Assoc. AIA, LEED AP
Founder, CEO. Inspired by the "Letter of Pope John Paul II to Women", and the exhortation for the dignity, recognition and development of the "genius of women" in all areas, including the arts, Maria held the first Women in the Arts exhibit in her home in 2005. Board members were invited as a result of this event and have played an important role in the development of the organization's mission. Maria’s passion is to encourage and promote artistic talent in the community.
Maria received her professional degree in Architecture from Catholic University of America in Washington DC, graduating Magna Cum Laude. A Fulbright and Rhodes scholarship candidate, member of the American Institute of Architects, United States Green Building Council; Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional.
Maria has worked with Adams Group Architects and The Scott Partnership Architects on projects that include single home, high-rise and church building architecture. Maria's community involvement includes founding Women in the Arts Inc. and the Community School of the Arts program. Prior involvement includes other non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity and St. Andrew Church.
Maria's involvement in the performing arts started at an early age with training in ballet for a span of ten years. She also participated in the school's first dance company in several lead roles. Maria's appreciation of the Visual Arts expanded as a Curator for Bruzzone Art Gallery in Montevideo, Uruguay, by meeting many professional and international artists and by coordinating juried art competitions.
“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another”
Susan Nastasi, Treasurer. Graduate of
“We should offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God and use our gifts to help others grow and heal. Art, in any form, is a gift worth cultivating, sharing and celebrating with one another.”
Tanya A. Goodman, Communications Chair. Tanya is a journalist and has extensive experience in public relations and speechwriting at the national level. She has experience, as well, in diversity development allowing her to champion the contributions of all groups to American and world cultures.
Recently, she served as a member of the Workgroup for Diversity and Permanency of Foster Care Children, Office of the Attorney General for the state of
Pope John Paul II stated in a 1995 message on the genius of women:
“It is time, therefore, to close the gap between the cultural opportunities for men and women. This will benefit not only women but culture itself, since the vast and variegated world of thought and art has a greater need of their ‘genius’ than ever.”
Erika Oliver, Artist Coordinator. Erika has always belived that service to the community is an important part of leading a fulfilled life. As the artist coordinator, it is her responsibility to reach out to the local art community and connect artists with the Women in the Arts organization and fundraiser. Art in its various forms and expressions has the ability to bring people together and helps to transcend differences and overcome obstacles.
Erika holds a degree in Interior Design and is currently a kitchen designer for The Metrix Group, a National Distributor of European Kitchen Cabinetry. Erika facilitated M.O.M.S. (Ministry of Mothers Sharing) and is an active member of St. Andrew School Board.
“Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a spark that creates extraordinary results.”
Susan Torregrosa, Community Outreach. Susan has her degree in Fine Art photography and her Master’s from the Professional Photographers of America. She has a great passion and appreciation for the arts. She is a member of the Professional Photographers Society of Central Florida, The Florida Professional Photographers, and the Senior Photographers International and the Professional Photographers of America. In 2006 Susan began teaching portrait seminars on an international level.
The St. Andrew community has provides many ways to show God’s presence is alive and well. Susan has been involved in the Ministry of Moms Sharing, The Christ Renews His Parish retreat and the study of His word. She also serves on the School Board. Susan has worked with her church community to bring members together to receive healing through friendship and our Lord.
“It is such a wonderful gift we can give to show those in need an avenue toward healing. When Maria came to me about this charity I knew it was gold. God has spoken to her very clearly; this is what he wants us to do.”