Please meet the current Alumni Association Board:
President / Grace Weber (2006)
Singer/songwriter Grace Weber has already made a big name for herself at the young age of 22. The Milwaukee native, who now calls New York home, has sung on the famed “Showtime at the Apollo” in Harlem, NY, at the Kennedy Center, the Ella Awards, and the Today Show. Last year, she also sang on the Oprah Winfrey Show, having been handpicked by Oprah from hundreds of thousands of entrants in a national video contest. Grace was recently featured in Billboard Magazine as a spotlight “artist to watch” in 2010.
Grace’s ear for soul music was present at a young age and continued to grow after joining the Inner City Youth Gospel Choir in Milwaukee, WI, where she performed at churches and revivals around the city. She has deftly melded those early roots in soul and gospel with a modern sensibility of some of her current favorites like Norah Jones and Adele to forge her own musical identity which she calls “Indie-Soul.” In describing her music, Grace said, “I think we dabble in a couple different genres, including pop and jazz, but at the core my music always comes back to the ‘soul.’ I tell stories through my lyrics that I hope can touch people in some way and I always try to sing from an honest place. I like to describe my music as “Indie-Soul” because it’s soul music with a quirky, indie, pop feel. It’s who I am.”
Grace is currently in post-production for her first solo album. “It was an amazing experience working with Grammy award-winning producer, Mike Mangini (Joss Stone, Diane Birch). We shared a joint vision for the album and for the sound that describes my music. I can’t wait to get the album out to the world.”
Grace has already done two tours around the country, including playing at Summerfest and the Mendocino Music Festival, and is becoming a local favorite in her hometown of Milwaukee and in New York. To see behind the scenes footage from the recording studio, pre-order the new album, and more visit http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/grace-weber
President emerita / Stephanie Waters (1999)
Stephanie Waters is currently the Executive Director for a public art initiative with internationally renowned sculptor John Henry, bringing the largest and first ever interactive contemporary sculpture (310 feet) in the nation to Baltimore, Maryland’s new Westport Waterfront. She oversees all aspects of this exciting art and economic development initiative at the convergence of art, business, and technology. She also splits her time as a Senior Account Director with BellaRose Associates, where she brings art to businesses through the creative production of large communications and training initiatives for Fortune 500 corporations.
Additionally, through the Stephanie Waters’ Studio, Stephanie teaches voice and acting privately and helps individuals and arts organizations develop their personal and organizational creative capacity by designing and teaching interdisciplinary creative training workshops and providing executive public speaking coaching. Prior to her work in arts management, for fifteen years, Stephanie worked full-time as an actress and singer appearing in theatre, films, commercials, and concerts starting at the age of twelve. Just one year after becoming a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts YoungArts Awardee and White House Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Stephanie went on to play Cosette in the Broadway and National Touring companies of Les Miserables. Other favorite credits include Show Boat (Magnolia), Into the Woods (Cinderella) and A Little Night Music (Anne) at the Tony Award winning Signature Theatre; A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre; Peer Gynt at The Shakespeare Theatre; and Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at Toby’s Theatre for which she became the youngest person ever nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Lead Actress in a Musical. Outside of her business pursuits, Stephanie serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts/YoungArts and as the founding President of the YoungArts Alumni Association.
Additionally, after Hurricane Katrina, Stephanie spent six months living in a church and eventually a FEMA trailer doing relief work with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, where she met her soon-to-be husband. Stephanie graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a degree in political science and minor in business and was inducted into the American Academy of Achievement.