The Y Arts Podcast

Robin Smith and Jasmine Volante

On this show, we interview local artists from the Frederick area who are making an impact in their craft and artists who are involved with the YMCA Arts Center. We will explore their stories, ambitions, influences, exhibitions, and more together. As we highlight their experiences, you will learn who they are and what’s next for their careers. This podcast will provide a place to find talented creators. Thank you for listening.

Ep26 East River Band

East River Band comprises Joel Cymerman, Blake Thatcher, Corwin Leber, and Sebastian Melendez, bringing the public a multifaceted, traveling jam band. Starting back in 2021, they’ve grown into this four-man crew all about connecting through their music. We dive deep into their journey—how they hustle for gigs, make up their tunes, and bring down the house when they perform. Check out their stuff and peep their upcoming shows on

Ep25 Francheska Pastor

From being part of Bad Seed Rising, the youngest band signed to Roadrunner Records, touring throughout the U.S.A., and being featured in a major film, Francheska Pastor has accomplished plenty in her lifetime. Pastor is a musician and photographer born in the Philippines and raised in Frederick, Maryland. Starting at age 10, they began to learn guitar. As the hobby turned into a serious passion at 12 years old, they began attending Let There Be Rock School of Frederick and, with some time and practice, transitioned into a young professional musician. As she moved forward from Bad Seed Rising, her 16 years of undying love for music has now continued on as a teacher at the Rock School. They love to see the light of their students shine while still keeping up with their own musical and photography projects. You can find them and their next steps on Instagram @FrancheskaPastor and @DigiCamFran.

Ep24 Downtown Partnership

Downtown Frederick Partnership is key to the enrichment of Downtown Frederick, from hosting and organizing events to cultivating a community to providing support and attraction within the area. Kara Norman, Leeann Crews, Jade Dunhour, and Brittany Himber, the team behind the Partnership, join us in this episode to talk about the past, present, and future of their nonprofit organization. You can find more information about the Partnership on their website

Ep23 Intentional Terrarium

MAD Dance presents “Intentional Terrarium”, a month-long series of performances hosted at the MAD Studio in the Y Arts Center. This episode features an interview with Kitty Clark and Ray C. Shaw, the duo behind MAD Dance.  “Intentional Terrarium” displays a portable greenhouse as its main feature. Different performers, including co-directors Clark and Shaw, add movement, audio and natural visuals creating a collaborative, involving piece. The performance is scheduled each Saturday of April 2024 (6th, 13th, 20th, 27th).

Ep22 Sky Stage

What would you get if you crossed nature, theater, art work, and sustainability? You’d get: Sky Stage. In the outskirts of the heart of Downtown Frederick, sits a living, growing art installation with an open-air theater. In this episode of The Y Arts Podcast, we cover the Sky Stage by attending their last Comedy Show of 2023 hosted by Stacey Axler. We got to talk with Stacy and included some of her jokes and a quick interview. Louise Kennelly, Frederick Arts Council’s (FAC) executive director, came into the studio and chatted with us about her experience of being a part of the project since the beginning. To this day, FAC continues to manage Sky Stage’s entertainment. Thank you for listening!

Ep21 Rebecca Hargreaves

Rebecca Hargreaves is a self-taught tufting artist who creates fanciful rugs. With a background in fashion and textiles, she has found a true calling in designing and making your not-so-average rugs. From teaching yoga at Yogamour to being a single mom to working in her garden, Hargreaves continues to live her artistic life. Though it took her a few months to start tufting, she took a step out of her comfort zone and just started. Hargreaves has now exhibited her rugs in local shows in Frederick and is working to present an exhibition for bigger art galleries.

Ep20 Lisa May Bennett

Lisa May Bennett is chasing her dreams into her 50s. Bennett has led a successful life with wonderful friends and family,  even working for a national nonprofit business, the National Organization for Women, yet something about her life felt stagnant. Then, one day, Bennett decided to give up drinking and, in turn, be committed to her writing career. In the last six and a half years of sobriety, Bennett has accomplished her goal of self-publishing her first book, My Unfurling, and is on the journey towards her second book.

Ep19 Dylan Hyman

Dylan Hyman tackles both the visual and audio side of life when creating. In the past, they have produced Keith Haring-inspired black and white digital postcards, focusing on bringing light into the darkness of their work. They collaborate with Spencer as a musician — forming a duo, tee vee. They talk about their journey with their art, finding their avenues in life, and nostalgic creations.

Ep18 Ethan Larsh

Ethan Larsh is a songwriter and musician from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Starting at 7, Ethan learned how to play piano. As he matured into adulthood, he picked up playing guitar and original songwriting. He finds inspiration from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Flaming Lips, and 70’s country music, describing his own music as “Psychedelic Americana”. Recently losing his job, he now focuses on his music full time. Ethan often finds gigs in Frederick at local bars such as Bushwaller’s and Olde Mother Brewing to perform solo and with his band.

Ep17 Jillian Abir MacMaster

In this episode, we feature Jillian Abir MacMaster, a full-time artist/photographer based in Frederick. After graduating from Shepard University with a major in Photography, MacMaster experimented with alternative photography in class and utilizes these processes in her current work. We uncover the evolution of her creative process and artistic expression through her series of works and choice of subjects.

Ep16 Shelby Newsome

Shelby Newsome is a writer and lead bookseller at the local bookstore Curious Iguana. Writing has been a part of Newsome’s life, and this development led her to pursue a career as a flash fiction writer. Through her trials of submissions and years of practice, she is a determined short-story artist who has found and is curating a community for fellow writers. Not only aiding folks at Curious Iguana for book recommendations, she also hosts meet-the-author events for the Frederick community and started a writing club named “The Kernel.”

Ep15 Scott Marceron

Scott Marceron began his music career at 12 years old as a bass player in his neighborhood. His musical passion led him to learn on his own how to book and play shows, manage his music business, and other behind-the-scenes challenges musicians face. With this in mind and inspiration from “School of Rock,” 2010 he and his wife founded their own school, “Let There Be Rock” in Frederick, MD to provide a hub for musicians and aid them in all said challenges. His school curates a space for students of any age to be themselves and rock on!

Ep14 Tad Achey

Tad Achey is a musician who is fully engaged with the Frederick community. He talks about his journey as a drummer playing with his band DaMood and performing his project, “Zootu.” Tad illustrates his recent experience performing on Carroll Creek for Alive at 5 and collaborating with others during the set. The musician promotes a sense of self and grounding as an artist and human.

Ep13 Tina Harper

Tina Harper is a proud mother and artist local to the Frederick area. With a background in preschool teaching and art, she designed a place for people to tap into their inner creativity and paint! She encourages everyone, even those without a “creative bone in their body,” to enjoy the services her business and studio, Dream Free Art, provides. Dream Free Art grants parties a chance to splatter paint on almost any surface which is open for all ages.

Ep12 Maddie “Maddog” Davis

Maddie “Maddog” Davis is an event coordinator for local Frederick music shows. Being heavily involved with D.C.’s Techno/House music culture, she aims to stretch this art to Frederick County. Basing her shows in Downtown Frederick’s local bar, Cafe 611, not only does Davis organize the performers of the showings, she also creates and organizes the art decor of these events. Davis and her “Mad Dog Fleet” work towards promoting a fun, loving, and respectful community for Frederick to enjoy.

Ep11 Sophia Townsend

Sophia Townsend is an artist and a Hood College student majoring in Art Therapy and Minoring in Graphic Design. She also works as an intern at the Frederick Arts Council.

Ep10 Maggie Kirkpatrick

Maggie Kirkpatrick is a self-taught photographer from the Frederick area who has been in exhibitions in town, won an award at the Delaplaine Arts Center in 2017, Area 31 in 2018, and focuses on constructing little worlds to connect emotions, creating evocative and meaningful work.

Ep9 Sarah Philabaum

Sarah Philabaum is a passionate multi-hyphenate artist. She is a director, choreographer, performer, teacher, podcast host and mother. She is the dance coordinator at the Y Arts Center, where she teaches and organizes the dance recitals.

Ep8 Elizabeth Chung

Elizabeth Chung is a native of Hong Kong, China. She studied Public Health at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu and gained additional education at Penn State. For 45 years, she has dedicated her work to minority health equity, social justice, and the local immigrant community. She founded The Asian American Center of Frederick and is currently the Executive Director. In addition, she chairs the Maryland Community Health Resource Commission.

Ep7 Justin Arroyo

Justin Arroyo has been making instrumental hip-hop for the past six years. He was inspired by surrounding himself with music, frequently through his parents while growing up. He was exposed to a lot of soul and old-school hip-hop. Throughout the years, he gained a deep appreciation for music, leading him to create his own.

Ep6 Shiloh Young

Shiloh Young is a local musician who has lived in Frederick their whole life. They play the guitar, sing and write songs. They are part of a band called Enclosure. They have performed with the Let There Be Rock School and various other groups around town.

Ep5 Jeff Cosgrove

Jeff Cosgrove is a decorated drummer and a father of two. He has been playing music his whole life. He moved to Frederick nine years ago. Jeff is a free jazz drummer and has released multiple albums and singles.

Ep4 Ari Voxx

Music has always been the love of Ari Voxx’s life. Her early influences were artists like The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Micheal Jackson. She gravitated toward singing after performing in various choral groups. Despite her roots being in soul, gospel and classical music she discovered her love for rock

Ep3 Bill Watson

Bill Watson is a visual artist born and raised in Frederick County. He is a fine artist who dabbles in painting, sculptural work, mural work, illustration and animation. On the show we will be speaking about his latest installation at the Y Arts Center.

Ep2 James Connors

James Connors is a Frederick local. He is an elementary school art teacher and sculptor. He graduated with a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in  Baltimore. He graduated with an MFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. James has been showing his work at numerous galleries ever since.

Ep1 Elizabeth Chase

Elizabeth Chase who is a trained opera singer and a songwriter from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She now lives in Frederick, Maryland. She is a Catholic Cantor and Country/Pop artist who talks about her story as a musician and performer.