R. Tripp Evans, President
Tripp Evans is a Professor of Art History at Wheaton College, where he holds the Mary L. Heuser Chair in the Arts. He received his B.A. in Architectural History from the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. in the History of Art from Yale University. At Wheaton, Tripp teaches American art and architecture from the pre-Columbian period to 1945, with an emphasis on the construction of national identity. He has written two books, Romancing the Maya: Mexican Antiquity in the American Imagination, 1820-1915 (University of Texas Press: 2004) and Grant Wood: A Life (Alfred A. Knopf: 2010), the latter of which won the 2010 National Award for Arts Writing. His current book projects, tentatively entitled Six Acres of Providence and The Importance of Being Furnished: Three Yankee Bachelors at Home, focus on New England cultural heritage.
Grace Hamilton Farmer, Vice President
Grace grew up in Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania, graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in Economics and Finance, and then spent 30 years working in the City of London in Investment Banking. Since moving back to the USA, she has worked for a number of non-profits including the HELP Coalition, The Education Partnership, and the Providence After School Alliance (PASA). She has served on the Board of Reach Out and Read, RI, and the Everett Dance Theater. She is currently on the Board of the Learning Community, a charter school in Central Falls RI.
Jonathan Bell, Vice-President for Building & Grounds
Jonathan Bell is an architect and educator in Providence. His firm, DUAL LLC, does a range of work, including adaptive reuse, commercial, and residential projects. Prior to co-founding DUAL in 2015, he was an associate at KITE Architects, where he worked with many not-for-profit, university, and residential clients. Jonathan also teaches in the Interior Architecture Department at the Rhode Island School of Design, and has taught at the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation at Roger Williams University. He is a graduate of Wesleyan (BA) and Princeton (M.Arch) Universities. Jonathan has been a member of the Athenaeum since 2000. In 2005, he joined the Buildings and Grounds Committee, and has been a member of the Board since 2007. His wife, Sarah Zurier, grew up in Providence going to the Athenaeum, and their son Zachary is now an active user and participant in the children’s library and its programs.
Kqantu Pareja Bent, Secretary
Kqantu Pareja Bent is the Associate Director of Class Campaigns for the Annual Fund at Brown University. She has over ten years of professional experience in fundraising, volunteer management, staff leadership, special events, and communications. She has been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is currently a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She is proficient in Spanish and French and graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in International Relations. Kqantu lives in North Kingstown, Rhode Island with her husband Andrew, daughter Felicity, two dogs, and a small ocean of books. She has been a member of the Providence Athenaeum since 2008 and has served as a volunteer on the Membership & Development Committee as well as chair of the 2010 and 2011 galas.
Stephen Coon, Treasurer
Stephen Coon is currently treasurer of the Providence Athenæum and chair of its finance committee. Steve has been an Athenæum board member since 2010. He led the Athenæum’s recent strategic plan, and has also served as chair of the board membership & development committee. Steve led the “Balzac and Baudelaire in Paris” reading group in 2012-2015 and currently leads the Proust and Roberto Bolaño reading groups. Steve was director of strategic planning for Textron from 2007 until his retirement in 2015. Prior to joining Textron, Steve worked as a business strategy consultant for over 25 years, principally with Telesis in Providence. Steve holds a BA from the University of California at Irvine and a Ph.D. from Brown University in comparative literature, and an MBA in strategic planning from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Board of Directors
Kas R. DeCarvalho, Esq.
Mark K. W. Gim
Ethan H. Kisch, MD
Cathy Lund, DVM