Staff

Anne Gadwa Nicodemus, Principal & CEO

A choreographer/arts administrator turned urban planner, Anne Gadwa Nicodemus leads Metris’ work. Recent Metris projects range from a Zimbabwean-focused case study of how creative spaces foster activism in repressive regimes (for Hivos, 2015) to an arts and culture plan for the small city of Grand Rapids, MN (GRMN Creates, 2015). As a researcher, writer, speaker, and advocate, Nicodemus tells stories through narratives and numbers. For instance, Metris’ How Art Spaces Matter reports (for Artspace Projects, 2010 and 2011) reveal the benefits of art spaces to artists’ careers and communities, including anchoring arts districts, expanding arts access, and boosts to safety, livability, tax rolls and property values.

Nicodemus is a leading voice in the intersection of arts and community development. She co-authored Creative Placemaking, the report for the Mayors’ Institute of City Design (2010) that defined the field. Her journal articles “Fuzzy Vibrancy” (Cultural Trends, 2013) and “Creative Placemaking: How to Do it Well” (Community Development Investment Review) look more deeply at creative placemaking as cultural policy and its ethics and practical challenges.

Nicodemus gives frequent talks at universities and professional conferences nationwide, and as far-flung as Macau, the Czech Republic, and Ontario. She is consistently recognized as one of the nation’s 50 most influential people in the nonprofit arts (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015).

Nicodemus and Ann Markusen’s “Arts and Culture in Urban and Regional Planning: A Review and Research Agenda” (Journal of Planning and Education Research, 2010) was the most downloaded of that journal’s articles in 2009 and 2010. They contributed a chapter to Creative Communities: Art Works in Economic Development (Brookings Institution Press, 2013) and for the Aspen Review Central Europe, “Creative City Industry Strategies: Unique American Cases.” Nicodemus’ short writings have also appeared in publications including Grantmakers in the Arts: Reader, Createquity.com and Minnesota Public Radio News.

Nicodemus holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a B.A. in dance and biology from Oberlin College.

Nicodemus is fascinated by all kinds of places—their form, their people, their change. She grew up in suburban Connecticut; went to college surrounded by the cornfields of Ohio; and lived, danced, and worked in New York City and Minneapolis for years. Her family hails from central Long Island’s north shore, where she grew up spending summers on one of its last remaining farms. Recently, she’s laid down roots in Easton, PA where she lives with her wife Julia. Email: gadwa@metrisarts.com. Download CV. LinkedIn profile.

Rachel Engh, Researcher/Planner

Urban Planner Rachel Engh’s core competencies lie in cultural planning, and data collection, analysis, and synthesis. For Metris, she recently spearheaded CulturePulse 2016, a snapshot of the nonprofit arts and cultural sector in Cuyahoga County, OH that combined quantitative (DataArts) data with qualitative insights from a range of local nonprofit arts leaders. In the realm of project evaluation, she provided key data collection, analysis, and synthesis for both Adding It Up, an evaluation of Pillsbury House + Theatre’s community-based public art programming and Moving Dance Forward, a 20-year retrospective of ­the National Dance Project (New England Foundation for the Arts).

Prior to joining Metris Arts Consulting, Engh worked on a team of artists, policy analysts, and urban planners to design the City of Minneapolis’ Creative City Road Map, a community planning process that emphasized racial equity through community engagement. She also managed data collection and analysis while collaborating on PlaceBased Productions’ efforts to tell the stories of site-specific theater in rural communities.

She has contributed articles to Public Art Review, Createquity and Americans for the Arts’ ARTSblog.

Engh holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a B.A. in Sociology from Grinnell College. Email: engh@metrisarts.com. Download resume. LinkedIn profile.

Joanna Maatta, Office Coordinator

Joanna Maatta joined Metris Arts in the spring of 2017 to provide wide-ranging administrative support, working directly with principal Anne Gadwa Nicodemus to coordinate day-to-day operations, aid in special projects, and ultimately enhance the Metris team’s ability to provide exceptional work to its clients. Maatta’s diverse background combines over 10 years of working professionally in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. No matter what her official job title or description, she tended to be the problem solver and “fixer,” over the course of her career. She holds an M.A. in Sociology, with a focus in applied social research, from Lehigh University and a B.A. in Anthropology and Japanese from the University of Pittsburgh. With her grounding in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, literature reviews, and citations, she provides additional support on Metris’ research efforts. Prior to moving to the Lehigh Valley, she lived in Las Vegas for three years. Email: maatta@metrisarts.com. LinkedIn profile.