Deborah Roth, Founder and Managing Director
Deborah co-founded 4thU Artivists in 2009 as 4thU-VDay to organize productions of Eve Ensler’s work. In 2015, she became the organization’s Managing Director and expanded their performance selection. The owner of Spirited Living, Roth has spent 35+ years coaching, training and speaking in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors on an array of subjects including women’s empowerment and managing change. In her private practice, she works primarily with overwhelmed, under-nurtured women, guiding them through transition periods and helping them attract and sustain healthful, fulfilling relationships. An ordained Interfaith Minister, Deborah also creates unique, powerful ceremonies for a range of life’s passages and leads women’s spirituality programs. Deborah has appeared on The Daily Show and NBC’s Today Show and was featured in the New York Times, Village Voice, Utne magazine and others. She is the author of Circle of One: The Art of Becoming a SELF-Centered Woman and The Authentic Woman Playbook.
Erin Bigelow, Creative Director
Erin has been directing and producing benefit theater productions for over 18 years. She has been working with 4thU Artivists since 2009 when it launched as 4thU-VDay. Many of her credits have been directing the works of fellow artivist, Eve Ensler, including The Vagina Monologues, The Good Body and Emotional Creature. Some of Erin’s other theater credits include Clue: A Dinner Theater, The Princess Bride: A Dinner Theater, The Laramie Project, Laramie: 10 Years Later, and Better Left Unsaid. Erin has worked as a television director and is an active member of the Directors Guild of America. She currently spends her weekdays as the Deputy Head of Studios for Verizon. Erin’s passion is her work to end violence against all women and girls, because no one should have to live in fear.
Melissa Naple, Corporate Sponsor Liaison
Melissa Naple brings to 4thU Artivists her significant experience auditing and advising companies as a partner with Deloitte & Touche LLP. She serves as audit office leader for their New Jersey audit practice, the talent leader for the greater tristate commercial audit practice (approx. 750 people) and board council member. Previously, Naple held the position of the Chief of Staff for Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Chief Executive Officer, where she was responsible for national communications, practice initiatives, and management of the governance process for the leadership team. Committed to community service, Melissa has held several leadership positions within the Fourth Universalist Society as well as Concrete Safari and Cooperative Living Now.
Janet Ruth Young, Publicity Director
Janet Ruth Young is publicity director of 4thUArtivists and a communications writer at the Columbia School of Social Work. She comes to Fourth Universalist Society from the Gloucester (MA) Unitarian Universalist Church, where she chaired the social justice committee, managed social media, and developed programming for an underutilized theater space. In addition, Janet is a mental health advocate. Her three award-winning novels about teens dealing with mental illness (Things I Shouldn’t Think, My Beautiful Failure, and The Opposite of Music) were published by Simon & Schuster, and she has given talks or written materials for numerous mental health organizations.
Lynn Bourbeau, Beneficiary Liaison
Original 4thU Artivist Rev. Lynn Bourbeau, SEP, has been contributing to the healing world since 1997 as a trauma therapist, healing intuitive, interfaith minister, spiritual counselor, and hospital chaplain. In addition to her private practice, she runs groups called “Calming Your Nervous System.” Following the devastating events of 9/11, she became involved with the Trauma Institute, training and supervising hundreds of healthcare professionals in a mind/body trauma model called Somatic Experiencing (SE) that releases trauma from the nervous system. As an interfaith minister, Lynn is also known for her creative and collaborate interfaith ceremonies including weddings, memorial services, baby blessings/namings, office blessings and divorce rituals.
Members at Large
Rev. Jill Bowden is an endorsed Community Minister of the Fourth Universalist Society in New York City. She holds degrees from Mercy College (BS in psychology), Long Island University (Master of Public Administration in health care), and Union Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity). She serves the free faith community as Director of Chaplaincy Services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Before that, she was Director of Pastoral Care at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, NY. Previously a respiratory therapist and a health care administrator, Rev. Bowden’s background provided significant experience in bedside care and health systems leadership, growth and management.
A lifelong feminist, Matt Gilbert has been involved with every 4thU Artivist production from the early V-Day stagings of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and The Good Body to today’s independent performances. He began behind the scenes working on lights and sound, and then deepened his involvement by joining the Advisory Council. Recognizing that feminist issues are human issues, Matt understands how essential it is for men to be visible allies to women and the causes which concern them. He extends that philosophy to his professional life as a member of the science department at the prestigious St. Thomas Choir School, always reminding the young boys he teaches of the contributions women make to scientific progress.
Luisa (Lou) Riano Anderson
Lou emigrated from Cuba in 1968. She has always been an artist and performer. She studied visual and performing arts at William Paterson University, FIT, and Pratt Institute. She has appeared in Hair and Godspell, off-off-Broadway in Phoebe Phenom, and as an extra in films. Mother to the fabulous Sage, she is a feminist, a pagan, a poll worker, an activist supporting PFLAG, Moms for Gun Sense in America, Planned Parenthood, Mom Hugs, and others. Lou met Deborah Roth at a women’s spirituality gathering in 2007, leading to her participation in The Vagina Monologues last spring. Lou was a PR/marketing manager at Sony Pictures & National Lampoon, and a sales manager at WGBH, among others. A member of the American Personal and Private Chef Association, she started her company, Chef of Your Own in 2006. Currently, she creates wearable art, participates in arts and crafts shows, and is opening an Etsy store, Goddesssent Art, soon. Honored to join 4thU Artivists’ council, Lou looks forward to contributing to this generous community, and continued growth as a person and an artist.