Philadelphia, PA (January 6th, 2020) – Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (PVLA), a pro bono legal services organization serving emerging artists and arts organizations, has announced three new members of its Board of Directors: Janine Beckles, James J. Holman, and John Viscardi. Beckles and Viscardi are each members of Philadelphia’s performing arts community and will be critical liaisons with key segments of PVLA’s clientele, while Holman is a leader in the Philadelphia legal community and a long-standing PVLA volunteer.  

“As a nonprofit undertaking a top-to-bottom reimagination to further enhance and augment our support of Philadelphia’s arts and culture community, I am fortunate to have such a hard-working Board that in turn attracts such qualified and dynamic candidates,” said Ryan Morris, Executive Director of Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. “They truly embody PVLA’s work while bringing a unique perspective and expertise to the organization.  The addition of these three to our Board will further help us carry out our mission to address the needs of the local arts community.”

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Janine Beckles, Lead Dancer and Assistant to Artistic Director at Philadanco!, started dancing at the age of six at Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she studied for eight years under a fellowship scholarship. She then continued her training at LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts and the Ailey School. Beckles received a BFA in Dance Performance and a BA in Sociology from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, and was a National Foundation of the Arts award recipient in Modern Dance in 2000. A former member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Beckles is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  She is currently pursuing her MBA degree with a concentration in Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. 

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James J. Holman, Partner at Duane Morris LLP, is co-chair of the firm’s Business Reorganization and Financial Restructuring Practice Group, where he represents institutional lenders, trust companies, insurance companies and businesses in the areas of commercial finance, business reorganization, and business and municipal insolvency. A longtime PVLA volunteer, Holman received the 2014 PVLA Volunteer of the Year award for his successful representation of a glass sculpture artist for whom he obtained compensation for artwork damaged in transit.  

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John Viscardi, a Philadelphia-based opera singer, has performed on some of the world’s greatest stages. He is also Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of ArtSmart – a national arts mentoring organization that empowers students in underserved communities to find their voice through mentorship with paid professional artists. Viscardi has dedicated his career to a diverse but deeply connected set of objectives: using music to strengthen our understanding of the human condition, empowering individuals to harness their creativity in the pursuit of success, and championing the arts as our most powerful tool for self-expression. Viscardi is a graduate of Philadelphia’s Academy of the Vocal Arts and earned an MFA in Opera and a BM in Music from New York University.

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