The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission consists of 11 voting members appointed by the Mayor and Commission of Athens-Clarke County.
Regular meetings are open to the public and held on the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:00 PM, Lyndon House Arts Center, 211 Hoyt Street
Chair: Victoria Prevatt
Victoria Prevatt is the owner of Good Works Consulting, an Athens-based business that partners with nonprofit organizations at the crossroads of fundraising, storytelling and board engagement. She believes the nonprofit sector is the heartbeat of a community, a place where vision and values are brought to life through intentional conversations, creative strategy, and the grit and determination it takes to transform big ideas into plans of action. As a nonprofit consultant, she’s worked with dozens of missions – including land conservation, public parks and green space, improv theatre, youth mentoring, food insecurity and more. She received her Masters in Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia and is past president of Historic Athens. Victoria lives on the beautiful Middle Oconee River with her husband Evan, two charming dogs and one sneaky cat.
Vice Chair: Vacant
Treasurer: Darcie St Onge
Darcie St. Onge is a former public school educator and the current Financial Manager at CLOTH & KIND, a nationally recognized residential and commercial interior design studio based in Athens, GA and Ann Arbor, MI. As a mother of three and a native Athenian, Darcie loves sharing the Athens experiences she remembers as a child with her own children, along with exploring new opportunities currently available. Darcie is excited to be part of a team that showcases local artists and works to creates spaces that encourage questions, imagination and communication amongst all members of the Athens community.
Secretary: Kimberly Davis
Kimberly Davis, a fourth-generation native Athenian, is a writer / editor with a background in journalism and higher education. Previously, Kimberly was a journalism instructor at the University of Georgia, the University of Maryland, and a communications director and consultant for various political campaigns and nonprofit organizations. In her nearly 30-year career, Kimberly has worked for Ebony magazine, several newspapers, and worked as a freelance writer and academic editor. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and earned a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Georgia. She currently serves on the boards of the Friends of Brooklyn Cemetery and the Athens-Clarke County Center for Racial Justice and Black Futures.
Supported by her creative family with specialties in engineering, music, technical theatre design, historical preservation, and more, Blankenship came to Athens in 2011 to study Art History at the University of Georgia (B.A. 2015). While studying for her degree, she joined the opening staff at Creature Comforts Brewing Co. and established the brewery’s rotating art exhibitions and accompanying programming. These efforts culminated in Creature Comforts’ Get Artistic initiative, which supports local artists and arts nonprofits through events, exhibitions, funds, and advocacy. Bates has worked with hundreds of local artists to inspire joy, creativity, and empathy across communities through shared experiences with art. She is also a lifelong musician and currently plays percussion in two volunteer symphonic ensembles in Athens.
Marissa Chastain moved to Athens in 2007 to pursue her undergraduate degree in Art Education & Painting. Like so many others who experience Athens, she fell in love with the vibrant town and knew it was meant to be her home. Marissa enjoys working with local businesses in her role as Director of Membership & Marketing with the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves as Vice President of Athens Pride & Queer Collective, a board member of Nuci’s Space and Lead Athens Alumni Association, and as a member of Create Athens, the MLK Day of Service Committee, and the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission. In her free time, Marissa enjoys creating music and art, spending time with her friends, and exploring all that the Classic City has to offer.
Sally Kimel-Sheppard is a licensed clinical social worker practicing in Athens for the past 25 years. Sally has two children attending Clarke County Schools and currently leads Envision Athens. Sally loves the culture and arts of Athens and that’s why she chooses to serve the Athens community.
Montu is the Ambassador of the Athens HipHop Community, co-founder / chief operating officer for ATHfactor-Liberty Entertainment, a dedicated member of the East Athens Community Center Staff, and father of five. He embraces his roles as a writer, poet, mentor and community activist; he is an intellectual, a revolutionary and a community leader. Montu, with business partners Reggie Sykes and Khaalis Brooks, plans events and books entertainment through ATHfactor-Liberty Entertainment (ALE). He has produced countless songs and helped organize many HipHop events in Athens, including First Tuesday: World Famous Hip-Hop Night, Hip-Hop Don’t Stop Series (That Bar), ATHfest’s annual Many Faces of HipHop showcase, King of the Ring Emcee Battles, Athens HipHop Homecoming, Southern Gumbo Showcase, Tasty Tuesday weekly Hip-Hop Night, Beat Wars-beat battles and several weekly poetry nights. His has interests beyond music; he serves as community liaison for the Chess & Community Conference board and is on the Hot Corner Festival planning committee. He is committed to never stand idly by when much needs doing. He believes in a “boots on the ground” approach when it comes to solving community issues.
Mark Mobley is an award-winning writer, producer, programmer and performer. He received the Peabody Award as musical head of the public radio program Performance Today, and the ASCAP / Deems Taylor Award for distinguished music journalism while at the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. He has appeared as a performer and lecturer with the Virginia Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Jupiter String Quartet, Virginia Arts Festival, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, Washington Performing Arts Society, Master Chorale of Washington and the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra. He now serves as director of marketing and communications at the UGA Performing Arts Center.
Francis Oliver is an arts administrator, editor, and proofreader from Miami, Florida. She has previously worked in a variety of capacities in public art organizations, including archives and collections management, curatorial support, and artist residency supervision. She is interested in the intersections of public art, archives, diaspora studies, and Latinx contemporary art. Francis received her master’s in public administration at the University of Georgia in Spring 2022. Francis serves as the Communications Manager at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, overseeing print and digital promotion for the school’s academic community and exhibitions.
Esra Mirze Santesso is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Georgia, where she teaches courses on postcolonial literature, human rights narratives, and literature from the Muslim diaspora. Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, she is interested in cross-cultural dialogue and exchange. She has published widely on various topics related to literature, film, and international cultural movements. She has been an invited speaker at various conferences and events across America and internationally, including in India and Pakistan. Since 2015, she has served as a board member of The American Turkish Friendship Council in Atlanta.
Jessica Smith is a journalist, musician and visual artist who currently serves as the Music & Arts Editor of the alt weekly publication Flagpole, where she has the privilege of writing about the many performers, artists, exhibitions and other creative events that make the Classic City so vibrant and special. She is also a longtime employee of the fabulous 40 Watt Club. Jessica is a graduate of UGA’s Terry College of Business and Music Business certificate program, as well as a proud former DJ and general manager of the non-commercial radio station WUOG 90.5 FM. She has also volunteered as a board member of the Athens Area Arts Council in the past. Over the years, she has played flute, organ, violin, piccolo and bass guitar for a variety of psychedelic, symphonic, folk and experimental projects. In her free time, she enjoys visiting artist environments and hiking around the Southeast’s beautiful mountains and waterfalls.
Jan Bush, AAAC Liaison
Helen Kuykendall, former Chair
Advisory / Staff
Tatiana Veneruso, Public Art Coordinator, ACC Leisure Services firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Raines, Arts Division Administrator, ACC Leisure Services
Didi Dunphy, Lyndon House Arts Center Program Supervisor, ACC Leisure Services