Beth Cleary, Co-Executive Director
Beth has taught Theatre Histories and Directing at Macalester College since 1993, and she served as Department Chair for 13 years. In August 2017, the Association for Theater in Higher Education recognized Beth with the Oscar Brockett Award as the Outstanding Teacher of Theater in Higher Education. Beth is a certified teacher in the viniyoga tradition, and currently teaches yoga in studios, rehearsal rooms and a senior living community. Beth has turned her attention recently to writing and oral history practices, and recently devised a piece with Macalester students based on 30 oral history interviews with Twin Cities nurses; the piece, Acute Care, played at Macalester and at the MN Nurses’ Association. Beth is collecting oral histories about the East Side for an ESFL art project, and intends to establish an oral history archive at ESFL. She donates her salary as Co-Executive Director.
Peter Rachleff, Co-Executive Director
Peter taught U.S. History at Macalester College from 1982-2012, and he was chairperson of the History Department in the late 1990s, and the Faculty Coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. Peter has also taught at Metro State University and the University of Minnesota. He is the author of BLACK LABOR IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, 1865-1890, and HARD-PRESSED IN THE HEARTLAND: THE HORMEL STRIKE AND THE FUTURE OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT. He has been a member of the Executive Board of the Labor and Working Class History Association and the President of the Working Class Studies Association. In October 2017, the Walter Reuther Library and the North American Labor History Conference gave him the Nat Weinberg Award for lifetime achievement in labor history. Peter donates his salary as Co-Executive Director.
Peter and Beth have lived on the East Side of St. Paul since 1999.
Alessandra Williams, Assistant to the Executive Directors
Alessandra grew up in Minneapolis and graduated from Macalester College in 2007. After several years working as a community organizer for HIRE Minnesota and dancing with the Ananya Dance Theatre, Alessandra went to graduate school at UCLA. In 2016, she earned her Ph.D. in World Arts and Cultures. Dr. Williams has taught at Carleton College and the University of Minnesota. In the summer of 2017, she joined the staff of the East Side Freedom Library.