Who is ECA+?
ECA+ is comprised of a dedicated volunteer committee, a coordinator, community volunteers and interns. Find out what we are all about! ECA+ meets the 4th Thursday of every month (except for December and holidays) at 5:30 p.m. at the ECA+ Gallery, 43 Main St., Easthampton.
Jessica Allan has served as the City Planner of Easthampton since March 2012 and has a keen interest on creative placemaking techniques for communities. Prior to being the City Planner, Jessica was a Principal Planner at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission where she provided technical planning and zoning assistance to 43 communities in Western Massachusetts. She holds Masters Degrees in both Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Jessica has been a resident of Easthampton since 2005.
Christy Crutchfield is the author of the novel HOW TO CATCH A COYOTE (June 2014). She received her MFA in fiction from the UMass Amherst Program for Poets and Writers and has worked as a writing instructor, editor, and arts administrator. Crutchfield joined the ECA+ Committee in October 2013, serving on the ECC committee and volunteering for events like Light Up the Arts. She is excited to continue serving on the Committee and to help further strengthen the arts in her community.
Carla Phillips Katz
Originally a native of Easthampton, Carla went to Hiram College in Ohio where she earned my BS in English. Her husband and her moved to Rochester, NY where they opened three picture framing stores with one including an active art gallery. She worked in education and got her Master's in Reading and Administration. Moving back to Easthampton seven years ago, Carla taught at Holyoke Community College and also coordinated a program for students with cognitive disabilities. She is an active member of the committee and is a member of the Manhan Rail Trail Committee, Grants Subcommittee, and ECA+ committee. She has also been active on the Easthampton school curriculum committee and is currently am a substitute teacher at the high school and middle school.
Linda LaBorde moved to Easthampton 39 years ago and joined the Easthampton City Arts+ in November of 2011. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts from Westfield State College. She has studied with Linda Percoski, Susan Pecoria and Jack Flynn to name a few. She is a member of the Academic Artists Association and the Holyoke Arts and Crafts League. She has won awards at numerous local and regional art shows and her paintings are in many private collections in the United States, Korea and Ireland. She enjoys reading and is a member of the Emily Williston Memorial Library Book Club.
Doris Madsen is a librarian and artist who serves as Chair of the Easthampton Cultural Council. She has lived in Easthampton for 35 years. Madsen is looking forward to many future years of collaborating with ECA+, art making at Zea Mays Printmaking, boating on the Pond, bicycling on the Manhan RailTrail, road tripping across the country, adventuring to a few far-off lands, and spending time with her family.
Burns Maxey works for the City of Easthampton’s Planning Department as a Coordinator for Easthampton City Arts+, where she is devoted to creating a sustainable and thriving cultural city organization and expanding its geographical reach through creative collaborations and partnerships. Her intermedia work has been exhibited and performed in places near and far. She attended Bard College and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. Thereafter, she traveled the United States living in many locations including San Francisco, and New Orleans, until finally finding her home in Easthampton, MA.
For over forty years Marcia Morrison has been involved professionally with higher education and the arts, including acting, directing, playwriting, managing a professional melodrama theatre, running a Fine and Performing Arts Center, serving as Dean of Arts and Humanities at Holyoke Community College, and teaching performing arts skills and theories to students of all ages. Awards include the Los Angeles DramaLogue Award for her direction of a premiere production, a Dean’s Medal from California State University at Fresno, a Chancellor’s Award from the State University of New York Community College System, and several Kennedy Center American College Theatre Awards for her College productions. Recently retired, she is actively engaged in serving Easthampton on the ECA+ Committee. She is also Vice-Chair of the Cottage Street Cultural District Working Partners committee and on the Board of City Space. Her passion is Easthampton and its continuing cultural renaissance.
Alison Murchie began as a performance poet by winning the Bumbershoot Open, where she performed with beat poet Anne Waldman. She continued performing extensively all over the west coast, sharing a stage with Lydia Lunch, Jello Biafra and Excene Cervenka among others. She also helped produce multi-media performance events with spoken word components. She has been widely published in anthologies including "Ergo!", "The Six Faces of Eve", the Seattle Quarterly and online in Fictionique. She is working on a chapbook of poems based on figures from various mythologies. Along with many other ECA+ projects and events, Murchie is the ECA+ host and creator of Unbuttoned, an Evening of Spoken Word in Easthampton.
Meagan Murphy is an award-winning producer and director with more than 20 years of production experience. Her current film, “The Breast Archives,” is in post-production. Meagan received a Communicator’s Award for her work on Making It Here: Teen Style. She was also the recipient of a Blue Cross/Blue Shield sponsored Medical Journalism Fellowship. Murphy worked for WGBY (WGBH Educational Foundation) for 12 years where she produced and directed programs across a variety of genres, including cultural & documentary, public affairs, instructional, children’s programming. She is an avid traveler, a devoted athlete, and is committed to making a contribution to society through her work in film and television.
Denise Riggs moved to Easthampton twelve years ago and has since called the Pioneer Valley home. Having spent many years volunteering with the Easthampton Cultural Council and Arts Easthampton, she then helped found Easthampton City Arts in 2004 with then City Grant Writer, Ellen Koteen and City Planner Stuart Beckley. She strongly believes the Arts help build a vibrant community and can be a strong economic engine. Beyond the ECA+ Committee, Riggs uses the camera as her art-making tool. For about seven years she has focused her lens on reflections. The compositions she finds in everyday life seem to be manipulated or “Photo Shopped” but these abstract or composed vignettes are there for anybody to see. She is drawn to urban imagery, sunlit hard edges, metal, windows, concrete, graphic patterns, color, and pedestrians.
Ted Perch's experience is varied and vast. He has built wooden boats, built and renovated houses. He has organized community theatre. Before relocating to Easthampton, he worked as the public library director in Willimantic, CT. For seventeen years, he volunteered as an on-air programmer in community radio at WHUS, UConn and WCN, Connecticut College. Perch was a media and library services advisor to the Republic of Senegal. Currently, he produces "In Studio" on ECAT5 where he is also a member of the ECAT board.
Carol Abbe Smith
Carolyn Abbe Smith has lived in Easthampton for 12 years and has been on the Easthampton Cultural Council and ECA+ for 12. Previously chair of the board of PACE, she holds a BA from Amherst College. She is a professional jazz musician who has performed throughout the Pioneer Valley for over 25 years and produced numerous concerts. In addition to Smith's music career, she works as a full-time as a real estate agent for Delap Realty in Northampton.
Marlies Stoddard is owner of the Nash Gallery in the heart of the Cottage Street Cultural District. She has served for six years as Treasurer of the Easthampton Cultural Council; is a Coordinating Committee Member of Easthampton City Arts+ (ECA+), serves on the Board of Directors for the Easthampton Chamber of Commerce, and is the current Chair of the Cottage Street Cultural District Committee. Dedicated to melding local commerce with the creative sector in Easthampton, Marlies was named Easthampton Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the year in 2012. A native of Easthampton, Marlies lived in Key West, Florida and Nicaragua for 15 years working as a licensed pilot and commercial fishing captain before returning in 2007 to take part in the city’s cultural renaissance. In her spare time, Marlies enjoys horseback riding, Crossfit workouts and wandering the backwoods of Easthampton with her dog, Lucy.