Steven M. Allen

The Dunbar Operas Fund, Inc.

The Dunbar Operas Fund, Incorporated

The Dunbar Operas Fund is a 501 (c)(3) Non-profit organization founded in the District of Columbia. Our mission: To preserve, promote, educate and engage communities of the rich history and cultural legacy of Paul Laurence Dunbar through the dramatic arts.


As we continue to celebrate and interpret Dunbar’s life and his well-documented romance with Alice Ruth Moore, your generous support would be of great value to the furtherance of this endeavor. Consider making your contribution today!


The Dunbar Operas Fund, Inc.
P.O. Box 56474
Washington, DC 20040


Meet our Advisory Board Committee:

James Pittman.png

James Pittman 

James E. Pittman is a retired Senior Executive of the US Department of Health and Human Services, administering national mental health programs, and providing direction and oversight of St. Elizabeths Hospital, including the legislative transfer from federal to local DC administration and control.

In retirement, Pittman had role in the planning for the LeDroit Park/Bloomingdale Heritage Trail; established the tax-exempt foundation for preservation and restoration of the Historic Kappa House in the Dupont Circle Historic District; and founded and serves as Chairman of the Dunbar Alumni Federation, the non-profit umbrella organization of alumni classes and alumni that provides scholarship and other support for Dunbar students and graduates, along with the operations of the Dr. Lawrence E. Graves Museum of Dunbar History.


Traci Miller

Traci Miller is the founder and owner of Tilmon Properties, a full service property management company and Take Care of My Place a one-stop home maintenance company, both operating in the metropolitan Washington area.

Ms. Miller is a 1989 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maryland School of Law. She served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Baltimore, MD for six years and in several business development capacities in Denver, the District of Columbia and Maryland for the next six years.

In 1994 Ms. Miller ran for the United States Congress in the 7th Congressional District of Maryland. At 27 years old, she placed 9thamong 27 well-known and office-holding candidates. That year she was also named, “40 Under 40 to Watch” in Gazette Magazine.

In 2004, Ms. Miller founded Tilmon Properties, a full service property management company, in the apartment she occupied of the building she owns. She grew the business from a one-person operation to a full service company with staff whose job is to care for over 400 residential units, 300,000 square feet of office and arts studio space and four parking lots in the District of Columbia and Maryland. In 2014 Tilmon Properties spun off Take Care of My Place, a one-stop shop for small residential management and maintenance. The Tilmon staff consists of property managers, maintenance engineers, porters, social media staff and accountants.

Ms. Miller is the Vice-Chair of the Step Afrika! Board of Directors and serves on the Advisory Board of The Dunbar Operas.

She’s an avid golfer, swimmer and photographer.


Michelle Darden Lee

Michelle Darden Lee has over 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, small business and community development. She is currently president of Mingus Communications and has worked with such well known entities as Black Entertainment Television (BET), the Children’s Defense Fund, Howard University and the Democratic National Committee. Throughout her career, she has combined her communications expertise with her commitment to community empowerment and has ushered in initiatives that expand opportunities in education, business development and politics.

In 1995, Michelle began her life as an entrepreneur, managing marketing and outreach campaigns for BET’s Publishing Division, the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) numerous small businesses and nonprofit entities. As time progressed, her interest in minority business development and community empowerment grew, prompting her to form Mingus Communications. Her most recent work includes co-founding and developing a visibility campaign for the Prince George’s Gateway Arts District–Art Lives Here. The project has brought attention to the more than 300 artists in the community, funded numerous local art projects, and harnessed more than a half a million dollars from the National Endowment for the Arts, ArtPlace America and other regional funders.

Prior to her journey as an entrepreneur, Michelle entered public service in the local Washington community. In 1989 she served as executive assistant at Midtown Youth Academy, an after-school and summer enrichment program. Through this role, she was introduced to local community and political leaders, including then mayoral candidate Sharon Pratt Dixon, who recruited her to work on her 1989 campaign. After Dixon’s overwhelming victory, Michelle entered government service, first in the mayor’s Office of Boards and Commissions, then the mayor’s Office of Communications. In these roles, she served as liaison to many high-profile figures in politics, media, business and entertainment that helped to build the solid foundation and reputation on which she operates her business today.

Michelle holds a B.S. in political science from Hampton University.


Erick Williams, Esq.

Erik J. Williams, Esq. is the founder of the Law Offices of Erik J. Williams, P.L.L.C. in Washington, DC. Mr. Williams’ practice focuses primarily on employment discrimination, criminal defense, and negligence cases. Prior to founding his law firm, Mr. Williams was an attorney for nearly a decade at Williams & Connolly LLP, where he handled discovery and trial-related matters involving mass tort pharmaceutical litigation, patent litigation, securities litigation, and white-collar criminal investigations. Mr. Williams also previously practiced criminal defense and civil litigation for several years at the Law Offices of H. T. Smith, P.A. in Miami, Florida.

Born in Philadelphia into a working-class family, Mr. Williams is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University Law Center, and Harvard University School of Divinity. A resident of Washington, DC, Mr. Williams is the proud father of two amazing children. An ordained minister, Mr. Williams is an Associate Minister at the historic Metropolitan Baptist Church in Largo, Maryland, where he is actively involved in the church’s public policy ministry and community service efforts. In addition to his law practice and ministry, Mr. Williams is a published writer and a highly sought after speaker. He can be contacted at: