Bringing the Arts to Youth...
and Youth to the Arts!


Welcome to ArtsNashoba, established during the summer 2013 to help provide opportunities for youth to learn and grow using artistic endeavors as development tools, helping kids soar into their futures with a strong appreciation for the Arts.  It is our goal to expose our Region's young people to a diverse range of possibilities in the performing AND visual arts, to get (and keep) them involved, and to nurture a love for the Arts so they will continue to pay it forward to generations to follow!

The Nashoba Valley region had a gap in artistic opportunities for youth, so ArtsNashoba plans to fill it!  Though our "region" has a focus on Groton, Ayer, Shirley, Lancaster, Lunenburg and Pepperell, we have no boundaries and welcome youth from all communities to participate in our programs.  We invite and encourage all within driving distance!

OUR MISSION: To make available through strategic partnerships and collaborations with companies, agencies, institutions, schools and organizations, a bounty of educational, presentational,  and experiential programs to satisfy all youths' artistic creativities and curiosities.

Who is Volunteering at the Helm?

BONNIE MARCHESANI (President): Bonnie-Jean Marchesani is a retired Oncology/Hospice Nurse who has been appearing all of her life on New England stages, in night clubs, churches, colleges and any other venue she can find! With well over 40 musical and dramatic performances to her credit, she also takes special pride in two televised one-woman revues. Among her favorite roles: Frau Schneider in Cabaret and Lulu White in The Mistress Cycle for which she was awarded EMACT’s Best Supporting Actress. Bonnie was a founding member of the Burlington Players and Groton/Littleton Theater (now Nashoba Players). Music and theater are a passion that Bonnie shares with her drama students and those children whom she has directed through the years.  Though she's ALWAYS backstage during our productions, Bonnie directed our production of Willy Wonka (with Edie Tompkins MDing), The Music Man Jr., Into the Woods Jr., and Anne of Green Gables.  Over the past two years, ArtsNashoba has committed to offering Autism-Friendly performances and workshops. Bonnie is the dedicated coordinator of all of ArtsNashoba's Autism-Friendly/Special Needs offerings, tirelessly working  to expand this program through parent involvement, grant writing and personal education, such as her recent participation in an LCC Webinar : BONNIE.

JULIEANN CHAREST GOVANG (Executive Director): JulieAnn has over 40 years in and supporting the Arts. She has played featured roles throughout the region in Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean (Stella & Mona Then), Steel Magnolias (M'Lynn); Schoolhouse Rock (Dori), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Martha), Lend Me a Tenor (Maggie), Into the Woods (Baker's Wife), City of Angels (Oolie/Donna), They’re Playing Our Song (Sonia), Baby (Lizzie), Anything Goes (Bonnie), and The Importance of Being Earnest (Gwendolyn) to name a few. She portrayed ‘Women with Records’ in Camelot Players’ EMACT Festival entry Chamber Music, for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, and ‘Rona’ in Theatre III’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, for which she received an EMACT DASH Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical.  JulieAnn also enjoys taking on multiple character roles in radio play productions with Harvard Friends of the Arts. As a director, among her credits are The Drawer Boy and Romance/Romance (Vokes Players), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Wellesley Players), To Kill a Mockingbird (Concord Players), Godspell (Woburn Rep), I Hate Hamlet (Nashoba Players), Acme Theater Productions' Don't Dress for Dinner and Criminal Hearts (EMACT Best Director nomination), Concord Youth Theatre's Anne of Green Gables, How to Eat Like a Child, Fee Fi Fo Fum!, UNhappily Ever After, Through the Looking Glass, Jungle Book, Winnie-the-Pooh, The Elves & the Shoemaker and Disney's Cinderella KIDS; as well as, I Need a Vocation, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, November Night Live, Godspell, A Christmas Carol, 9/11...We Remember and Beauty & the Beast (Ayer-Shirley Regional H.S.); The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Midsummer/Jersey and Bye Bye Birdie (Littleton H.S.); Cabaret and The Wiz (ACTS), Fame (River’s Edge Players), Boston’s Playwright Platform Festival (P/A and In Like Flynn), as well as the EMACT Festival Finalist production of Burlington Players’ Steel Magnolias (Best Director nomination). She was also the director for ArtsNashoba's inaugural musical - Schoolhouse Rock LIVE!, HONK! and Reigning Cats and Dogs (Coming in 2018). A director/instructor at Middlesex Summer Arts Camp in Concord, JulieAnn is a founding member of ArtsNashoba, a Junior Company Director at Concord Youth Theatre (CYT), Drama Director at Ayer-Shirley Regional H.S., and a former Region Representative for AACT, and Board Member of CYT, EMACT, NETC, Vokes Players and Burlington Players. Owner/Editor of JAC Publishing & Promotions and New England Entertainment Digest, JulieAnn is a current adjudicator for the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild, but her most prized role to date is ‘Mom' and ‘Wife’.  Email JULIEANN.

ANNE CAHILL (Business Manager): A graduate of Vassar College, Anne spent 25 years working in the aerospace manufacturing industry, from inside sales to marketing and web design, from quality management to financial analysis. While Anne’s personal stage experience is limited to a well-reviewed turn as “Narrator” in Goldilocks and the Three Bears in third grade, as well as a mostly-silent part as a crocodile in a middle-school production whose name now escapes her, Anne is a lifelong lover of the theatre and is enjoying wearing many hats backstage during ArtsNashoba’s productions (thanks to the participation of her daughter, Hayley). Email ANNE.

SHARON BISANTZ (Artistic Director):  Sharon began her work in the performing arts with her dance training at the Martha Graham Studios in New York, where she studied with the legendary modern dance pioneer and her company members. She continued her education, receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Dance at the State University of New York at Brockport. After graduating, she moved to Boston where she has worked as a director and/or choreographer for many professional theaters – including Lyric Stage Company, Back Alley Theater, Turtle Lane Playhouse; as well as college, high school and community theaters. For the past twenty years, Sharon has worked exclusively as a children’s theater/dance educator – Lowell High School as Show Choir choreographer and Drama Advisor, Alexander Children’s Theater (ACTS), and summers at Middlesex School Summer Arts (MSSA).   For ArtsNashoba, she has directed both You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Annie Jr., and will be heading up Aladdin Jr. in the Fall of 2017!  Email SHARON.

DONNA DAWSON (Visual Arts Director): A graduate of Mass. College of Art and Design, Donna specializes in painting and mixed media. Her work is in private collections throughout New England as well as in Denmark. Donna is approaching 20 years teaching at with Middlesex School Summer Arts Department, where she offers popular courses in illustration, watercolor and printmaking. Email DONNA.

JEFF SMYTH (Director):  Jeff is new to the Board.  We'll have some information about him posted very soon!

We are also most thankful to have the following individuals currently on our
Advisory Board

Jane Bouvier
Peter Cunningham
Berta Erickson
Harriet Friedman
Hon. & Mrs. Robert Hargraves
Sheila C. Harrington
Pat & Jay Lawrence
Meredith Marcinkewicz
Roy Pastor, Attorney
Susan Randazzo
Edith Tompkins
Karen Tuomi

P.O. Box 716, Groton, MA  01450-9998
ArtsNashoba is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization.

ArtsNashoba is supported in part by grants from local agencies of the towns of Ayer, Dunstable, Groton, Littleton, Pepperell, Shirley & Townsend, all supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.