Management Team

Christopher Barclay
Executive Director

Chris Barclay is an education advocate, management professional, and working artist-photographer, with a notable public service record in Montgomery County. He served as the District 4 representative on the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Board of Education, twice as president in 2010 and 2013, and twice as vice president in 2009 and 2012. Barclay’s community leadership roles have included the Montgomery County Council of PTAs, the NAACP Parents’ Council, the Takoma Foundation Board of Directors, and the Takoma Park Department of Recreation Advisory Committee. He is a member of Leadership Montgomery’s Core Class of 2014, a graduate of Columbia College of Chicago and worked in telecommunications prior to public service.

Cherrah Barclay
Manager of Development & Outreach

Cherrah Barclay was raised in Takoma Park MD. Throughout her life, she has been inspired by the intersection of music, visual art, and literature. Through her writing, Cherrah explores the complex nature of the human spirit, expressions of love, and what she calls ‘human pain’. She hopes to expand her skills in visual art and music to lend a new voice to her own expression and connect with more people. She is inspired by artists such as Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde. Cherrah joined AOB in October of 2019 as a Studio Crew member. She hopes to embrace mosaic work as another medium to both expand and grow her skills as an artist.

Hector Catano

Hector Catano
Manager, Youth Arts Movement (YAM)

Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Hector Catano is a visual artist and educator with more than 20 years of experience and two master’s degrees in Art Production and Art Creation and Research from Spain. Hector has taught visual arts to different communities in Colombia and The U.S. funded mostly by the government, including children in extreme poverty, children with disabilities, homeless people, as well as college, primary, middle, and high school students. As an artist, he has been featured in more than 30 national and international group exhibitions as well as 4 solo art shows.

Angela Faye Cruz

Angela Faye Cruz
Program Assistant, Studio Crew

Angela Faye Cruz is an emerging illustrator that works both traditionally and digitally and has dabbled in other media throughout her creative career. With a fine arts focus throughout high school, Angela graduated from Quince Orchard High School and became an apprentice for Arts on the Block’s Pour Your Art Out program in 2018. She then became a Studio Crew member from 2019-2021 designing and fabricating client commissioned artwork. Currently, she works as a Program Assistant supporting the professional development of studio crew members while also working on building a co-owned start-up business, Galaxy Garden Crafts as an alternative creative outlet to design and sell fandom-inspired merchandise as a display of admiration for her other hobbies and interests.


Julia Davenport
Digital Studio Manager

Julia Davenport is a digital artist and animator inspired by stories and fantasy. She also knits and is learning to crochet. She graduated with an Animation degree from the Cleveland Institute of Art. She was first an apprentice with the Pour Your Art Out program in summer 2014. She then became the Assistant Teaching Artist for the program’s summer sessions from 2016 to 2018. She currently works as the Digital Studio Manager to assist youth to understand and utilize digital software to best support Arts on the Block.

Clayton Evans
Deputy Director

Clayton B. Evans  has dedicated most of his 25 professional years towards working with youth and families in the out-of-school-time field and is the recipient of a PASEsetter Award for exceptional youth work in New York City. Evans has taught art to students of virtually every age, from kindergarteners to retired adults. In addition to teaching the visual arts, Evans has extensive experience in not-for-profit and arts management. He was the founding director of the LeRoy Neiman Art Center in Harlem, NYC and Executive Director of Leave Out Violence-U.S. Evans received his Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art (Education minor) from Lafayette College, and a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from Maryland Institute, College of Art (MICA). Learn more about Clayton and his art and follow him on Instagram!

melissa ezelle gravity

Melissa Ezelle
Lead Teaching Artist, The Apprentice Program (TAP)

Melissa Ezelle has spent the past 16 years as a professional teaching artist, fundraiser and arts administrator, working with a variety of organizations and student populations.  She earned her MFA from Ohio University, and her BFA from Murray State University.  From 2006-2016, Melissa worked as both an arts administrator and educator for organizations supporting adults with disabilities, including the award-winning Resources for Human Development in Philadelphia, and The Arc of Prince George’s County.  In addition, she has held positions in development at the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC) and Studio Theater in Washington, DC.  Since 2013, she has been a practicing studio artist and instructor at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center and currently teaches classes in the fine arts department at Montgomery College


Naomi Giddings
Social Media Manager & Designer

Naomi Giddings is a freelance illustrator and designer from the Washington, DC area currently living in Southern California. She graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis with a major in Communication Design and minors in Creative Writing and Art History & Archaeology. Naomi is biracial Japanese American and is interested in creating works that uplift marginalized people and tell a story. See her work at and @naomiahg on Instagram.

kelly palmer
Kelly Palmer
College and Career Readiness VISTA
As an ever growing creative, Kelly Palmer has allowed her strong passion for the arts to continually inspire her life. As a graduate from Coppin State University, she attained her bachelor’s degree in Urban Arts and a minor in Nonprofit Leadership. During that time, her studies in the arts and nonprofit sector has developed her understanding of present day business tools, marketing strategies, and how to make herself knowledgeable in other industries, including technology. Working with people, whether in a classroom or administrative setting has sharpened her communication skills and ability to build a rapport with people from all walks of life.

Veronica Sloan
Development & Outreach 

Artist, photographer, and writer, Veronica is inspired by the social and biological sciences and collaborating at the intersections of art and science in sustainable and impactful ways. Her previous professional experience includes B2C marketing and communications for GE’s Advanced Materials division in the Netherlands and international communications for the World Wildlife Fund in the US, Panama, Vietnam, and the EU. She has a Bachelor of Art in visual communications from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and further education diplomas from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.


Peter Tabri
Artwork Installation Master Craftsman

Peter Tabri is a well-renowned mosaic craftsman in the Washington DC are. With over 30 years experience in tile, marble, and mosaic installation, Peter has decided to carry on the family tradition of mosaic craftsmanship that has been part of the Tabri line for well over a century. He has been recognized for his exceptional work by both the DC Commission on the Arts and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

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