The Amherst Indy was founded and is run by a small number of local progressives, interested in Amherst life and politics, and aiming to promote democracy and transparency in local government. [Read Our Mission.]

Publisher(s): Responsible for making the Amherst Indy available to the public, including final decisions about publishing content. Art and Maura Keene. 

Founders: Developers and custodians of the founding vision. Art Keene, Maria Kopicki, Laura Quilter.

Financial Contributors: Art Keene and Laura Quilter.

Editors: Solicits and edits copy and puts articles into their best form; makes decisions about appearance and adherence to the style guide. Kitty Axelson-Berry, Steve Braun, Art Keene. 

Social Media Editor:

Technical Team: Manages website and technical issues. Laura Quilter, Jeff Lee, Art Keene.

Additional Contributors: Includes writers, advisors, photographers, and other regular or frequent contributors. Stephen Braun, Ira Bryck, Toni Cunningham, Darcy Dumont, Meg Gage, Hilda Greenbaum, Michael Greenebaum, Vivian Jacobs-Townsley, Marla Jamate, Maura Keene, Maria Kopicki, Jeff Lee, Sarah McKee, Jena Schwartz, Boone Shear, Hetty Startup, Russ Vernon-Jones.

Who We Were: Past and former contributors, 2019-2021.


Kitty Axelson-Berry owned a self-publishing service specializing in memoirs and family histories, was the editor-in-chief of the Valley and Springfield Advocate newspapers in the 1980s, and has lived in the Amherst area since 1971. She raised three daughters in the public schools here and was a member of Town Meeting.

Stephen Braun is a medical writer/editor, former member of the Finance Committee, Town Meeting, Public Works Committee and an Amherst resident since 2000.

Ira Bryck has lived in Amherst since 1993, ran the Family Business Center for 25 years, hosted the “Western Mass. Business Show” on WHMP for seven years, now coaches business leaders, and is a big fan of Amherst’s downtown.

Toni Cunningham is an avid follower of town government, mother of two girls, Irish, a data junkie, and former Town Meeting Rep for Precinct 3.

Darcy DuMont is a former Amherst town councilor from District 5 and was the lead sponsor of the legislation to establish an Energy and Climate Action Committee. She is also on the steering committee of Climate Action Now and a member of Mothers Out Front Pioneer Valley and of Western MA Community Choice Energy. She is the mother of two, a lawyer and a retired teacher.  

Meg Gage is the now-retired founding director of the Peace Development Fund and the Proteus Fund, national organizations based in Amherst that organize within philanthropy to advance campaigns related to peace, human rights and democracy.   She is a graduate of ARHS and taught at the high school. She served on the recent Charter Commission and is currently the Chair of the Participatory Budgeting Commission and on the Planning Team of the District One Neighborhood Association (DONA).

Hilda Greenbaum is a 65-year resident of the Amherst area and a 50-year resident of Amherst, a town meeting member 1975–2018, and a  former member of various town boards and committees, including Public Transportation, Assessors, and Zoning Board of Appeals. Her particular interests are land use and historic preservation.

Michael Greenebaum was principal of Mark’s Meadow School from 1970-1991 and from 1974 taught Organization Studies in the Higher Education Center at the UMass School of Education.  He served in Town Meeting from 1992, was on the first Charter Commission in 1993 and served on several town committees, including Town Commercial Relations Committee and the Long Range Planning Committee.

Art Keene is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at UMass. He coached girls cross country at Amherst High School for 17 years and was a town meeting member for 20+ years.  He has lived in Amherst since 1982.    

Maura Keene is a retired obstetrician-gynecologist at Bay State Health Systems. Her four children are graduates of the Amherst schools. She has lived in Amherst since 1982.

Maria Kopicki is a physician, math and science geek, parent, and 20-year Amherst resident.

Jeff Lee is a career computer programmer and regular observer of local government. He has lived in Amherst since 1994 and in the Pioneer Valley since 1973 when he began grad work in mathematics at UMass. Jeff has formerly served on the Amherst Redevelopment Authority and as a Town Meeting Rep from Precinct 7.

Sarah McKee is Past President, Jones Library Board of Trustees; Former General Counsel, Interpol U.S. National Central Bureau, Washington, D.C.; Member, D.C. Bar. 

Laura Quilter is a militant librarian, attorney, geek, and teacher. She has been involved in independent journalism since college, and various alternative media projects since the 1990s. She is a former member of Amherst Town Meeting, works at UMass, and parents in Amherst.

Ken Rosenthal lives on Sunset Avenue in Amherst.  He was Chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals and of the former Development and Industrial Commission, and was a member of the Select Committee on Goals for Amherst. He was a founder of Hampshire College and its first chief financial officer.

Jena Schwartz is a writing coach, parent and resident of Amherst.

Boone Shear teaches in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is involved with a number of overlapping efforts to imagine, organize around, and expand post-capitalist possibility in Massachusetts. 

Hetty Startup lives in Amherst where she serves on the Historical Commission and works with college students. She grew up in London, England and moved to the United States in the late 1980s to raise a family and continue working as an architectural historian. She serves as a deacon at the First Congregational Church, in Ashfield. 

Russ Vernon-Jones was the Principal of Fort River Elementary School from 1990-2008.  He is a co-facilitator of the Coming Together Anti-Racism Project in the Amherst area.  He co-chairs the Racism-Climate Change Connections working group of Climate Action Now of Western Mass, and blogs regularly on climate justice at www.RussVernonJones.org.

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