Speaker Bio

Jessica Gelter

Executive Director of Arts Alive!

Track Leader- Arts & Culture

Jessica Gelter is the Executive Director of Arts Alive!, an arts service and creative economy organization located in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. She is a dedicated nonprofit leader with over fifteen years of experience in community outreach, team leadership, event management, and program development and evaluation. Through her work at Arts Alive, she has helped to start three nonprofit arts institutions and supported public art projects including bringing 16 historic murals to downtown Keene, NH.

Gelter has taken a leadership role in integrating arts and equity principles into municipal community engagement projects including developing town plans, downtown plans, and cultural plans. In March 2021 she was elected to her local 5-member Selectboard in Brattleboro, Vermont after serving for five years on the town’s Planning Commission.

She has experience presenting research on the economic impact of the arts and teaching about creative placemaking and creative economy practices across New England at festivals, conferences, to legislative commissions, and at peer leadership events.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Boston University’s theater conservatory program, and a Certificate in Arts Management from the University of Massachusetts. In her spare time, she practices her art – as a musician, playwright, actress, and theater director, and was featured on the National Endowment for the Arts website for their 50th anniversary.

Past positions include Founder and President of NEYT Alumni Association, Marketing Director of New England Youth Theatre, Project and Account Manager at Rapt Creative, Communications Coordinator of Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition, Chair of NH Creative Communities Network, and President of Vermont Theatre Company. Ms. Gelter has also been an arts educator since 2003. She is an avid community organizer and has volunteered in that capacity on projects including Vermont Fringe Festival, Flat St. Rising, Fall Arts Classes Fair, Strolling of the Heifers, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Relaxation Photography Project, Get Up 8!, and No Lasting Home—Stories of Displacement and Diaspora.

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