Board of Trustees


Robinson Holloway


Robinson Holloway serves as chair on the boards of two arts organizations – the Jersey City Arts Council and the New York branch of the Association of Women Art Dealers. She is also a founding board member of Positive Impact Development, Inc – a non-profit, community-based real estate development company, and serves on the board of the Village Neighborhood Association.

Holloway also owns Village West Gallery in downtown Jersey City. Village West is a philanthropic, non-commercial gallery, created to showcase and support artists. Group shows there have drawn artists from around the world, but with special consideration for the creative community in and around Jersey City.

Prior to shifting her concentration to the arts, Holloway’s career was in sports journalism, working at Sports Illustrated and at ABC Sports and ESPN. She and her husband have lived in Jersey City since 2013.



Heather Warfel Sandler

vice chair

Heather Warfel Sandler holds a B.A. in Modern Dance from Point Park University. She is a member of Dance NJ and the National Dance Education Organization. She has taught extensively and performed professionally all along the east coast. Ms. Warfel served as an Adjunct Professor of Dance at NJCU for 10 years, and has taught workshops in the Jersey City public schools for both students and teachers. In 2000 she founded the Dance Program at County Prep High School, where she is the director and lead instructor. She is responsible for writing curriculum for the dance courses and her program has gained recognition from many arts education organizations at both the county and state level. At County Prep, Ms. Warfel designed the 140 seat black box theater for which she is supervisor, and serves as the liaison for the Performing Arts Department as well as the Hudson County Teen Arts Alliance. She also created and moderates the County Prep Artist Collective, which is a club for creative students of various disciplines to explore and collaborate.

Ms. Warfel has lived in Jersey City for over 20 years. She has been involved at various times as teacher, volunteer, visual artist, coordinator, and performer with the JC Artist Studio Tour, JC Fridays, Cathedral Arts Festival, Nimbus Dance Works, Art House Productions, Morris Canal CDC, Yogashunya, NJCU, St. Peters College, and Jersey City / Hudson County Public Schools.



Sarah Ordway


Sarah Ordway has a background in Fine Arts (mixed media, photography) and an MA in Critical Theory and the Arts from The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. She is eager to use her non-profit arts experience to serve the needs of not only the JC arts community, but the community at large.



Susan Justiniano 


Susan Justiniano, professionally known as RescuePoetix™, was introduced to the Jersey City underground Arts scene in 2006. She fell in love with Jersey City’s diversity and energy and has called JC home since 2009 where established herself as an author, poet, spoken word artist, event producer, artist manager, sponsor and collaborator. Her work includes artist development, networking and marketing and artist bookings. She has sponsored numerous community events and entities based in Jersey City NJ. In 2014 she joined forces with Soulful Cypher founders, working on artist review, talent booking, promotions, marketing, contract negotiation and media sourcing. Other entities that Susan has worked with are Jersey City Slam, Wordsmithing, and in 2017 joined JC PR Heritage Arts and Culture. 



Alvin Pettit

board member

Alvin Pettit has been a resident of Jersey City, NJ since 1991. Since year 2000, Alvin has also been heavily involved in community improvement within the Bergen-Lafayette area of Jersey City. He was one of the founding members of the Monticello Neighborhood Association (aka Jackson Hill/Main Street); and was also the former president of the Astor Place neighborhood Association. Currently he is president of the Bergen Hill Neighborhood Association, and serves on the boards of the JC City Arts Public Advisory Board and the JC Artist Certification Board.

In 2013 Alvin was appointed as director of the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center in Jersey City, with the mission of rebranding the Center as a cultural epicenter for the surrounding community. Since then, he has been instrumental in using the Center to bring art, culture, wellness, and educational programming to the Greenville area of Jersey City, which otherwise has had very little access to these sort of activities. He adamantly believes in the importance expanding creative outlets to communities that the art world has historically ignored; and the importance of minority artist having equal representation within mainstream platforms.

Baltimore, Maryland native and Jersey City based fine artist, Pettit has also established himself as a professional fine arts painter and sculptor over the last 20 years. He was heavily influenced by a long line of historical African American artistic masters such as Jacob Lawrence, and Barkley L. Hendricks; as well as European artist such as Auguste Rodin, Gustav Klimt. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, his home was filled with paintings by his father and grandfather who painted as a hobby in their early years; this, combined with the fact that his family was also heavily involved in the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s, lead Alvin to recognize the importance of using art as a tool for social awareness.



Marlene O'Haire Sandkamp 

board member

Marlene O'Haire Sandkamp received a B.A. in Theatre from the University Of Maryland and made her way to NYC to pursue her career in acting. Along the way she became a proud member of the Actors Equity Association & SAG AFTRA having performed in theatre, touring shows, commercials, industrials, voiceovers, television and films.

Fifteen years ago Marlene moved to Jersey City and almost immediately became actively involved in her community. She has served on the board and as President of the Van Vorst Park Association for 5 years, and for the past 12 years has been co-director with her husband of the Films in Van Vorst program.



Mary J. Sansait

board member

Mary J. Sansait (MJ) is a Jersey City born and raised artist entrepreneur and proud mother of two. Growing up in a single mother household with a love for music, she was inspired to pursue a professional journey that would combine community upliftment and the arts.

As Program Director of the Community Business Academy (CBA) at Rising Tide Capital, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that assists entrepreneurs and small business owners, Mary has worked in the Jersey City community helping people to find their path for over 8 years now.

She is an accomplished singer-songwriter, recording artist, and uses her talents to engage other creatives in the community. She has produced showcases and performed as M. Josephine alongside various underground heavy weights such as M1 of Dead Prez, Silent Knight, Rugged N Raw, John Robinson, and The Band Called FUSE to name a few.

She is founder and president of Inspired Artist Movement, which produces an annual conference for creative professionals to learn, network and empower one another.



Mike Grabowski

board member

Mike is a Senior Lighting Designer and brings nearly 15 years of television experience with him. During that time, he has brought clients visions to life in a variety of types of shows all over the country. From hard news to variety and entertainment, Mike’s work can be seen on countless concerts, talk shows, video game launches, game shows, reunion shows, and more. His broadcasts have run the gamut from quick run and gun field shoots with a half dozen lights, to location concerts, to full studio productions with hundreds of lights. Mike was also the Broadcast Lighting Consultant for MTV's Times Square Studio Renovation and conversion to a completely low power lighting system as well as relaunching T.R.L.

Recent projects include: Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve w/ Ryan Seacrest, AMC's Comic Book Men, MSNBC’s Morning Joe Remote Shoots, History’s Forged in Fire, MTV2's Uncommon Sense, Logo’s NNN Awards, Sportsnet NY, NY1 and countless Reunion Shows for Bravo, VH1, MTV and others. Mike has also worked with Spike, VH1, MTV2, MTV Tr3s, ABC, NBC, CBS, Howard TV, Bravo, CNN, and others.

Besides production responsibilities, he comes from Philly and has a background of being a street magician and sideshow performer. He tries to bring some of that flair and theatre to all of his projects. Mike has been living in Jersey City with his wife for nearly 15 years. 



Nyugen E. Smith

board member

Jersey City native, Nyugen E. Smith is a Caribbean-American interdisciplinary artist and educator who lives and works in Jersey City, NJ. His practice consists of sculpture, installation, writing, video and performance and is influenced by the conflation of African cultural practices and the remnants of European colonial rule in the Caribbean region. He holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a 2016 Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellow.



Asheenia Johnson

board member

Ms. Johnson has volunteered with various local and national organizations, serving as the Director of Legal Advocacy and Public Policy for the Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement, a facilitator for New Jersey Communities Forward, a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters, a member of the Jersey City Public Safety Advisory Board and a Community Based Emergency Caregiver with United Rescue Jersey City. Her professional experience includes consumer banking and grant program administration.

Ms. Johnson graduated from New Jersey City University with a BA in Economics. During her undergraduate studies, she served as student government senator, University Senate member, AFT Local 1839 election committee and charity/scholarship committee, AFT NJ budget committee, search committee member for the Dean of Arts and Sciences, president of the Black Freedom Society, advisory board member of Yemaya Women’s advisory group for females of African heritage, radio show co-host at WGKR, and peer mentor with Peers Educating Peers. Asheenia is also a founding member of NJ United Students an organization which advocates for student rights. She currently works as a Systems Analyst in the Hudson County Register’s Office, serves as the local Press Secretary for Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight and is a Committeewoman in Jersey City’s Ward A.

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