Riverzedge staff share a vision with the board, volunteer corps, and youth for success, innovative capacity, a commitment to materials and resource conservation, and boundless energy to provide hope and contribution to others.

Kristen Williams, PHD, Executive Director Kristen’s path to Riverzedge Arts has been a winding one with a perfect destination. Trained as a theatre practitioner and an academic, Kristen has been by turns a director and playwright, a published poet, and a college professor. She holds degrees in Theatre, English, and American Studies from Rhode Island College, the University of Toronto, and the University of Maryland, College Park. Coming of age in the do-it-yourself punk rock scenes of Providence and northern Rhode Island, Kristen believes strongly in the power of creativity to draw out and amplify the unique strengths of people, landscapes, and cultures to produce powerful and healthy communities. In her free time, she is an avid reader, gardener, and amateur furniture-builder, and is never happier than when she is trailing behind her dog on a hike in the woods.

Brad Fesmire, Artistic Director

Brad is an artist who’s work has been in numerous exhibitions in New York, New England and Europe. His work explores personal and universal histories through material abstraction and painting, and is constantly exploring the means to perpetuate these ideas in new directions. He was the Artistic and Program Director of Riverzedge from 2005-2015. In that role, he developed innovative arts programs, consulted on the re-design plans of the downtown for their city, collaborated on education reform initiatives, and oversaw ambitious public art projects. After spending over 4 years co-owning a specialty carpentry and sawmilling company, he felt the need and passion to return to working in the arts, social and educational sectors and returned to Riverzedge in February 2020. As this work continues, his interest in the intersection of art and social change increases as it becomes more important that art does something, and art is put to work in ways that matter...not only about contemporary culture, but how it effects communities and individuals in profound ways. He received his MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2005.

Kelly Harlow, ELO Program Director

Kelly, a recent graduate of Rhode Island College, studied Youth Development with a concentration in Holistic and Therapeutic Development. She is passionate about social justice work through advocacy and the empowerment of underrepresented youth. Kelly believes in critical and positive youth development and leading with youth.

Christopher Fagbayi, Design Works Studio Director

Chris was born in Paris, France and was raised in the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe before moving to the states 28 years ago. Chris is a passionate Graphic Designer who has worked at corporate companies in the Greater Boston area and as an art educator in the community of Woonsocket where he has taught basic art and design to Pre-K, Elementary and High School Students. He believes that sharing his artistic knowledge with youth will enable them to discover their own creative talents and appreciation for the arts.  Chris received an AS in Graphic Design from Bunker Hill Community College and a BA in Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Kim Keiter, ScreenWorks Director

Kim received her BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Partnership with Tufts University, with a concentration in Photography and Printmaking. Kim has had an extensive career as a photographer and screen printer in both commercial and fine arts. She has taught adults and teens in both mediums through one on one direction and class environment. She has passion for the arts, teaching, community action, and social justice. She loves kitsch, true crime, cat snuggles, and all things comedy.

Rhiannon White, ELO Americorps VISTA

Rhiannon White graduated from Denison University with a BA in English and Theatre in 2017.She spent the next two years working as a Youth Services Assistant at a public library where she designed programs for tweens and homeschoolers. Her most memorable program involved teaching kids how to survive a zombie apocalypse! A native of southeastern Ohio, Rhiannon moved to Rhode Island after becoming an Americorps VISTA (bringing along her cat, Dragon). She is excited to work with the students of Woonsocket High and discover all they have to offer.

Beck Gardner, Youth Development Americorps VISTA

Beck is an artist, working primarily with pencil, ink and gouache. He graduated from University of California Santa Cruz in 2011. Since then he has acquired a variety of work experience in the fields of art, logistics, and social work. As the Riverzedge Youth Development Americorps VISTA, he combines his work experience, passion for art, empathetic nature, and his desire to empower those around him to provide both academic and leadership support to participants.

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