SMARTS staff members are unique as they all are working artists, teachers, and students. SMARTS' leadership is small but mighty.
Becky Keck brings over 25 years of experience in arts education and is an original founder of SMARTS in 1997. With the support of our community she has been able to successfully transition SMARTS as a stand-alone 501 c3 community art school. She knows that students who learn in the arts become well-rounded grown-ups that enjoy life to its fullest. When asked about how SMARTS has been able to succeed, she is quick to give the credit to her staff, the SMARTS Circle, and those who have donated their time, talents and treasures to SMARTS. “You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with” is her statement that drives SMARTS future.
Sarah received her MA in Arts Administration from Florida State University in the fall of 2022. Born and raised in Youngstown, she is excited to join the SMARTS team of artists who do incredible things in our community. She has a background in theatre stage management and a love of writing poetry in the notes app on her phone. In her spare time you can find her learning to roller skate or hanging out with her pup, Leo.
Alaina is a musician, theater enthusiast, and licensed teacher. She plays saxophone and piano, and enjoys working in all facets of musical theater. Additionally, Alaina has taught instrumental and vocal music in public schools for over a decade. She is excited to be on the SMARTS team!
Meganne Evans is a theatre artist from Youngstown, OH. A lifelong artist, she has been involved in theatre as an actor, director, and stage manager for nearly a decade. Meganne recently graduated Summa Cum Laude with her BFA in Theatre from Youngstown State University. She can't wait to use her skills and experiences to serve the students of SMARTS!
Jim Hain is a SMARTS Community Program Manager. He previously worked as an Adjunct Professor at Youngstown State University, Kent State, and Eastern Gateway, teaching Creative Writing and Composition. He has been published in The Stolen Island Review, Jenny, The Rubbertop Review, and Pennsylvania English, and has performed locally at the Youngstown Playhouse, Rust Belt Theater, and Mahoning Valley Players, among others.
DeAudra is a visual artist from Warren, Ohio. She enjoys artistic expression in many forms. She enjoys; sewing, designing and home decor. Her original passions were in sketching and painting. Her work was previously on display at the McDonough Museum of Art and Trumbull Art Gallery. She holds a MBA, and a BS in Fashion Merchandising from Youngstown State University. She is currently the Public Program Manager at SMARTS and oversees afterschool programming.
Sarah Rhodes grew up in Youngstown with a family of artists, musicians, writers and educators. She is classically trained in ballet, modern, jazz, ballroom, and Ukrainian dance. She has a wide range of musical theater experience both on and off-stage as a performer and choreographer, having collaborated with musicians, filmmakers, poets, & musical theater professionals. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Theater and Dance from YSU, is a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher, and has a Pilates Reformer Certification from Balanced Body. She has over two decades of teaching dance, including 8 years at SMARTS, Pilates, and Yoga. Her field of work has led to jobs with artistic hubs, professional theaters, art galleries, studios, schools, nonprofit organizations, and doctors' offices. She has lived in Minneapolis, NYC, Cleveland, California, Pittsburgh, and recently in Manchester, England with her husband and children. Sarah is happy to be a Community Program Manager encouraging the arts for youth in partner schools like her alma mater and working with Any Given Child.
Barbara Saylor is the Bookkeeper at SMARTS. She received her B.S. in Education for K-8 with an Earth Science minor from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. She has worked as a bookkeeper for telecommunication organizations, banks, and non-profits. As an artist, she enjoys baking, sewing, knitting, and cross-stitching.
Becky Keck, SMARTS President.
SMARTS Circle Members: Myra Vitto, President; Paul Garchar, Vice President; Chris Gabrick, Treasurer; Misty Hazy; Secretary, Denise Holt, Bergen Giordani, Alura Webb, John A. McNally IV, Jonathon Fauvie, John Orsini, Diane Palmer, and Megan Jones.
SMARTS at Ohio One
25 East Boardman Street, First Floor
Youngstown, OH 44503