GERMANTOWN, Md. (July 30, 2020) – BlackRock Center for the Arts is proud to announce the approval of two new board directors at the cultural arts center’s July board meeting, local community leaders Grace Rivera-Oven and Stephanie Graves.

“The commitment from Grace and Stephanie to BlackRock and the communities we serve carries even greater meaning now as we navigate our way through an unprecedented time,” said Lynn Arndt, CEO, BlackRock Center for the Arts. “Their expertise and accomplishments will strongly support our work to provide inspiring artistic programming for everyone while also responding to the needs of families in upper Montgomery County who are impacted by COVID-19.”

Grace Rivera-Oven holds many key civic positions and has a wealth of professional experience, including small business owner, consultant, writer/producer, and program director. She is a well-known community activist in Montgomery County, focusing on issues such as health equity, education rights, and domestic violence, particularly for immigrant and minority communities. Grace’s life-long commitment to helping others is evidenced by her various community activities and her roots in the County. Grace is the co-founder of the Upcounty Consolidation Hub at BlackRock, a temporary consolidation center for donated essential goods for families in upper Montgomery County. The Upcounty Hub is supported by nearly a dozen partner organizations and more than 100 volunteers who deliver food and other much needed items weekly to 700 families. Grace is the vice chair of the Inter County Board and is a past co-chair of the Montgomery County Latino Health Initiative Committee. She is a former board member of Interfaith Works, Leadership Montgomery, Casa De Maryland, and Friends of the Library.

For the last few years, Stephanie Graves has been working aggressively to promote business development in the Upcounty region of Montgomery County. Stephanie is President of the Clarksburg Chamber of Commerce, having served previously as the Chair of its Legislative & Economic Development Committee. For 12 years, she has been the co-owner of a Montgomery County-based solar design and installation company. During the 2018 elections, she founded Stand Upcounty, a non-profit devoted to increasing voter engagement in Montgomery County. Prior to founding her solar company, she worked as a Creative Director for several technology firms including Microsoft, C|Net, and Omnicom. As part of her efforts to help the Upcounty respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, she has become involved with the Upcounty Consolidation Hub at BlackRock, helping them develop strategic community partnerships.

About BlackRock Center for the Arts
BlackRock Center for the Arts brings inspiring performing and visual arts experiences to diverse audiences of all ages in a welcoming and intimate setting, providing opportunities to explore, celebrate and engage in the arts.

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