At the end of 2022, Deputy Director Emily Ustach will be stepping down to embark on the next chapter in her career. We make this announcement with a mix of sadness for New Urban Arts, excitement for Emily’s next chapter, and confidence that the systems Emily has built will ensure our continued success.
Since 2007, Emily Ustach has served New Urban Arts in various volunteer and staff roles. In 2013, she became our Director of Programs, a job that eventually expanded into her current position.
Over the past 15 years, Emily has played a vital role in New Urban Arts’ development. Her achievements include:
- Adapting our programs to meet the first major surge in the size of our student population after moving to our current building.
- Launching A Life After School, our post-secondary success program.
- Creating a new staff position, Resident Artist Mentors (RAMs), part-time, permanent employees serving as mentors in the most high-demand areas of the studio. Over time, we have built a cohort of five RAMs, whom we proudly offer healthcare and retirement benefits.
- Building a partnership with the Rhode Island School of Social Work, allowing New Urban Arts to pilot a new mentor role—Studio Advocate—which brings a Master of Social Work candidate into the studio as a counseling and referral resource for students.
- Ensuring the continuity of programs when we renovated the studio in the summer of 2016, nearly doubling the size of our program area.
- Serving as the mastermind for New Urban Arts’ 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, our largest source of funding. In 2017, through this grant, Emily supervised the launch of NUA Knights, our satellite program at Central High School.
- Being selected for the National Afterschool Matters Fellowship, a competitive, national two-year fellowship for 25 out-of-school-time professionals. The fellowship was sponsored by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time and the National Writing Project.
- Navigating the challenges of COVID, including virtual programs, home delivery of art supplies to over 1,100 Providence public high school students, and the reopening of in-person programs.
- Playing a pivotal role in the celebration of our 25th anniversary, including leading an effort to refresh and revise our mission, vision, and values through a process involving students, staff, and the board of directors.
- Managing the construction of New Urban Arts’ office annex.
Throughout so much change and growth, Emily has worked tirelessly on behalf of NUA’s students to ensure that the essential spark at the core of our programs has remained consistent.
Upon Emily’s departure, New Urban Arts will be restructuring; Business Manager Jeannie Castillo-Lapierre will step into a new role as Director of Finance and Administration, while Studio Director Joselina Fay will take on additional duties around compliance and external partnerships.
New Urban Arts has been so fortunate to have Emily’s leadership, and she will always have a home in our studio.
THANK YOU EMILY!