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Katelyn MacIntyre, President

As a blind vocalist and speaker, Katelyn MacIntyre enjoys sharing her inspirational life story and dynamic music, which spans many genres, with all audiences. While studying with Maria Spacagna for her Master of Music in Vocal Performance at Carnegie Mellon University, she premiered the opera Cold Hands with CMU and Pittsburgh Opera, soloed with the AIMS Festival Orchestra around Austria, and covered the soprano solos of Mozart’s Requiem with Maestro Manfred Honeck and the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic. She has performed numerous operatic and musical roles including The Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Beth in Little Women¸ Monica in The Medium, and the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. As a featured soprano soloist, she has performed at such notable venues as Tokyo Billboard Live! Japan, sponsored by Fox International; the Völkerkundemuseum Heidelberg, Germany; the Kennedy Center; Union Station, DC; and all across North America. Katelyn received the 2012-13 Presser Scholar Award, won the VSAarts International Young Soloists Award, was a National Federation of the Blind 2014 National Scholarship winner, and has garnered top prizes and scholarships in the US and Canada. Currently, Katelyn teaches voice, piano, guitar, and music theory privately. Other performing arts include acting and competitive ballroom dancing. She has been on this talented board since 2014 and is thrilled to continue raising expectations and increasing opportunities for all blind performers. @KatelynMacMusic

Cristina Jones, Vice-President

Cristina Jones is a Japanese-Welsh soprano (The Blind Soprano) hailing from Southern California. She currently resides in El Paso, Texas, where she serves as a resident artist for El Paso Opera. She won the 2022 San Francisco Classical Voice Audience Choice Awards in the Best Opera Singer, Best New Discovery, and Best Opera Performance categories. She has performed recitals, concerts, and operatic works domestically, as well as internationally. Notable highlights include portraying the title role of Iolanta by Tchaikovsky, Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Art in the Dark, various disability awareness concerts, including for the BBC, as well as Segerstrom Hall during both of their Disability Awareness Festivals, and various creative projects that have enabled her to tell her story through musical means. Currently, Cristina spends her time giving workshops, working in recording studios, as well as stage and screen sets and performances. Alongside performing and teaching, she also uses her time to help fellow blind performers learn about and use the resources available to them, and she works toward further inclusion and awareness of the community of which she is a proud member. Cristina received her Master of Arts in Vocal Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London and Bachelor of Music from California State University, Fullerton.

LaKisha Holmes, Treasurer

LaKisha Holmes lives in San Antonio, TX with her partner, 2-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, TX. She wishes to obtain a career working with at risk teens upon graduation. LaKisha spends most of her free time with her family, playing beep baseball, and recording for her mom podcast. LaKisha has been the treasurer of the NFB Performing Arts Division since July of 2012. Being a part of the Performing Arts Division has allowed LaKeisha to build long-lasting friendships and expand her leadership skills and techniques. LaKisha enjoys singing around her house with her children, watching her children grow and bond with each other, creating YouTube videos about blind parenting, and being the parent secretary for her children’s school.

Julia LaGrand, Secretary

Julia LaGrand is a classical violinist from Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2021, she was featured on NPR's From the Top, and is now working with the show to create an episode focused on Disabled musicians. She has performed as a soloist with the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra and the Baroque on Beaver Festival Orchestra and has won prizes including first Prize at the Bella International Music Competition, first prize in the Baroque on Beaver Young Solist Competition and the Joyce Walsh Disability Award. She graduated high school in May of 2022 and is taking a gap year to audition for conservatory and consider the alternative of a liberal arts education. She hopes to be a performer or musicologist in the future.

Elizabeth Rouse, Board Member

With a constant drive to learn more and explore outside of her comfort zone, Elizabeth Rouse has been stepping on and off stage since she was little. While her love of theatre has remained constant, she has portrayed a revolving door of characters over the last decade; however, it wasn’t until Elizabeth began college that she found her true theatrical love—stage management. (What’s not to love about getting to be bossy without facing criticism?!). Originally from Iowa, Elizabeth snuck down south to complete the adult program at the Louisiana Center for the Blind in 2021 after both receiving a National federation of the Blind scholarship in 2018 and earning undergraduate degrees in English and Theatre in 2020. After a brief stint in the business professional world, Elizabeth is headed back to law school in the fall of 2023, so feel free to reach out and say hello if you’re interested in giving her an LSAT prep break or a few moments free of grad school applications. During the months of April through October, you’ll be hard pressed to pull Elizabeth away from a radio broadcast of Chicago Cubs baseball, which she loves listening to, preferably while buried under lots of blankets and snuggled up with her cat, Wrigley. If it happens to be the off season, she can be found binge watching Grey’s Anatomy or competitively completing puzzles of all sorts and sizes, including crosswords and sudoku. Elizabeth is a firm believer in Victor Hugo’s notion that "Life is a theatre set in which there are but few practicable entrances." As this is her first term on the Performing Arts Division Board, and she has not been overly involved to date, Elizabeth is excited to become more engrained in the division while spending time getting to know its membership. One of her greatest joys is helping others to learn that blindness can be viewed as an opportunity instead of a barrier, and she has been fortunate enough to have many opportunities to share this view with others through her involvement in performing arts. She is thrilled to give back to this community throughout the duration of her time on the Board and encourages you to reach out with questions, comments, and/or new ideas for the division.

Kingsly Martin, Board Member

Kingsly Martin is a Texas native who has been involved in the entertainment industry since the age of 9. He has appeared in dozens of independent films, and produced/directed numerous media projects. Martin’s production company, Achieve Studios, is presently producing several podcasts, focused on True crime, current events, and advancing Accessibility for people with disabilities.

Meet the Board of the National Federation of the Blind Performing Arts Division!

2022 Meet the Board Video

Ever wonder what kind of performing arts the board members of our division pursue? This video has been a long time coming, but we’re so excited to share a Meet the Board medley where you will hear glimpses of some of our various styles. Thanks to everyone who helped put this together, including voiceover by Sandra Gayer and editing by Kinshuk Tella.