Martin RaY


Martin Ray came to Gloucester in 1972 after serving four years in the Army Corps of Engineers in Thailand, Germany, and Vietnam. During the year 1977-78 as Historian in the Gloucester Arts and Humanities program he co-produced the video “Gloucester: The Light, The Quality, The Time, The Place” with Henry Ferrini. In his profession as Landscape Gardener he came to specialize in granite sculpture. He acted in over thirty performances with Theatre in the Pines. He served as the Chairman of the Gloucester Cultural Council for six years prior to becoming a founding Director of the Gloucester Cultural Initiative.  He has published two books, Cape Ann Narratives of Art in Life and Quarry Scrolls, and since 2013 has posted weekly photo essays in his blog Notes from Halibut Point.

judith hoglander


Judith’s interest in the arts began with her years of vocal training and performing, but following her move to Gloucester more than three decades ago, she refocused her voice and energy toward supporting the arts. She was a founding member of seArts and was appointed a member of the City of Gloucester’s Committee for the Arts, currently serving as its Chair. Judith continued with her interest in the performing arts and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Gloucester Stage Company. She served as Co-Chair during the creation and designation by the Massachusetts Cultural Council of Gloucester’s downtown cultural district. Judith also focuses on arts advocacy where she was a former board member for the Massachusetts Advocates for Arts, Science and Humanities, actively advocates for arts related issues in Washington DC with Americans for the Arts, and has been a proponent in raising art issues with local and state elected officials. She also serves on the Leadership Council for the advocacy organization, MassCreative. Judith lives in Gloucester with her husband, Harry.

jo-ann castano


Jo-Ann is a sculptor, arts educator, community cultural organizer with 45 years’ experience as an arts administrator and activist. Castano co-established and chaired Gloucester’s Committee for the Arts, was founder of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (seARTS), spearhead and co-chaired the City of Gloucester’s Arts and Cultural segment of the City Master Plan 2001, and in 2002 Castano in partnership with Gloucester Community Development Corporation (GCDC) funded and produced in collaboration with the Committee for the Arts and seARTS the American for the Arts Cultural Prosperity Economic Impact Study of non-profits in Gloucester as part of a national study.

Castano’s work in cultural community development was influenced from her early years living and working in the international artists’ mecca, Pietrasanta, Italy where she studied sculpture at the marble studio of Sem Ghelardini and the Marianni Foundaria. Art, Science and Technology has been a major focus of her art for many years developing polarized kinetic light installations.

Castano, in the 1970’s founded the ArtColloquium, Inc., receiving over 1M dollars in federal CETA funding, employing and training over eighty artists while providing and curating opportunities and venue for over 300 fine and performing artists in communities of Salem, Newburyport and Brockton.

Presently Castano is a co-founder and board chair of the Manship Artist Residency + Studios (MARS), spearheaded and founded by Rebeca Reynolds in Gloucester. She joins the Gloucester Cultural Initiative (GCI) as a founding partner with a committed sense that there is always work to be done for the enrichment of our cultural workforce and citizen participation.

She lives with her husband Andrew Innes in Gloucester loving being grandparents together.

robert haverkamp, esq.


Robert is a consultant specializing in higher education governance and administration and is a frequent speaker on topics related to higher education law. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Gloucester Cultural Initiative, Robert has been a member of the Gloucester Committee for the Arts since 2013.

He retired from The Ohio State University in 2010, having served the University as a lawyer and administrator for more than 30 years, most recently as Associate General Counsel and leader of the business and real estate practice group since 2006. Previously, he held a number of positions in the administration, including Director of Real Estate and Research Park Operations and Assistant Vice President for Business and Finance. Robert has extensive service in community and civic organizations: Chair of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (1987-89); President of the Ohio Association of Regional Councils (1988-89); Founding Trustee (1989-93) and President (1991-93) of the Ohio Human Rights Bar Association; and member of the Ohio State Bar Association Committee on Legal Ethics and Professional Conduct (1996-2009).

He served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (2004-07). In 2011, he was made a Life Member of NACUA. He has been involved in establishing, advising, and serving on the boards of a number of other non-profit organizations, including several pioneering LGBT organizations. During the 1980s, Robert also was involved in developing policies with respect to HIV/AIDS legal issues.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from The Ohio State University in 1968 and his Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, also from Ohio State in 1971. Robert and his husband Scott Sanchez live in Magnolia.

valerie i. nelson, phd


Valerie has participated in efforts to celebrate Gloucester’s cultural heritage since her facilitation of Plan 2000 outreach to neighborhoods. As a Lanesville Community Center board member, she produced two Finnish-American heritage programs, a 2018 music concert and a 2019 theatre performance, and has hosted a variety of Finnish-American history festivals, lectures, and films. As a founding Director of the GCI, her particular interests are in the interface between Gloucester’s natural history and economy and its unique and vibrant culture. She is involved with various efforts to link the arts to climate change, housing, and economic history. Valerie served on the Gloucester City Council for two terms and prior to that taught graduate courses in public policy at Harvard and M.I.T. She is Director of the Water Alliance, a multi-stakeholder effort to promote systems change in water, food, and climate management. Valerie has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, M.Sc. London School of Economics and a PhD from Yale University.