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Madelyn Rodriguez is a community advocate and leader who has been heavily involved in the local Latino community for over 25 years.  Her experience includes working with various populations in both the academic and medical sectors.  She obtained her Masters in Human Services in 2015, which is a testimony to and example of doing things in a non-traditional manner and overcoming stereotypical adversity. Mady is a proud Latina working hard to make a difference and be a vessel for others to have opportunities to truly be the best they can be.


Among the many jobs and roles she holds in the community, she is a case manager for infants with disabilities and a medical social worker for the local hospital system.  Her favorite role, however, is being a professor at LFCC and Shenandoah University, as her passion is teaching.  


Mady currently serves as President of the Winchester Education Foundation, Vice President of Arte Libre VA, Co-Advisor to the Opportunity Scholars Board, and board member of the Douglass Park Family Day Foundation, and I’m Just Me Movement.

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Vice President

Marco Pflanzen, a first-generation Venezuelan-American, blends roles as a seasoned teacher, musician, and community organizer. With 24 years of violin mastery, including experience informed by El Sistema in Venezuela, and a decade of teaching, they bring profound musical expertise. They hold a Bachelor's in Violin Performance from Shenandoah University and a Master's in Religious Studies from the University of Alabama. Currently serving as Program Coordinator in Shenandoah University's Spiritual Life Office, they craft enriching events for students, faculty, and staff. Beyond their professional life, Marco spends time working on a forest restoration project in Round Hill and offers tarot readings within their community.




Victoria Zabala was born and raised in Venezuela where she earned her bachelors degree in Elementary Education.  She moved to the United States 21 years ago, and has been living in Winchester Virginia since 2003.  Victoria worked as the manager of an urgent care for 10 years, and she is currently the general manager at AZ Services LLC, a local company that offers bilingual tax services. 


Victoria has been involved in the community for the past 13 years in various capacities.  Along with serving as Treasurer of Arte Libre VA, she also serves as the Outreach Chair at the Winchester Frederick County Democratic Committee.  She also works with various community agencies to help bring awareness to the Latino Community about different topics such as health, education, the political system, and the arts.  


Victoria loves to spend her free time reading about her two favorite topics, politics and social behavior. 




Johanna Hix is a Latinx Cybersecurity Engineer who has lived in the Winchester area for the past 12 years. Her hobbies include painting, participating in film clubs, and running a book club. This is her first foray into non-profit volunteer work. In addition to her love of art, she is half Colombian, so this opportunity to be a part of Arte Libre's mission is very exciting for her.



Board of Directors

Chris Williams is a graphic designer and visual artist based in Winchester VA.  He is the co-founder of ARS Mag (ARS Media SArt Group), a non profit art program and magazine. Chris has a B.A. in visual art and design from Shepherd University in West Virginia. Chris is involved in planing of many art and culture events through out the greater DMV area by way of ARS M.A.G.. The programs expose art and culture in the DMV area, while also giving a platform to local artists.


Chris also serves on the Frederick Douglass Park Family Day board of directors. 



Board of Directors

Katherine Barahona, a New York native, Virginia raised, Salvadorian artist has shown her self what consistency, perseverance and an amazing team can help achieve. She was able to have her art displayed at Orlando Museum of Art on 2 separate occasions, and had the opportunity of working with The Commanders. Given the task to create a design representing the Hispanic community her design was chosen. Originally Inspired by her family's modest restaurant, she was taught how to fulfill her dreams one step at a time. While studying at Lord Fairfax Community College, financial constraints led her to discontinue her education. This experience prompted her to pursue an alternative path to achievement, focusing on her artistic talents. Her artistic journey commenced with her inaugural project, "Where’s the Pause Button to Life?," a sketchbook that not only helped her overcome a creative block but also provided solace during the quarantine. This endeavor serves as a tribute to the pause in her life that she had longed for, affording her ample time devoid of work and distractions to rediscover her true passion for art.



Board of Directors

I'm Genesis & I am a 25-year-old, self-taught, multidisciplinary artist. I began creating at a very young age but took a more serious route with art around 18 years old. I specialize in acrylics and digital art but have a very wide range of art styles & types that I create including rug making and resin work. 

All my inspiration revolves around abstractness, blackness, love, and peace. I believe that I was blessed with the talents that I have to show others how you can express yourself in so many ways. I realized that art has allowed me to speak when I didn’t have words, whether that be because of happiness, sadness, love, and many other emotions that we may go through. I am so grateful that I am able to create in so many different ways and find inspiration in all aspects of life. 

My biggest goal with art is that I allow people to see my work & be inspired. Inspired to create, inspired to be great people, inspired to love, inspired to be kind to others, & inspired to just love this beautiful thing we call life. I hope you enjoy my silent poetry!



Board of Directors

My name is Freda Roberson; I am a native of Winchester VA. I am married and a mother of one, and two yorkies.  I love reading, serving the Lord, public speaking, and helping to make a difference in the community. I am the Executive Director at Fremont Street Nursery which is a nonprofit preschool for lower income families.  I have a passion for children and I have been blessed to work with them for almost 26 years.

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Board of Directors

Professor of Art and Program Lead for Art at Laurel Ridge Community College.

Monica Lynn James is an artist and educator with over 10 years of experience in the classroom. She graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a Master's Degree in Painting and prior to that, completed her BFA in Printmaking at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. She was the Fine Arts Faculty for Edmonds Community College in Washington State and an adjunct for Reynolds Community College before leaving Whidbey Island and moving back home to the east coast. Before teaching in higher education she worked for Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Fulton County Arts Council, and Mural Arts of Philadelphia working in community-based arts outreach. Her work in the classroom and on the canvas is all about social justice and building a brighter future. She enjoys everything involving the arts and creativity, family, gardening, coooking and her newest interest in sustainability.


Mike McKechnie

Board of Directors

Mike McKechnie is the President of Mountain View Solar which is a leading local solar and battery installation firm with forty local staff and more than 1,000 renewable energy systems installed in the residential, non-profit, commercial, and public sectors. In 2008, he was awarded with the West Virginia Environmental Council’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award, in 2012 he was awarded the Small Business Administration’s “Entrepreneurial Success of the Year” Award, and in 2018 he was awarded the Small Business Administration’s “West Virginia Minority-Owned Business of the Year Award”.

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