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Staff Spotlight: Sarah Berry

Renee Eder on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Since its inception, the J’s cultural and performing arts programming has brought our community exceptional events that celebrate essential aspects of Jewish and community culture. As we are kicking off our fall season, I can’t wait for all the fun and exciting events that are planned!

From j.talks, to ReelAbilities, to our Performing Arts Series, planning all the cultural arts events is a lot of work, as you can imagine. I thought you’d be interested in meeting the person who spearheads the programming, Sarah Berry.

Many of you may already know Sarah. Although she is pretty new to her role as Cultural Arts Director, having started in May, she is not new to the J! Sarah originally served in the role of Programming Director for BASE and head of Camp Omanoot (theatre camp), from 2006–2008, and as the delegation head for the JCC Maccabi ArtsFest in 2007 and 2008. She was so excited to have been welcomed back to the J as the Cultural Arts Director.

Sarah has quite a background and a love of cultural arts. Sarah received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Arts and Visual Technology from George Mason University in 2006 and her MS in Arts Administration from Boston University in 2011. Before moving back to Northern Virginia, Sarah was Program Manager at The Art Connection in Boston for almost five years. As a lay-leader at Jewish Arts Collaborative, she developed and produced Boston’s first Jewish public arts event, 8 Nights, 8 Windows. Sarah is also a photographer who taught photography and curated exhibitions for the City of Boston’s Parks and Recreation Department and interned with Smithsonian Photographic Services at the National Museum of American History.

According to Sarah, “(t)he most special thing about the J is that there are so many unique things to choose from — whether it’s a service you need or a passion you’re pursuing, you can find it here (and meet great people while you’re at it)!” If she had advice to give to our members, she would tell them to “indulge themselves… See a play. Tap your foot at a concert. Slow down in the hallway to enjoy the artwork in our Bodzin Art Gallery. Meet a contemporary Jewish author. Gather your folks for dinner and a movie during our two annual film festivals. Life is sweeter when you take time for the arts!” Sarah enjoys working at the J because she loves to plan creative events, and enjoys the never-ending parade of smiles in the hallway from friendly people of all ages.
Arts and cultural programs at the J include the JCCNV Performing Arts Series, Northern Virginia j.talks, The Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival, The Bodzin Art Gallery,, and the ReelAbilities Film Festival (which begins next week on September 18 and runs through September 24). To learn more about cultural arts at the J and to get a schedule of upcoming programs, please click here.

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