Immediate Past Music Director, Justice Choir GR
Tara is a Grand Rapids, Michigan native. She earned both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Education from Western Michigan University. Tara is currently the Director of Vocal Music at Valleywood Middle School in Kentwood. Previously, she taught choral music for grades 6-12 in Wickenburg, Arizona, where she also served as Vice President of Middle School Choral Activities. Tara was voted the Arizona Choral Educators New Choral Director of the Year in 2010. She is now happily back in West Michigan with her husband, Brian Cleveland, and their two sons, Miles and Lincoln.
Claire E. Minnis
Founding Director, Justice Choir GR
Claire is a musician and educator from St. Louis, MO. She directed middle and high school choirs full-time and served as Artistic Director of adult and children community choirs before moving to Grand Rapids in the summer of 2017. She was pursuing her Masters in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership to combine her musical skills with her passion for advocacy of justice issues when she started Justice Choir GR in 2017. She is now a proud resident of Chicago, IL along with her husband, Jared, and their pup, Sam.
Liz is a graduate of Grand Valley State University with diverse interests in the sciences and education. No matter how many things she was studying in undergrad and graduate school, she has always made time for music. She currently works full-time in the pharmaceutical industry and is active in the West Michigan music community as an instrumentalist, vocal soloist, small group leader, choir soprano, and volunteer. Currently, she is in the Park Church Chancel Choir, Wind Ensemble, and Smith-Dively Ringers. She also sings in the Holland Chorale. In addition to these ensembles, she is one of the founding members of Justice Choir GR.
Community Engagement Director
Julianne graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English and environmental studies. Upon graduation, she relocated from Ohio to New Orleans to assist in post-Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. She spent nine months leading volunteers with the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana before moving back to her hometown of Grand Rapids. In the years since, she's tackled several sales and marketing roles, and is now Advancement & Communications Coordinator for The Fountain Hill Center, a nonprofit counseling center with an office in Heritage Hill. She appreciates the way Justice Choir GR unites and amplifies local voices for change, and is looking forward to forging and strengthening relationships with other like-minded community groups.
Steering Committee Lead
Karen has been singing in choirs most of her life, but Justice Choir introduced her to a whole new reason to sing. Thrilled to combine her love of music with a renewed interest in social advocacy and community partnerships, she is grateful to be a part of this organization. Karen has worked with nonprofit arts organizations as both employee and volunteer, and served as President of the Board of Directors for the Lakeshore Community Chorus in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Ashley grew up singing in choirs and enjoys music and the arts. After earning a degree from Grand Valley State University in Advertising & Public Relations, she was looking for a way to get involved in the community. Frustrated with the injustices playing out in our country, Ashley eagerly joined the chorus in January 2018. With her experience in PR and digital marketing, she is excited to increase the choir's reach and help create new connections in the community.