About Us

WHO WE ARE
Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation exists to advance arts-focused initiatives for artists, entrepreneurs and residents, cultivating creative space within a sustainable Roosevelt Row Arts District.
Growth
In all things, we allow ourselves the opportunity to better understand and be open to improvement, embracing a growth mindset and demonstrating growth through our personal actions and our collective work. This also applies to the physical growth of our literal landscape, in the form of urban infill and community development.
Opportunity
We understand the importance of providing spaces and resources for all entrepreneurs and community members to contribute to and receive value from the neighborhood.
Engagement
We foster an environment where everyone can have a seat at the table, for their input and experiences to be heard.
Art-Advocacy
Everything we do is done through the lense of creative expression, encouraging development to prioritize the vibrancy and importance of the arts, in the highest regard.

Located in downtown Phoenix, the nationally-renowned Roosevelt Row Arts District (affectionately referred to as RoRo) is the creative center of the region and a unique neighborhood that celebrates arts and culture expressed in multiple forms.

Roosevelt Row is home to creatives and artisans of every area – from culinary to crafts, musicians and poets, designers and street artists, and everything else in between. The area is known for public art, live music performances, art galleries, eclectic boutiques, independent businesses and much more.  The exponential growth in the area has transformed Roosevelt Row into a prime creative district.

For more than 15 years, Roosevelt Row CDC has been an advocate for artists, promoting the inclusion of the arts in our community and participating in community events such as First Friday, Chile Pepper Festival and Pie Social to name a few. In recent years, our work has evolved to amplify the stories and important creative work of local artists in the area. For artists to thrive in a growing city, it is important for artists of all backgrounds to have a place to create, perform and showcase their work. To do this, we prioritize community partnerships who support local artists, assist in identifying spaces for artists to produce and sell their work, serve as an example for higher paying wages for artists, and encourage local community members in the area to get involved.
With spaces like our Roosevelt Row Welcome Center, the Evolve Gallery, hosting pop up markets for local artisans to sell their work, and promoting local businesses in the area with a key focus on supporting artists, we envision a community where artists are at the forefront and the epicenter of a diverse district where people from all walks of life are welcomed.
SCROLL ▼ TO MEET OUR BOARD AND STAFF

Our Board Members + Staff

The Rockstars

  • Meghan Schmitz

    Meghan Schmitz

    Board President

  • Leah Marché

    Leah Marché

    Board Secretary

  • Ruben Alonzo

    Ruben Alonzo

    Board Treasurer

  • Cindy Dach

    Cindy Dach

    Board Member

  • Vermon Pierre

    Vermon Pierre

    Board Member

  • Liliana Gomez

    Liliana Gomez

    Board Member

  • Eunique Yazzie

    Eunique Yazzie

    Board Member

  • Carlos Manzanillo

    Carlos Manzanillo

    Board Member

  • Amy Otto

    Amy Otto

    Executive Director

  • Nicole Underwood

    Nicole Underwood

    Communications Director

  • Kell Duncan

    Kell Duncan

    Board Member

Meghan Schmitz

Board President

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Megan has lived in downtown Phoenix in 2006. She holds a Political Science degree from The Ohio State University, she is a graduate of Valley Leadership Institute, and is currently pursuing an MBA at Arizona State University. In her free time, Megan enjoys ceramic arts, cooking, hiking, and spending time with her wife, Lauren and their two pups, Moses and JimJim.

Location

Roosevelt Row

Leah Marché

Board Secretary

Leah Marché is an active member of Phoenix’s arts & culture community as a performance poet, journalist/writer and event curator. She has presented/performed at events such as: Scottsdale Arts’ Canal Convergence; Phoenix Art Museum Local Opener; TEDx Phoenix/Scottsdale; Ignite Phoenix; Arizona Storytellers Project; GreenBiz Forum; Governor’s Arts Awards; and Arts & Business Council of Phoenix. The two-time Phoenix National Poetry Slam team member has had her work featured on several Valley theatrical stages.

Location

Roosevelt Row

Ruben Alonzo

Board Treasurer

Ruben Alonzo is an Executive Director for Government and Community Engagement at Arizona State University. Prior to joining ASU, Alonzo served as Mayor Stanton’s Chief of Staff for Operations, a role he took on after successfully managing Stanton’s mayoral campaign. Born and raised in the border town of Somerton, AZ, Alonzo moved to the valley to attend Arizona State University as a Flinn Foundation Scholar. Alonzo is on the board of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and lives in central Phoenix with his wife Catherine.

Location

Roosevelt Row

Cindy Dach

Board Member

Cindy Dach, a writer, artist and community advocate, is co-owner and General Manager of Changing Hands Bookstore, Arizona’s oldest and largest independent bookstore and a national leader for literary events and programming. Her presenting authors have included former Presidents Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter, Madeline Albright, Gloria Steinem, Billy Idol and Ozzy Osbourne.
Dach is a co-founder of eyelounge, an artist-run contemporary gallery and owner of MADE art boutique which features one-of-a-kind handmade crafts by over 100 artists. Dach is also a co-founder and executive board member for Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation, an internationally-recognized creative district in downtown Phoenix.

Location

Roosevelt Row

Vermon Pierre

Board Member

Vermon Pierre is the founding and lead pastor of Roosevelt Community Church in downtown Phoenix,  a uniquely multi-ethnic community of people based out of a historic building along Roosevelt Row. He currently serves as the president of the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation, which he has been a part of since 2006. Vermon is a board member of the Surge Network, a network of local churches in Arizona committed to partnering together for the good of the various peoples and communities in Arizona. Vermon is also the author of Gospel Shaped Living, which is part of the Gospel Shaped Church curriculum published by The Good Book Company and The Gospel Coalition. He and his wife Dennae live in downtown Phoenix and have 4 children.

Location

Roosevelt Row

Liliana Gomez

Board Member

Liliana Gomez is an Artist and resident of downtown phoenix. Liliana is a dance maker that focuses on site specific performances, choreographing outside of the theater. Much of her performances happen outside just like public art, so a lot of her time is spent collaborating and coordinating with other artists, art museums, galleries, festivals, public libraries and or parks. Liliana has also given movement to theater works by choreographing for a handful of local theater companies, like Rising Youth Theater, Orange Theater, Phonetic Spit and ASU’s theater program

Location

Roosevelt Row

Eunique Yazzie

Board Member

Eunique Yazzie is Diné (Navajo) from Canyon de Chelly, Arizona and has been in the design industry for 18+ years. She is Naaneesht’ézhi Táchii’nii born for Mą ’íí deeshgíízhíníí. Her maternal grandfather is Tódích’íi’nii and her paternal grandfather is Kinyaa’áanii. She lives in Phoenix, AZ with her 13 year old son running a small design business, euniQue LLC. If art imitates life, Eunique’s palette is one that breathes new life and purpose into the arts and culture community; she is a poet and storyteller with the Mujeres Del Sol collective; on the board of Roosevelt Row; a working artist, muralist and illustrator; and founder of the IndigeDesign Collab. She has worked with the Obama Foundation, The Colorado Plateau Foundation, Native Americans Business Incubator Network, Change Labs, and Performance in the Borderlands as a workshop or arts curator.

Location

Roosevelt Row

Carlos Manzanillo

Board Member

Relocated to the Valley in 2017 and instantly fell in love with the creative and connected community of Roosevelt Row. Inspired daily by the exuberant energy, colorful character and phenomenal people of the renowned artists’ district. Carlos lives in the Triangle neighborhood of downtown Phoenix with his wife Cara and 4-year-old son, Liam.

Location

Roosevelt Row

Amy Otto

Executive Director

Since 2016, Amy has served as Program Manager of Roosevelt Row CDC, managing and growing anchor programs and events such as the ARTS Market on First Friday, the Roosevelt Row Academy, the Chile Pepper Festival, and founded the beloved community annual gathering of Growhouse’s CultivEAT.
 With an undergraduate degree in Sustainability from ASU, Amy is passionate about responsible community practices, creative gatherings, and mindful living. Her growth in her current role has provided opportunities for hundreds of new artists and created sustainability for our organization, now in its 13th year.

Location

Roosevelt Row

Nicole Underwood

Communications Director

Nicole has been an arts advocate in Roosevelt Row for over a decade. She is a dynamic connector and storyteller who promotes connectivity, engagement and education through music and the arts. Her specialties include communication strategy, marketing and promotions, educational speaking, media relations, content creation, event management, community outreach and relationship building. You can often find her enjoying a sandwich at Carly’s Bistro or live music at Lost Leaf!

Location

Roosevelt Row

Kell Duncan

Board Member

Kell Duncan comes from a fifth generation Arizona farm family, and was born and raised in Goodyear, AZ. After attending Agua Fria High School he went to Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA for basketball and majored in Fine Art. After school he moved back to Arizona, and in 2012 into Downtown Phoenix. He linked up with his business partner, Hartley Rodie in 2016-17 and together they began their first project, The Churchill, which is a community gathering space focused on supporting small and local business. Kell has always been passionate about supporting his local community and the arts, which is why he chose to live Downtown, why he made Roosevelt Row the home to his business and why he now serves on its board.