Meet the 2022 class of Create the Vote Fellows


Julia Csekö, she/her, Visual Artist/Independent Curator/Educator in Somerville.

Csekö’s work gravitates around conversations and experiments grounded on a paradigm shift from competitive to collaborative practices in social actions and interactions.

Born in Colorado and growing up in Rio, Brazil, she moved to Boston, MA in 2010 to pursue an MFA at SMFA at Tufts. In 2022, Csekö is an AiR at Sculpture Space, Utica, NY, a Somerville Arts Council grantee, and a Somerville Museum Community Curator. In 21’ she received a SAC Visual Arts Fellowship and was an AiR at the Umbrella Art Center 20-21’ in Concord MA. In 20’ she was invited as a Visiting Artist by Emerson College. In addition, she has public murals on view commissioned by the Somerville Arts Council (in East Somerville, MA), by the Downtown Boston BID, (at Winter Pl, downtown Boston), and upcoming by the Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (in Jamaica Plain, MA). In 2018 Csekö was invited as an AiR at the A4A MassMoCA. Csekö is also the recipient of a 2016 Walter Feldman Fellowship awarded by ABC Boston.

She divides her time between being a Practicing Artist, an Independent Curator, and a CTV MassCreative Fellow 22’, furthering her arts advocacy practice locally and regionally.Her passion for organizing dates back to her BFA at the Federal University of Rio UFRJ, when Csekö participated in negotiations to increase allocation of Brazilian national funds to arts and culture, successfully increasing the budget from 0.3% to 1%. She was also a member of a committee in conversation with representatives of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture.


Ana Masacote, she/her, Founder, Dance to Power, in Lynn. 

Ana Masacote is an award-winning Afro-Latin dance artist and performing arts curator who loves engineering spaces for community connection and conversation through the arts. She has spread the salsa bug to more than 30 countries and is the founder of Dance to Power, an online Afro-Latin dance academy. Through her social impact initiatives, Ana advocates for LGBTQ inclusivity and gender and racial equity in the arts. She holds a BS in Management Science from MIT. Recent awards include: 2022 MCC Artist Fellow, 2020/21 Kennedy Citizens Fellow, 2019 WBUR Artery 25.



Marissa Molinar, she/her, Director, Midday Movement Series in Cambridge. 

Marissa Molinar is a contemporary dancer and Director of Midday Movement Series, a grassroots initiative cultivating a new generation of dance leaders. She holds a Bachelors in Environmental Science from Brown University with a focus in Urban Conservation and Environmental Justice, and she holds a certificate in Contemporary Dance from the Professional Training Program at Gibney Dance in NYC. A late-comer to contemporary dance, Marissa’s work focuses on creating social change and sustainability by empowering artists in their fierce individuality while building fierce communities. She is passionate about centering artists and administrators of color at all levels of the arts ecosystem. Currently, Marissa is a freelance performer and a member of Nathan Trice / Rituals Dance Theater in Brooklyn, NY.


Hank Von Hellion, he/him, Managing Director,  Worcester PopUp at the JMAC in Worcester.

Hank von Hellion is an artist and community organizer. He is a Spring 22’ graduate of the Clark University, Community Development & Planning Master’s program. He works as the Managing Director of the Worcester PopUp at the JMAC, a community catalyst facility and creative space. He has shown and created work across the globe. His two most recent shows where a solo show at the Worcester art Museum “Bad Advice Club” and a group show in Chicago titled, “Idol Hands”. He has also worked on several creative and community boards like the Worcester Arts Council, Pow! Wow! Worcester, Main Idea, and as a Corporator at Worcester Art Museum. He is also an avid Chihuahua lover and has two rescues at home, GG and Batly. They can often be found with him in his office providing security and cuddles. If you’re in Worcester, feel free to come visit with them. His other passions include street art, grapes, promoting agency for communities of color, abolishing qualified immunity, and his lovely wife Elise.

Kim Jones, she/her, Owner and Operator, Strong Style Coffee, in Fitchburg. 

Kim Jones is the owner and operator of Strong Style Coffee in Fitchburg, MA, a community that feels like home and has been a constant throughout her life. She opened Strong Style coffee three years ago to not only be a coffee shop, but a unique place in the community where people could get amazing beverages while they see, listen to, and create art; with live performances, open mic nights, poetry, and creative meets-ups. During the necessary COVID closures Kim added another component to Strong Style, (possibly her favorite component) a vegan bakery, where she bakes up vegan treats and homemade bagels daily.  When Kim is not at work she likes to spend time creating, cooking, hiking, and being a giant goofball with her three amazingly wonderful children.

Cliff Notez, they/them, Multimedia artist and entrepreneur, HipStory, in Boston.

Award-winning multi-digital media artist, musician, organizer & filmmaker, Cliff Notez’ art is a continuous exploration of the black mind.

 Rooted in hip hop, their art tackles the political and the personal, exploring the intimate consequences of a society where black bodies are easily ignored, forgotten, or disregarded. Cliff's Second full-length album, Why The Wild Things Are, was released September 11th 2019. Their films have won over 5 and been official selections for 20 and counting film festivals globally. In 2017 they was the grand prize winner of the March on Washington Festival and honored alongside Ta-Nehisi Coates.

In 2018 they took home Best New Artist at the Boston Music Awards while racking in over 11 nominations between 2019-2020 including Artist of the Year and Live Artist of the Year. In 2019 Cliff became the first musician to be named"Musician of the Year" for Boston Magazine's Best of Boston and their 100 Most Influential Bostonians in 2020.

Lesley Marchessault, she/her, Chief Development Officer at Provincetown Art Association and Museum, in Provincetown.

Lesley Marchessault is the Chief Development Officer at Provincetown Art Association and Museum. A native of Burlington, Vermont, Lesley grew up in the south and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Art History from Florida State University. She worked as a curator and arts educator before moving to Provincetown in 2011. In her role at PAAM, she has collaborated with numerous other nonprofits on the Outer Cape and considers these partnerships among some of her most important achievements. She has participated in statewide Arts Advocacy days, sits on the Steering Committee for Arts Foundation of Cape Cod’s Creative Exchange, the Advisory Committee for Cape Cod Museum Trail, and is a member of the Provincetown Cultural Council. In signing on to the MASSCreative Fellowship Program, Lesley is eager to join other arts and culture professionals from across the state to engage in productive conversations and create action plans that will ultimately help everyone.

Candida Rose Baptista, she/her, Vocalist, in New Bedford.

Born and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Candida Rose Baptista (musically known simply as “Candida Rose”) is a 2nd generation American-born Cabo Verdean. She is a vocalist, songwriter, entertainer, music and cultural educator, and author, as well as a mother and grandmother. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth with a Bachelor of Arts – Music Degree, specializing in African-American/World music performance. In 2017, she graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Boston with a Master of Science Degree in Transnational, Cultural, and Community Studies. Through her company Golden Rose Music, Candida travels the SouthCoast region of Massachusetts and Rhode Island as a Life Enrichment Entertainer performing for Nursing Home, Assisted Living and Adult Day Care facilities, as well as for various senior groups and associations. 

Her 10-song debut CD entitled “KabuMerikana: The Sum of Me”, combines her Cabo Verdean musicalroots with her American (primarily jazz) influences, a mixture she calls “KabuJazz”. She is currently working on a new spiritually motivated CD and has released two new singles. Her cultural heritage work includes: a recent feature on a PBS television program, “No Passport Required/Boston”, presenting music, culture, and history of Cabo Verde; being a contributing author of a new book entitled “Kriolas Poderozas: Cabo Verdean Women Writing Remembrance, Resistance, and Revolution”; and being selected by the New Bedford Whaling Historical National Park for their 2022 Artists’ in Residency Program, from July - Sept. 2022. 


Lia Russell-Self, they/them, Artist and Connector, West Stockbridge.

A quiet riot hailing from Stone Mountain, Georgia, Lia Russell-Self, they/them/their, is a multifaceted weaver of stories, often grappling with juxtaposed theories and the unexpected. One can often find Lia in land of the Mohican people, in the hills that join Massachusetts and New York. From a young age, the algebra to understand how words could string together to create a coherent (and, on rare occasion, captivating) thought fascinated this once-short daydreamer, and would eventually become the crux of how they interacted with the world. Their current work is often grappling with how identities, imposed and claimed, and immediate communing can spark the loud secrets we keep best hidden. Community, growth, and connection to the land are the roots of their inspiration.Lia is affiliated with numerous small performance ensembles that stretch throughout New England, including Black Shakespeare Project, Eighty4 Productions, and the rig. Some of Lia’s favorite projects include: producing and creating community engagement that encompassed a theatrical show (Pipeline, WAM Theatre); creating scenes paralleling biblical stories with current social issues (Gospel of Justice, Eighty4 Productions); and devising with young artists about modern protesting (What’s that Sound?, WAM Theatre)

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published this page in Create the Vote (CTV) Fellowship 2022-02-15 10:08:07 -0500

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