Neal Ludevig is a music industry professional with extensive experience in nearly every facet of the music industry. Neal was most recently a Music Agent and Artist Coordinator at Addeo Music International (AMI) booking agency in New York City. He was responsible for managing, booking and organizing (inter)national tours for internationally acclaimed artists, and with coordinating with a number of performing arts organizations and festivals around the world.
Neal is also currently the Chief Operating Officer (C.O.O.) at Beyond Better Foods LLC, a consumer packaged goods company that believes in offering a healthy & delicious product that rethinks what “health food” can be. As C.O.O. Neal manages the company’s national marketing strategy, coordinates all its external events, manages its partnerships, leverages relationships, identifies and establishes all press opportunities, finalize sponsorship opportunities, and is responsible for hiring, training, and directing staff. In under a year ENLIGHTENED Ice Cream has become available around the country, has partnered and established relationships with Avon, Rodale, Niche Media, Whole Foods, The American Diabetes Association, Revlon, The Color Run, The March of Dimes, et al., and has been featured on Bloomberg, Men’s Journal, Cosmo, Women's Health, Hungry Girl, Redbook, Joan Hamberg, to name a few.
Neal holds a B.A. from Brandeis University in Sociology and American Studies, speaks conversational Russian and French, and plays and records the piano, guitar, bass, flute, and saxophone. He also enjoys the traveling, the outdoors, dancing, teaching and playing tennis.
JJ.J. El-Far is an Arab-American creative producer based in Harlem and currently the Arts Program and Equal Opportunity and Diversity Coordinator at the British Council, USA- the UK's cultural relations organization. J.J. develops projects to showcase contemporary British artists in the US, support art work that deals with global issues, and building trans-Atlantic dialogue. She is an expert and a champion within the organization for diversity and inclusion both in internal practice, and external programming and communication. Previously, she was the co-founder and former Executive Director of Hybrid Theatre Works, an international theater collective, which has created over 60 original works using non-traditional space and new media. Selected as one of Theatre Communications Group's Young Leaders of Color and is a member of Women of Color in the Arts and Theatre Without Borders. J.J. reviews theater and arts events for Uptown Flavor, was an artistic consultant for Ted X Harlem, co-produced “Acting Together on the World Stage” conferences in 2007 and 2010 with Theatre Without Borders, interned at Jerash Festival of Arts and Culture in Amman, Jordan. J.J. has created work with Magic Future Box, Changeling Theatre, Castillo Theatre, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, NY Arab American Comedy Fest, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, and Berkshire Theatre Group. Presented at the Apollo, Chamber Music America Conference, NYU, ReOrient Forum at Golden Thread Productions, Cultural Diplomacy and Global Performance at Georgetown, Arts in the One World at Brown. Served on grant panels for TCG and Queens Arts Council. 2010 La Mama International Symposium for Directors in Umbria, Italy, courses towards M.F.A. in Directing at New School for Drama. B.A. in Theater Arts and International Global Studies from Brandeis University.
Chelsea Goding is a dedicated dance administrator with extended experience in management, presentation, and special event planning. She is currently the Education Manager at New York City Center where she manages various outreach programs that connect elementary, middle, and high-school students with world-renowned dance and musical theater productions and companies. She has held the positions of Education Associate and Education Assistant at New York City Center, and was previously the Company Manager of Gallim Dance. Chelsea has also worked at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival as the Presenting Intern, and at Queens Theater in the Park as the Arts and Business Council of New York Multicultural Intern. Chelsea holds a BS in Arts Administration and a BA in Spanish from Butler University, as well as a minor in Visual Arts.
Tania Balan-Gaubert is Haitian-American and a native of Chicago. She has a background in interdisciplinary research, having conducted research for several community-based health projects funded by grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), as well as archival research for the publication of a political science book. Since moving to New York, Tania has expanded her interests to the arts and community-based social entrepreneurship. She holds an MA in African American Studies from Columbia University, and she received her BA in Psychology with a minor in English from Earlham College.
Leah is so excited to be the Operations Associate for the Harlem Arts Festival. Leah grew up in the suburbs of Seattle, WA where she first discovered her love for the arts. With a background in dance and musical theater she headed to Oklahoma City University where she would receive her BS in Entertainment Business. Deciding to continue her education, she moved to NYC to complete a MA in Performing Arts Administration at New York University. Leah has worked various positions in the theater world including many technical theater positions, development and marketing positions, and is currently working at a special events consulting company, Lauren Fishman Events. Having spent time abroad in London at Bush Theater, she hopes to be able to continue to travel and work in the theater and entertainment world.
AJA BURRELL WOOD
Aja Burrell Wood is an ethnomusicologist, educator, and music lover based in Harlem. Raised in Detroit and a graduate of the Howard Univeristy with a degree in Business with a focus in Music, Aja is excited to join the Harlem Arts Festival team as its Development Research Specialist, engaging with the community and exploring its musical roots. Aja also works as an educator at the Harlem Children’s Zone through the Hip Hop Loves Foundation, and as the Director of Marketing and Promotional Strategy at Revive Music Group. Her past experience includes working with the Sphinx Organization, where she conducted surveys about the impact of their programs on past and present participants, working at Wynton Marsalis Enterprises, and at the Sakusem Festival in Development. She is currently completing her dissertation about how black classical instrumentalists and composers create community and network.
Maurice Zarzuela is a jack of all trades who wears many hats. A Harlem native that grew up with the best city in the world as his backyard to all things he's passionate about. A music industry and marketing professional, Maurice founded Above Beyond Management Group, a boutique lifestyle firm specializing in talent management, branding, consulting and event curation. He strives to constantly contribute to the growth of the culture with his ability to think outside the box. A true perfectionist and creative thinker with a passion on the side for photography, art exposés, museum hopping and world music just to name a few. He began his young career organizing unique events which caught the attention of clients such as Complex Magazine, A3C Hip Hop festival and many others. Maurice is excited about bringing his skills and forward creative ideas in joining the Harlem Arts Festival as the Special Events Associate.