We believe arts and culture are a necessity, not an option
Built on a vision of helping others, Rich Arts Collective (RAC) was founded in 2021 as a way of bringing music, art, and culture under one hub with the goal of raising up each member of the community in appreciation of our shared humanity.
We are excited to have you join us on this journey.
At Rich Arts Collective, we create cultural experiences that impact our community positively through music, art, and conversations with the intention to inform, educate, and entertain, as well as bring forth a focus on African diaspora.
We hope to foster experiences where all feel welcome, and all feel appreciated. A community that sees one another for who we are as we embrace and cherish our differences. As Rich Arts. Collective continues to grow and connects with communities we want to see our impact across globes.
We honor and respect each individual and strive to meet people where they are.
We welcome all people.
We honor our differences, culturally, spiritually, and professionally.
We embrace collaboration and teamwork to ensure we gain all perspectives.
We believe in the power of community and in creating a society that thrives together.
We choose to serve our communities with high-quality, thoughtful work.
We believe in empowering people with knowledge, understanding, and resources.
We infuse joy into everything we do.
Meet Our Board
"My goal is to grow Rich Arts Collective into a cultural hub for all people. I want to ensure that we connect with one another on a deeper level and gain appreciation of what makes us uniquely us, and through the various arts programs that we offer, ultimately foster stronger connections and build bridges of human understanding."
Thabisa Rich is a highly experienced multi-disciplinary touring artist and cultural leader with over two decades of experience in the music industry. As the founder and Board President of Rich Arts Collective, Thabisa has brought her passion for community and cultural equity to the forefront of her work. Born in South Africa, Thabisa utilized her talents and passion for community engagement to make a difference in the lives of young people. Her experience includes serving as Board President at CT Folk, where she has been a board member since January 2020. Prior to that, Thabisa founded THABISA LLC, a self-employed venture where she creates, performs and distributes her music, and other art projects. With her proven track record of community engagement and cultural equity efforts, Thabisa is a vital asset to Rich Arts Collective and the broader community. Her dedication to empowering young people and promoting diversity and inclusion through the arts is an inspiration to all who work with her.
Charlie is a dedicated board member of Rich Arts Collective, bringing with him years of experience in nonprofit development, fundraising, and investment management. He joined the Alumni & Development Office at Hopkins School in 2016, where he has been instrumental in cultivating relationships with donors and raising funds to support the school’s programs and initiatives. Prior to his time at Hopkins, Charlie spent five years in South Africa working to develop a world-class, affordable high school for underserved youth. His work in South Africa ignited his passion for education and his commitment to empowering young people through access to quality education. Charlie is an advocate for health and wellness, who enjoys hiking in the beautiful outdoors, cooking delicious and healthy meals for his family, and playing soccer in a local men's league. He is an active member of his community and volunteers his time and resources to support local causes that align with his values.
Dan is a seasoned and accomplished professional with a proven track record of success in nonprofit management and fundraising. He brings over 20 years of experience in the field, including 17 years of experience as an Associate Director for Advancement Services at Hopkins School. Dan is a results-driven leader with a passion for making a difference in the community. Dan has also worked as Program Officer for Latin America at Trickle Up, and as IT Training Coordinator at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Additionally, Dan served in the Peace Corps as a Small Business Development Volunteer in Costa Rica. Dan holds a M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management from the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a B.A. in Economics and Secondary Education from Cornell College. Dan is honored to serve on the board of RAC and is dedicated to utilizing his expertise and experience to help drive the organization forward and make a positive impact in the community.
Dr. Derese G Kassa is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Iona University where he teaches courses focusing on race and ethnic relations, urban society, and the sociology of development. He is also a co-founder of Iona’s program in Black Studies where he teaches the centerpiece course, “Black Cultural Identity: Past and Present” with his colleague Dr. Nadine Cosby. His research interests include issues of well-being, forced displacement, migration, and urbanization in East Africa. Derese is the author of Refugee Spaces and Urban Citizenship in Nairobi: Africa’s Sanctuary City (2018: Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield). He has published other refereed articles and book chapters on these topics. He is a member of the African Studies Association, the Eastern Sociological Society, and the American Political Science Association. Derese is a New Havenite who has a passion for community service and also participates actively in the cultural and civic affairs of the Ethiopian Diaspora here in the United States.
Born and raised in Ethiopia, home of 80 different ethnic groups, I grew up admiring the beauty of cultural diversity. As I navigated through my legal career, I had opportunities to work with people from different backgrounds. Along the way, I learned that in our differences lies our strength, and through humanity, we are all connected. So why not work towards creating a community where we all truly belong? As Dr. Brené Brown perfectly said, "True belonging doesn't require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are." At Rich Arts Collective, that is what we aspire to do, and I am excited! I hope you are too.