BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Keith Butler - Treasurer
Keith (he/him) brings nearly 20 years’ experience as a development professional with some of New York’s most prominent and diverse cultural and social service nonprofits. He is currently the Assistant Vice President, Institutional Advancement for the Museum of the City of New York. In this capacity, Keith oversees all aspects of the Museum’s development efforts in support of individual giving, and has direct responsibility for the generation of major gifts. Keith previously served as Director of Development for the James Beard Foundation, the signature culinary nonprofit and producer of the renowned James Beard Awards, overseeing the creation of a comprehensive fundraising strategy and organizational culture. Keith was Director of Institutional Partnerships for Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), overseeing both the major gifts and institutional giving portfolios for the organization (approximately $4.5 million annually). Additional nonprofit experience includes development roles and leadership with Film Forum, the Cunningham Dance Foundation (formerly the Merce Cunningham Dance Company), Dance Theatre Workshop, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. He has taught “Development in the Performing Arts” as part of NYU’s Master’s program in Performing Arts Administration, and served as the Fundraising Specialist for Dance Theatre Workshop’s Laboratory in Arts Management. Keith holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance (cum laude) from Boston University and a Master of Arts degree in Performing Arts Administration from New York University.
Jess Ducey (They/Them) is a Queens-based writer, producer, fundraiser, and event manager. They spent the last decade in Aotearoa, New Zealand, where they were a regular Naked Girls Reading performer, a dancer in queer comic ballet Sapphic Lake, co-founder of Queer AF, Wellington’s first queer arts festival, and creator of Unfinished Business, in which artists shared in-progress works over a three-course dinner in their flat. They’re a member of Primary Stages’ 2023 Echoes writing group for emerging playwrights. Jess enjoys nature, queer joy, knitting, elaborate dinner parties, public transit, books, learning to clown, cheese, and cycling (slowly!) around the city.
Aaron Moore Ellis
Aaron Moore Ellis (They/Them) is a nonbinary dramaturg, scholar-artist, editor, facilitator, activist and organizer, working at the intersection of embodiment and radical ethics in pursuit of collective liberation. They currently split their time between Lenapehoking (so-called NYC) and Timucua, Seminole and Miccosukee lands (so-called Orlando, Florida). Aaron has an M.A. in Religion, Ethics & Philosophy, and a Ph.D. in Theater Studies from Florida State University, where they also worked for many years with LGBTQ+/disability theater production company Mickee Faust, volunteer-taught Poetry Performance at a rural, North Florida prison, and served as Executive Director of the peer-to-peer “free school,” FSU Center for Participant Education. Currently, Aaron wears many hats with Latinx theater company Descolonizarte TEATRO and is a freelance facilitator for the Peace and Justice Institute. Aaron also works as a Dramaturg and Lead Coordinator of the Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion initiative for the historical and educational theatre company, Theater with a Mission, in historic Anhaica, and serves as co-Editor of the peer-reviewed, open-source Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed Journal.
Joseph Hayes (He/Him) is a casting director and advocate who is at the forefront of creating and inciting the change that is inevitable in our industry. Having worked at companies like Stewart/Whitley Casting, Tara Rubin Casting, and Indigo Casting, Joseph recognizes that making a more inclusive, collaborative, and innovative industry starts from within these rooms. His affiliation with NQT began in 2022 when he was the Casting Director for the Criminal Queerness Festival at Lincoln Center. Joseph’s additional casting experience includes Broadway shows, such as Chicago, Hadestown, SIX, Dear Evan Hansen, The Phantom of the Opera, Aladdin, and Sing Street, national tours, including Hairspray, Sound of Music, Les Miserables, Cats, and Aida, TV shows such as Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies (Paramount+), Blood Work (HBO Max) and The Wise Guys film (Starring Robert de Niro, Dir: Barry Levinson). His producing credits include Fairycakes (Off-Broadway), and Fowl Play. Joseph coaches musical theatre students at universities such as NYU and Rider University and has taught seminars with/for One on One Studios, Cast Black Talent etc.
Shafer Mazow - Co-Chair
Shafer (he/him) is the Executive Director at Z Space, is a writer, theater artist, fundraiser, and activist living in San Francisco and working in program development and strategic initiatives at the intersection of art, science, and social justice. Prior to joining Z Space, Shafer was Senior Grants Manager at the Exploratorium and Director of Institutional Giving and Strategy at American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.). He serves on the organizing committee for Bay Area Writer’s Resist, leads the trans and gender-non-conforming advocacy and empathy project IPFreely, and has helped to establish space-sharing initiatives for performing artists, community-based theater programs, and research and action initiatives to address gender equity in the non-profit theater field. Shafer holds a B.A. in English from Wellesley College and a M.F.A. in English and Creative Writing from Mills College. His work has appeared in the Berkeley Fiction Review, 580 Split, and the zines Found and Brood. In his early days in San Francisco, Shafer performed stand-up and sketch comedy throughout the Bay Area and was a founding member of the comedy troupe, This Side of Butch.
Donny is a professional fundraiser, organizational strategist, and freelance writer. He is currently the Development Director at Envision Freedom Fund, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit freeing immigrants from detention and advocating for decarceration across New York. He holds a MS in Nonprofit Management from The New School. His fundraising career began Off-Broadway at Signature Theatre and New York City Center. As a freelance writer, his published work is focused on adapting the theatre industry, including “Woke Supremacy” and “Anti-Racism and the Institution” (HowlRound) and “Adapt or Perish” (Brooklyn Rail).
Writer, Executive Producer, Community Mobilizer, and Culture Curator, DaShawn Usher (He/Him) hails from the Bronx, New York. DaShawn is an award-winning advocate, published researcher and celebrated leader within the LGBTQ+ and HIV prevention field. Having cultivated more than 15 years of extensive experience in research, program development and design, health communications, and campaign development and implementation, he was featured in OUT Magazine’s “OUT 100” list. DaShawn currently serves as the Director, Communities of Color and Media at GLAAD. He has served as the voice of infusing HIV and Black communities into the entertainment industry with features in The Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Times, Forbes and more. DaShawn is the Founder and Executive Director of Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative (MOBI), a series of curated social connectivity programming for Black gay and queer people of color to see their holistic selves while promoting community, wellness, and personal development. Continuing to make waves in Hollywood, DaShawn was selected and completed the inaugural Ben the Writers Room, a virtual TV pilot and feature film writing workshop for underrepresented writers of color and LGBTQ+ storytellers shepherded by writer, producer, and showrunner Ben Cory Jones.