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The Groundwork Team

Dena Haden Sarah Athanas

Groundwork is the creation of two close friends, Sarah Athanas and Dena Haden. We grew up on Cape Cod, painting murals together in high school art class and dreaming about the day when we would be free to build our adult lives around our passions. When Sarah recently returned to Massachusetts after several years of living abroad, our discussions quickly turned to the fact that as adults, we feel we are lacking a community that supports the creative lifestyle we envision. We believe that if we join forces with other freelancers, artists, and entrepreneurs, we can tap into unlimited talent, energy, and power to create a truly sustainable local economy. Groundwork is that discussion in action, and we want you to join the fun.


Sarah Athanas

Sarah Athanas was born and raised on Cape Cod and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in studio art and a focus in video production. After working as an assistant editor on a Boston-based documentary team, Sarah headed to Chilean Patagonia where she made her first film, Tracking Patagonia, traveling by bicycle and living in a tent. She then accepted a job in marketing at Bridge-Linguatec Inc. and moved to Denver where she honed her skills in email marketing, blogging, and copywriting.

Sarah accepted a promotion at Bridge-Linguatec and moved to Buenos Aires in 2010 to manage the web development team. She dug deep into project management, team dynamics, and navigating the perils of cross-cultural communication. She learned as much about herself and her fellow human beings from managing a web team as she did from traveling by bicycle through Patagonia.

Today Sarah is a freelance web developer and filmmaker. She considers herself equal parts artist, bohemian traveler, documentarian, savvy marketer, and team leader. She is looking forward to using these skills and experience to build a rich and creative coworking community in New Bedford. You can see her current work on the web at Mate Corazón.

Dena Haden

Dena Haden is a visual artist who works with a variety of media, including sculpture, drawing, painting and installation. She was born and raised on Cape Cod and earned her BFA in Painting and Illustration from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia earning her MFA in 2008. Dena has instructed painting and design courses for several years at nonprofit organizations and private institutions and has developed valuable leadership and communication skills through teaching.

For the past three years, Dena has managed the office operations of New Body New Mind, an alternative health clinic that specializes in physical and manual therapy, with responsibilities ranging from medical billing to accounting and other administrative duties.

Dena lives and works out of her art studio in Berkley, Massachusetts, where she is an avid gardener, maintaining two acres of flower and vegetable gardens. She is also the director of the Boston Critique Group, an artist collaborative in the Greater Boston community which has approximately 40 active members. Her artwork has been included in exhibitions nationally and internationally and is part of numerous private collections and public installations. Her most recent solo exhibition was displayed at the RopeWorks Gallery in New Bedford this past winter. Dena participates as a member of the New Bedford Open Studios and is enthusiastic about bringing her experiences and connections to the development of a creative coworking space in New Bedford. You can see her work at