Margo T. DrakosFounder & CEO
Committed to a life of service that harnesses the innovative power of technology and the transformative potential of the arts, Margo Drakos is a former concert cellist turned entrepreneur, and a proud U.S. active duty Military spouse. She is a founder and CEO of ArtistYear.
Margo has spent the past decade working with private and public sector institutions leveraging technology and strategic alignment to realize scale, revenue generation, and sustainability. She has a track record of driving and growing emerging software product and service management lines. Her specialties include go-to-market strategies, vertical campaigns, fundraising, operational process design, and release roll-outs. She has recruited, led, and motivated matrix and dispersed organizations of engineering, product, marketing, and growth teams while maintaining high-quality standards. Until 2017, Margo spent four years as Chief Technology Officer at McChrystal Group LLC and its spin-off, CrossLead, Inc., an enterprise software and services company working with leaders to optimize organizational performance by leveraging real-time data to understand their human networks and align strategies to daily execution.
Margo began working as a professional musician at age four, performing on national radio and television commercials. Over the course of her career as a cellist she performed as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician on the world’s preeminent stages on five continents. Margo entered music conservatory at fifteen as a double major in cello and composition and graduated from Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1999. She served as Artist-in-Residence and Cello and Chamber Music faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival and Manhattan School of Music from 2002-2008. Margo’s positions included cellist of the American String Quartet, Principal Cellist of the Oregon, San Diego, and Seattle Symphonies, and Associate Principal of Pittsburgh Symphony. She toured regularly with “Musicians from Marlboro” and has recorded and produced for Sony Classical, Naxos, Arabesque, and Longhorn Records.
In 2007, embracing the power of technology to democratize access to the arts, Margo co-founded and led her first start-up, InstantEncore.com, the world’s leading provider of web and mobile technology to the performing arts. In that role, Margo executed strategic partnerships to enable some of the first live web and mobile concert streaming and download events from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House. In 2011, she was made a Partner at the SwitchCase Group, the lead investor in InstantEncore. Margo has gone on to advise and invest in early-stage startups and serve as venture advisor to Otto Capital Partners LLC.
In 2010, Margo was honored as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a community of extraordinary global leaders under forty. Through the Forum and Clinton Global Initiative, Margo founded AppBridge, an SMS mobile application platform and competition designed to bring education and economic opportunity to communities in Pakistan and the Philippines. Margo has been invited to speak on technology, entrepreneurship, and the arts at institutions and events including Americans for the Arts, Carnegie Mellon University, the Global Competitiveness Forum of Saudi Arabia, TechVenture in Singapore and the World Economic Forum at Davos.
Margo received a Masters in Human Rights from Columbia University and holds Executive Degrees in Global Leadership and Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School and Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Her publications have appeared in the Aspen Institute Magazine, The International Affairs Review, The Stanford Social Innovation Review, and The Cornell International Law Journal.
Elizabeth WarshawerFounder and Trustee
Elizabeth Warshawer brings more than twenty-five years of successful experience leading and managing organizations in the Philadelphia area in the corporate, non-profit, and academic arenas in leadership positions and as an external consultant. She is Principal of EBW Consulting LLC and is a founder and trustee of ArtistYear.
From 2007-2015, Elizabeth served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Advancement Officer for the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. In this role, Elizabeth directed all non-musical functions of the Institute including, finance, advancement, external affairs, communications and marketing, legal affairs, information technology, digital initiatives, facilities and human resources. She led two successful strategic planning processes for Curtis and successfully managed the Institute’s physical expansion with the construction of Lenfest Hall; a $65 million mixed use building that opened in August 2011, renovation of The Rubenstein Centre; a recently completed office building, and renovations of all of Curtis’s historic buildings.
Elizabeth served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for The Philadelphia Orchestra from 2003 – 2007. Her responsibilities included labor relations, all human resource functions for the staff and musicians, media and technology, financial controls and operating procedures, shared services with the Kimmel Center, office management, and interdepartmental coordination. From 2000 – 2003, Elizabeth served as Vice President and Chief People Officer. Her initial work with The Philadelphia Orchestra was as co-founder and principal consultant of The Alliance for Effective Organizations Inc. (AEO), a firm specializing in a full array of management consulting services.
Her consulting and design activities have included a focus on helping organizations to align the competencies of their existing workforce with the strategic demands of emerging business challenges, with particular focus on issues of culture change and leadership development. She provided consulting services to the Aresty Institute of Executive Education, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, for clients of their Custom Programs and was selected as one of fifteen senior strategy and organization effectiveness practitioners from around the world to form the initial partnership network for the Center for Organizational Fitness founded by Mike Beer of the Harvard Business School.
Elizabeth’s corporate experience included senior positions in manufacturing and healthcare companies. Elizabeth holds a BA from Washington University with Phi Beta Kappa distinction, and an MA, also from Washington University.
Christine WitkowskiChief Program Officer
Christine Witkowski is a musician, educator and organizational strategist. As the Chief Program Officer of ArtistYear, Christine leads program strategy and development, at the city, district, and school-levels, and crafts the professional development program that prepares and supports Fellows throughout their service year. Through her work as a consultant, Christine provides expertise in leadership, strategy, staffing, cultural competence, teacher training and evaluation for foundations, non-profits and cultural institutions. She is also the author and editor of “El Sistema: Music for Social Change” (Omnibus Press): a collection essays on the practical and philosophical application of impactful and community-driven music programs for youth development.
From 2010-2015, Christine designed, implemented, and led Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA)- an intensive, free music and youth development program located in the city’s most diverse and underserved neighborhood. With a dedicated teaching faculty, grassroots parental support and multiple partner organizations, YOLA at HOLA became a model program, serving hundreds of K-12 students and hosting visitors from over 25 countries.
Christine received her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, a master’s degree from McGill University, and holds a certification in community counseling from the Southern California Counseling Center. She was an inaugural Sistema Fellow at New England Conservatory of Music, and a New Horizon Fellow at Aspen Music Festival and School.
Jennifer JonesCity Lead, New York City
Jennifer Jones was born and raised in New York City to parents who believed in exposure to the arts. Although she began her professional career managing subsidized housing in New York City, after twenty years, Jennifer decided to fulfill her life-long dream to pursue the study and practice of fine arts. Jennifer graduated from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in art history and studio art. This fall, she begins her dual Master of Fine Arts and Master of Art History degrees at Purchase College. Jennifer is the recipient of the prestigious Purchase Merit Scholarship and will serve as a Research Assistant during her graduate studies. She also holds a Master in Urban Planning from CUNY Hunter College, where she served as a US Department of Housing and Urban Development Fellow.
Although Jennifer explores different mediums, she primarily works in printmaking, ceramics, and photography. Jennifer is passionate about teaching-artist pedagogy, and its potential to advance social justice in youth.
Julia DurkinDirector of Operations & Advancement
Philadelphia-suburb native Julia Durkin grew up surrounded by the arts as a musician and visual artist where she gained a deep appreciation for the impact of arts education. She brings this perspective and passion to her role as Director of Operations and Advancement at ArtistYear. Julia leads operations, finance, compliance, and human resource planning and implementation in addition to supporting ArtistYear’s advancement strategy and realization.
Prior to ArtistYear Julia served as Operations Director for Play On Philly, where she created the Human Resources department, guided the organization through six years of successful financial audits, and managed the budget growth from $1.2 million in 2013 to $2.4 million in 2018.
She has also served as Operations Director and Director of Compliance for Senator Bob Casey’s successful 2012 reelection campaign.
Julia received Bachelor of the Arts with a double major in Performance Studies and Political Science at Northwestern University. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania, and a certification in Human Resources from the Society for Human Resources.
As a lifelong musician, she studied bassoon with Shirley Curtiss, performed in chamber ensembles at Philadelphia’s Settlement Music School, performed in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra under the direction of Rossen Milanov, and participated in numerous musical theatre productions over the years.
She currently resides with in the suburbs of Philadelphia with her husband, their son, Quinn, and miniature goldendoodle, Lucy. She also enjoys painting and chalk pastel in her spare time.
Lauren MikaRecruiting & Onboarding Lead
Visual artist Lauren Kelly Mika is passionate about making the arts accessible across our nation. Lauren leads our recruiting and onboarding program strategy for ArtistYear AmeriCorps Fellows. Lauren brings professional and personal experience an ArtistYear Fellow Class of 2017. During her service year, she served as a full-time teaching artist to middle schoolers at Mastery Charter Harrity Upper. A native of the city, Lauren holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Entertainment and Arts Management, with a focus in Visual Studies, from Drexel University.
While attending Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, Lauren explored an array of experiences within the art world: fashion styling and branding with Jen Abrams, photography and set design with Dan King, and a senior thesis dedicated to making museums a part of everyday life. As a visual artist, Lauren’s work has been featured in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This wide aperture of opportunities has facilitated Lauren’s versatile perspective and skill set within the art world.
Lauren has been nurturing a love of the arts since her youth. Lauren currently lives in the Olde Richmond area of Philadelphia and in her free time loves sitting back at the beach enjoying a captivating book.
Rebecca Imani C. GrahamCity Lead, Philadelphia
Rebecca Imani C. Graham is a musician and educator of both vocal and instrumental music. A graduate of Ithaca College’s James J. Whalen School of Music, Rebecca earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a concentration in trumpet in 2010. Upon graduating, she spent a year in service as the Family Communications Americorps VISTA at New Roots Charter School, a start-up high school in Ithaca, NY where she was later brought on as the full-time Music Director. Over the course of her two years at New Roots, Rebecca taught and developed sustainability and social justice arts curriculum for grades 9-12 with classes including chorus, jazz ensemble, chamber ensemble, a student-led rock band, music theory and appreciation.
Since moving to Philadelphia in 2013, Rebecca has worked as a vocal Teaching Artist with Musicopia’s FAME (Fostering Artistry and Musical Excellence) and residency programs. Her Complaint Choir program has been hailed as “innovative” and “highly popular” and is often requested by school communities looking to better engage their at-risk and special needs students. Rebecca served on the Musicopia Board of Directors from 2015-2017 as the Teaching Artist liaison. She also worked with Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s Tune Up Philly program includes brass faculty member as well as the Site Supervisor working closely with the Director to ensure continued program-wide success amongst faculty and students.
As ArtistYears’ City Lead of Philadelphia, Rebecca looks forward to working with each ArtistYear AmeriCorps Fellow class to achieve their highest potential as teaching artists, classroom educators, and dedicated citizen-artists.
Tami WisleyRegional Lead, Colorado
Tami Wisley spent her childhood in Southeast Asia, the child of parents deeply committed to Community Development, Conflict Resolution, and Social Justice. Her parent’s commitment to the underserved took hold and Tami found her way into the classroom. She is dedicated towards the ideal that teaching can and does positively alter the trajectory of lives.
Tami has spent the past fifteen years developing her craft as a teacher and school leader. In Glenwood Springs, CO, she has grown the instrumental music program from 100 to 300 students in five years. It continues to expand and thrive and offer powerful music opportunities for local students. Tami also created a mentoring program for at-risk students, partnering local leaders with students in danger of dropping out of school. Continually striving to create new opportunities for students, she also founded a peer-mentoring program with band students and spearheaded a school-wide reading intervention. She draws upon her extensive experience teaching English and music education, and snowboard and kayak instruction.
Tami is ArtistYear’s Roaring Fork Valley Regional Lead, mentoring the ArtistYear Fellows during their year of service. She believes the inspiration, contemporary, and youthful contribution that is possible for the Roaring Fork Valley teachers, students, and school communities will be immense!
When Tami is not teaching or playing mandolin with her all-women’s bluegrass band, she spends her time kayaking, biking, and camping with her two sons.