Staff

RiverArts' staff is responsible for activities, events, and programs and for the day to day operations that keep the organization humming. Staff members are always happy to hear from you, so please email or call with your questions, comments, and suggestions. Most staff members work half-time or less, so your patience while awaiting a response is appreciated.

Chris Sade, Executive Director

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Chris brings 30 years of professional experience in the fine art moving, shipping and storage industry to RiverArts. In addition to managing a large and diverse national team that provided services for museums, galleries and private collectors, Sade directed sales, marketing and business management.

“Becoming the Executive Director of RiverArts provides me the opportunity to utilize my life skills in the arts while making connections with the wonderful people who live or travel here. I believe this will be a very satisfying experience, watching people come together for art’s sake. I can see a bright future for the arts in Kent County, and I want to be part of it.

Chris has drop-in office hours most Tuesdays from 1:00-3:00 pm.. Stop by the Gallery if you would like to meet with him or if you just want to drop in to say hello.

Chris usually works Mondays thru Fridays In addition, you can catch him at many RiverArts' meetings and events. You can reach him directly by emailing: chrissade@chestertownriverarts.org

Sue Wilson, Gallery and Gift Shop Director

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Sue loves to spend time with her large family and close friends. She and her husband love to seek out places they've never explored, always opting to take the road less traveled. She enjoys reading almost anything, including fiction, books about history and especially biographies, and loves learning new things. Sue says:- "I love RiverArts because the creativity, ingenuity and motivation of the artistic community inspires me."

At RiverArts, Sue directs the daily gallery and the gift shop operations, works with volunteer committees on event and exhibit planning, supervises the front desk, and offers warm welcome and helpful encouragement to members, artists, and visitors alike.

Sue usually works Saturdays thru Tuesdays in the gallery and is available other days by email or appointment. In addition, you will see her at most gallery & special events.

You can reach Sue directly by emailing: suewilson@chestertownriverarts.org

Sarah Lyle, KidSPOT Coordinator

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Sarah was involved with the arts community in Chestertown in various capacities for years before RiverArts became an entity, including as part of Chester River Artworks, one of RiverArts' legacy organizations. When KidSPOT was looking for someone to run things and she had availability, her background in art education and working with young children made it a no-brainer. Sarah says "KidSPOT at RiverArts is a beautiful concept: We make creative exploration available to children for free and I love that I get to play there too."

As KidSPOT Coordinator, Sarah organizes Saturday morning activities and KidSPOT community outreach. She also manages the KidSPOT social media pages. 

You can reach Sarah directly by emailing: sarahlyle@chestertownriverarts.org

Chris Neiman, Clay Studio Manager

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Chris enjoys making functional pottery for himself and his business, and spends spare time enjoying outdoor activities with his wife. His hobbies include building/repairing computers and digital design projects. One of his favorite parts of RiverArts is "KidSPOT cultivating artistic expression!"

Chris was a longtime Clay Studio potter and joined the RiverArts staff January 2021, becoming the go-to guy for the RiverArts Clay Studio Community. He makes the studio accessible to potters, keeps the space and equipment clean and running smoothly, plans events and classes, and spreads the word about the beauty and fun and artistry of all things ceramics.

You can reach Chris directly by emailing: chrisneiman@chestertownriverarts.org

Kris Kelley Majors, ArtsAlive! Coordinator

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Kris has been a RiverArts member-artist since she was a teen and an instructor since 2019. Kris earned her B.A. at Washington College in Psychology and Studio Art. She moved to Philadelphia to pursue her Master’s of Fine Art and Certificate in Teaching at Temple University. In 2022, she returned to the Eastern Shore with her husband. Kris loves RiverArts because "it provides opportunities for community members of all ages and experience levels to discover the arts and become artists."

As ArtsAlive! Coordinator, Kris develops and manages a varied curriculum of adult programing aimed to serve RiverArts’ mission of engaging the community with the arts. She is passionate about bringing the arts to underserved communities and helping artists to have successful and sustainable practices. She also oversees marketing, web development, and social media for the organization. 

You can reach Kris directly by emailing: kriskelley@chestertownriverarts.org

Board Members

RiverArts Board members have fiduciary responsibility for RiverArts, are responsible for ensuring legal compliance, and set the mission, vision, and values which guide the organization. Each member is a volunteer and brings a unique set of skills and experiences to the Board, as well as a passion for RiverArts.

password protected Board portal

Meghan Efland

Meghan Efland has served as the Secretary, Vice President and is currently the President of the Board. She has been a RiverArts member for 8 years, and that all started with a beginner wheel pottery class. Meghan is the Director of Supply Chain at Paul Reed Smith Guitars and is the Ward 4 Town Councilperson for Chestertown. Meghan lives in Chestertown with her partner Marc Quigley and they are avid supporters of the arts and the Chestertown community.

Maureen Karnes

Treasurer

Raven Bishop

Raven Bishop is a technologist and arts educator who believes in promoting creativity and connection as central components of the collaboration process in working with students, teachers, artists and stakeholders in any community. An artist in her own right, Raven's creative work explores expression in a variety of forms, from augmented and virtual reality to sculptural ephemera. Raven has been involved with RiverArts in a variety of ways including serving on the KidSPOT Advisory Committee, curating exhibits, teaching classes and serving a previous term on the RiverArts Board. She is excited to begin this new term on the board of an organization she cares deeply about.

Zane Carter


Sara Clarke-De Reza

Sara Clarke-De Reza is an Assistant Professor of Education at Washington College in Chestertown, MD. She teaches courses in the social and cultural foundations of American education, and directs the Museum, Field, and Community Education minor.

Her research explores collaborative design for learning at the intersections of schools and informal learning environments, such as museums, art galleries, and science centers. De Reza's current work looks at the perceived value of collaborative design efforts geared towards object digitization and virtual tour development in small community-curated museums. She is working on projects on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and in central Belize, that bring together college students, technologists, community educators, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and museum professionals to build meaningful, accessible, low-cost and user-friendly digital museum experiences. 

De Reza is also the owner of Clarke Collaborative Consulting, an educational consulting company specializing in program development, assessment, and evaluation for community non-profit organizations. 

She completed her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction at the University of New Hampshire in 2017; she also holds degrees in child development/special education, and psychology and gender and sexuality studies. Before entering the academy, she worked for 7 years as a curriculum designer and principal at a therapeutic boarding school in Windsor, New Hampshire.

Natalie Donoso

Natalie is the Youth Services Director for the Kent County Public Library. A graduate of the University of Florida, she earned her Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from Florida State University and began her library career working for the University of Florida library system. She previously served as a children's librarian for the Marion County Public Library system prior to moving to Kent County. She is a passionate advocate of access for all and is devoted to providing quality enrichment opportunities for the youth of Kent County through the library's various programs. In her spare time, she is focused on the arts through her work with RiverArts as Secretary and with the Garfield Center for the Arts.

Cindy Bowers Fulton

Patricia Gilkison

Patricia Gilkison retired from a career in the arts spanning 30 years. She started as an Assistant Curator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, then went on to spend 25 years at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. As Associate Manager of Special Exhibitions and Gallery Installations at The Met, she coordinated the planning, budgets, installation, and financial management for over 60 exhibitions every year. As a visitor to Chestertown she was attracted to the vibrant arts community and decided to relocate here. She looks forward to continuing her work with the artists and organizations supporting the arts on the eastern shore.

Kyle Hackett

Kyle Hackett is a Visual Artist based in Harrisonburg, VA where he is an Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at James Madison University. Hackett earned his MFA from the LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art, and his BFA in Fine Arts as a McNair Scholar from the University of Delaware. 

Hackett has received numerous honors and awards, including DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship and Grant, Civil Society Institute Fellowship at Vermont Studio Center Residency, The Ruth Katzman Scholarship at The League Residency, Best in Show at the 2014 Bethesda Painting Awards Exhibition, and Best in Show at the Regional Juried Biennial at Rehoboth Arts League. He was a semifinalist in the 2016 and 2019 BP Portrait Award (London), honorable mention in the 2019 Art Olympia International Open Art Competition (Tokyo) and finalist in the 2020 Prisma Art Prize 5th Edition (Rome) and finalist in the 2021 11th Biennial Alexander Rutsch Award for Painting.

Hackett’s work has been published in New American Paintings, the Washington Post, and distinguished as "Ten Memorable Paintings of 2014" in the Huffington Post. He received A Mayoral Salute for his solo exhibition and artist talk at Baltimore City Hall Gallery, "Rate of Contingency". Hackett’s work is represented by Goya Contemporary Gallery (Baltimore, MD) and notably collected by Ethan Cohen Gallery (New York), Wangechi Mutu Studio, University Museums at University of Delaware, University of Maryland, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Trawick Foundation.

John Harrison


Anne Highfield-Clark

A public school educator for 31 years, Anne Highfield-Clark was named the 2016-17 Cecil County Teacher of the Year as well as the 2015 Gilder Lehrman Institute History Teacher of the Year for Maryland. Her lifelong advocacy for elementary school children has shaped her vision for a more equitable and inclusive society where the arts unite us. Active with the KidSpot team, Anne is helping to grow a more vibrant community of support for our youngest artists as they play, create, and explore.  She also enjoys teaching smart phone photography classes for RiverArts.

Shelly Holland

Shelly Holland is an Accountant with years of experience in Governmental and Tax accounting. Shelly childhood mission was to be a “volunteer”. That came true. Shelly serves on the Board of Directors of CoLaborer’s International and Community Helping Hands. Shelly is a member of the Millington Lions Club, Town Council Member in Millington, and a lifetime Girl Scout. Shelly believes it is important to give back to your community and help others. Shelly enjoys traveling with her family and spoiling her grandson, Liam.

Kate Livie

Kate Livie is a professional Chesapeake educator, writer and historian. An Eastern Shore native, Kate is passionate about the Chesapeake Bay’s culture and landscape. Kate has written extensively about regional travel, history, environment and foodways for publications from Wooden Boat to Baltimore Magazine to Edible Delmarva. Her 2015 book, "Chesapeake Oysters: The Bay’s Foundation and Future," won the Maryland Historical Society’s Marion Brewington prize for Maritime History. Formerly the Director of Education and Associate Curator at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, she is currently part of the humanities faculty at the Center for Environment and Society at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, where she teaches courses about the Bay's environment, arts, economy, traditions and culture. Kate lives with her husband, Ben, in her hometown of Chestertown, Maryland, on a little wooded marsh along Morgan Creek.

William Trainor

William Trainor was born and raised in Washington DC, attended Gonzaga High School, followed by Georgetown University and Georgetown University School of Medicine. He then was a postgraduate at Georgetown, DC General and in George Washington programs. He lived in Chicago for 12 years working at Cook County Hospital. William has been in Chestertown since 2001 as the pulmonologist and sleep physician at Kent and QA's Hospital. Additionally, he enjoys taking photographs and sailing.

Lydia Woolever