executive director

Lauren Kennedy

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Lauren Kennedy has been working at the Urban Art Commission (UAC) as Executive Director since January 2015. Kennedy brings to the organization extensive project and event management experience and a sincere enthusiasm for contemporary art. In this role, she has been invited to speak at WESTAF's Future History of Public Art Symposium in Honolulu, Hawai'i, ArtBAB (Art Bahrain Across Borders) in Manama, Bahrain, and UNFOLD in Dubai, UAE about public art processes and the current state of public art in America. 

She was previously the Partnership Manager for Ballet Memphis, where she focused on collaborative projects and opportunities with creative individuals and other organizations around Memphis. Prior to Ballet Memphis, Kennedy was the Program Manager for the Dallas Art Fair, overseeing the various logistics of the three-day, contemporary art fair. Kennedy was also the founder and director of Southfork - Memphis, an alternative space for art and conversation from 2015 - 2017. She was a Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts Fellow at Rhodes College where she received a Bachelor's of Art in Art History in 2008. Kennedy was named one of Memphis' 20<30 by the Memphis Flyer in 2014 for her contributions to the local creative community and a 2016 Young Cultural Innovators Fellow with Salzburg Global Seminar. 

e :: lauren@uacmem.org

p :: 901.552.3934

Communications + Development mANAGER

Ebony Archie


Ebony Archie joined the UrbanArt Commission in August 2018 and is a Memphissippian who has a love for the cultural landscape of urban Southern cities. She has an extensive background in community building, fostering partnerships, and facilitating projects for non-profits across Memphis. Ebony studied History with a minor in Africana Studies at Rhodes College, which led her to fall in love with the complex narrative of Memphis and other cities likened to it. As a passionate lover of creativity, she currently curates a blog dedicated to the ways we create joy in our lives while highlighting artists across the South. She believes in the power of storytelling and looks forward to uplifting the experiences and value art has on our everyday lives.

e :: ebony@uacmem.org

p :: 901.290.0955 

Program manager

Brett Hanover


Brett Hanover is a filmmaker and media arts teacher from Memphis, who began working with the UrbanArt Commission in 2018. Brett brings to UAC his experience as an instructor in after-school and university art programs, and as a community media organizer, working with Kartemquin Films, Access Humboldt, and the Mozilla Youth Media Project. As a filmmaker, his work explores outsider art, neurodiversity, queer virtual communities, and the power of love. His documentaries and collaborative narrative projects have been exhibited at venues including the SXSW Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, Indie Memphis, and the Chicago Underground Film Festival. Brett received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from the University of Illinois.

e :: brett@uacmem.org

p :: 901.221.4077

Senior Program Manager

Shanette Parks


Shanette Parks joined UrbanArt Commission in February 2019 with a desire to utilize the healing capacity of art as a bridge builder for the immense diversity in the city of Memphis, TN. With recent experiences as Creative Operations Officer for True Artists Recognition (T.A.R.) Networks, in Los Angeles, CA, she is excited to bring keen insight on implementing creative ways to achieve each and every goal in UAC’s strategic plan. Her passion and expertise offer a fresh perspective for cultivating the city’s potential in art programming and developing real relationships between artists and neighborhoods. Her educational background at Dillard University (B.S., Biology/Chemistry) and University of Memphis (M.B.A, Entrepreneurship/Marketing) have provided tools to help see the micro and macro effects art has in enhancing the well-being of the city-at-large. She is a multi-faceted writer, including screenplays and a blog on the art of self care. Having grown up in Memphis, Shanette is invigorated to be back where her roots are and plant new seeds along side the UAC family.

e :: shanette@uacmem.org

p :: 901.552.5039

Operations & Development Officer

A.M. O’Malley-Miller


A.M. O’Malley-Miller is a writer and visual artist with a passion for arts access for all. She is a Literary Arts Writers in the Schools teaching fellow, a Young Audiences Teaching Artist fellow, a Regional Arts and Culture Council grant recipient and winner of the Skidmore Prize for outstanding work in the non-profit sector. In 2012, A.M. started a writing and publishing program at the Columbia River Correctional Institution and taught incarcerated men there for six years. From 2007-2018, A.M. worked at the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC), an arts non-profit in Portland, OR, ending her tenure there as the Executive Director. A.M.'s first full length book of hybrid poem-memoir Expecting Something Else was published in 2016. She lives in the Berclair neighborhood with her husband, a native Memphian, and  their son, Maxwell. 

e :: am@uacmem.org

p :: 901.881.8205

Program manager

Wendy D. Young


Wendy D. Young , a sculptor and visual artist, joined the UAC team in August of 2019. Born and raised in Memphis,Tn, Young attended Memphis College of Art and received a BFA in metal sculpture and a minor in art history. She brings a passion for both public art and the Memphis community. Wendy brings experience with public art installations and logistics to the UAC team. 

Young previously worked as a coordinator of a bronze art foundry and has 13 years experience with large scale project management, oversight and installation. She helped to create and install works of public art by various artists all over the Midsouth region while cultivating and growing artist relationships. 

Young's expertise focuses on all aspects of cast metal sculpture, including mold making and sculptural media. Her personal work is imbibed with the transcendent nature of art and anthropology, just another artist continuing the celebration of collective human consciousness and culture through art. 

Wendy Young is married to an anthropologist and shares a home next door to Pink Palace with their rowdy pets. 

e :: wendy@uacmem.org

p :: 901.454.0474