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BOARD MEMBERS & STAFF

Team
MEET THE TEAM
ANDREA KENNEDY
Founder/Executive Director
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Andrea, affectionately known as "Ms. Andi," is a Baltimore, MD native with a deep commitment to enriching families and fostering community engagement. As an avid art enthusiast, she firmly believes in the transformative power of art to influence culture, drive social change, and shape an individual's life trajectory. Recognizing that everyone possesses artistic potential, Andrea founded #TAPInc to provide a platform for individuals to tap into their creative abilities.

Having matriculated through the Baltimore City Public School System and graduating from Baltimore City College High School in 2006,

 

Andrea pursued her education at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she earned a Bachelor's in Family Science in 2010. With over a decade of experience working with children and families, Andrea brings a wealth of expertise to her endeavors.

In 2022, Andrea further solidified her commitment to social impact by graduating from the University of Baltimore with a Master's in Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship. Leveraging her extensive professional background and education, she dedicates herself to using her passion for art to drive positive change. Andrea provides creative consulting services, helping others fulfill their purpose and make meaningful contributions to society.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Andrea is a creative force, engaging in activities such as painting, drawing, singing, and mentoring young creatives. Her vision for The Arts Project is to inspire and encourage all youth to pursue their dreams passionately, unlocking their full potential through artistic expression. With Andrea's guidance, The Arts Project aims to be a catalyst for positive transformation and empowerment in the lives of young individuals, fostering a community where creativity thrives.

Mariah Ash
Founding Member/Music Teacher/ Performance Arts Specialist
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Mariah Ash is a Baltimore local. Ash’s introduction to music began with her father and aunt who played guitar, provided the first live entertainment for our city fair, and sang in various neighborhood clubs in the 70s. She studied choral music at Baltimore City College High School and Penn State University. Mariah’s paternal grandmother and Billie Holiday were first cousins, which inspired her love of jazz. Her jazz roots run a deep mood indigo as she evokes a similar forthright yet gentle tone. Mariah uses her singing and songwriting to heal herself and will continue sharing with others to do the same.

 

Mariah Ash is a Baltimore local. Ash’s introduction to music began with her father and aunt who sang and played guitar. She studied choral music at Baltimore City College High School and Penn State University. Mariah’s grandmother and Billie Holiday were first cousins, which inspired her love of jazz and story telling. She uses her singing and songwriting to heal herself and will continue sharing with others to do the same.

Briell McCoy English
Program Manager/ Board Secretary
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 Briell McCoy-English is a Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend but besides all of those titles she identifies most as a  creative. While she has dabbled in theatre and stage production,  her creative journey found that she is a wordsmith, and has a passion for writing. Briell is a published author,  with one of great successful publications being Love on Sunday,.  In addition, she has written and produced a series of plays about Women’s equality and written for the Afro newspaper.

Currently, Briell works for Beautiful Hearts and Minds Health Services engaging the community with understanding and acknowledging mental health diagnosis. She brings several years of professional experience with her having worked for Baltimore City Public schools and launching an after-care program and summer camp program.

 

When asked why she loves to serve children, she says, "I love children and helping to make all children feel comfortable in the skin that they are in." 

Sharonda Lang
Board Member/ FUNdraising Chairperson
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Sharonda Lang is a native of  East Baltimore, Maryland She matriculated through the Baltimore City Public School System and  graduated from Baltimore City College High School. She then attended the University of Maryland,  College Park and studied Hearing and Speech Sciences.

 

She began a career in Applied Behavior Analysis and works at the Kennedy Krieger Institute as a Behavior Analyst. Her hobbies include singing, making handmade jewelry, and any craft involving a cricuit machine.

 

She has released two R&B singles and sings in a  local gospel group.

Jana'y Moore 
Board Member
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Jana'y is an arts educator for Baltimore County and has served with The Arts Project since 2020.  

Shayla Simmons 
Arts in Education and Performing Arts Specialist
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Shayla Simmons is an award winning actress, singer, writer, director, acting coach, teaching artist and founder of the “principled performing arts production company”, NguzoArt! She is a proud graduate of Baltimore City College High School and alumni of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy of New York City. 

 

After touring internationally with The Golden Gospel Singers and Disney Cruise Lines in the musicals, “Aladdin”, “Hercules” and “The Lion King”, she traveled the U.S. playing four women of African American history in the one-woman show, “Ain’t I a Woman”. Later portraying the major roles of Mae Jemison, Mary Fields and Barbara Hillary, the first black woman to reach both the North and South Pole in the Smithsonian's Discovery Theater’s production of “Into the Great Unknown”.

 

Shayla has appeared in over 20 plays, musicals, television shows, independent and feature films. She continues to pursue fusing her passions of positive educational initiatives in African American history with performing arts and is delighted to have the opportunity to empower youth with a sense of self, purpose and value with The Arts Project Inc. 

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