Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.    –Margaret Mead


Erica Hawthorne

Erica’s professional career has been a balance of both business and creative experiences.  Erica is currently the founder and managing director for the Small But Mighty Arts Grant program.  Prior to starting the organization, Erica’s resume included work with college-prep programs, nonprofits, universities and small businesses where she was responsible for developing new programs, enhancing marketing efforts, producing events, and managing community outreach efforts.  As a seasoned spoken word artist (RhapsodE), she has performed at numerous venues, colleges and festivals in Philadelphia and throughout the country.  In 2005 she co-founded a poetry collective, Spoken Soul 215, which currently curates The Harvest, Philadelphia’s largest open mic event that highlights the talents of up-and-coming artists.  As a creative consultant, Erica has worked with individuals to help actualize their goals through workshops and presentations.

“I couldn’t be more excited and determined about starting the Small But Mighty Arts Grant program.  I know this is something absolutely necessary for independent artists to grow and thrive, and feel as though they can do so here in Philadelphia.” 


Michelle Freeman

Michelle is the President of MAF Marketing & Events, a full-service marketing and event planning agency in the Greater Philadelphia region; and Publisher of Flying Kite Media, a weekly online publication highlighting people, places, and companies that are under the radar and helping to move the city and region forward, especially in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology, the creative economy, urban vitality and development.  Previously Michelle held various positions at Campus Philly, a nonprofit organization that fuels economic growth by encouraging college students to study, explore, live and work in the Greater Philadelphia tri-state region.  Michelle also dedicates her time volunteering on a number of boards and committees as Vice-Chair of Young Involved Philadelphia (YIP), board member of Spiral Q Puppet Theater as well as Girls Rock Philly.

“I think this granting program can have a significant impact on artists in Philadelphia [by focusing] on art and artists on an individual level in a way that feels accessible and could be a game-changer for artists in the long run.” 

Lindsay Tucker So

Armed with a B.A. in Art History, Lindsay returned to her hometown of Philadelphia to help shape the next generation of the city’s cultural community.  Having worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The ROZ Group, and the City’s of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy, she enjoys learning about inventive artists and program concepts.  Lindsay is currently a Research Associate with the City of Philadelphia’s office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. She received her Master’s degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University and utilizes her growing passion for thinking beyond convention to produce sustainable organizations and a rich, resilient cultural sector.

“We are in a time where new ideas are essential to maintain the value and impact of cultural funding, and SBMA is one of the inventive methods to continue a longstanding, social good.”


Ebony English – Spotlight Writer

Ebony English headshot2Ebony is an educator with degrees from Purdue University and Mercer University. English also writes poetry and fiction and is currently working on a collection of short stories. In her work, she explores relationships, spirituality and social justice. As a new resident of Philadelphia, Ebony is excited about becoming a part of the creative community.  You can connect with her on Twitter.