as creative as you are.
Never heard of it.
We use our lived experiences to shape our writing, creating a holistic and comprehensive final product.
Founder & CEO
Marissa Moultrie is an opera singer and founder of Manhattan Grant Writers. She received her Bachelor of Music in Voice and Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Pacific Lutheran University, and her Master of Music degree from The New School, Mannes School of Music in New York City. A Tacoma native, Marissa has been living in NYC for the past four years.
From a young age, Marissa has always been multi-passionate; constantly seeking connections between the unconnected. Marissa founded MGW after dreaming of a solution to the "one size fits all" approach to grant writing and fundraising. She is a 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher with YogaAlliance and balances her work at Manhattan Grant Writers with an active performance career, which you can follow here.
COFFEE ORDER: Anything Iced
SIGN: Triple Saggitarius, Capricorn Rising
BOOK: Fearless by Rebecca Minkoff
GUILTY PLEASURE: Candles
Avery grew up in Appleton Wisconsin and received her Bachelor's degree from Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Since finishing her Master's Degree at Indiana University, Avery has been living and working in Detroit, St. Louis, and Santa Fe, and is now settling in Fernandina Beach, Florida with her 8-year-old daughter.
In addition to her operatic performance career, Avery enjoys writing and baking.
She is currently in the process of writing her first play and a book of poetry. Over the pandemic, she perfected the French macaron, making over 35 different flavors to date.
At MGW, Avery works with our clients to better match them with a member of our team who can best help them reach their goals. She loves hearing about our clients' amazing projects around the world.
COFFEE ORDER: Iced Ristretto Toffee Nut Latte
Social Media & Marketing Team
Social Media Manager
Julia Maria Johnson is an American soprano, educator, and social media marketing consultant for the arts. Ms. Johnson has been brought in as a social media and marketing consultant for various art-adjacent organizations including Manhattan Grant Writers, Pacific Opera Project, Prima Voce Emerging Artists, and more. She is committed to advocating for the integration of classical music into the social media scene to protect and highlight the artists that dedicate their lives to making the world a more beautiful place with their wondrous talent. Her mission is to increase accessibility and exposure to classical music, bring attention to the various ways to fund artistic endeavors, support singers, composers, and directors in sharing their most authentic selves online, and contribute to the spark of curiosity (that will hopefully turn into a life-long musical love affair) in this new generation of audiences.
Director of Marketing
Morgan grew up in Seattle, Washington and received her Bachelor's degree in Musical Theater from Pacific Lutheran University. There she was able to serve in several director roles in Resident Housing, IMPACT Student Marketing, and various theater organizations, gaining practical hands-on experience in Marketing and PR.
The Summer after finishing her undergrad degree, Morgan moved to Manhattan, New York. There she has been working as a performer in musical theater and Improv alongside teaching piano, voice, and ukulele to young artists in her virtual music studio. In addition to her career onstage, Morgan enjoys traveling and exploring the city!
At MGW, Morgan is excited to help spread the word of the inspiring work done to help businesses & artistic people achieve their goals through intentional funding. She has a passion for people, planning, and purpose, and is committed to using her skills to help others!
Senior Grant Writers
Department Head, Music
Najette Abouelhadi is an active orchestral musician passionate about community connectivity and inclusion while working with nonprofits to ensure their success through general fundraising and grant writing. While at Johns Hopkins University, Najette gained a passion for nonprofit work, leading her to continue working with organizations post-grad and now with MGW.
Najette Abouelhadi’s most recent season included orchestral and chamber music performances as a fellow with the Chicago Sinfonietta, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and as the 2021 Artist-in-Residence at the Cliff Dwellers Club. Najette holds a Graduate Performance Diploma and Bachelor’s Degree from Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University.
COFFEE ORDER: Double shot of espresso over ice with a splash of skim milk
FAVORITE COMPOSER: Johannes Brahms
FAVORITE SYMPHONY: Don Juan by Strauss
Department Head, Community Access
Angel Azzarra is one of our Senior Grant Writers and Head of the DEI & Accessibility Division. After completing her Masters Degree at the Manhattan School of Music, Angel has spent the last decade working with nonprofits of all sizes in a multitude of capacities, as well as successfully operating as a freelance media consultant and A/V Director, with clients like The University of North Texas, Joseph Conyers, and Helio Arts. The ability to directly benefit a community and to meet the people getting these projects up and running is hugely fulfilling for her both professionally and personally. She owns a small cottage in St. Louis with her exceptionally large Russian Wolfhound, Percy, and when not writing spends her time working in her permaculture garden or painting.
COFFEE ORDER: Black coffee
MEYERS BRIGGS: INTJ
MOVIE: My Man Godfrey
DOG: Russian Wolfhound
COMPOSER: Impossible to choose (Puccini)
Department Head, Media & Communication
Francesca Federico is an operatic soprano, Fulbright scholar, and media consultant for classical music and non-profit organizations. She was born in Paris and is based in New York City. Francesca received her Bachelor's degree from New York University in Global Politics and a Master's degree from Mannes School of Music in vocal performance.
During her Fulbright residency, Francesca curated and performed concerts that combined classical song with traditional Irish folk music, teaching masterclasses to undergraduate vocal students. In her pre-operatic life, Francesca was a fashion stylist, and currently creates content on TikTok about the intersection of style and classical music @OperaLaModa.
COFFEE ORDER: Oat milk flat white
SIGN: Capricorn Sun/Moon; Cancer Rising
FLOWER: Blue Thistle
COMPOSER: Thomas Bartlett
Department Head, Media & Communication
Talia was raised in Solvang, California, a Danish village replete with windmills and horse-drawn trolleys. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley with an English degree and worked in New York City's book-publishing world before recently joining Delta G, an international VFX company, as an Associate Producer.
Talia's interests include Film, Publishing, Media, Literature, Archival Work, History, and English. Her various internships and positions within book publishing companies have given her experience in literature and publicity. She has worked for Counterpoint LLC & HarperOne in California, and Penguin Random House, Macmillan, and Phaidon in NYC.
She currently resides in Brooklyn New York with her tabby cat, Simon.
COFFEE ORDER: Oat Cappucino
SIGN: Libra Sun, Aquarius Moon,
FAVORITE BOOK: Mrs. Dalloway
Department Head, Diversity Equity & Inclusion/LGBTQIA2S+
Acclaimed Puerto Rican soprano Clara Luz Iranzo has made her appearance in opera and concert work in Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the United States. Clara has sung with notable festivals and companies, including the Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artists Vocal Academy, The Rhodes International Festival in Greece, the Symphonic Orchestra of Puerto Rico, the Foundation of Zarzuela and Operetta of Puerto Rico, the Lyric Choral of Puerto Rico and the United Nations in numerous concerts, productions, and cultural events.
A recent Mannes School of Music graduate, Ms. Iranzo has received several awards. Her areas of interest include Global Issues, Music, Systemic Inequalities, Psychology, History & Archival Research.
FAVORITE ICE CREAM: Lychee rose
FAVORITE ACTIVITY; Love surfing and just being by the water.
DOG BREED: Obsessed with Golden Retrievers!
Department Head, Education
Megan Koch is from a small town, Dunlap, IL, but she is currently based in DFW where she sings professionally, teaches a senior choir, and teaches music privately. She attended Illinois Wesleyan University for her degree in music education and the University of North Texas for her master's in vocal performance and graduate artist certificate in opera. Having a strong background in both classroom and private teaching, Megan is committed to making music accessible to people of all ages. She is interested in working with any organization that will help people feel confident in themselves and their abilities.
Community, connection, and service are her passions. She is also passionate about accessibility, education, and advocacy of all socially critical organizations and causes.
COFFEE ORDER: Sweet Cream Cold Brew
Associate Grant Writers
Theatre, Community Access
Bonnie Callahan (she/her) has a multifaceted career as a musician, educator, writer, and administrator in the non-profit sector. Callahan’s research and work focuses on developing non-profit organizations and addressing systemic inequities within the arts, education, and healthcare. Her administrative roles are interdisciplinary and extend across various areas, including being the Northeastern Regional Coordinator for the MusicLink Foundation, and being on the development staff and consulting arts organizations like the Academy of Vocal Arts, Rising Tide Music and Arts, and the Atlantic Brass Band. Additionally, she is a Development and Research Assistant for AK Artist Management, a small arts management company. With extensive experience in writing, Callahan also serves as a grant writer for Manhattan Grant Writers, Influential Writings, and ASAP, and writes for the Product Review column of the International Trumpet Guild Journal.
Bonnie holds a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance and Orff Level I Certification from West Chester University and Bachelor's degrees in Music Education and Trumpet Performance from Rowan University.
COFFEE: Iced cold brew (honestly, I usually just get iced tea!)
Theatre, Community Access
Danika Fernandez is an arts administrator, professional singer, and educator based in the New York City and New Jersey areas. She currently works for Signature Theatre, an Off-Broadway Tony-honored non-profit institution specializing in Individual Giving and Special Events.
Danika’s passion is to study the music and histories surrounding Filipino art songs. In her spare time, she teaches Filipino music history and performing arts through the Filipino School of NY and NJ and is also on the Board of the Filipino-American National Historical Society. Her interests include EDIA in the arts, particularly towards artists of the Global Majority and social justice initiatives.
Danika has a B.M in Classical Voice from San Francisco State University and an M.M. in Opera from Mannes, The New School. She was a bespoken Fellow, an Arts Management and Fundraising Fellow at Ars Nova, and an Emerging Leaders Fellow with Tessitura.
COFFEE ORDER: Iced coffee with almond milk and 4 pumps of unsweetened vanilla
BOBA: Lychee Green tea with tapioca pearls, light ice, 30% sweetness
PLAYWRIGHT: David Henry Hwang
Raelee Fourkiller (they/them)
Diversity Equity & Inclusion/LGBTQIA2S+
Raelee Fourkiller is a Cherokee, non-binary poet, and grant writer. Raelee grew up in Cyril and Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and got their Bachelor's degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Since finishing their Bachelor’s Degree in 2022, Raelee has been living and working in Providence as a cultural educator for Tomaquag Museum, but is now settling in Tahlequah, Oklahoma to spend more time with family and to reconnect to Cherokee lifeways.
They are currently in the process of writing a memoir, learning the Cherokee language, and getting back into running for pleasure. Raelee is an advocate for equitable and accessible alternative education, for LANDBACK, and for queer joy. Outside of working projects, they love to cook enormous meals for loved ones to share over candlelight. During their downtime, Raelee works hard to enjoy leisure and rest.
COFFEE ORDER: Iced Lavender Vanilla Oat Latte
SIGN: Leo Sun, Cancer Moon, Sagittarius Rising
BOOK: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Media & Communication
A certified grant writer, Caroline Green brings diverse experience from the floors of local tv news stations and history museums. She recently returned to her hometown in the Chesapeake Bay region and holds a BA in History from Wake Forest University with minors in English and Cultural Resource Preservation. She also earned a certification in the foundations of Permaculture and is passionate about the environment and community-driven projects that connect people and place.
When not working to help organizations secure funding, Caroline pet sits and enjoys hiking, yoga, reading, and learning about slow fashion and textile art.
SIGN: Double Capricorn, Taurus Rising
COFFEE: Cappuccino with a sprinkle of cocoa powder
A versatile artist, Casey Willassen Kunmann is equally at home singing operatic, oratorio, chamber music, art song, and musical theatre repertoire ranging from renaissance to contemporary music. This season, she joined GRAMMY-nominated Seraphic Fire in the Seraphic Fire Youth Initiative quartet, and she is on the official roster of Boston Baroque. In addition to singing, Casey is passionate about social justice, mental health, and women's issues, among others.
Ms. Kunmann holds a B.A. in voice from Palm Beach Atlantic University and an M.M. in Vocal Pedagogy from Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
COFFEE: Iced Vanilla Oat Milk Latte
SIGN: Double Libra, Leo rising
FAVORITE OPERA COMPOSERS:
Mozart, Donizetti, Verdi
Diversity Equity & Inclusion/LGBTQIA2S+
Jasmine currently works as a policy analyst for a corporate company. Before transitioning to the corporate sector, she worked in community development and for nonprofit organizations addressing social and health inequities and food insecurity. She has extensive knowledge in researching, policy writing, and implementing and evaluating programs. Jasmine received her master’s in Sociology at the University of Mississippi. During her graduate experience, Jasmine managed a food program that aided 120+ households while implementing protocols to expand the program into another county. She also interned for Harvard Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC).
COFFEE: Iced Latte
Portia Bajwa, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Portia works as a mental health therapist at her private practice, Sansara Counseling and Consulting. Before her current role, she worked for a group practice and a nonprofit organization where she facilitated grief counseling groups and offered input on program development. She is trained in organizational theory and has experience conducting program evaluations and needs assessments.
Portia received her master’s in Social Work at the University of Chicago. During her graduate experience, she worked for an NGO in El Salvador, providing consultation, developing a program proposal around mental health services, and providing fundraising support, including grant writing and editing. As a social worker, Portia is deeply invested in the development and sustainability of nonprofit organizations.
Diversity Equity & Inclusion/LGBTQIA2S+
Christa Leonard is an equity-driven grant writer passionate about developing systems and solutions that bridge the government-grass roots divide. Over the last decade, Christa has designed, built, and managed urban agriculture and food production projects in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Currently, she serves as a FUSE Corps Executive Fellow in the Office of Mayor Randall L. Woodfin at the City of Birmingham to expand the City's food access strategy beyond grocery store recruitment and retention.
In addition to her work in Birmingham, Christa serves as a Senior Grant Writer and Consultant for LA County municipalities, collaborating with City Managers and department heads to secure funding support to advance equitable housing, transportation, sustainability, public works, and outdoor recreation.
Environmental Science, Natural Sciences, Biology
Kaitlyn Stabell recently graduated with a B.S. in Biology and minors in Environmental Studies and French from Pacific Lutheran University.
She is currently in the process of completing a Master's in Conservation Leadership at Colorado State University, which is a program focused on complex environmental conservation issues.
She enjoys scientific writing and reading, especially in relation to wildlife conservation.
Her interests include different topics within the natural resources field, including ecosystem preservation and all elements of environmental science.