strategic details from architecture to curriculum design. Now at Swallow Hill Music, Lindsay combines her passion for folk music and arts administration. As Director of Marketing, Lindsay manages a team working to raise brand awareness and ensure success of the organization’s programs and fulfil its mission and vision.
Secretary, Treasurer, Production Coordinator
Amelia was born in Colorado, and in 2005 she graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design and Technology focusing on stage management and production technology. She spent several years in Virginia as a stage manager and assistant company manager for the Richmond Ballet. Since returning to Colorado she has stage managed for several companies including The University of Denver, the Edge Theater, and Athena Project. As a member of the Board of Directors, she is delighted to be able to help Athena Project as it continues to grow and advance female voices in the arts. In her role as Production Coordinator for Athena Project, Amelia oversees all production elements and needs for the organization’s many and varied events, a role which puts her multitasking ability to good use.
Board Member and Special Projects Coordinator
Courtney is a forward-thinking researcher, educator, and artist. She is a lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Denver and a communications specialist at ARTiculate: Real and Clear. As Special Projects Coordinator for Athena Project, Courtney is the lead researcher for an annual survey of gender parity in theatres across the Rocky Mountain Region. Courtney has gathered experience in theatre, higher education, and publishing in her work with The Denver Centre Theatre Academy, The Community College of Aurora, The Aurora Fox, Theatre Research in Canada, Toronto’s Summerworks Festival, and The University of Toronto. Courtney holds a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Toronto and a Master’s in Performance Studies for New York University. Courtney is driven by projects that bring together her love of theatre and communication with her desire for creating a more equitable world.
Art Director and Board Member
Charlotte has been an artist and world traveler all her life. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts to immigrant parents and spent her summers as a child with family in Europe. Before getting a degree in Fine Art, she took a year to travel the world equipped with a sketchbook, journal, camera and backpack. It was the start of a life-long passion for travel and inspired the creation of a series of more than 100 artistic world maps. Recently, Charlotte shifted her focus from being a successful web/graphic designer/art director to being a full-time artist.
Katie Wear Blum
Board Member and Events Committee
Katie graduated from Duke University with a BA in Public Policy and Visual Arts and earned an MBA from the University of Denver. Katie led business development efforts for a couple nonprofits and even spent time working with one in Tanzania. Katie also worked in finance in New York City for William Blair & Company and J.P. Morgan. She is currently the Director, Acquisitions for East West Partners, a real estate development company in Denver. As part of The Coloradan, Katie managed the development of Union Hall, a community-focused arts and culture space. Katie is leading the Event Committee for Athena Project and is excited to be involved with such a fantastic organization focused on equality and the arts!
Maureen has a creative background is in dance, and her choreography has been showcased in New York, California, Washington, New Mexico and Colorado. She’s received support from the SCFD, Colorado Council on the Arts & National Endowment for the Arts, The Denver Foundation and numerous other agencies for her creative endeavors.
In addition to her choreographic work, Maureen is a Principal at Cultivage Consulting & Training where she supports organizations’ growth and strategic development as a trainer, executive coach and consultant. In addition to working with the Athena Arts Project, she currently serves on the boards of The Hannah Kahn Dance Company and Ballet Mélange. Maureen graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Claremont McKenna College in California where she studied International Economics and Mathematics.
Darlene C. Ritz
Dr. Ritz has designed in New York city, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tokyo, Toronto, and many other cities. Darlene, a Colorado native, returned to her home state in 2014 to launch the Fashion Design department at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. As a scholar/practitioner, Darlene continues to practice her craft and inspire the next generation of industry professionals. DCR Studios began as a way to inspire students to take chances and branch into independent collection. Darlene has been training the next generation of fashion industry professionals since 2003.
Board Member and Volunteer Coordinator
Alex, originally from the Twin Cities, Minnesota moved to Denver by randomly selecting a city on a map. Upon arriving and finding it a perfect place to call home, she graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in Human Services. She currently embraces a career in human resources, finding purpose within driving efficiency and engagement in talent management. Now at a large financial institution, she finds more time for her other passions which include giving back to the community, and advocating for equal rights for women. As Volunteer Coordinator and Outreach Committee member, Alex engages with interested people to match Athena’s needs with their available time and skills. She is so excited about building relationships with volunteers, audiences, and community members in the Denver art scene!
Such (pronounced ’such’) is a Boston born, New York raised, California educated, Chicago groomed Soul singer. As a performer she has enough energy to power a small city, captivating and winning over audiences in renowned venues across the U.S., U.K, France, Japan and the Netherlands. As a songwriter, she’s a natural-born storyteller, weaving lyrics that capture the imagination and touch the soul. Her album, ‘Trial and Error’ follows on the heels of her successful lead single, ‘Sugar Maple’, which topped UK’s Soul Charts for several consecutive weeks and is a favorite on urban and satellite radio. In 2016, she became the first and only Black American woman to win an All African Music Award (AFRIMA), continental Africa’s equivalent of a Grammy.