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Meet Our Team

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Kait Allen (they/them)

Executive Director

Kait is a queer, non-binary poet and multidisciplinary artist living in Kingston. Kait has a love for reading and writing, preferring to do both on good old fashioned paper, which has led them to their favourite artistic medium: the tedious yet intimate process of letterpress printing. Kait has been refining their creative writing skills for over 20 years, and uses their artwork as a platform to challenge and disrupt themes of identity, power, and normativity. 

Contact Kait

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Kelsey Newman Reed (she/her)

Assistant Director

Kelsey is an artist, published poet, and has always been passionate about the arts. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree with a major in Art History and minor in Drama from Queen's University, as well as a Post-Graduate Certificate in Interactive Marketing Communications from St. Lawrence College. Kelsey is fascinated by art found in public and digital spaces, as well as the methods of displaying and sharing these artworks. 

Contact Kelsey

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Hannah Schaub (she/her)

Web Developer

Hannah is an artist, graphic designer, and web developer with a passion for people. Beginning her career in Retail Buying and Marketing, Hannah became interested in understanding why people respond to specific experiences more than others, which led to the discovery of User Experience Design. With a UX certificate under her belt, Hannah transitioned from the world of small business into the non-profit world to use these skills in a new way!

Outside of work, Hannah loves to experiment with printmaking, digital art, oil painting, and many other mediums! Hannah strives to use her art practice as a way to connect with and learn from others, focusing on the themes of community, healing, and nature in many pieces.

Contact Hannah

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Oyíndàmólá Áláká (she/her)

Programming Coordinator

Oyíndàmólá Áláká is an Arts and Culture consultant, storyteller and community leader. Raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Oyíndàmólá's diverse background informs her work in gender advocacy and community engagement. With a Bachelor's degree in Women's and Gender Studies and currently pursuing a Master's in Cultural Studies, she is a passionate gender equality expert committed to human rights. 

Contact Oyindmola

2023-2024
Board of Directors 

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Caroline Cotter (she/her)

Chair

Caroline Cotter is a visual arts administrator with ten years of experience working in the Ontario nonprofit art sector. For seven and a half years, Caroline worked as the Visual Arts Program Administrator at the Ontario Arts Council. She’s held positions at CARFAC National, Galerie SAW Gallery and the House of PainT Festival of Urban Arts and Culture. Caroline is currently a Master’s candidate in Art History at Queen’s University where her research focuses on cultural heritage preservation, provenance and art restitution. She holds a BFA in Art History from Concordia University and has completed several courses in nonprofit and volunteer sector management at Ryerson University.

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Elaine Chan-Dow (she/her)

Co-Chair

Elaine Chan-Dow is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist and researcher. Her current work explores the intersection of cultural studies, botany, and art. Holding degrees in Urban Geography, Image Arts, and a Master of Fine Art, Chan-Dow's previous work, supported by an SSHRC grant, delved into the connection between objects and remembered history, particularly within the context of cognitive impairments. Her current research and artistic journey focuses on the intricate interplay between art, humanity, and the natural world, conveying a powerful message of biodiversity preservation and environmental sustainability. Her artwork is in institutions and private collections, including a recent installation at Butterfield Park, OCAD University. Chan-Dow's influence extends to her role as an educator within the Faculty of Arts at OCAD University. As she continues to shape the art world, she's concurrently pursuing a doctoral degree in Cultural Studies at Queen's University. She hopes to bring this wealth of knowledge and experience to her co-chair and programming chair positions at Modern Fuel.

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Grace Dixon (she/her)

Secretary

Grace Dixon is an illustrator, graphic designer and musician with a specific fondness for experimental sound design and artistic collaboration. She has most recently been involved in co-writing an instrumental score for a Toronto-based documentary and finds tremendous beauty and power in pairing sound with visuals. Her visual art practice often includes digital illustrations or textured collage work alongside themes of deconstructing/rediscovering spirituality and leaving space for growth. Grace is honoured to be a part of the Modern Fuel board and is looking forward to opportunities to contribute to, listen to and support this community. 

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Baraa Abuzayed (she/her)

Board Director

Baraa Abuzayed is a Ph.D. student in cultural studies at Queen’s University. Through her artistic practice, she incorporates mixed media installation using textiles and film, where she explores themes of family, home, belongingness, identity, and storytelling. In the past, Baraa has served on several boards in the NGO sector. At Modern Fuel, Baraa hopes to help in the continued support of emerging artists and building community connections!

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Fan Wu (they/them)

Board Director

Fan is a PhD Student in Screen Cultures & Curatorial Studies at Queen’s University. They have previously served as Board Secretary at Art Metropole. Their own practice intermixes poetry, performance, and community participation; they are particularly passionate about breaking down artificial barriers that divide various forms of creation. A perpetual question for them: are there ways to rethink “institutionality” at its root that preserves the good work the institution has done while transforming sedimented structures that no longer reflect an organization's values? They hope to assist in Modern Fuel's process of decolonization. 

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Mehvish Rather (she/her)

Board Director

Mehvish Rather is pursuing research in the field of documentary filmmaking. Being a documentary filmmaker herself, with her films being showcased in different film festivals across the globe, she continues to question the methodology and ethics in her field. Her particular interest concerns with the representation of subjects in documentaries based in protracted political conflict zones, trying to envision them beyond the scope of victimhood. She questions the patterns of absences within such documentaries, such as that of humour and transcendentality.

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Ron Abreu (he/him)

Board Director

Ron Abreu is a talented digital artist and a passionate supporter of the arts. He is the founder of Ron Abreu Digital Arts, a web of social media platforms where he showcases his abstract, dynamic and emotionally invigorating work. He uses various software and techniques to create stunning images that reflect his vision and creativity. He is excited to join the board of Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre. He hopes to share his expertise and enthusiasm with Modern Fuel and help them promote and support emerging and established artists. 

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Rook Damson (she/her)

Board Director

Rook Damson is a self-taught artist residing in the Kingston area. She focuses mainly on acrylic painting and digital art, and has also spent over a decade experimenting with various styles and mediums. Rook strives to make eye-catching pieces, most of which have an underlying message relating to the human condition and mental health or the societal issues of the world we live in. Rooks goal is to evoke emotion in the viewer and bring about a deeper train of thought through the combination of composition, color, and subject. Rook creates pieces with striking color palettes and bold lines to be especially bright and evoke the most potent emotive reaction to the piece.

About our Board and Committees

 

Modern Fuel is a member-driven organization that consists of a General Assembly, comprised of all members in good standing, and a working, hands-on Board of Directors. As an artist-run at its core, the majority of Modern Fuel’s board must self-identify as artists. The role of the Board of Directors is to provide stewardship, direction and support to the organization in accordance with Modern Fuel’s vision, mandate and values. The Board of Directors is elected by our membership at our Annual General Meeting. When necessary, additional board members are recruited throughout the year, and join the board in interim positions until they can be legally elected at the next AGM. 

 

Our Board of Directors is a working board, in every sense of the way. Along with governance matters of ensuring by-laws and budgets are respected, they all play an active role in Modern Fuel’s programming, operations and fundraising efforts. Directors dedicate 5-10 hours of work per month attending meetings, self-guided work, assisting staff, and other tasks as needed. Some committees may be further filled with community member volunteers. If you are interested in getting involved as a Board Director or community volunteer, feel free to contact us at mfarcbodpres@modernfuel.org.

The Programming Committee is in charge of selecting exhibitions from the call for submissions and other artistic opportunities that may arise. They also help in developing and implementing our additional programs such as residencies and roundtables.

 

The Development Committee is in charge of identifying potential grants and foundations, assisting with grant writing, and planning our major fundraising activities for the year. They are further tasked with reaching out to the broader Kingston community and volunteer recruitment.

 

The New Media Workspace and Library Committee maintains the proper organization of these two resources, writes grants specifically for the acquisition of new media equipment and text-based resources, and produces specific workshops to activate these resources and make them available to the community.

 

The Finance Committee is chaired by our Treasurer and supervises the financial well-being of the organization. They assist the Executive Director with financial reporting and audit preparation.

 

The Human Resources Committee is responsible for hiring major positions, ensuring the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of staff and interns through policies, and check-ins, and assisting with conflict resolution should the need arise. Our Nominations Committee is an ad-hoc committee of the Human Resources Committee. They meet with potential board members to make sure that they fully understand the commitment that is required.

 

The Executive Committee is comprised of the Co-Chairs, the Secretary and the Treasurer. They help supervise the progress of all committees, assist the Executive Director with long term strategic planning, and draft important policies. 

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