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Speakers

Featured Keynote Artist

OKWUI OKPOKWASILI | Artist

Okwui OkpokwasiliOkwui Okpokwasili is a multidisciplinary artist. Raised in the Bronx by Nigerian immigrant parents, she graduated from Yale University in 1996. Her residencies include: MANCC Choreographic Fellowship, Baryshnikov Arts Center Artist-in-Residence, New York Live Arts Studio Series, New York Foundation for the Arts’ Fellowship, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s President’s Award and the Rauschenberg Residency. She and visual designer and director Peter Born won a Bessie Award for Outstanding Production in 2010 for Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance. They won a second Bessie Award for Outstanding Production for Bronx Gothic. Their third full-length collaboration, Poor People’s TV Room, was staged at New York Live Arts in April 2017. As a stage actress, Okpokwasili appeared in Kristin Martin’s Sounding (HERE Arts Center) and Young Jean Lee’s Lear (Soho Rep). As a film actress, she appeared in Abyss, The Interpreter, and I Am Legend. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Featured Presenters

DEANA HAGGAG | President & CEO, United States Artists

Deana HaggagDeana Haggag is the President & CEO of United States Artists, a national arts funding organization based in Chicago, IL. Before joining USA in February 2017, she was the Executive Director of The Contemporary, a nomadic and non-collecting art museum in Baltimore, MD, for four years. In addition to her leadership roles, Deana lectures extensively, consults on various art initiatives, contributes to cultural publications, and has taught at institutions such as Towson University and Johns Hopkins University. She is on the Advisory Board of Recess and Council of Common Field, and has served as a member of the Affiliates Board for the Museums and Society Program at Johns Hopkins University and StageOne/FANS council at the Baltimore School for the Arts. She received her MFA in Curatorial Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BA from Rutgers University in Art History and Philosophy.

TATIANA HERNANDEZ | Arts Director, Hemera Foundation

Tatiana HernandezTatiana Hernandez joined Hemera in March 2015. Previously, as program officer for the arts for the Knight Foundation, she led the Knight Arts Challenge, Knight’s open contest for discovering the best arts ideas in communities across the country.

Nationally, Tatiana serves on the boards of Grantmakers in the Arts and the Gard Foundation, as well as Machine Project and BFI (Bas Fisher Invitational), two experimental artist spaces in Los Angeles and Miami respectively. Locally, she serves on the advisory council for the Bohemian Foundation’s Music District. She is a 2014 Marshall Memorial Fellow, a program of the German Marshall Fund.

YK HONG | Anti-Oppression Trainer, Organizer, Artist

YK HongYK has been a curriculum developer and facilitator for 20 years as a pioneer, establishing a nationally-acclaimed curriculum for workshops and trainings on a national and international level. She has worked with over 1000 organizations and companies across the globe to facilitate processes in strategic planning, organization development, anti-oppression and human resources management. Believing in the critical role of technology, YK also holds certifications in cyber security and hardware, using code and data to show compelling paths for transformation at all levels of organizational growth. YK spends most of her year traveling to give workshops and talks around the world and is a TED fellow.

TARIANA NAVAS-NIEVES | Director of Cultural Affairs, Denver Arts & Venues

Tariana Navas-Nieves is the Director of Cultural Affairs for Denver Arts & Venues. Arts & Venues is the City and County of Denver agency responsible for the city’s cultural affairs and publicly owned venues. Tariana has over 23 years of experience in non-profit and project management, museum work and communications, most recently as Public Information Manager for the Gold Line commuter rail transit line, which along with the line to Denver International Airport, is part of the largest transportation project in the United States. She also served as Curator of Hispanic and Native American Art at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center during their 25 million dollar expansion project. Tariana’s experience spans into television, translation and lecturing, as well as extensive curatorial services to art collectors and museums. Tariana serves on multiple boards and advisory groups including but not limited to the Mayor’s Latino Commission, DPS Bond and Mill Oversight Committee, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Leadership Team working on building diverse audience engagement, the Denver Art Museum’s Latino Audience Alliance, and Denver Shared Spaces City Strategy Advisory group. She is also a graduate of Leadership Denver (class of 2015). She was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

PAUL RUCKER | Artist

Paul Rucker is a visual artist, musician, and composer who uses visual images and sound to render powerful reflections on racial injustice in America. A native of South Carolina, Paul’s work investigates the long-term social and economic effects of slavery in the United States, drawing parallels to racially motivated violence, police brutality, mass incarceration and the criminalization of African Americans. Paul has presented performances and visual art exhibitions across the country and has collaborated with schools, prisons, and policy institutes to address issues of mass incarceration. His awards include Creative Capital, MAP Fund, Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant, Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, MacDowell Colony Fellowship and a residency at Maryland Institute College of Art as the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation research fellow in Baltimore, MD.

Presenters

Cristina Aguilar | Executive Director, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) (Denver, CO)
Michele Anderson | Rural Program Director, Springboard for the Arts (Fergus Falls, MN)
Alberta Arthurs | Senior Fellow, John Brademas Center of New York University (New York, NY)
Rob Bailis | Associate Director, Cal Performances (Berkley, CA)
Daniel Banks, PhD | Theatre Director, DNAWORKS (Fort Worth, TX)
Peter Bradley | Executive Director, Island Institute (Sitka, AK)
Madison Cario | Director, Office of the Arts at Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta , GA)
Jennifer Carnevale | Board Member, The Steel Yard (Providence, RI)
Nicole J. Caruth | Artistic Director, McColl Center for Art + Innovation (Charlotte, NC)
Elizabeth Chodos | Executive + Creative Director, Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency (Saugatuck, MI)
Andrea Chung | Artist (San Diego, CA)
Cecily Cook | Senior Program Officer, Asian Cultural Council (New York, NY)
Chrissy Deal | Program Manager, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) (Denver, CO)
Michael Diniscia | Deputy Director, John Brademas Center of New York University (New York, NY)
Erin Elder | Independent Curator (Santa Fe, NM)
Nina Elder | Independent Artist (Santa Fe, NM)
Jesse Elliott | Director, The Music District (Fort Collins, CO)
Suzanne Fetscher | President + CEO, McColl Center for Art + Innovation (Charlotte, NC)
Amanda Flores | Youth Programming Coordinator, PlatteForum (Denver, CO)
Adam Fong | Executive Director, Center for New Music (San Francisco, CA)
Claudia Ford | Executive Director, Tisané (Providence, RI)
Deborah Fowlkes | Senior Director of Alumni Relations, FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) (Golden, CO)
Tony Grant | Executive Director, Sustainable Arts Foundation (San Francisco, CA)
Esther Grisham Grimm | Executive Director, 3Arts (Chicago, IL)
Collin Haffey | Place-Based Ecologist (Santa Fe, NM)
Gia Hamilton | Director, Joan Mitchell Center (New Orleans, LA)
Jeffreen Hayes, PhD | Executive Director, Threewalls (Chicago, IL)
Wilfredo Hernandez | Program Manager, The Field (New York, NY)
Lisa Hoffman | Executive Director, Alliance of Artists Communities (Providence, RI)
Haley Honeman | Theatre Artist (Mesa, AZ)
Leah Horn | Director of Marketing and Communications, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) (Denver, CO)
Erin Johnston | Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
Cristy Johnston Limón | Executive Director, Destiny Arts Center (San Francisco, CA)
Brad Kik | Co-Director, Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology (Bellaire, MI)
Pam Korza | Associate Project Director, Americans for the Arts - Animating Democracy (Amherst, MA)
Veronique Le Melle | Executive Director, Artpace (San Antonio, TX)
David Macy | Resident Director, The MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, NH)
Sharon Maidenberg | Executive Director, Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA)
Bethany Martin-Breen | Senior Program Associate, The Rockefeller Foundation (New York, NY)
Louise Martorano | Executive Director, RedLine (Denver, CO)
Shanai Matteson | Artist and Collaborative Director, Water Bar & Public Studio (St. Paul , MN)
Nat May | Executive Director + Co-founder, Hewnoaks Artist Colony (Portland, ME)
Dale Mott | Director of External Relations, Halcyon (Washington, DC)
Devon Murphy | Digital Content Lead, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Banff, AB)
Nik Nerburn | Filmmaker/Photographer (Minneapolis, MN)
Michael Orlove | Director of Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works, Artist Communities and International Activities | Multidisciplinary Arts, National Endowment for the Arts (Washington, DC)
Craig T. Peterson | Artistic Director, Abrons Arts Center (New York, NY)
Elizabeth Quinn | Creative Director, Caldera (Portland, OR)
Zeyba Rahman | Senior Program Officer, Building Bridges Program, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art (New York, NY)
Madalena Salazar | IMTour, TourWest Program and Grants Manager, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) (Denver, CO)
Richard Saxton | Creative Director, M12 Studio (Byers, CO)
Naomi Schliesman | Artist Development Coordinator, Springboard for the Arts (Fergus Falls, MN)
María Paz Segura | General Producer, RAP - Residencias de Arte Panal (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Sanjit Sethi | Director, Corcoran School of the Arts and Design | George Washington University (Washington, DC)
Howie Sneider | Executive Director, The Steel Yard (Providence, RI)
Dean Sobel | Director, Clyfford Still Museum (Denver, CO)
Cortney Lane Stell | Executive Director + Chief Curator, Black Cube (Denver, CO)
Gary Steuer | President + CEO, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation (Denver, CO)
Ben Strader | Co-Director, Blue Mountain Center (Blue Mt. Lake, NY)
Frederick Swanson | Research Geologist, USDA Forest Service (Corvallis, OR)
David Szlasa | Director, Petronio Residency Initiative (Cairo, NY)
Sylvia Torti | Associate Director, Mapping Meaning (Salt Lake City, UT)
Rebecca Vaughan | Artistic and Programming Director, PlatteForum (Denver, CO)
Evan Weissman | Executive Director, Warm Cookies of the Revolution (Denver, CO)
Risë Wilson | Director of Philanthropy, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (New York, NY)
Cedra Wood | Independent Artist (Albuquerque, NM)

Aguilar

Cristina Aguilar | Executive Director, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)

Cristina Aguilar is the Executive Director of COLOR where she leads efforts to develop young leaders, support families and empower the Colorado Latinx community to shape policies that impact their lives and urge lawmakers to stand with Latinx folks and our diverse families. She is a queer Latinx activist, writer, healer and humanitarian; a granddaughter of Mexican immigrants who uses her megaphone to call for human rights. From her work directing a national, early childhood education program with Head Start to serving as a member of the political action committee and co-founding the People of Color Caucus for One Colorado, the state's leading LGBTQ advocacy organization. Cristina is dedicated to dismantling systems of oppression and issues ensuring ALL people have access to what they need to create, foster, and maintain healthy lives and live in safe communities. She puts her words where her passion is with numerous publications including: Huffington Post, Denver Post, Rewire, Feministing, MSNBC and Cosmopolitan. She also co-authored the book Nonprofit's Guide to the Power of Appreciative Inquiry and has presented on reproductive justice issues. Cristina has been honored for her achievements including being named one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women 2017 by the Women's Foundation of Colorado, a guest of honor at the Denver's Women March and a German Marshall Fund Marshall Memorial Fellow. Cristina is also a reiki master dedicated to spiritual pursuits and believes radical self-care, community care and love will ensure we all thrive on the path to collective liberation. She has a BA in journalism and her MA in communication and considers herself a lifelong student of people and life.

Anderson

Michele Anderson | Rural Program Director, Springboard for the Arts

Michele Anderson is the Rural Program Director for Springboard for the Arts, a community and economic development organizations for artists based in St. Paul and Fergus Falls, Minnesota. In 2011, Michele launched Springboard’s office in Fergus Falls, which has become a hub of thought and action about arts-based community development and creative placemaking in rural settings. Michele has her BA in Music from Lewis and Clark College, and her MA in Cultural Sustainability from Goucher College, where Michele was awarded the inaugural Rory Turner Prize in Cultural Sustainability in 2014 for her creative nonfiction essay about Springboard’s work in mobilizing artists to foster community interaction about the former Fergus Falls State Hospital. In 2015, Michele was selected by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits for their Catalytic Leader Award, and in 2016 she participated in the Salzburg Global Seminar for Young Cultural Innovators. Prior to her work at Springboard, Michele lived in Portland, Oregon for 11 years where she worked at the Oregon Symphony, and a community music school, Ethos Music Center. Michele is also a musician and a writer, and lives in Fergus Falls with her husband, Spencer, and their cat Otto.

Arthurs

Alberta Arthurs | Senior Fellow, John Brademas Center of New York University

Alberta Arthurs is Senior Fellow of the John Brademas Center of New York University. Alberta was most recently Director for Arts and Humanities at the Rockefeller Foundation and – before that –President and Professor of English at Chatham College (now Chatham University) in Pittsburgh. Alberta had served previously in Deanships and as lecturer in English at Harvard/Radcliffe, and had held administrative positions and taught American literature at Rutgers University and at Tufts University. Alberta has served on numerous non-profit boards and advisory committees, and on corporate boards. Alberta's engagement with nonprofit cultural and educational concerns, her consultancies and her project building have been both national and international. Recently, Alberta organized NEXT –Transition Advisors, a team of colleagues well experienced in management and governance who consult on issues of transition in nonprofits. Alberta writes and speaks often on contemporary culture and its challenges.

Rob Bailis | Associate Director, Cal Performances

Rob is a musician, writer, and performing arts curator living in his native San Francisco. A classical clarinetist, he has performed with orchestras, chamber ensembles and as a recitalist across the U.S., Canada, Asia and the U.K. From 2003 – 2011, he was Director of ODC Theater. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the theater’s $9 million dollar expansion of its facility. In 2007, the San Francisco Chronicle named him “MVP” in dance presenting, describing his curation as, "smart, instinctive and infectious.” He has commissioned over 30 new works in a variety of genres, and has served as a consultant for foundations and arts funding organizations including MAP Fund, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Creative Capital, SF Arts Commission, New England Foundation for the Arts, Chamber Music America, WESTAF and the Center for Cultural Innovation. A widely produced lyricist and librettist, Rob's newest piece, Love/Hate, was co-commissioned by American Opera Projects and ODC Theater and premiered in April 2012 as a co-production of ODC and San Francisco Opera. In June of 2013, Rob was appointed Associate Director of Cal Performances on the UC Berkeley campus, where he leads the artistic programming team in areas of dance, theater and world stages, and oversees the fundraising, marketing, education and publication departments. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and Yale School of Music.

Banks

Daniel Banks, PhD | Theatre Director, DNAWORKS

Daniel Banks, PhD, is a theatre director, choreographer, educator, and dialogue facilitator. He has worked extensively in the US and abroad, having directed at such notable venues as the National Theatre of Uganda, the Belarussian National Drama Theatre, The Market Theatre in South Africa, Playhouse Square in Cleveland, the NYC and DC Hip Hop Theatre Festivals. He serves on the dramaturgical team for Camille A. Brown and Dancers. Daniel is the co-director of DNAWORKS, an arts and service organization dedicated to using the arts as a catalyst for dialogue and healing, specifically engaging the topics of representation, identity and heritage. He is founder and director of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative that promotes youth self-expression and leadership. HHTI has worked on campuses and in communities across the US, Azerbaijan, Ghana, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Serbia, and South Africa. Daniel has served on the faculties of: Department of Undergraduate Drama, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University; MFA in Contemporary Performance, Naropa University; MA in Applied Theatre, City University of NY; and as Chair of Performing Arts, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM. He is a long-time advisor in the Gallatin School for Individualized Studies and sits on the advisory board of the Hip Hop Education Center, both at NYU. He is the Associate Director of Theatre Without Borders and serves on the National Cabinet of the US Department of Arts and Culture. Publications include “The Welcome Table: Casting for an Integrated Society” and “The Question of Cultural Diplomacy: Acting Ethically.” Daniel is editor of the first critical anthology of Hip Hop Theatre plays Say Word! Voices from Hip Hop Theater.

Bradley

Peter Bradley | Executive Director, Island Institute

Peter Bradley is the Executive Director of the Island Institute based in Sitka, Alaska. Most recently Peter helped to realize a mobile residency initiative aboard the Alaska Ferry System exploring the concept of Signal to Noise. The Island Institute uses literature and story as lenses through which to understand place and community while acting as a catalyst for resilient community. Before moving to Sitka in October 2013, Peter spent nine years in Guelph, Ontario, where he worked as the director of a community radio station, hosting weekly music programs and a books-focused radio show. 

Cario

Madison Cario | Director, Office of the Arts at Georgia Institute of Technology

Madison Cario is Director of the Office of the Arts at Georgia Tech, which endeavors to embed creative experiences into the lives and learning of Georgia Tech students, the broader campus, and the Atlanta community. Since 2014 Madison has led the campus in an historic change to deepen and broaden the arts experience, focusing on initiatives at the nexus of science, arts, engineering, and technology. Madison serves as a National Dance Project advisor, and is on the Board of Directors at DASH, T. Lang Dance and the Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta. Madison recently received the Georgia Tech Award for Staff Performance in Entrepreneurship, the Georgia Tech Diversity Champion Award and was named 20 People to Watch in 2017. Informed and inspired by a 20 year+ career as an artist, curator, producer and presenter, Madison is best known for their frequent appearances on stages across the country as a panelist, keynote speaker and provocateur. Madison presents regularly on the “State of the Field” with regard to the connections and collisions between the arts and technology at many national conferences including the Dance USA annual conference, the National Arts Marketing Project Conference, Arts Midwest, NPN and the Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta. Madison is also well known for bringing ridiculous amounts of joy and humor to every stage while also encouraging the sharing of serious, spontaneous acts of love. Previously at The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, Madison served as Director of Student Engagement, Special Artistic Initiatives, and Operations and Facilities. Madison holds an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Rhetoric and Communication from Temple University.

Carnevale

Jennifer Carnevale | Board Member, The Steel Yard

Jennifer Carnevale is a life-long Rhode Islander with a passion for empowering creative, innovative organizations to foster high performing, modern, inclusive cultures. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Providence College. Her 12 year professional career is comprised of a variety of Human Resources, leadership and organizational development roles in the healthcare and finance industries. Jennifer is devoted to the arts and is an amateur photographer. Jennifer has been a board member at the Steel Yard, an industrial arts non-profit in Providence, RI, since 2012.

Caruth

Nicole J. Caruth | Artistic Director, McColl Center for Art + Innovation

Nicole J. Caruth is a writer and curator of contemporary art. She is currently the artistic director at McColl Center for Art + Innovation. Prior to joining the Center, Caruth held positions at Art21, The Union for Contemporary Art, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and the Brooklyn Museum. Nicole's recent curatorial projects include The Grace Jones Project at the Museum of the African Diaspora; Crossroad: A Social Sculpture by the artist Derrick Adams; and Power of People, Power of Place by Fallen Fruit. Her writing has appeared in ARTnews, C Magazine, Gastronomica, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Public Art Review, Walker Art Center Magazine, the Phaidon Press volumes Vitamin Green and Vitamin D2, and exhibition catalogues published by Joan Mitchell Foundation and The Studio Museum in Harlem. She is founding editor of Art21 Magazine (est. 2013), an online space for insightful writing on contemporary art and artists. In 2012, Nicole founded With Food in Mind, a nomadic nonprofit developing art-based approaches to childhood obesity and nutrition disparities in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. Her extensive writing about food in contemporary has earned her recognition as a leading voice on the subject. She is currently collaborating with the artist Elia Alba on her book, The Supper Club. A native of the California Bay Area, Nicole earned her bachelor's degree in art history at San Francisco State University, and her master's degree at the Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies.

Elizabeth Chodos | Executive + Creative Director, Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency

Elizabeth Chodos is Co-Founder of Common Field and Executive & Creative Director of Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency. She is interested in creative and enterprising arts administration projects and practices, and moonlights as a creative writer and independent curator. Elizabeth received a Dual Masters degree from the departments of Art History, Theory and Criticism, and Arts Administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her Bachelors of Arts in Creative Writing, from Sarah Lawrence College. She was formerly Executive Director at Threewalls, where she now chairs the Community Cabinet.

Andrea Chung | Artist (San Diego, CA)

Andrea Chung explores themes of labor and materials and their relationships with post-colonial countries. She is interested in the imbued histories that materials carry and how they also carry with them the stories of human transmission and the long lasting effects of colonialism on tropical ‘post-colonial’ societies such as the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. She received a BFA at Parsons School of Design and an MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Andrea has participated in several residencies including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Headlands, Vermont Studio Center, the McColl Center for Visual Arts and the Joan Mitchell Cente, and was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, 2014 Art Matters Grant and a Joan Mitchell Award. Her work has been published in ARC, Small Axe, Harvard’s Transitions and Representations and the Huffington Post. Andrea has exhibited nationally and internationally in institutions such as Syracuse University, McColl Center for Visual Arts, National Gallery of Jamaica, Arthouse, Medulla Gallery in Trinidad, apexart, Deutsche Bank, MoCADA, Punkt Ø F 15 in Norway and the 2017 Jamaican Biennial. She debuted her first solo museum show, You broke the in ocean in half just to be here at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in May 2017, and will be featured at the Chinese American Museum and the California African American Museum as part of the 2017 Pacific Standard Time and Prospect New Orleans triennial. Andrea lives and works in San Diego, CA.

Cecily Cook | Senior Program Officer, Asian Cultural Council

[bio to come]

Deal

Chrissy Deal | Program Manager, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF)

Chrissy Deal is a Program Manager at WESTAF whose mission is to strengthen the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the western United States. Her primary responsibilities include promoting multicultural leadership in the arts through professional development and networking, as well as engaging state arts agencies and cultural policy leaders in efforts that promote diversity, inclusion and equity. With 20 years of nonprofit, education and philanthropic experience, she has worked in education and curatorial departments of the Denver Art Museum, served as a program officer for the scholarship program at the Daniels Fund and as Education Director at the contemporary art center, RedLine. A long-time community volunteer and alumna of Denver’s Circle of Latina Leadership, Chrissy’s involvement with the Denver Foundation includes serving on the Board of Trustees and as chair of the Inclusiveness Project Committee. A former Vice Chair of the Denver County Cultural Council which allocates Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) tax dollars to cultural organizations, she is a member of the Denver Art Museum’s Latino Audience Alliance and is a founding member of LatinasGive!, Denver’s first Latina women’s giving circle with a charitable fund at the Denver Foundation. Chrissy holds a BA in art history from Northwestern University and a MA of Nonprofit Management from Regis University. She is a native of Colorado and a proud North Denver resident, along with her husband and two young sons.

 

Michael Diniscia | Deputy Director, John Brademas Center of New York University

[bio to come]

Erin Elder | Independent Curator

Erin Elder is an independent curator of contemporary art guided by interests in land use, experimental collaboration, and non-traditional modes of expression. Erin's research-driven projects take highly participatory forms, working with a broad definition of art to bring audiences into a direct experience of particular places. Erin's curatorial work spans a decade, taking many forms. Erin's work appears in non-traditional spaces as well as inside the institution. Working with artists to realize their greatest potential, her work ignites curiosity about unique places and complex ideas. Erin's curatorial platform privileges creative research and experimental expression in attempts to bring people closer to the things that matter.

Nina Elder | Independent Artist

Nina Elder is an artist, adventurer, and arts administrator. Through extensive travel and research, resulting in drawings and interdisciplinary creative projects, Nina promotes curiosity, exploration, and collective sense of stewardship. Nina is an advocate for collaboration, often fostering relationships between artists, scientists and diverse communities. She co-founded PLAND, an off-the-grid residency program, and then served as the Residency Program Manager at the Santa Fe Art Institute. Nina now collaborates with various organizations as an artist in residence, project manager, and consultant.

Elliott

Jesse Elliott | Director, The Music District

Jesse Elliott, Director of the Music District, is a lifelong champion of collaborative creative efforts, social entrepreneurship, and the power of music and storytelling. He is the founder and songwriter of two rock and roll bands, These United States and Ark Life, who have released 6 albums and performed live 1,200 times in the last decade, from SXSW and Glastonbury to Lollapalooza and your favorite local dive. Before music recaptured his heart, Jesse wrote books and speeches with economist Richard Florida, co-founded a community nonprofit at the University of Iowa, helped shoot a documentary on water rights in southern Mexico and Guatemala, and ran an Italian deli on the Jersey Shore. With his company Range Music Ecosystems, Jesse and his co-founder Dr. Bryce Merrill researched and wrote the music strategies for the City of Denver and the State of Colorado, and brought together international thinkers on music and community for the City of Austin, the Biennial of the Americas, and others.

Fetscher

Suzanne Fetscher | President + CEO, McColl Center for Art + Innovation

Suzanne Fetscher was appointed founding President of McColl Center for Art + Innovation in 1998. Prior to this appointment, she served for five years as Executive Director of Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, Orlando (BFA, 1979) and University of Florida, Gainesville (MFA, 1982), she spent several post-graduate years teaching design and drawing, serving as adjunct instructor at Rollins College, Winter Park and University of Central Florida, Orlando, and as a full-time visiting instructor at Stetson University, DeLand. Suzanne served three terms (1996-1999) as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Artists’ Communities. She serves on the International Advisory Board of Akiyoshidai International Art Village in Japan and served on The Advisory Board and as Treasurer of Res Artis, the international consortium of artists-in-residence programs. She is a member of Charlotte’s Women Executives and a former Board member of the Friends of Fourth Ward. In her spare time, Suzanne reads, keeps to a yoga program and travels with her husband, Elmar, who is a retired professor.

Flores

Amanda Flores | Youth Programming Coordinator, PlatteForum

Amanda is a youth activist dedicated to creating space for students to explore the arts. After graduating from Colorado College with a BA in Creative Writing, she realized her passion for community building and social change. Amanda found that one of the most valuable aspects of art-making was sharing the process and experience with others. She spent the last three years developing a one-on-one mentorship for youth experiencing homelessness to develop a personal art practice and address social justice issues affecting their lives. Through her work Amanda has fostered a deep appreciation for the different ways youth learn and how art holds space for everyone’s experience. She is a lover of poetry, experimental art-making, walks in the forest and wild rumpus.

Fong

Adam Fong | Executive Director, Center for New Music

Adam Fong is the co-founder and executive director of the Center for New Music, and an active composer, performer and producer. Adam earned Master's degrees in Music Composition from California Institute of the Arts, and in English from Stanford University. He also co-founded Emerging Arts Professionals, a network dedicated to the development and growth of next generation arts and culture workers. Adam was a member of the Emerging Leader Council of Americans for the Arts (2013–2016), and is a frequent advisor to a broad community of artists, arts leaders, and arts organizations.

Claudia Ford

Claudia Ford | Executive Director, Tisané

Dr. Claudia Ford has had a career in international management, development, and women’s health spanning three decades and all continents. Claudia holds a PhD in Environmental Studies and is on the faculty of Rhode Island School of Design. She teaches ethnobotany, indigenous knowledge, global sustainability, global business, environmental justice, and environmental literature in classrooms and workshops. Claudia is a beginning farmer and medicinal plant gardener, and the director of an agroecology program, on 1500 acres of productive farmland in New England, that links ecological and social systems with agriculture for healthy food and farming communities. Claudia manages a new artists’ residency program on a 135-acre working farm in southern New Hampshire, and she serves on the board of The Orion Society, a community that publishes Orion literary magazine - caring for the planet by exploring the connections between nature and culture so that humanity might live on Earth justly, sustainably, and joyously. Claudia is a midwife, a published author and poet, and a visual artist, and she has shared the delights and adventures of her global travel with her four children.

Fowlkes

Deborah Fowlkes | Senior Director of Alumni Relations, FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students)

Deborah Fowlkes has been in the alumni relations field for more than twenty-five years, at four different universities. She holds BA and MA from Duke University, where she also started her career in alumni relations. At Duke she founded the Alumni Continuing Education program and later directed the Alumni Education; Travel program. She went on to head up the Alumni Relations departments at Temple University, the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of Denver, implementing new programs and growing alumni engagement at each institution. She currently oversees the alumni relations department at the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), an international organization based in Golden, CO with 800 staff on 137 campuses.

Grant

Tony Grant | Executive Director, Sustainable Arts Foundation

Tony comes to the Sustainable Arts Foundation after a long career in the software industry, and his passion for the arts comes from his father, who was a painter and sculptor. Tony and his wife, Caroline, started the Sustainable Arts Foundation to help artists and writers with families pursue creative careers. Not surprisingly, much of their work on the foundation happens late at night after their two boys are sleeping.

Esther Grisham Grimm | Executive Director, 3Arts

Esther’s career in the arts spans administration, museum education, education, and philanthropy. She is the executive director of 3Arts, a nonprofit service and grantmaking organization dedicated to advocating for women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities. 3Arts offers unrestricted $25,000 awards, project support, professional development, and promotion to artists working in dance, music teaching arts, theater, and visual arts in the Chicago metropolitan area. Prior to joining 3Arts in 2002, Esther was the associate director of Marwen, an organization that provides out-of-school art instruction, college planning, and career development programs to Chicago’s under-served youth in grades 6-12. Before Marwen, she was the assistant director of Museum Education at The Art Institute of Chicago and the docent coordinator at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. Esther has worked as a writer, researcher, and editor, with reviews and features in a variety of magazines, gallery guides, and exhibition catalogues. She also authored six children’s non-fiction, art-activity books focusing on the art of ancient and living cultures. Currently, she is the chair of the board of the Alliance of Artists Communities and serves on the boards of Arts Alliance Illinois and The Hypocrites. She is also on the Friends of the Vienna Museum Board of Directors, a member of the Grantmakers in the Arts Individual Artist Support Committee, and is active in the Local Artist Funders Group (a cohort of Chicago funders who support individual artists).

Haffey

Collin Haffey | Place-Based Ecologist

Collin Haffey is a member of the New Mexico Landscapes Field Station in northern New Mexico, where he works as a place-based ecologist, co-located with land managers. Collin’s recent work includes a focus on climate-related forest disturbance processes, ranging from drought and fire induced ecosystem type conversion from forests to shrublands or grasslands at local and regional scales. Collin is currently co-organizing a large collaborative climate change adaption project in the Jemez Mountains.

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Gia Hamilton | Director, Joan Mitchell Center

Gia M. Hamilton, a native of New Orleans, received her BA in cultural anthropology with a minor in visual art from New York University and her MA in applied anthropology from City University of New York. Gia joined the Joan Mitchell Center in 2011 as a consultant and was appointed Director in July 2013. In her role Gia acts as a conductor of information between the New York and New Orleans communities as well as a catalyst for change in contemporary art through designing innovative models for artistic and cultural exchanges and expansive public programming in the global arts and creative community. For 15 years Gia worked with NYC non-profit organizations and in 2009 founded Gris Gris Lab, an innovative live-work model in Central City, New Orleans that acts as a place based incubator for emerging thought-leaders. Gia is currently on the board of Alliance for Artist Communities and a member of ArtTable, Res Artis, as well as the American Anthropological Association and is a Dr. Norman Francis Leadership Institute 2014 Fellow.

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Jeffreen Hayes, PhD | Executive Director, Threewalls 

Jeffreen M. Hayes is the Executive Director of Threewalls, which fosters contemporary art practices that respond to lived experiences, encouraging connections beyond art. Under Jeffreen's leadership, Threewalls is expanding the notion of space, exhibitions, and engagement in local, national and global communities. Jeffreen is also a trained art historian and curator, merges administrative, curatorial and academic practices into her cultural practice of supporting artists and community development. Jeffreen earned a PhD in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, a MA in Art History from Howard University, and a BA from Florida International University in Humanities.

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Wilfredo Hernandez | Program Manager, The Field

Wilfredo Hernandez is proud to serve as Program Manager at The Field, where he oversees a diverse portfolio of professional development, creative development and thought leadership programs and projects. Wilfredo is also a self-producing theatre/visual artist, cultural worker and consultant. Welfredo's creative pursuits are focused on exploring the intersections of myth, identity, politics and performance. Wilfredo has produced/directed over 35 productions, including a national pilot production of Disney’s Peter Pan JR. for Disney Theatrical Productions. In 2014 Wilfredo served as the founding Program Manager of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ “Boro-Linc” program, which brought the best of LCPA’s eleven constituent organizations to audiences across NYC. Wilfredo is also proud to serve as the first Arts & Culture Leader at The Brooklyn Community Pride Center where he directs the "LGBTQ New Americans" oral history project with Immigration Equality, which earned him an honorary citation from The New York City Council in 2016. Wilfredo holds an MA in Directing & Producing Theatre from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

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Lisa Hoffman | Executive Director, Alliance of Artists Communities

Lisa Hoffman is the Executive Director of the Alliance of Artists Communities, an international association of 400+ artist residency programs and artist-centered organizations. She is the former Associate Director of the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, where she oversaw programs and strategic initiatives, community engagement, and the flagship Environmental Program. Prior to McColl Center, she served as Director of Charlotte Nature Museum, and held positions as a science educator and mentor with the District of Columbia and Prince George's County Maryland Public Schools. Lisa has served on the boards of North Carolina Association of Environmental Education Centers, North Carolina Play Alliance, Jazz Arts Initiative, and Lakewood Trolley. In the Summer of 2015, she was appointed by President Barack Obama as a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board. Holding an MS degree in Biology and a BS degree in Botany from Howard University in Washington, DC, Hoffman is dedicated to social practice and the convergence of art and science as a vehicle to improve lives and effect systemic change.

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Haley Honeman | Theatre Artist

Haley Honeman is a community-based theatre artist living in Phoenix, Arizona. Haley has a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Haley uses the arts in educational and community settings as a tool for arts-based learning and community wellbeing. Haley currently works as a teaching artist in Childsplay’s Dual Language EYEplay program, in residency with Rising Youth Theatre, and recently wrote a documentary theatre performance to promote mental health and suicide awareness in rural Minnesota

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Leah Horn | Director of Marketing and Communications, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF)

Leah Horn is the Director of Marketing and Communications for WESTAF, a nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to strengthening the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts. She creates and directs marketing initiatives; develops communication strategies for WESTAF's cultural policy objectives; oversees the organization’s public relations, external communications, website, and social media; manages the annual cultural policy symposium, arts leadership and advocacy seminar, and coordinates participation in conferences and events; handles legal contracts and service agreements; and leads the organization’s regional, state, and local advocacy efforts. Prior to joining WESTAF, Leah managed a Congressional campaign and served as an administrator at a law firm. She has worked in several management roles, including product development for an international sports apparel company and visual merchandising for an American multinational clothing and accessories retailer. Leah has served on grant panels for Colorado Creative Industries and the National Endowment for the Arts. She serves as Secretary of the Denver County Cultural Council. Leah received dual bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Journalism–Media Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder and is currently pursuing her MA degree in Communication at the University of Colorado Denver. She has a performing arts background and lives in Denver.

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Erin Johnston | Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University

Erin F. Johnston serves as a research consultant for philanthropic organizations in the field of arts and culture. Erin's recent work analyzes the extent and nature of funding for international and intercultural artistic exchange. Erin is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, where she teaches interdisciplinary courses for first year students in the Thinking Matters program. Erin received her BA from Rutgers University and her PhD in Sociology from Princeton University.

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Cristy Johnston Limón | Executive Director, Destiny Arts Center

Cristy Johnston Limón is the Executive Director of Oakland based Destiny Arts Center, an arts education and creative youth development organization serving over 4,000 youth annually throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. After restructuring the organization and completing a 3-year capital campaign, Cristy oversaw the acquisition and renovation of an idle warehouse in North Oakland transforming it into an artistically rich, welcoming cultural destination serving thousands of youth and their families annually. Cristy holds an MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, advancing the intersection of business, philanthropy, culture, and equity. She draws from her own experiences as a public school student immersed in dance, theater, music and sports to advocate on behalf of arts education and for Destiny’s mission and vision to inspire and ignite social change through the arts.

Brad Kik | Co-Director, Crosshatch Center for Art + Ecology

Brad Kik is the co-founder and co-director of the Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology (formerly Institute for Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design - ISLAND), a non-profit organization that connects the lines between art, agriculture and ecology. Brad’s varied background—film study, environmental activism, graphic design, community organizing, traditional music, ecology and permaculture—helps to direct the intention behind Crosshatch’s work in the community. Brad also serves on a number of boards reflecting Crosshatch’s diverse approach to community building: Madroño Ranch, a center for writing, art and the environment, Earthwork Music, a collective of Michigan musicians, and Grass River Natural Area, a 1000+ acre wetland preserve in Antrim County, Michigan, near where Brad calls home. Brad also acts as the chair of the Ecological Residencies Cohort for the Alliance of Artist Communities, and helps convene and present the AAC’s Emerging Programs Institute each year.

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Pam Korza | Associate Project Director, Americans for the Arts - Animating Democracy

Pam Korza co-directs Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts that inspires, informs, promotes, and connects arts and culture as potent contributors to community, civic, and social change. Pam co-wrote Civic Dialogue, Arts & Culture, and the Arts & Civic Engagement Tool Kit. Pam also co-edited Critical Perspectives: Writings on Art & Civic Dialogue, as well as the five-book Case Studies from Animating Democracy. Pam is co-chair of the Assessing Practices in Public Scholarship research group for Imagining America (IA), a consortium of colleges and universities that advances public scholarship in the humanities, arts, and design and was a two-term member of IA’s National Advisory Board. Pam began her career with the Arts Extension Service (AES)/UMass where she coordinated the National Public Art Policy Project and co-wrote and edited Going Public: A field guide to developments in art in public places. She also directed the New England Film & Video Festival.

 

Veronique Le Melle | Executive Director, Artpace

Executive Director Veronique Le Melle joined San Antonio based Artpace in January 2016. Previously, during her seven-year tenure at the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) as President and CEO Veronique refocused and reinvigorated the organization around its mission. Prior to her work in Boston, Veronique directed a number of arts and cultural organizations including the Louisiana Division of the Arts. As the Division’s Executive Director, Veronique successfully restructured Louisiana’s Grants Program and implemented a streamlined grant application process. Veronique holds an MPA in Public Policy & Administration from Columbia University-School of International and Public Affairs, an MFA. in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College, and a BA in Economics/Business Administration from Colorado College.

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David Macy | Resident Director, The MacDowell Colony

David Macy manages the Colony’s 450 acre campus in Peterborough, New Hampshire, where each year more than 300 artists in eight disciplines take up residence for periods of up to two months. Working with a dedicated staff, David strives to sustain the energized yet unpressured atmosphere conducive to creative work and the exchange of ideas. He has served on the boards of the Alliance of Artists Communities, Monadnock Arts Alive!, and New Hampshire Citizens for the Arts. Having managed construction projects in excess of $10M over 20+ years, David brings passion to designing, building, and stewarding physical spaces meant to serve artists’ needs. He is currently shepherding the design process for a new municipal park to be built at the confluence of Peterborough’s two rivers (MacDowell invited architect Fellows to a 2016 design competition). David lives in Peterborough with his daughter Rowan.

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Sharon Maidenberg | Executive Director, Headlands Center for the Arts

Sharon Maidenberg has been an active member of the Bay Area non-profit arts community for more than fifteen years. Appointed Executive Director of Headlands in 2010, Sharon joined Headlands’ staff as Associate Director in 2007 following ten years working with some of San Francisco's most notable contemporary arts organizations, including YBCA, Southern Exposure, San Francisco Art Institute, and New Langton Arts. Sharon accomplishments at Headlands include unprecedented organizational growth – budgetary, programmatically and with regard to capacity, infrastructure and human capital; a series of strategic organizational and business planning initiatives guiding the organization into its fourth decade; an organizational rebranding effort and two successful project specific fundraising campaigns, Sharon serves on the Board of Common Field, a national network of contemporary art organizations. Originally from the east coast, she attended UW Madison where she studied African and Diasporic studies.

Bethany Martin-Breen | Senior Program Associate, The Rockefeller Foundation

Bethany Martin-Breen is a Senior Program Associate for Strategic Insights and Bellagio Programs at The Rockefeller Foundation. In this role Bethany manages strategic partnerships to support the research and development of programmatic initiatives at the Foundation. Among these initiatives, Bethany is working on programming and operations for the Foundation’s Bellagio Center and has been tasked with updating and strengthening the Center’s strategy and partnerships for the Artist Residency Program. Bethany holds a master’s degree in art history and archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, and a second master’s degree in library and information science from the Palmer School at Long Island University.

Louise Martorano | Executive Director, RedLine

Louise Martorano holds a BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder and MH from the University of Colorado, Denver with a focus in Contemporary Art History, Theory & Music. She is a recent recipient of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Livingston Fellowship Award and joins the Class of 2017 fellows. She also sits on the advisory committee for the Visiting Artist, Scholar & Design program at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, is the Board Treasurer for the Global Women’s Empowerment Fund, and is on the Board of Trustees for the Harmony Hammond Trust. Under her leadership, RedLine has received the Denver Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (2014 & 2015), the Greenway Foundation’s “Partner in Change” (2015), and recognition from Denver Public Schools for excellence in community engagement.

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Shanai Matteson | Artist and Collaborative Director, Water Bar & Public Studio

Shanai Matteson is a writer, public artist and organizer who leads and supports collaborative public art and design projects as part of the collective Works Progress Studio. Shanon is also the co-founder and Collaborative Director of Water Bar & Public Studio, a bar that serves free local tap water, and also functions as a community art space and incubator of collaborative projects on water, place and environment. Shanai is interested in locally-focused creative work at the margins of established fields and practices, and believes that edges and intersections provide fertile ground for artists and designers to learn and create, with and in community. Originally from a small town in northern Minnesota, Sharon now lives in Minneapolis, but works with other artists and organizations across the Mississippi River watershed.

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Nat May | Executive Director + Co-founder, Hewnoaks Artist Colony

Nat May is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Hewnoaks Artist Colony, a rustic retreat located in Western Maine that encourages emerging and mid-career artists by offering time and space to work on their practice. Nat is curating the Portland Museum of Art's 2018 Biennial exhibition and is a co-founder and board member of Common Field. From 2004-2016 he was the Executive Director of SPACE Gallery in Portland, Maine, a nonprofit art space, studio building and grant making organization. He was a co-founder of the Bakery Photo Collective, a not-for-profit darkroom and digital photo lab. He has served on the boards of the Portland Arts and Cultural Alliance, Portland's Downtown District, and Creative Portland.

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Dale Mott | Director of External Relations, Halcyon

Dale A. Mott is a highly-creative, results-driven resource development professional with 25 years’ experience and expertise generating revenue for and increasing the profile of expanding global, national and local nonprofit organizations. Prior to becoming the director of external relations for Halcyon, Dale served as director of strategic advancement for Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, where he raised $20 million for the theater’s capital campaign including funding for POWER PLAYS— a commissioning project goaled to confirm 25 new plays celebrating American power and politics from 1776 to the present. Prior to Arena Stage, Dale served as director of development for The Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of modern art. He has enjoyed leadership positions for the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, CARE, and Accordia Global Health Foundation. Dale completed graduate work at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, after earning a BA in sociology with high honors from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Cultural DC, and is active with the Washington Project for the Arts and The Agora Culture’s Art on the Vine—a Martha’s Vineyard-based summer visual art fair featuring established African American artists. He and his partner, Kenneth P. Hyle, Jr., who serves as senior deputy general counsel for the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Prison, are active art collectors.

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Devon Murphy | Digital Content Lead, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Devon Murphy is Digital Content Lead at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. Devon co-developed the Centre’s content strategy in 2016, and creates written and video pieces about the practices of emerging and established artists. She’s the founding editor of Banff Centre’s new biannual publication, InStudio, produced in partnership with Rogers Media. Devon is the former blog editor for Huffington Post Canada, and is also a freelance writer for outlets like CBC, Vice, and BuzzFeed.

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Nik Nerburn | Filmmaker/Photographer

Nik Nerburn is a research-based storyteller, filmmaker and photographer. Nik is interested in personal histories, folklore and regionalism, being equally informed by documentary journalism and avant-garde forms. Nik's work often involves essayistic interventions in archival materials to explore regional histories, focusing on stories that stand at the intersection of power, memory, nostalgia, race and place.

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Michael Orlove | Director of Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works, Artist Communities and International Activities | Multidisciplinary Arts, National Endowment for the Arts

Michael Orlove has been Director of Artists Communities, Presenting and Multidisciplinary Works for the National Endowment for the Arts since 2012. In October 2013, Michael also took over the NEA's International Activities. Previously, Orlove spent 19 years as senior program director for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. His tenure with the department led to nearly two decades of innovation, creativity and passion for public service with the City of Chicago. Michael helped transform the Chicago Cultural Center into a prime downtown performing arts venue, as well as launched Chicago SummerDance and World Music Festival: Chicago, two staples in the summer festival season. Michael also served as the director of music programming in Millennium Park since its grand opening in 2004 and helped establish many of the program series at that venue. Honors include being named one of the 'Chicagoans of the Year' in music by the Chicago Tribune in both 1999 and 2009, as well as one of Chicago's 'Global Visionaries' by Chicago Public Radio WBEZ and the Chicago Matters: Beyond Burnham series. He has a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MA in Performing Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago.

Craig T. Peterson | Artistic Director, Abrons Arts Center

Henry Street Settlement just named Craig Peterson artistic director and deputy program officer of the Abrons Arts Center in the visual and performing arts division. He recently served as the Director of Programs and Presentation at Gibney Dance, a multi-faceted center for dance development, training and presentation in New York City. For ten years he served on the staff at Dance Theater Workshop (DTW, now known as New York Live Arts). For four years he served as the organization’s Co-Artistic Director, responsible for developing, implementing and producing a platform of programs designed specifically to support, serve and present the work of local, national and international performing artists. After moving to Philadelphia in 2009, Craig launched and directed the Live Arts Brewery (LAB), a research and development program meant to support integrated, long term residencies and engagement activities for local and national artists as part of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. For three years he was the Director and Producer of the annual Philly Fringe Festival, a three-week city-wide festival featuring the work of more than 200 performing artists and companies with the explicit mission to activate communities around artistic practice, presentation and creative place-making. He has served on numerous panels for inter/national arts funding institutions, consulted with various arts and social service organizations as a program site assessor and lecturer, and has traveled extensively nationally and internationally to identify emerging talent and connect with artists and arts organizations worldwide.

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Elizabeth Quinn | Creative Director, Caldera

Elizabeth Quinn has worked to develop creative programming for underserved young people and for professional artists and teaching artists at Caldera for nearly five years. She develops curriculum, community engagement projects, and directs Caldera's Artist in Residence program. Previous to Caldera, she was the Founding Editor of High Desert Journal, a publication that today, after 12 years, strives through arts and literature for a deeper understanding of the interior West. She was involved in the formation of Playa, a residency program in the southeastern desert of Oregon and worked there as the Program Manager. Her first position in arts administration was in 1993 - 1995, she was the Executive Director of The Dalles Art Center in The Dalles, Oregon. Elizabeth is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and was selected for the 2016 class of CAELI (Community Arts Education Leadership Institute).

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Zeyba Rahman | Senior Program Officer, Building Bridges Program, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art

Zeyba Rahman is Senior Program Officer for the Building Bridges Program of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Zeyba manages national grant-making for projects that advance relationships, increase understanding, and reduce bias between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Previously, Zeyba led internationally recognized projects including: director, Asia and North America, Fes Festival of World Sacred Music; artistic director, Arts Midwest’s Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet; curator, BAM’s Mic Check Hip Hop; creative consultant, Public Programs, Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia Galleries; chief curator, Alliance Francaise’s World Nomads Morocco Festival; and project director, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation/National Endowment for the Arts' Global Cultural Connections. An advisor to Artworks for Freedom, Zeyba serves on the nominating committee of the Civitella Foundation in Italy.

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Madalena Salazar | IMTour, TourWest Program and Grants Manager, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF)

Madalena Salazar is the IMTour™ and TourWest Program and Grants Manager for WESTAF. She is responsible for administering grants that support the touring and professional development of independent musicians and performing artists as they engage with non-profit venues. As an arts administrator, consultant, and educator, she has focused on building inclusion and equity in the arts at all levels. Madalena spent her career serving the needs of marginalized and under-resourced populations through education, outreach, and advocacy programs in the non-profit, university, and cultural settings. She also serves as Principal of 3rd Space Vision, and was the first Latino Cultural Programs Coordinator for the Denver Art Museum, and an educator at the Brooklyn Museum where she piloted the first bilingual family program. Madalena is active in her community as a founding member of Denver’s LatinasGive! philanthropic group, the Cultural Workers of Color network, and the COmnidad museum professional network. Madalena is an alumnus of the Circle of Latina Leadership, and WESTAF’s Emerging Leaders of Color program. She is a former board member of DAM’s Alianza de las Artes Americanas, and Alliance of American Museums’ Latino Network; has sat on panels for the NEA Creativity Connects grant, and Denver’s public art selection committee; and co-authored “Engaging Latino Audiences: Visitor Studies in Practice at the Denver Art Museum” in Museums and Multiculturalism Today. Madalena received a BA in Anthropology (Archaeology), Magna Cum Laude, and an MA in Art History (Arts of the Americas concentration) from the University of New Mexico.

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Richard Saxton | Creative Director, M12 Studio

Richard Saxton is Associate Professor of Post-Studio Practice at University of Colorado and the Director of the Rural Environments Field School and Archive. He is an artist, designer, and educator whose work focuses primarily on rural knowledge and landscape. Richard's work is conceived through an interdisciplinary cultural framework, and can be contextualized through social and site-based art practice. Richard's work has been described as contemporary vernacular, non-heroic, and an art infused with rural experience without subscribing to any one genre or culture. Richard is the founder of the M12 Collective, an interdisciplinary group that develops projects through dialogical and collaborative approaches. M12 creates and supports new modes of art making in often rural and remote areas, and focuses on experiential practices that explore community identity and the value of often under-represented rural communities and their surrounding landscapes.

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Naomi Schliesman | Artist Development Coordinator, Springboard for the Arts

Naomi Schliesman is the Artist Development Director for Springboard for the Arts’ Fergus Falls, MN office, where she leads the Hinge Arts at the Kirkbride residency program and teaches the Work Of Art: Business Skills for Artists workshops. Naomi grew up in Fergus Falls. Naomi has her BFA with an emphasis in sculpture from Minnesota State University Moorhead and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Naomi has received a Fellowship from Ragdale and Kimmel Hardening Nelson Center for the Arts, was awarded 2nd place for Miami University Young Sculptors Competition for William and Dorothy Yeck Award, and was a LEAP finalist for Society of Contemporary Craft Award. Naomi has traveled abroad to Italy, Scotland, Ireland, France, United Kingdom and Belize to study art and has done artist residencies at Vermont Studio Center, VT, Kimmel Hardening Nelson Center for the arts, NE, Ragadale, IL, and Hospitalfield Arts, Arbroath, Scotland. Naomi continues to create and show her work nationally.

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María Paz Segura | General Producer, RAP - Residencias de Arte Panal

María Paz Segura has a degree in Business Administration and a postgraduate specialization in the Creative and Cultural Sector. She is General Producer at RAP - Residencias de Arte Panal, whose mission is to create art exchanges around the world. Through reciprocal agreements RAP receives artists, designers and curators in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and sends artists, designers and curators to other cities. She is responsible for researching about art residencies models, contacting organizations and creating collaborative relationships between Panal 361 and other art residencies in order to bond bridges between countries and strengthen a network. As cultural manager, she also works for independent projects and self-managed cultural spaces in areas related to production, administration, accountability, press and sponsoring, as well as with artists focused in monitoring art projects and enhancing their careers internationally. Previously she was Director of Institutional Articulation at the Cultural Ministery of Buenos Aires Province, developed in diverse industries at the private sector as Automotive, Online Publishing and Consultancy and mentored Business Administration thesis at Buenos Aires University.

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Sanjit Sethi | Director, Corcoran School of the Arts and Design | George Washington University

Born in Rochester, New York, Sanjit Sethi received a BFA in 1994 from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, an MFA in 1998 from the University of Georgia, and an MS in advanced visual studies in 2002 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sanjit has taught at numerous academic institutions including the Memphis College of Art, the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, and California College of the Arts. His work deals with issues of nomadism, identity, the residue of labor, and memory. Sanjit has been Executive Director of the Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) and previous to that was Director of the Center for Art and Public Life and Barclay Simpson Professor/ Chair of Community Arts at the California College of the Arts. Sanjit is currently Director of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University.

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Howie Sneider | Executive Director, The Steel Yard

Howie Sneider is a public artist, community organizer and the Executive Director of the Steel Yard in Providence, RI. The Steel Yard is an award-winning industrial arts center, a non-profit organization, a manufacturer of custom and functional public-art, a craft school and a shared studio. Howie first came to “the Yard” in 2004 as an artist in residence and has held many different roles in the organization from teaching artist to co-founder of the Steel Yard’s Public Projects Department that has commissioned work from over 250 individual artist for installation across New England. Howie has a BFA. in Sculpture from RISD and has attended residencies at Socrates Sculpture Park (NYC) and Stone Quarry Hill Sculpture Park (Cazenovia, NY). Formatted

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Dean Sobel | Director, Clyfford Still Museum

As director of the Clyfford Still Museum, Dean Sobel spearheaded the efforts to create a permanent home for the Clyfford Still Estate, encompassing approximately 3,200 works of art by Still that were donated to the City of Denver in 2004. From 2000 to 2005, Dean was Director of the Aspen Art Museum, a non-collecting kunsthalle. During his tenure, he led the institution through its accreditation process and developed museum goals and programs for its 25th anniversary, including an ambitious presentation of site-specific installations presented around Aspen. Prior to this appointment, from 1995–2000, Dean was Chief Curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum, where he held the joint position of Curator of Contemporary Art.

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Cortney Lane Stell | Executive Director + Chief Curator, Black Cube

Cortney Lane Stell is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Black Cube, a nomadic contemporary art museum based in Denver, Colorado. She has held independent curatorial practice since 2006, which has included curating numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally for museums, university galleries, biennials and art events. Stemming from a philosophical interest in art as communication, Cortney has organized exhibitions that focus on artworks experimental in both conceptual and material nature, including exhibitions with artists such as Liam Gillick, Cyprien Gaillard, Daniel Arsham, and Shirley Tse. Cortney holds an MA from the European Graduate School in Switzerland where she is also a PhD candidate in Media Communications.

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Gary Steuer | President + CEO, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation

Gary Steuer joined the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation as President and CEO in 2013. Since that time he has focused on leveraging the voice and legacy of the Foundation to sustain and strengthen the arts and nonprofit leadership in our community. He is empowering the signature programs and initiatives of the Foundation to ensure they are advancing innovation, excellence, community and quality of life. Prior to joining BSF, Gary served as the Chief Cultural Officer and Director of the Office of Arts, Culture & the Creative Economy for the City of Philadelphia. He also served as Vice President of Private-Sector Affairs and Executive Director, Arts & Business Council for Americans for the Arts in New York. Gary spent 12 years as President and CEO and Director of New York Programs for Arts and Business Council Inc., prior to its merger with Americans for the Arts. Gary spent significant time in the theatre and cultural industry holding Director positions at the National Actors Theatre, New York State Council on the Arts and Vineyard Theatre. Gary holds a BA from New York University, where he also completed studies for an MA in Performing Arts Management, as well as studying at the Stern School of Business. Gary has been a regular writer and speaker on topics such as cultural policy, philanthropy, creative economy and arts management. He has served on many boards and is a current director for Clyfford Still Museum and Grantmakers in the Arts.

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Ben Strader | Co-Director, Blue Mountain Center

Ben Strader is the Co-Director of Blue Mountain Center, a conference center and residency program for writers, activists and artists committed to social justice in Blue Mountain Lake, New York. Since 2009 Ben has designed annual Focus Residencies that bring artists, activists and cultural workers together to confront issues such as mass incarceration, immigration, climate change, the costs of war and protecting our commons. Ben has served on the New York State Council of the Arts Literature Panel, and helped create the Adirondack Nonprofit Network, a group dedicated to supporting Adirondack communities and the non-profit organizations that serve them. Ben was the founding board chair of the Indian Lake Theater, a new community stage and screen that grew out of a defunct movie house in rural Hamilton County, NY. Ben’s also the Secretary of the Blue Mountain Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

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Frederick Swanson | Research Geologist, USDA Forest Service

Frederick J. Swanson is a research geologist with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, in Corvallis, Oregon, and a Forest Service lead scientist for the ecosystem research team based at the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest in the Oregon Cascade Range. As an earth scientist with a long history of research on physical processes in forest and stream ecosystems, Frederick has been attentive to long-term changes in the land and our relationship with the land. This work is built on interdisciplinary experience: first in collaborations of earth and life scientists; then with forest land managers; with social scientists especially in the context of conflict over the future of public forest lands; and, for the past decade, with the humanities and creative writer communities.

 

David Szlasa | Director, Petronio Residency Initiative

[bio to come]

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Sylvia Torti | Associate Director, Mapping Meaning

Sylvia Torti is an ecologist and fiction writer. She completed her PhD at the University of Utah, focusing on the unique and little understood phenomenon of tropical monodominance (natural monocultures) in Congo, Africa. Her first novel, The Scorpion’s Tail, was published in 2005 and won the Miguel Mármol Award for best debut fiction by an American Latino/a. Her second novel, CAGES, was published in May 2017 by Schaffner Press and won the Nicolas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature. Her short stories and essays have been published in numerous magazines and edited volumes. Sylvia’s interdisciplinary background has allowed her to develop unique collaborations with artists, which have resulted in new undergraduate courses, such as the Dual Immersion: Landscape Ecology/Landscape Painting, Science and Storytelling, and an Integrated Minor in Ecology and Legacy. She is currently Dean of the Honors College, University of Utah and Associate Director of Mapping Meaning.

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Rebecca Vaughan | Artistic and Programming Director, PlatteForum

Rebecca Vaughan was born and raised in Denver, CO, and has lived in the Netherlands and Nova Scotia, Canada. She received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University and BFA cum laude in Sculpture at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is currently the Artistic Director of PlatteForum, a non-profit which hosts artists-in-residence from all over the world. While in residence, the artists are paired with underserved youth to create artworks which address topics of social justice and community. Rebecca recently served as the Program Director for the Art Students League of Denver and was the Chair of Fine Arts and Head of Sculpture at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. She held a residency as a Resource Artist at Redline Denver from 2011-2013. Previously, Rebecca worked as the project manager for Ann Hamilton's 2008 Circles of O performance, and assisted in other projects in Dialog: City, a city- wide arts event for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. She served as an Artist-Teacher for the Vermont College of Fine Art and was a visiting instructor at Bowling Green State University, OH. She recently exhibited her work in the Denver Biennial of the Americas exhibit First Draft and the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition Thief Amongst Thieves. She has shown widely in the Colorado region as well as in New York, Los Angeles, Mexico, Canada and China. Her work has been in publications including the Chicago Art Journal and KnitKnit. Rebecca has received state grants from the Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities and the Ohio Arts Council.

Weissman

Evan Weissman | Executive Director, Warm Cookies of the Revolution

Evan Weissman is founding executive director of Warm Cookies of the Revolution, the world's first Civic Health Club, where he smashes together arts and civic engagement into fun and weird things. Evan spent 12 years as company member of Buntport Theater Company winning over 100 awards as playwright, director, designer, and actor. Evan was formerly a Kellogg Foundation Leadership for Community Change Fellow with Mi Casa Resource Center for Women and a Jane Addams-Andrew Carnegie Graduate Fellow for Leadership and Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University. Evan was appointed by the Mayor to serve as a Denver Commissioner for Cultural Affairs in 2016/2017.

Wilson

Risë Wilson | Director of Philanthropy, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Risë Wilson is the inaugural Director of Philanthropy for the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. As a member of the foundations senior leadership team, Risë is spearheading the design of a grants program that embodies the fearlessness, innovation, and multidisciplinary approach Rauschenberg demonstrated in both his artistic practice and charitable endeavors. Before entering the field of cultural philanthropy, Risë founded The Laundromat Project, an award-winning organization that mounts public art projects and other art programs in local laundromats as a way to amplify the creative power of neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy, Harlem, and the South Bronx. Risë nineteen-year tenure in arts and culture includes roles at the Ford Foundation, Parsons, MoMA, and the International Center for Photography. Risë holds a BA from Columbia University and an MA from New York University.

Wood

Cedra Wood | Independent Artist

Artist Cedra Wood insinuates herself into natural environments through residencies and independent travel. Cedra's paintings and drawings are the result of ongoing investigation into human/ecological relationships. Engaging with ideas of belonging and survival, Cedra interweaves human characters and natural environments, sometimes mimicking the tactics of other, better-adapted creatures in order to create imagery that is by turns comical, wistful, discomfiting, and surreal, investing the landscape with the significance of allegory.

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