Depending on the fundraising issue at hand, Urban Artist Market will carefully select a diverse group of passionate leaders from our community to serve on our host committee. These leaders are successful, well-connected people that believe in sharing their expertise and fortune with those less fortunate through our fundraising. They are chosen for their positive attitude, leadership qualities and passion for helping others.

Our first goal is to support the artisan community by providing them with a friendly,
 high-quality marketplace in which to sell their work directly to the consumer. Our second goal is to give back to the community by including a social fundraising component in each show. Each of our shows includes at least one opportunity to raise awareness and support a local cause during our VIP Opening Reception.

Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support

Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support has been selected as the fundraising beneficiary for our October 11-12 Urban Artist Market.

The mission of Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support is to provide safety, shelter, and support for women and children who have experienced domestic violence, and to raise awareness regarding its cause, prevalence, and impact.

In January 1985, Genesis Women’s Shelter began operating as a haven for abused women and their children under the umbrella of Shelter Ministries of Dallas. Genesis was established through the cooperative efforts of the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas and the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. In the last 34 years, Genesis has provided shelter, safety, and strength to 37,000 women and children. Today our Outreach counselors see over 3,000 women and children a year and provide over 26,000 counseling hours. Genesis addressed the need for transitional housing in 1998 with a 12-month program called Annie’s House, located behind the Shelter.


Patricia Rodriguez Christian

Patricia Rodriguez Christian is President of the CRC Group in Dallas. CRC Group, a privately-held company, has held interest in real estate, interior construction, restaurant, retail and supply chain management. Patricia is an expert in diversity and inclusion. She currently resides on the board of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the Women’s Leadership Forum and The Hispanic 100 (H100).  She has been recognized with numerous entrepreneurial and women-owned business awards and is a strong force and believer in advocacy for society’s underserved.

Maria Cortez

Maria Cortez is the Director of Subsystem Processor Power at Texas Instruments, a company with over $14 billion in annual revenue. She currently works to support Genesis Women’s Shelter, United Way of Dallas and STEM education for K-12 students. Maria has been recognized as an All-Star Woman of Color and recognized national recognition as one of the top Hispanic Women in Technology for her work with the MSP430 microcontroller. She holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the The University of Texas, Austin and The University of Salamanca, Spain.

Ron and Donna Whitehead

Ron and Donna Whitehead are passionate about the arts and giving back to the community. As Addison City Manager for more than 31 years, Ron Whitehead believes it’s crucial for a city to develop a sense of place by encouraging the development and expression of art and culture. Donna, a retired Good Shepherd Episcopal School art instructor of 22 years, considers creative expression a requirement for individual fulfillment.

Jimmy Galbraith

Jimmy Galbraith currently serves as Board Chairman for Foxworth – Galbraith Lumber Co. and enjoys art and travel. His has had a long association with the Creative Arts Center of East Dallas and has served as both a promoter for this organization and student of their art programs. He has explored several different creative mediums and is intrigued by the natural and manmade world. His inspiration is derived from many sources throughout his travels including choice of subject and material. You can visit his website at

Rev. Lora Brandis

Rev. Lora Brandis began her ministry at Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church in August 2016. She believes that active social service resources and opportunities for artistic expression are key growth indicators to creating a healthy, vibrant and loving community.

Prior to returning to Horizon, Lora served as the settled minister for Conejo Valley UU Fellowship in Thousand Oaks, CA. Prior to that, she served as a consulting minister for two  congregations 150 miles apart: South Valley UU Society in Salt Lake City and Pocatello UU Fellowship in Idaho. Lora has also served as a hospital chaplain in Dallas at Parkland Hospital and Baylor University Medical Center.

Ministry is a second career for Lora. She has extensive experience in non-profit management, including serving as the director of development and public relations for Nexus Recovery Center. Lora earned a BFA in Theatre and a BA in Ibero-American Studies from SMU. She received her M.Div. from Perkins School of Theology at SMU in 2010.