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Upcoming Events
10/13/18 - 10/15/18 | Philadelphia | PA
10/15/18 - 10/18/18 | Philadelphia | PA
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Speakers

Keynote Presenters

THEASTER GATES | Wednesday, October 14 | Keynote Address // The Gail Silver Memorial Lecture, presented in partnership with the RISD Museum

THEASTER GATES' practice includes sculpture, installation, performance and urban interventions that aim to bridge the gap between art and life. Theaster works as an artist, curator, urbanist and facilitator, and his projects attempt to instigate the creation of cultural communities by acting as catalysts for social engagement that leads to political and spatial change. The founder of the non-profit Rebuild Foundation, he is currently a Professor in the Department of Visual Art and Director of Arts and Public Life at the University of Chicago. Theaster has exhibited and performed at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Punta della Dogana, Venice; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; and Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany; among others. The recent winner of Artes Mundi 6, Gates has also received awards and grants from Creative Time, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, United States Artists, Creative Capital, the Joyce Foundation, Graham Foundation, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and Artadia.

ROSANNE SOMERSON | Wednesday, October 14 | Welcome Address

ROSANNE SOMERSON is a furniture designer/maker, educator, and Rhode Island School of Design’s 17th President. She previously served in the role of Provost and chief academic officer. She simultaneously maintains a robust creative practice, designing and creating furniture for exhibitions and commissions. She has received numerous awards and citations for her work as a designer, artist, and teacher, most recently the Award of Distinction for lifetime achievement in the field of studio furniture by the Furniture Society. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the world and is represented in many prestigious private, corporate, and museum collections. She has served on the boards of the Haystack Mountain School, in Maine, the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, is a named Fellow of the American Craft Council, and is the subject of an interview that forms part of the Smithsonian Institute Archives of American Art Oral History Program.

PATRICE WALKER POWELL | Thursday, October 15 | Lunch Plenary // Looking Back, Moving Forward: Advancing Cultural Equity | Senator Pell Lecture on Arts + Humanities

Honoring the late Claiborne Pell – who was instrumental in the development of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities – this year’s Pell Lecture celebrates the 30th anniversary of Rhode Island’s Expansion Arts program and challenges us to develop a more equitable arts ecosystem. PATRICE WALKER POWELL, retired Deputy Chairman for Grants and Awards at the NEA, will be joined by JEFFREEN HAYES, bridge/arts; CLYDE VALENTIN, Meadows School of the Arts; and RAYMOND TWO HAWKS WATSON, Eastern Medicine Singers.

The 2015 Senator Pell Lecture "Looking Back, Moving Forward: Advancing Cultural Equity" is presented by the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, in partnership with Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, the Rhode Island Foundation, and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. This project is part of the Pell Humanities Initiative in Rhode Island to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

JANE CHU, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts | Friday, October 16 | Morning Keynote

JANE CHU is the eleventh chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. With a background in arts administration and philanthropy, Chairman Chu is also an accomplished artist and musician. She was born in Shawnee, OK, but was raised in Arkadelphia, AR, the daughter of Chinese immigrants. In addition to awarding $116 million in grants during her tenure to-date, Chairman Chu has issued new research reports on arts participation and the impact of the arts and cultural industries on the nation's gross domestic product; announced a collaborative funding program with the National Park Service; and in celebration of the agency's upcoming 50th anniversary, launched the Tell Us Your Story project. In the fall of 2015, Chairman Chu will announce the details of her signature leadership initiative, Creativity Connects. The program will show how central the arts are to the country's creativity ecosystem; investigate how support systems for the arts have changed; and explore how the arts connect with other industries. She served as the president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, MO, fund executive at the Kauffman Fund for Kansas City, vice president of external relations for Union Station Kansas City, and vice president of community investment for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. 

JED HANCOCK-BRAINERD + REBECCA NOON | Friday, October 16 | Morning Plenary // Rhode Island Artist Medley

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts will welcome and introduce each of the keynote artists:

IFA BAYEZA // JED HANCOCK-BRAINERD + REBECCA NOON // CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON with SOKEO ROS + RACHEL ROSENKRANTZ // MARY BETH MEEHAN

With so many phenomenal local artists, we couldn’t pick just one! Our Rhode Island Artist Medley will feature performances, readings, talks, and more from just a few of the state’s established and emerging creative voices. Presented in partnership with Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

Performers

TONY BALKO + A.E. PATERRA | Tuesday, October 13 | Opening Party Performance

Discodecahedonism is a psychedelic audiovisual performance by ACRE’s TONY BALKO and A.E. PATERRA (Zombi, Majeure). Motorized geometric sculptures, flashing lights and throbbing synthesizers create a future vibe only dreamt of by the polyester-clad revelers of yore. Leave your cares behind, these are the good times.

In AS220's Black Box Theater at 95 Empire Street from 7:30pm - 8pm.

ARVID TOMAYKO + HANNAH THOMPSON | Friday, October 16 | Evening Reception Performance

Connect | Disconnect is a performance project by ARVID TOMAYKO and HANNAH THOMPSON about how humans connect (or not) with each other in the twenty-first century. Wearable fabric sculptures control an electronic soundscape. The sculptures are able to connect to each other via "tentacles" with audio plugs in order to engage with the idea of human emotional and intellectual connections through the media of physical movement and sound manipulation.

Presenters

Mike Andrews | Academic Director, Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency; Associate Professor, Department of Fiber and Material Studies, SAIC (Saugatuck, MI)
Mary-Kim Arnold | Director of Evaluation and Learning, Rhode Island Foundation (Providence, RI)
Robert E. Azar | Deputy Director, City of Providence's Department of Planning and Development (Providence, RI)
Tony Balko + A.E. Paterra | Artists (Kingston, RI + Pittsburgh, PA)
Shura Baryshnikov | Choreographer, Dancer + Educator (Providence, RI)
Karen Allen Baxter | Managing Director, Rites and Reason Theatre (Providence, RI)
Ifa Bayeza | Playwright + Director (Providence, RI)
Daniel van Benthuysen | Artist (Huntington, NY)
Kathy Black | Program Director, Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT)
Jay Brown | Founder + Director, Lijiang Studio (Providence, RI)
Jennifer Calienes | National Arts Consultant (Marblehead, MA)
Ben Cameron | Program Director for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (New York, NY)
Ennis Carter | Founding Director, Social Impact Studios (Philadelphia, PA)
Amy Cassello | Associate Producer - Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) (Brooklyn, NY)
Christina Catanese | Director of Environmental Art, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (Philadelphia, PA)
Elizabeth Chodos | Executive + Creative Director, Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency (Saugatuck, MI)
Jane Chu | Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts (Washington, DC)
David N. Cicilline | United States Congressman, Rhode Island (Washington, DC)
Curt Columbus | Artistic Director, Trinity Repertory Company (Providence, RI)
Nicholas Constantakis | President, Constantakis Consulting Group (Brewster, NY)
Alec De León | Program Specialist, National Performance Network - Visual Artist Network (New Orleans, LA)
Sherry Dobbin | Creative Director + Director of Times Square Arts, Times Square Alliance (New York, NY)
Silvia Duarte | Program Manager, City of Asylum (Pittsburgh, PA)
Linda Earle | Executive Director, New York Arts Program (New York, NY)
Eastern Medicine Singers | Algonquin drum group (Providence, RI)
Cathy Edwards | Executive Director, New England Foundation for the Arts (Boston, MA)
Nina Elder | Residency Program Manager, Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM)
Jorge O. Elorza | Mayor, City of Providence (Providence, RI)
Marie Fol | Programme Manager, DutchCulture | TransArtists (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Aaron Forrest | Principal, Ultramoderne; Assistant Professor, RISD Architecture (Providence, RI)
Susan Friel | Cultural Coordinator, City of Chicago - Department of Cultural Affairs + Special Events (Chicago, IL)
Mario Garcia Durham | President + CEO, Association of Performing Arts Presenters (Washington, DC)
Carolina García Jayaram | CEO, United States Artists (Chicago, IL)
Theaster Gates | Artist + Founder, Rebuild Foundation (Chicago, IL)
Tony Grant | Executive Director, Sustainable Arts Foundation (San Francisco, CA)
Esther Grisham Grimm | Executive Director, 3Arts (Chicago, IL)
Xinxin Guo | Founder, Beijing Studio Center + China Arts Link (Poughkeepsie, NY)
Gia Hamilton | Director, Joan Mitchell Center (New Orleans, LA)
Jed Hancock-Brainerd + Rebecca Noon | Co-Directors, Strange Attractor Theatre (Newport, RI)
Jeffreen Hayes, Ph.D. | Principal + Artistic Producer, bridge/arts (Chicago, IL)
Lisa Hoffman | Associate Director, McColl Center for Art + Innovation (Charlotte, NC)
Randi Hopkins | Associate Director of Visual Arts, Boston Center for the Arts (Boston, MA)
Kemi Ilesanmi
| Executive Director, Laundromat Project (New York, NY)
Maria Rosario Jackson | Senior Advisor, Arts + Culture Program, The Kresge Foundation (Los Angeles, CA)
Naomi Jackson | Writer (Brooklyn, NY)
Christopher Johnson | Spoken Word Artist (Providence, RI)
Aaron Jungels | Co-Founder + Co-Artistic/Executive Director, Everett: Company, Stage and School (Providence, RI)
Jason Kalajainen | Executive Director, Luminarts Cultural Foundation at the Union League Club of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Emma Karasz | Director, Red Gate Residency (Beijing)
Stuart Kestenbaum | Strategist, Craftschools.us (Deer Isle, ME)
Brad Kik | Co-Director, Institute for Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design/ISLAND (Bellaire, MI)
SueEllen Kroll | Director of Grants + Strategic Partnerships, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (Providence, RI)
Melissa Levin | Director of Cultural Programs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (New York, NY)
Stacy Levy | Artist (Spring Mills, PA)
Deenah Loeb | Executive Director, City Parks Association/Art in the Open (Philadelphia, PA)
Jordan MacTavish | Architect, Toshiko Mori Architect (New York, NY)
David Macy | Resident Director, The MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, NH)
Sidy Maïga | Master Percussionist (Providence, RI)
Liz Maugans | Co-Founder + Executive Director, Zygote Fine Art Press (Cleveland, OH)
Nat May | Executive Director, SPACE Gallery (Portland, ME)
Lynne McCormack | Director, City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism (Providence, RI)
Jennifer McGregor | Director of Arts + Senior Curator, Wave Hill ( Bronx, NY)
M. Louise McKay | Director of External Relations, Hedgebrook (Langley, WA)
Jean McLaughlin | Executive Director, Penland School of Crafts (Penland, NC)
Mary Beth Meehan | Photographer + Educator (Providence, RI)
Jeffrey Meeuwsen | Executive Director, The Ragdale Foundation (Lake Forest, IL)
Susan Meier | Principal, Meier and Associates (Washington, DC)
Kiel Moe | Associate Professor of Architecture and Energy, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
Kristin Müller | Executive Director, Peters Valley School of Craft (Layton, NJ)
Jan Mun | Media Artist (New York, NY)
Nick Murphy | Director, Thread Residency (Tambacounda, Senegal)
David Neumann | Artistic Director, Advanced Beginner Group (Thornwood, NY)
Rebecca Noon | Actor + Director (Newport, RI)
Jeremy PatakyIndependent Consultant, Overstory Consulting (Anchorage, AK)
Will Penrose | Director, Rema Hort Mann Foundation (New York, NY)
Carla Peterson | Director, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (Tallahassee, FL)
Craig T. Peterson | Director of Programs + Presentation, Gibney Dance (New York, NY)
Renee Piechocki | Founding Director, Pittsburgh's Office of Public Art (Pittsburgh, PA)
Steven Pincus | National Practice Leader, Fine Arts and Private Client Groups, DeWitt Stern (Mamaroneck, NY)
Jeff Prystowsky | Musician + Founding Member, Columbus Cooperative (Providence, RI)
Laurel Ptak | Executive + Creative Director, Triangle Arts Association (New York, NY)
Elaina Richardson | President, Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, NY)
Shey Rivera Ríos | Artistic Director, AS220 (Providence, RI)
Bruce Rodgers | Executive Director, Hermitage Artist Retreat (Englewood, FL)
Sokeo Ros | Artistic Director/Choreographer, Case Closed! / Everett: Company, Stage and School (Providence, RI)
Randall Rosenbaum | Executive Director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (Providence, RI)
Rachel Rosenkrantz | Musician + Luthier, Atelier Rosenkrantz (Providence, RI)
Tamara Ross | Director - Programming Operations, The Banff Centre (Banff, Alberta, Canada)
Jack Ruderman | Director, Community Solar Initiatives, ReVision Energy (Concord, NH)
Sussy Santana | Poet (Providence, RI)
Kate Schapira | Poet + Professor, Brown University (Providence, RI)
Naomi Schliesman | Artist Development Coordinator, Springboard for the Arts (Fergus Falls, MN)
Roddy Schrock | Director, Eyebeam (Brooklyn, NY)
Jason Schupbach | Director of Design Programs, Visual Arts Division Team Leader, National Endowment for the Arts (Washington, DC)
James Scruggs | Fieldwork Facilitator, The Field (New York, NY)
Sanjit Sethi | Former Executive Director, Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM)
Mary Sherman | Director, TransCultural Exchange (Boston, MA)
Kira Simon-Kennedy | Co-Founder + Director, China Residencies (New York, NY)
Sydney Skybetter | Choreographer, Writer + Technologist (Providence, RI)
Jayson Smart | Program Officer, Rasmuson Foundation (Anchorage, AK)
Rosanne Somerson | President, Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI)
Lise Soskolne | Core Organizer, W.A.G.E. (New York, NY)
Vanphouthon Souvannasane | Director, Yellow Peril Gallery (Providence, RI)
John D. Spiak | Director + Chief Curator, Grand Central Art Center at California State University, Fullerton (Santa Ana, CA)
John Stephenson | Managing Director + Co-Founder, The Rhode Island Writers Colony (Warren, RI)
Caitlin Strokosch | Executive Director, Alliance of Artists Communities (Providence, RI)
Carl Atiya Swanson | Director of Movement Building, Springboard for the Arts (St. Paul, MN)
David Szlasa | Co-Director + Artist, Range Studio (Palo Alto, CA)
Judith Tolnick Champa | Founding Director, Providence Biennial for Contemporary Art (Providence, RI)
Arvid Tomayko + Hannah Thompson | Artists (Providence, RI)
Charles Tracy | National Park Service (Boston, MA)
Sharon Ullman | Chief Operating Officer, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (New York, NY)
Lori Urso | Executive Director, Slater Mill (Pawtucket, RI)
Clyde Valentín | Director, Ignite Arts Dallas (Dallas, TX)
Jacques Louis Vidal | Resident Director, The Lighthouse Works, Inc. (Fishers Island, NY)
Patrice Walker Powell | Retired, Cultural Worker + Public Servant (Alexandria, VA)
Ryan Walsh | Development + Writing Program Director, Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT)
Lauren Was | Co-Director, Art Garda; Critic, Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY)
Raymond Two Hawks Watson | Executive Member, Eastern Medicine Singers (Providence, RI)
David R. White | Artistic Director + Producer, The Yard (Chilmark, MA)
Adrienne Willis | Executive Director, American Dance Institute (Rockville, MD)
Risë Wilson | Director of Philanthropy, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (New York, NY)
Cliff Wood | Musician + Executive Director, Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy (Providence, RI)
Holly Wren Spaulding | Director, Poetry Forge + STORYhouse Partners (Williamsburg, MA)
Jennifer Wright Cook | Executive Director, The Field (New York, NY)
Pippi Zornoza | Co-Founder, Dirt Palace (Providence, RI)

 

Mike Andrews | Academic Director, Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency; Associate Professor, Department of Fiber and Material Studies, SAIC

Mike Andrews is an artist, educator, and administrator living in Chicago. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Academic Director at Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency. Recent exhibitions include William Bennington Gallery, London and a collaboration with New York based textile design company Carnegie.

Mary Kim Arnold | Director of Evaluation and Learning, Rhode Island Foundation

Mary-Kim is the Foundation’s first Director of Evaluation and Learning, charged with developing and overseeing the evaluation of the Foundation’s investments against its strategic priorities. She previously led the Foundation’s grantmaking work in arts and culture. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2011, Mary-Kim was executive director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities where she led the state’s only agency dedicated to funding, supporting, and advancing the role of the humanities in public life. Earlier, she worked in Brown University’s Division of Advancement. A published writer and poet, Mary-Kim also has taught expository and creative writing at Brown, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wheaton College. Mary-Kim earned her bachelor’s degree in English and American literature from Brown University, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Brown. She currently is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in poetry from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals including The Rumpus, where she is Essays Editor. Mary-Kim has been recognized for her leadership by Providence Business News, the YWCA of Northern Rhode Island, and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. The Rhode Island Foundation works to address the needs of Rhode Island’s diverse communities through philanthropy, grantmaking, and community leadership.

Robert E. Azar | Deputy Director, City of Providence Department of Planning + Development

Robert E. Azar is the Deputy Director of the City of Providence’s Department of Planning and Development. He chairs the Rhode Island State Planning Council’s Technical Committee, and is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Urban Studies at Brown University. Bob authored new zoning regulations for Downtown and the land made available through the relocation of Interstate 195 and co-managed the recent rezoning of the entire city. He led the planning effort to revitalize Kennedy Plaza as Providence’s premier downtown civic space, and is currently heading a project to improve downtown traffic circulation for all modes of transportation. Bob holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree in community planning from the University of Rhode Island. He lives in Providence with his wife and two sons.

Shura Baryshnikov | Choreographer, Dancer + Educator

Shura Baryshnikov is an artist committed to the process of creating, producing and performing movement. With a background in physical theatre, contemporary dance and a range of improvisation practices, Shura seeks the creative space where these mediums overlap to inspire somatic exploration and performer versatility. She is a Teaching Associate in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University and has also taught movement and choreography for students at MIT, Dean College, Rhode Island College, Salve Regina University and at Earthdance in Plainfield, MA. Shura’s performance work has been presented by the RISD Museum, Festival Ballet Providence, the Providence Fringe Festival, Brown University, and in Earthdance’s Moving Arts Lab.

 

Karen Allen Baxter | Managing Director, Rites and Reason Theatre

Karen started her career as an arts administrator at the legendary New Lafayette Theatre, Harlem, New York. She also co-produced the Grammy-nominated soundtrack album Reggae Sunsplash - A Tribute to Bob Marley. From 1987 to 1999, she produced the Annual AUDELCO Awards which honor excellence in Black Theatre. Before coming to Rites & Reason, Karen was the executive director of the Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop (FSWW), one of the oldest Harlem-based playwrights' laboratories. As Producer/Managing Director, Department of Africana Studies/Rites and Reason Theatre, she produces each show as well as The Black Lavender Experience – Theatre and Conversation Sparked by Queer Artists of Color; and the Africana Film Festival. In October 2014, she curated the exhibition at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Black Experience at Brown. She studies the West African language, Bambara and worked with the Trilateral Reconnections Project with the University of Cape Town, SA, Brown University and the University of the West Indies. She also teaches and serves on many boards and committees. She chaired The New Lafayette Theatre Project, NYC; and currently chairs the SonEdna Foundation, Karen holds a BS in sociology from the City University of New York, a Certificate in Arts Management from Harvard University, and a MS in Arts Management from Lesley University. She was awarded a 2-year scholarship by August Wilson and completed the Minority Business Executive Program at the Amos Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College.

Ifa Bayeza | Playwright + Director

Ifa Bayeza’s works for theatre include Homer G & the Rhapsodies in the Fall of Detroit, for which she won a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, Welcome to Wandaland, Kid Zero, and the novel, Some Sing, Some Cry, co-authored with her sister Ntozake Shange. Her searing drama, The Ballad of Emmett Till, received its world premiere at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and garnered numerous awards. The Harvard graduate and Rhode Island State Council for the Arts 2014 Artist Fellow was for four years Senior Visiting Lecturer and Distinguished Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Africana Studies at Brown University, where her acclaimed historic drama, String Theory, unveiled as a 2015  Commencement Forum production. Directed by Carl Hancock Rux, the multimedia, multilingual drama featured the Marian Anderson String Quartet performing live. Ifa made her debut as a director at the 2011 National Black Theatre Festival with her musical Charleston Olio, which featured TONY Award-winner Phylicia Rashad and OBIE Award-winner Hattie Winston. She was the original dramaturg and set designer for the landmark New Federal Theatre and Public Theater production of Ntozake Shange's for colored girls... The sisters renewed their collaboration with Ifa re-imagining and directing Ntozake Shange’s a photograph, lovers in motion for the Negro Ensemble Company.

Daniel van Benthuysen | Artist

Daniel van Benthuysen's work as an artist includes 29 years as an art director during which he became director of design for Newsday, the Long Island Newspaper. As a senior editor there, he supervised a staff of 26 illustrators, page designers, and cartographers who contributed drawings and informational graphics to stories that were awarded eight Pulitzers at the paper during his tenure. Currently, he teaches the visual aspects of journalism at Hofstra University. He has studied drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking at the Art Students League of New York where he also served as a monitor for several instructors. His own paintings and drawings have won regional and national awards in juried and museum shows. He's also written for Newsday, the Wall Street Journal and most recently for the New York Times. In August of last year he was artist-in-residence at Weir Farm National Historic Site, an experience he describes as "nothing short of transformative."

 

Kathy Black | Program Director, Vermont Studio Center

Kathy Black is the Program Director at the Vermont Studio Center, where she has been for over 20 years. Prior to her work in this residency program, she taught in several college art programs in Vermont. Kathy grew up in Chicago, holds a BA in English from the University of Illinois, a BFA in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in painting from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Kathy has attended residencies at Oxbow, MI and La Napoule, France and exhibited her paintings in Vermont and around the U.S.

 

Jay Brown | Founder + Director, Lijiang Studio

In 2004 Jay founded Lijiang Studio, an arts practice based in a rural farming village in southwest China’s Yunnan Province. Since then, Lijiang Studio has facilitated and produced about 100 residencies and 35 exhibitions in urban, rural, domestic, public, and private settings. These events are co-curated with the artists involved and with members of that local community. Highlights include Jianghu Mobile Video, Kunming, 2005, To Raise One Question After Another, Beijing 2007, Another China, Berlin 2008, World Heritage Beer Garden Picnic, Lashihai, 2008, Our Host! Gone Just Like That, New York/Providence, 2011, EXOTIKA, Berlin/Bangkok, 2013, Distortion of Distortion, Lashihai, 2014. Before Lijiang Studio, Jay worked at the Nature Conservancy’s China Program, based in Yunnan and at various museums including the National Palace Museum in Taipei and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Jay graduated from Princeton University in 2001 with a degree in Art History and certificate in East Asian Studies.

Jennifer Calienes | Independent Consultant + Senior Advisor, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography

Jennifer S.B. Calienes is a Massachusetts-based arts consultant, currently working on a range of national dance initiatives with AXIS Dance Company, DANCECleveland and Urban Bush Women. As Founding Director of MANCC (2004-2014), Jennifer developed the nation's first choreographic center, the only such center in the world situated within a research university. Partnering with artists, presenters, residency sites and funders, the Center became a catalyst, model, and acknowledged anchor for contemporary dance makers across the US during a time of great economic uncertainty. From 1999-2004, Jennifer served as Program Manager for the National Dance Project at the New England Foundation for the Arts. She is an active advocate for contemporary dance makers and the support of new work, and has served as panelist, chair and facilitator for programs at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, The MAP Fund, National Endowment for the Arts and United States Artists. She is a founding partner of the Hatchery Project and a Founding Board Member of the National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron. She holds a BS in Arts Administration with a Dance Concentration from Butler University.

 

Ben Cameron | Program Director for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Since 2006, Ben Cameron has been Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation supervising a $14 million grants program focusing on organizations and artists in the theatre, contemporary dance, jazz and presenting fields. In 2012, the Foundation announced a special additional allocation to the arts of $50 million initiative to serve individual artists, which also falls under Ben’s supervision. Previously, he served as the Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization for the nonprofit professional theatre.  Other roles include Senior Program Officer at the Dayton Hudson Foundation, Manager of Community Relations for Target Stores (supervising its national grantmaking program) and Director of the Theater Program at the National Endowment for the Arts. He has served on the national boards of the Arts and Business Council and Grantmakers in the Arts; and received honorary doctorates from Goucher College in Baltimore, and DePaul University in Chicago and an honorary MFA from the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, in addition to earning an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. In 2011 was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the government of France; and in 2012 received the Sidney Yates Arts Advocacy Award from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. He continues to teach a guest seminar every year at the Yale School of Drama and is in his eighth year of service as a member of the Tony Awards Nominating Committee.

Ennis Carter | Founding Director, Social Impact Studios

Ennis Carter is the founding director of Social Impact Studios, based in Philadelphia, PA. Ennis began her career as a community organizer, after studying Philosophy at New York University. After 10 years in the non-profit field, she started Social Impact Studios to promote public interest initiatives through a unique combination of marketing strategies and grassroots organizing principles. Ennis specializes in movement-building through action planning, creative design, and campaign management.

 

Amy Cassello | Associate Producer - Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)

Amy Cassello joined BAM in 2012 in the newly-created position of Associate Producer for BAM’s influential Next Wave Festival. She works closely with BAM’s longtime Executive Producer, Joseph Melillo, who curates artistic work for the robust festival that spans the genres of theater, dance, music, opera, and many hybrid forms. Prior to BAM, Amy served as the Executive Director of Urban Bush Women and Managing Director of the Doug Elkins Dance Company, and developed and managed programs for New Haven’s Department of Cultural Affairs, The International Festival of Arts & Ideas, and Dance Theater Workshop. She serves as Hub Site Representative to the National Dance Project, and continues her independent consultancy work with choreographers Doug Elkins and Souleymane Badolo (of Burkina Faso). Amy is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.

Christina Catanese | Director of Environmental Art, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

Christina Catanese oversees all aspects of the environmental arts program in gallery spaces and on the Schuylkill Center’s 340 acres of forests and fields, as a complement to other educational programs to inspire meaningful connections with nature. She has advanced a range of innovative art projects, including LandLab, a new artist residency program where artists explore remediation of environmental issues on the Center’s property in collaboration with scientists, staff, and other experts. Christina brings a strong grounding in both art and science with experience in environmental studies, hydrogeology, experiential education, arts management, and modern dance. She has a Masters in Applied Geosciences from the University of Pennsylvania, complementing her BA at Penn in Environmental Studies and Political Science. Prior to the Schuylkill Center, she was a physical scientist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and an instructor at the Brown University Environmental Leadership Lab summer program. Christina is the creator and choreographer of many modern dance works, and has performed extensively in the Philadelphia region. She is also a founding member of Nova Dance Company (Wilmington, DE).

 

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.

David N. Cicilline | United States Congressman, Rhode Island

David N. Cicilline was born on the South Side of Providence, RI and attended Brown University as an undergraduate and later earned a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. David worked as a public defender in the District of Columbia before returning to Rhode Island to practice law. In 1994, he was elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives, where he soon earned a reputation as a fierce champion of political reform and gun safety, and his dedication to ethics won him Common Cause’s top ranking. David was first elected mayor of the City of Providence in 2002, and re-elected for a second term in 2006. David’s eight years in office were characterized by the implementation of a formal city ethics code, the influx of $3 billion in new investment, the lowest crime rates in more than four decades, and the implementation of a nationally recognized after-school program. In 2010, David decided to run for Congress by focusing on putting Rhode Islanders back to work and protecting important social service programs for seniors and families. After winning the general election, David immediately began fighting for common-sense policies to help get small businesses, manufacturers, families, and seniors through these challenging economic times. He currently serves as a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Curt Columbus | Artistic Director, Trinity Repertory Company

Curt Columbus joined Trinity Rep as artistic director in January 2006. His directing credits for Trinity Rep include Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, His Girl Friday, The Merchant of Venice, Camelot, Cabaret, The Odd Couple, The Secret Rapture, The Receptionist, A Christmas Carol, Memory House, Blithe Spirit, Cherry Orchard, and the world premieres of Stephen Thorne’s The Completely Fictional-Utterly True-Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe and Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Social Creatures. Three of his plays - Paris by Night, The Dreams of Antigone, and Sparrow Grass - premiered at Trinity Rep. Curt’s translations of Chekhov’s plays Three Sisters and Ivanov, as well as his play, Sparrow Grass, are published by Dramatists Play Service. Curt lives in Pawtucket with his husband, Nathan Watson.

Nicholas Constantakis | President, Constantakis Consulting Group

Nicholas S Constantakis is a visual artist and financial management consultant dedicated to the needs of the nonprofit, foundation and NGO community. Over the past 15 years he has provided organizations in varying stages of growth with the tools to not only function efficiently, but also in a fiscally transparent manner as is typically required by boards, donors and governmental agencies. He brings a range of experience working with organizations focused on arts and culture, human rights, education and international development. Clients have included: Al Mawred Al Thaqafy, Ashkal Alwan, Coalition of Immokolee Workers, FilmAid International, Ford Foundation, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, The Perlman Music Program, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Townhouse Gallery and the Vermont Studio Center. As a visual artist, his work has been included in exhibitions at Salena Gallery at Long Island University, FiveMyles, Bowman, Penelec and Megahan Art Galleries at Allegheny College, Smack Mellon, Helen Day Art Center, Holtzman Gallery at Towson University, Viridian Gallery, Corcoran Gallery of Art, the White House and the Art Museum of the Americas. He serves on the board of FiveMyles, a non-profit exhibition and performance space located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

 

Alec De León | Program Specialist, National Performance Network - Visual Artist Network

Alec De León is the Program Specialist of the National Performance Network (NPN) / Visual Artists Network (VAN). NPN/VAN supports the touring and creation of contemporary performing and visual art. He is an advocate for artists and arts organizations. His work with NPN/VAN includes travel throughout the United States, visiting partner sites and attending national and regional meetings and conferences. He holds an MFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD; and a BFA in Painting and Drawing from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. His artwork has been exhibited in New Orleans, Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore and Florida. He is also the co-founder of the influential, yet largely unknown, psychedelic rock band, the Heatbunnies.

Sherry Dobbin | Creative Director + Director of Times Square Arts, Times Square Alliance

Sherry Dobbin is the Creative Director & Director of Times Square Arts at the Times Square Alliance. Since February 2012, she has developed programs for Times Square’s electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas, popular venues, and online platforms. Ms. Dobbin brings over 20 years international experience across performance and visual arts, and art in the public realm, where she has worked as producer, administrator, consultant and curator. Prior to Times Square, she was the Director of Robert Wilson's The Watermill Center and a Project Director of arts-led regeneration throughout London and Eastern UK. Sherry sits on advisory and review panels for cross-disciplinary arts organizations, including The Laundromat Project, Eyebeam and Open House New York, and co-teaches “The Arts & Artist in Urban Revitalization” at the NYU Robert F Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Silvia Duarte | Program Manager, City of Asylum

Silvia Duarte is the Program Manager of City of Asylum and managing editor of Sampsonia Way. She received her degree in Communication Sciences from Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala and her masters in Latin American studies from the Autonomous University of Madrid in Spain.  Duarte was editor of El Periódico de Guatemala’s Sunday magazine from 2001 to 2006 and has written scholarly and journalistic articles in Germany, Spain, and the United States.

 

Linda Earle | Executive Director, New York Arts Program

Linda Earle is the Executive Director of the New York Arts Program (NYAP), an off-campus study program for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students in the visual, performing, and media arts, writing, and journalism. Before joining NYAP she served as the Executive Director of Programs for the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, one of the nation’s leading organizations for emerging visual artists. She was a senior Program Director at the New York State Council on the Arts where she served in several discipline areas in the performing and visual arts. The Individual Artists Program at NYSCA was founded under her direction in 1984. She has taught media and cultural studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, Hunter College, and Barnard College and has served on numerous grants and commissioning panels and artist advocacy groups. Linda has worked on independent film, theatre, and film and visual arts curatorial projects over the years. As a writer, she has had residencies at Hedgebrook and the Writers Room. She holds an MFA in Film from Columbia University and a BA in Film Culture from Hampshire College. She serves on the Boards of Poets House, Art Matters, Inclusion in the Arts, and the Alliance of Artists Communities.

 

Cathy Edwards | Executive Director, New England Foundation for the Arts

Cathy Edwards joined New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) as Executive Director in January 2015. NEFA is one of six regional arts organizations established with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts  to strengthen the national arts infrastructure by cultivating the arts on a regional level. Today, NEFA’s programs are regional, national, and international in scope, and support artists and communities through grants and other opportunities in dance, music, theater, and public art. Prior to NEFA, Cathy was director of programming at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, CT. She previously served as artistic director at both the Time-Based Art Festival at PICA in Portland, OR, and Dance Theater Workshop in New York City, and as co-director of Movement Research in New York City. Cathy has served on numerous grant-giving and funding panels including the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Connecticut Department of Culture and Tourism, United States Artists, the Japan Foundation, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, MAP Fund and NEFA. She holds a seat on the board of directors of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and previously served as chair of the board of directors at Movement Research and vice-chair of the board of directors at the National Performance Network. She holds a BA in Humanities from Yale College.

 

Nina Elder | Residency Program Manager, Santa Fe Art Institute

Nina Elder grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico where she cultivated a curiosity about gravel pits, mines, and lumber mills. In addition to being Residency Program Manager at SFAI, she is a practicing artist. Nina’s work examines the visual evidence of land use in the American West and its cycles of production, consumption, and waste. She has exhibited nationally, and her work has been included in publications such as Art in America and New American Paintings in addition to numerous collections. After earning her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, Nina returned to northern New Mexico where she co-founded an off-the-grid artist residency program called PLAND: Practice Liberating Art through Necessary Dislocation.

Jorge O. Elorza | Mayor, City of Providence

Mayor Jorge O. Elorza was born in Providence and grew up in the city’s West End. After graduating from Classical High School, he earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Rhode Island and worked as an auditor on Wall Street before going on earn his law degree at Harvard. He then returned to Providence and worked as an attorney for Rhode Island Legal Services, where he provided free counseling to families living in substandard housing and facing eviction. In 2005, he joined the faculty at Roger Williams Law School, specializing in housing law. While at Roger Williams, Jorge received tenure, litigated public interest cases and co-founded the Latino Policy Institute, a think tank dedicated to research on Latino and minority communities in Rhode Island. In 2010, then-Mayor David Cicilline appointed Jorge to the Providence Housing Court, where he served until 2013. Jorge was elected as Providence 38th Mayor and took office in 2015. As Mayor, Jorge is focused on turning Providence around by creating economic opportunity for all, world-class schools, public services that work for everyone and innovative, ethical City government. From delivering developing Providence’s working waterfront, to his administration’s bold plan to eliminate the blight of abandoned properties, Mayor Elorza is making sure Providence is positioned to grow and succeed.

 

Marie Fol | Programme Manager, DutchCulture | TransArtists

Marie Fol is the programme manager of TransArtists at DutchCulture, Centre for International Cooperation (Amsterdam, The Netherlands). TransArtists is the international platform for artist mobility, offering expertise and services about artist-in-residence programs as well as other cultural opportunities for artists to stay and work elsewhere. Through its website, TransArtists provides information about over 1500 residency programs worldwide and additional resources on funding, related platforms and research. Marie joined TransArtists in December 2010, working on the TransArtists website (chief editor since 2012) and on European cooperation projects supporting artists’ mobility and Art and Sustainability. Marie collaborates regularly with several international cultural networks focusing on residencies, artists’ mobility and related topics for TransCultural Exchange, Res Artis, On the Move, IETM, European Pépinières for young artists. Over the past 4 years, Marie has contributed to the cultural mobility information network On the Move, working on the research dossier Move On! Cultural mobility for beginners.

Aaron Forrest | Principal, Ultramoderne; Assistant Professor, RISD Architecture

Aaron Forrest is a licensed architect and co-founder of the architectural design studio Ultramoderne, focused on our perception of the world and how we engage it in everyday experience. Aaron is currently Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. He received both his Bachelors Degree and Masters in Architecture from Princeton University. Prior to RISD, Aaron taught studios at the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University. He has practiced in New York with Bernheimer Architecture and Guy Nordenson and Associates Structural Engineers, and in Madrid with Ábalos & Herreros Arquitectos. Aaron  was a designer-in-residence at MoMA PS1 for the Rising Currents exhibition, and has conducted several studies of larger scale constructed environments. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Boston Society of Architects, the Center for Land-Use Interpretation, and at the 2006 Venice Biennale. His office was recently selected by Van Alen Institute and the National Park Service to lead a team to develop a new approach to visitor experience at Weir Farm National Historic Site.

 

Susan Friel | Cultural Coordinator, City of Chicago - Department of Cultural Affairs + Special Events

[bio to come]

Mario Garcia Durham

Mario Garcia Durham | President + CEO, Association of Performing Arts Presenters

In October 2011, Mario Garcia Durham became the fifth president and CEO of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters since its founding in 1957. He comes to APAP from the National Endowment for the Arts where he was Director of Artist Communities and Presenting. At the NEA, Mario was a contributing team member of such programs as An Evening of Poetry hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama, the NEA Opera Honors, and he inaugurated the Artist Communities granting program. After holding numerous management positions and serving as artistic director at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 1990s, he founded Yerba Buena Arts & Events in 2000, the producing organization of the annual Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. The outdoor event offers more than 100 free performances by the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Ballet and more for an audience of 100,000 attendees. Mario has previously served on numerous boards including Galeria de la Raza and APAP’s board and executive committee. He is currently a board member of the Alliance of Artist Communities and the National Center for Creative Aging and is board chair of the Performing Arts Alliance.  

Carolina García Jayaram | CEO, United States Artists

Carolina García Jayaram joined United States Artists as President and Chief Executive Officer in February 2014. With an entrepreneurial approach to supporting artists, she has been working with the USA Board and donors to respond to the ever-changing needs and interests of this country’s most accomplished artists. Prior to joining USA, Carolina served as Executive Director of the Chicago Artists Coalition, and was the co-founder and Executive Director of Cannonball (formerly LegalArt) in Miami, Florida. She was the Director of Literary Programs at PEN American Center in New York City, where she oversaw the Readers & Writers Program, and managed the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Award. Carolina is a member of the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council for the city of Chicago, served on the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan Advisory Committee, and is on the Cannonball board of directors. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the New School University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law, where she was a H.O.P.E. Award and Alumni Achievement Award recipient. In 2008, she had the distinct privilege to be a Miami Fellows Initiative Fellow. In 2013, The Chicago Tribune named her the "Chicagoan of the Year in Arts".  

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 Grimm's lifelong career in the arts spans administration, museum education, arts education, and philanthropy. She is the Executive Director of 3Arts, a nonprofit grantmaking organization dedicated to supporting women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities working in the performing, teaching, and visual arts in Chicago through unrestricted grants, residency fellowships, project support, and advocacy. Esther has worked as a freelance writer, researcher, and editor since 1990, with reviews and features in a variety of magazines, exhibition catalogues, book projects, and gallery guides. She authored six children’s non-fiction, art-activity books focusing on the art of ancient and living cultures. Currently, she serves on the boards of the Alliance of Artists Communities and The Hypocrites. She is also a member of the Grantmakers in the Arts Individual Artist Support Committee. In 2013, she founded the Local Artist Funders Group, an active cohort of ten Chicago funders who support individual artists. Esther is also a flute player.

 

Xinxin Guo | Founder, Beijing Studio Center + China Arts Link

Xinxin Guo is a social entrepreneur with ten years’ experience in international cultural exchange, independent artist residency center development, and public-private partnerships. She is the founder of Beijing Studio Center and China Arts Link.

Gia Hamilton

Gia Hamilton | Director, Joan Mitchell Center

Gia Hamilton was named Director of the Joan Mitchell Center - an artist residency and community space in New Orleans under the umbrella of the Joan Mitchell Foundation - in 2013 after serving as a consultant since 2011. Hamilton, a New Orleans native, received her bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from New York University and her master’s degree in applied anthropology from CUNY Graduate Center. She worked in the northeast before returning to her native city in 2009, when she established a consulting group, the Gris Gris Lab, and worked with nonprofit organizations as a trainer, organizer, facilitator and independent curator.

 

Jed Hancock-Brainerd + Rebecca Noon | Co-Directors, Strange Attractor Theatre 

Jed is a native Rhode Islander, a URI grad, and a RISD Museum guard. Rebecca is a transplant from the American West and is the Community Engagement Coordinator at Trinity Rep. They met while earning their MFAs at the London International School of Performing Arts, where they fell in love both as artists and people. Today they live together in Newport, RI and run Strange Attractor Theatre with Aram Aghazarian and Roblin Davis. Together they create original physically devised work in their three communities: Providence, Philadelphia, and Juneau and have been the recipient of grants from RISCA, NEFA, the Alaska State Arts Council, and the Network of Ensemble Theaters.

 

Jeffreen Hayes, Ph.D. | Principal + Artistic Producer, bridge/arts

Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D. is an arts professional with a curatorial practice. She completed her doctoral studies at the College of William and Mary and was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Birmingham Museum of Art. She has organized curatorial projects with a community-engagement focus, helping art museum and arts non-profits develop meaningful relationships with marginalized communities. Jeffreen is also the founder of bridge/arts, an organization providing visioning and arts management support for artists developing socially- and community-engaged projects.

Lisa Hoffman | Associate Director, McColl Center for Art + Innovation

Lisa oversees programs and strategic initiatives, community engagement, and the flagship Environmental Program at McColl Center for Art + Innovation.  Prior to joining 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. Honored for her dedication in connecting children and families to the natural world, she is also committed to place-based education, the improvement of schools in marginalized communities and research in creative placemaking. The recipient of Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award, Lisa has served on the board of North Carolina Association of Environmental Education Centers, North Carolina Play Alliance, and regularly participates as a speaker at various community and national events including National Innovation Summit for Arts and Culture.  Currently she serves on board for the Alliance of Artists Communities, Jazz Arts Initiative and Lakewood Trolley, a West Charlotte community development initiative. Most recently she was appointed by President Obama to be 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, Lisa is dedicated to social practice and the convergence of art and science as a vehicle to improve lives and effect systemic change.

Randi Hopkins | Associate Director of Visual Arts, Boston Center for the Arts

Randi Hopkins is Associate Director of Visual Arts Programs at the Boston Center for the Arts, where she oversees programming in the BCA’s Mills Gallery, Artist Residency programs and Artist Studios Building. She has initiated ongoing programs including GERTRUDE'S artists salon, the "Brink" exhibition series, and ARTISTS HELP DESK (created in partnership with ArtMorpheus), a practical resource for artists. She has invited curators to develop proposed exhibitions including Daniel DeLuca's Things about Rainbows: Jeff Huckleberry summer performance series in 2014, Matt Rich's Action Kits and Vera Ingrid Grant's James Montford: Persuasions 1990-2015. She was formerly Associate Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, was co-founder and co-director of Allston Skirt Gallery, and wrote a weekly arts column for the Boston Phoenix. Recent and ongoing activities include organizing a multi-state, multi-venue exhibition of Barbara Bosworth’s photographs as independent curator for the National Park Service and teaching art history and curatorial practice in the Art & Music Department at Simmons College in Boston.

 

Kemi Ilesanmi | Executive Director, Laundromat Project

Kemi Ilesanmi is the Executive Director of The Laundromat Project, which brings arts, artists, and arts programming into local coinops and other community spaces to amplify the creativity that already exists within communities. With over 16 years experience in the cultural arena, she is inspired by the immense possibilities for joy and social impact at the intersection of arts and community. Prior to joining The LP, she was Director of Grants and Services at Creative Capital Foundation where she supported the work of American artists making adventurous new work. From 1998-2004, she was a visual arts curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. While there, she organized several exhibitions, including The Squared Circle: Boxing in Contemporary Art, and ran the visual arts residency program. She is holds a MPA from New York University and a BA from Smith College. She is also an alumna of the Coro Leadership New York and Arts Leadership Institute programs.

 

Maria Rosario Jackson | Senior Advisor, Arts + Culture Program, The Kresge Foundation

Maria Rosario Jackson is senior adviser to the Arts and Culture Program at The Kresge Foundation and adjunct faculty at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA. In 2013, President Obama appointed Maria to the National Council on the Arts. She serves on the advisory board of the Lambent Foundation and on boards of directors of the National Performance Network and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. At Kresge, Maria is an independent consultant. She began working with the Arts and Culture Program team in 2012 as it developed a creative placemaking strategy. She was previously on the boards of Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Cultural Alliance for Greater Washington and Fund for Folk Culture. Maria is the former director of the Culture, Creativity and Communities Program at the Urban Institute, where she was based for 18 years. Her work appears in a wide range of professional and academic publications and she has been a speaker at numerous national and international conferences. Maria earned a doctorate in urban planning from UCLA and a master’s degree in public administration from University of Southern California.

Naomi Jackson | Writer

Naomi Jackson is author of The Star Side of Bird Hill, published by Penguin Press in June 2015. The Star Side of Bird Hill was long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and received reviews from The New York Times, The New Yorker, Kirkus Reviews, NPR.org and Entertainment Weekly, which called Star Side “a gem of a book.” Publishers Weekly named her a Fall 2015 Writer to Watch. Naomi studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. A graduate of Williams College, her work has appeared in literary journals and magazines in the United States and abroad. She is the recipient of residencies from the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House, Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, and the Camargo Foundation. Before studying at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Naomi was a program associate and program officer for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s New York City and Democratic Practice programs.

 

Christopher Johnson | Spoken Word Artist

Known mostly for his constant evolving style Christopher Johnson without complaint, combines the experience discord of his past, the wisdom of now and the hope of the future to give voice to a universal message of human spark that connects us all. Using the intricate combination of academia, hip hop, traditional story telling, theater, and just plain old common sense, Christopher provides a soulful uplifting experience guaranteed to move his audience through several states of equilibrium, challenging the listener to remain in an emotional stagnant state. When asked to describe himself, he uses one word: Entropy.

Aaron Jungels | Co-Founder + Co-Artistic/Executive Director, Everett: Company, Stage and School

Aaron is a co-founder and co-artistic/executive director of Everett: Company, Stage and School (1986). He recently directed and produced Everett’s latest work Freedom Project. Through personal stories this piece examines how the ‘land of the free’ has transformed into the most incarcerating country in the world. Aaron brings a variety of performing, design, reseach and technical skills to his work with Everett. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in Film and Video Studies, and from the Trinity Repertory Conservatory in Theater, Aaron began integrating his interests through the development of multimedia dance theater performances with Everett. He designs and constructs the props, set pieces, and untraditional projection surfaces used by Everett. In 1990 he personally renovated a carriage house for Everett’s Stage and School. Aaron collaborated with his autistic nephew to develop the performance pieces, Silas, and Silas the Teenager. He collaborated with his mother and Everett co-founder Dorothy Jungels in the development of Everett’s other productions including Brain Storm, a work that explored neural function, the loci of memory and emotion, and the bodily basis of self. Everett’s Body of Work received a Bessie – New York’s dance and performance award.

Jason Kalajainen | Executive Director, Luminarts Cultural Foundation at the Union League Club of Chicago

Jason served as the Executive Director of Ox-Bow from 2005-2012 and was named Executive Director of the Luminarts Cultural Foundation at the Union League Club of Chicago in 2013. As strong advocates of art education and appreciation throughout the greater Chicago area, Luminarts creates and conducts competitions in visual arts, jazz and classical music, and creative writing for Chicago’s most talented young artists. Prior to joining Ox-Bow Kalajainen was the Executive Director of the Holland Area Arts Council in Holland, Michigan, and Director of Education for the Ann Arbor Art Center. Kalajainen graduated from Westminster College in Pennsylvania with BA in Political Science and Studio Art and has a Masters in Non Profit/Education Administration from Vanderbilt University. Currently, he serves on the boards of the Mason Street Warehouse Theater, Holland Michigan’s Downtown Development Authority, and the Alliance of Artists Communities.

 

Emma Karasz | Director, Red Gate Residency

Emma Karasz is the director of Red Gate Residency in Beijing, and contributing editor at Concrete Flux. She has a background in publishing and art history, and over the past two years has strived to increase the residency's diversity, visibility, and accessibility.

 

Stuart Kestenbaum | Strategist, Craftschools.us

Stuart Kestenbaum is the author of four collections of poems, Pilgrimage (Coyote Love Press), House of Thanksgiving (Deerbrook Editions), Prayers and Run-on Sentences (Deerbrook Editions) and Only Now (Deerbrook Editions). He has also written The View from Here (Brynmorgen Press), a book of brief essays on craft and community. Stu has written and spoken widely on craft making and creativity, and his poems and writing have appeared in numerous publications and magazines including Tikkun, the Sun, the Beloit Poetry Journal, and on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He was the director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, ME for over twenty-five years, and was elected an honorary fellow of the American Craft Council in 2006. He is also the recipient of the Distinguished Educator Award from the James Renwick Alliance. He is currently chair of the American Craft Council. Former US poet laureate Ted Kooser said “Stuart Kestenbaum writes the kind of poems I love to read, heartfelt responses to the privilege of having been given a life. No hidden agendas here, no theories to espouse, nothing but life, pure life, set down with craft and love.”

Brad Kik | Co-Director, Institute for Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design/ISLAND

Brad Kik is the co-founder and co-director of the 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—plays a key role in directing the intention behind ISLAND’s work in the community. Brad also serves on a number of boards reflecting ISLAND’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 co-chair of the ecological residencies cohort for the Alliance of Artist Communities, and helps convene and present the Alliance’s Emerging Programs Institute each year.

SueEllen Kroll | Director of Grants + Strategic Partnerships, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities

SueEllen has worked over 15 years in Rhode Island’s nonprofit sector, ten of which have been with the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities where she has advised countless nonprofit organizations and individual scholars on how to develop their humanities ideas and projects to be competitive with the Council’s funding goals and parameters. In addition to overseeing the administration of the grant program including policy, outreach, and compliance, SueEllen spearheads its advancement via strategic partnerships, resource-building, and new initiatives. Her current partnership projects include: Rhode Tour: a joint partnership with Brown University’s Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and the Rhode Island Historical Society to advance Rhode Island history and place-based tours through mobile phone technology; Catalyzing Culture: the development and implementation of a collaborative-based model that revives and showcases the assets of the cultural sector and tools of the humanities to enhance and strengthen the cultural sector. SueEllen serves on many cultural boards and taskforces, including the Advisory Board for the radio show Action Speaks: Underappreciated Days that Changed America produced by AS220; the Rhode Island 1663 Colonial Charter 350th Commission; and the Board of Directors of the State House Visitor’s Center and Gift Shop. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, hiking, and collecting African literature. SueEllen has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Wheaton College.

Melissa Levin | Director of Cultural Programs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

Melissa Levin joined Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) in 2005 and is the Director of Cultural Programs. Throughout more than a decade working in the arts, she has been committed to innovative and holistic approaches to supporting artists and the creative process. Previous to LMCC, Melissa held positions at Andrea Rosen Gallery, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and Artforum International Magazine. She has participated in panel discussions and juries at the National Endowment for the Arts, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, Rhode Island School of Design, Baruch College, Lower East Side Print Shop, and Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts; and lectured at the University of Oregon, Eugene, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, New York University, Parsons: The New School for Design, and The Cleveland Institute of Art. As a curator and writer, she has worked with MoMA PS1, Real Art Ways in Hartford, Culturehall.com, NurtureArt, Cuchifritos Gallery, ISE Cultural Foundation, Andrea Rosen Gallery, and Taylor De Cordoba Gallery in Los Angeles. Melissa received a BA with honors in Visual Art and Art History from Barnard College.

 

Stacy Levy | Artist

Stacy Levy is an artist who works with natural processes of the surrounding nature. She received a BA at Yale where she majored in sculpture with a minor in forestry. This combination of art and nature has remained entwined throughout her path as an artist. Stacy co-founded Sere Ltd., a design firm specializing in native landscape restoration for municipal, corporate and private landscapes across the mid-Atlantic region. The firm works to bring the architecture of a healthy ecosystem back to disturbed forest landscapes. In 1988, Levy attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and earned an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University while working as a forester.  Her work collaborates directly with natural forces: making projects that move with the tides, are scraped by erosion, rise and lower with floodwaters of a stream. Stacy’s recent projects harness stormwater runoff and make it an asset to the site, through commissioned works all over the world. Select awards include: Public Art Year in Review Award; Artist in Residence Award, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts; Artist in Residence Award, Pilchuck Glass School;   and Museum, Pew Fellowship of the Arts. Stacy continues to show extensively in galleries and museums, and has been represented by Larry Becker Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, PA since 1993.

Deenah Loeb | Executive Director, City Parks Association/Art in the Open

Deenah Loeb has over 30 years of program innovation and implementation experience in the culture and environmental fields and serves as Executive Director of City Parks Association of Philadelphia (CPA). Deenah co-founded and directs Art in the Open Philadelphia: a citywide event that celebrates artists, their inspirations for creating art in the public realm. Previous to CPA, Deenah was a consultant for Department of Culture at the Pew Charitable Trusts and created landmark programs to support artists in a range of disciplines, including the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the National Theater Residence Program and the Philadelphia Dance Initiative. She currently serves as a Trustee at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education and is Chair of the Environmental Art Program. A 2015 recipient of a Knight Cities Challenge grant, she created Philadelphia LANDvisions: a unique three phased program that challenged citizens and the international design community to imagine ecologically sound resolutions for Philadelphia’s vast inventory of vacant lands. Deenah has holds a Master of Landscape Architecture for the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Wesleyan University, CT.

Jordan MacTavish | Architect, Toshiko Mori Architect

Jordan MacTavish is an architect and designer currently practicing at Toshiko Mori Architect in New York. His recent design of Thread Artists’ Residence and Community Center in Sinthian, Senegal, won an AIA 2014 Merit Award and was recently featured in the Venice Architecture Biennale. Jordan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Art History at Carleton College and Masters in Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where his work explored the intersecting relationships between architecture, art, and community development. He is currently working on the design of a kindergarten and teacher’s residence in Fass, Senegal.

 

David Macy | Resident Director, The MacDowell Colony

David Macy directs operations and community engagement programming at MacDowell in Peterborough, NH. Since 1994, he’s worked with MacDowell board members, architects and builders to effect more than $10M in new construction and improvements. An Alliance board member since 2005, David was founding Chairman of the Peterborough Arts Council and has served on the boards of New Hampshire Citizens for the Arts and Monadnock Arts Alive. In 2010 he chaired a committee charged with writing the Cultural Resources chapter of Peterborough’s Strategic Plan. Following undergraduate studies in biomedical engineering and a stint in art school, David earned his M.S. in Management at Antioch University New England.

Liz Maugans | Co-Founder + Executive Director, Zygote Fine Art Press

Liz Maugans, co-founder and Executive Director of Zygote Press, received her BFA in printmaking from Kent State University and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. As an advocate for artists and the visual arts, Liz has served as a consultant for many organizations and art business start-ups. Her passion for cross-disciplinary partnerships includes collaborations with the North Shore Federation of Labor, The AIDS Taskforce, Community Assessment and Treatment Services and Slavic Village Development Corporation. She is the co-founder of the Collective Arts Network, a quarterly journal and arts network that works to promote Northeast Ohio artists and organizations to a greater audience through a quarterly journal and collective events. Liz’s work is included in the Progressive Art Collection, BF Goodrich (Charlotte, N.C.) and The Riffe Center for Government and the Arts, (Columbus, OH) collections. She received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship in 2000 and a 2005 Artist-in-Communities Grant. She was honored, along with her Zygote co-founder, the Martha Joseph Prize for Distinguished Service from the Cleveland Arts Prize in 2012. In 2013, she was awarded a $20,000 Creative Workforce Fellowship from Community Partnership for Arts and Culture.

Nat May | Executive Director, SPACE Gallery

Nat has been working with SPACE since 2003, when he volunteered to write grants and organize the bookkeeping. Nat is a founding board member of the Hewnoaks Artist Colony, located in western Maine, and also a founding member of Common Field, a visual arts organizing network. He was a 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. He has served as a juror and grant reviewer for organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, The Maine Arts Commission and the Monhegan Residency.

 

Lynne McCormack | Director, City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism

Lynne McCormack serves as the director of Art, Culture + Tourism for the City of Providence, Rhode Island. In her long tenure as a city arts administrator she has moved through the ranks, from production coordinator to a trusted member of the mayor’s cabinet. Since assuming the director position in 2006, Lynne has successfully transitioned the department from an office of cultural affairs focused on public programming to a community and economic development agency. She forged a series of partnerships that have resulted in a destination branding campaign, a summer workforce development program for youth, citywide arts festivals and increased funding for artists and organizations through CDBG, HUD, transit and city economic development funds. Recognized as a leader in the field of creative economic development, she is regularly invited to speak about the City of Providence’s cultural infrastructure at conferences across the country. The department is a leader in creative placemaking and is the recipient of multiple NEA Our Town and ARTPLACE America grants. Recently Lynne participated in the Goethe Institute’s “TransAtlanic Dialogue on Resilient Cities.”  She is a member of the Mayor’s Economic Development Cabinet and serves on the board of the Providence-Warwick Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. Lynne earned her BFA from RISD.

Jennifer McGregor | Director of Arts + Senior Curator, Wave Hill

Jennifer McGregor is the Director of Arts & Senior Curator at Wave Hill, a public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River in the Bronx, presenting exhibitions and performances that engage the public in a dialogue with nature, culture and site. Programming includes site-related exhibitions, commissioned temporal works, a Winter Workspace program, indoor and outdoor concerts. Recent projects include The Lightening, a Project for the Aquatic Garden by Chris Doyle and Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath – Force of Nature; and Field Works: Matthew Friday, David McQueen, Michelle Stuart on view this fall. Early in her career she was the first Director of the New York City Percent for Art Program. Through her consulting practice she works nationally on public art commissions, exhibitions, and planning projects such as a public art plan for Laramie, Wyoming.

M. Louise McKay | Director of External Relations, Hedgebrook

M. Louise McKay is currently the Director of External Relations at Hedgebrook, overseeing a crack team of marketing and fundraising divas in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Louise is a former educator, consultant, and coach with a practical and academic background in the performing arts and nonprofit management. In her free time, she wrangles a house full of boys (preschool, teen, and spouse) and one very patient cat in North Seattle.

Jean McLaughlin | Executive Director, Penland School of Crafts

Executive Director, Jean W. McLaughlin has been the Executive Director of Penland School of Crafts since 1998. Since joining the school, Jean has focused on strategic planning, external relations, board development, facilities construction and renovation, and fundraising. She reports to a 33-member board of directors and is responsible for a $5.7 million annual operating budget, a staff of 62, about 1450 students, 57 facilities and a 420 acre campus listed on the National Register of Historic Places. She came to Penland after serving 16 years at the North Carolina Arts Council as Director of Visual Arts and later Director of the Office of Statewide Initiatives. She holds an MA in Liberal Studies from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, NC State University, and a BA in studio art from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Mary Beth Meehan | Photographer + Educator

Mary Beth Meehan is a photographer and educator whose work engages communities, urging viewers toward a deeper understanding of the people around them. In her current project, Seen/Unseen, Mary Beth travels the city of Providence, meeting strangers and collaborating with them to make their portraits. The work is chronicled on her blog: marybethmeehan.tumblr.com. Eight of these portraits are currently installed as large-scale banners in downtown Providence, and were a signature feature of the Providence International Arts Festival. In 2011, Mary Beth launched City of Champions, her first urban art installation, in her hometown of Brockton, MA. The series sparked public conversations about immigration, evolving urban identities, and community dislocation, including a public forum entitled "Who Belongs Where?" A former staff photographer at The Providence Journal, Mary Beth's work has been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post, as well as in publications in England, France, China and Japan.

Jeffrey Meeuwsen | Executive Director, The Ragdale Foundation

Jeffrey Meeuwsen is the Executive Director of the Ragdale Foundation, a curator and a mixed media artist. Prior to joining Ragdale, Jeffrey was the Executive Director of the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), one of the nation’s largest, non-collecting contemporary arts centers. He led the institution in presenting more than 300 exhibitions as well as award-winning youth, education, art therapy, and studio programs. Jeffrey was also the Founding Executive Director of ArtPrize, the world's largest prize for art. He has served on several arts-focused boards including the statewide advocacy organization, Creative Many Michigan. He holds an MFA in visual arts, a BFA in sculpture and studio furniture, and a BBA in marketing and graphic design.

Susan Meier | Principal, Meier and Associates

Susan Meier, Principal at Meier and Associates, brings over 27 years of governance and nonprofit experience to her work. From 2004 to 2011, Susan served as the vice president of consulting and training for BoardSource, the nation's premier governance resource for nonprofit organizations. She works collaboratively with nonprofit executives and board leadership to identify governance challenges and opportunities and to implement proven strategies to address a broad array of governance issues. Much of Susan’s work has focused on increasing board engagement, board/staff relations, and leadership transitions. Specifically, she engages boards in a deeper understanding of roles and responsibilities, strategic and generative thinking, concrete ways to maximize board meetings, and addressing culture and dynamics in the boardroom. Susan has served as faculty for the Kellogg School of Management Nonprofit Executive Education program, the George Washington University, and the Issues in Nonprofit Governance Conference hosted by Georgetown Law, the IRS and Independent Sector. In addition, Susan has served on a number of boards of directors and currently serves on the Ripon College Board of Trustees. She graduated cum laude from Ripon College.

Kiel Moe | Associate Professor of Architecture and Energy, Harvard University

Kiel Moe, AIA, FAAR, is a registered architect and Associate Professor of Architecture & Energy in the Department of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he is the co-director of the MDES design research program and the Energy, Environments, & Design research lab. He is the author of several publications, including most recently the book: Insulating Modernism: Isolated and Nonisolated Thermodynamics in Architecture. In recognition of his design and research, he was the 2009-10 Gorham P. Stevens Rome Prize Fellow in Architecture, and was the 2012 Barbara and Andrew Senchak Fellow MacDowell Colony.

Kristin Müller | Executive Director, Peters Valley School of Craft

Kristin Müller is the Executive Director of Peters Valley School of Craft. Born in Panama to German and Chilean parents, she grew up in Argentina, Chile and the United States. Kristin holds a Bachelor of Science in Studio Arts from Southern Connecticut State University a Masters of Fine Arts in Ceramics from Hood College, is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and an accomplished ceramic artist. Prior to her tenure at Peters Valley she taught ceramics at two colleges, was Education Director of Brookfield Craft Center, Curator of the Lynn Tendler Bignell Exhibition Gallery and a Ceramics Studio Instructor. Kristin specializes in wood fired ceramics and maintains a studio with an Anagama hybrid kiln in Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania. She is the author of "The Potter's Studio Handbook: A Guide to Hand Built and Wheel-Thrown Ceramics" published November 2007 and is co-author of "The Potter's Complete Studio Handbook: The Essential, Start -to Finish Guide for Ceramic Artists published October 2011 by Quarry Books. Kristin exhibits her work nationally and is Adjunct Faculty at Hood College.

Jan Mun | Media Artist

Jan Mun is a media artist who creates social sculptures to explore the generative principles of how complex systems such as botany and fungi, economies, and social networks function; and the effects of interactions between different entities, whether cultures, plants, or people. She uses a combination of artistic and scientific processes that manifest in the form of social practice, interactive installations, and bio-art. Jan is an amateur mycologist, microbiologist, and beekeeper working in collaboration with communities to innovate ways to communicate with each other and the larger public. She is working on two long-term projects: Greenpoint Bioremediation Project an artist-led creative cleanup and community partnership to innovate bioremediation practices for residents in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (one of the most polluted urban areas in the country) and ProfileUS: Invasive Species, which examines the biopolitics of the migrations of non-native plants and people in the United States.

 

Nick Murphy | Director, Thread Residency

As Thread's Director in Senegal, Nick has overseen construction and fundraising efforts, while developing the special projects and residency program that began in March, 2014. Nick leads the selection of artists for the residencies, working closely with those chosen to develop a program that will best serve them. With Moussa Sene, Thread's General Manager, he devises the special projects and educational programs to take place in Thread's communal spaces. Based in New York, Nick will also be developing international attention for Thread and the projects associated with it, as well as traveling to Sinthian throughout the year. Nick received his degree in Art History from Yale University. He immediately moved to Medellín, Colombia and co-founded and co-directed an art gallery and project space. After overseeing seven exhibitions there, he moved back to the US and joined the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. As Projects Director, he has managed numerous exhibitions and catalogues, and curated an exhibition of Josef Albers artwork in Milan entitled Sublime Optics. With each project he has focused on ways in which the art of the Alberses can reach those people less likely to have access to museums and galleries. Through Nicholas Fox Weber, he was introduced to AFLK’s ongoing efforts to support community leaders in Senegal.

David Neumann | Artistic Director, Advanced Beginner Group

David Neumann’s original work has been presented in New York at PS 122, New York Live Arts, The Kitchen, Central Park Summerstage (where he collaborated with John Giorno), Celebrate Brooklyn and Symphony Space (where he collaborated with Laurie Anderson), Abrons Art Center, The Chocolate Factory and The Whitney. ABG has also performed at the Walker Art Center, Alverno College, MASS MoCA and the American Dance Institute, among others. Neumann was a performer for many years working with, among others, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Big Dance Theater, Doug Elkins, Doug Varone and Sally Silvers. Recent projects include his own work I Understand Everything Better (two 2015 Bessie nominations) which premiered March of 2015 and will tour the US in 2016, director for Geoff Sobelle's An Object Lesson (2015 Bessie nomination), Choreographer on ‘An Octoroon’ at Soho Rep/Theater for a New Audience, directing Geoff Sobelle in 'The Object Lesson' at BAM Fischer, and Choreographer for Haoromo with ballerina Wendy Whelan, at BAM this November. He is currently professor of theater at Sarah Lawrence College. David is the recipient of two New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award, an Asian Cultural Council Fellowship (Noh immersive), and support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Creative Capital, NYFA and National Dance Projects among others.

 

Jeremy Pataky | Independent Consultant, Overstory Consulting

Jeremy Pataky is an Alaska-based arts and culture consultant and poet. Jeremy has coordinated the Rasmuson Foundation Artist Residency Program, which funds and facilitates eight residencies per year that send four Alaska artists to partner organizations in the contiguous 48 states and four artists up to sites in Alaska for two month residencies. He also works with the Alaska State Council on the Arts as a consultant to plan and organize their biannual statewide arts convening, and served on the creative team behind the Anchorage Museum’s Polar Lab, which looks at the contemporary and future North through exhibitions and programs. He is a founding board member and board president of 49 Writers, a nonprofit that supports the artistic development of writers throughout Alaska, fosters a writing community, and builds an audience for literature. He earned an MFA in Poetry from the University of Montana. His debut book, Overwinter, was published by University of Alaska Press.

 

Will Penrose | Director, Rema Hort Mann Foundation

Will recently joined Rema Hort Mann Foundation after more than five years at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, where he managed artist residencies. His background includes working at the Scottsdale Cultural Council for both Scottsdale Public Art and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Upon relocating to New York, Will was the registrar at Sundaram Tagore Gallery based in Chelsea and with international galleries. Additionally, Will currently consults at the Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) for research projects on living artists. He is a contributing author to the RCAC’s reports Still Kicking: Aging Performing Artists in NYC and LA Metro Areas and Art Cart: A Feasibility Study for a National Model. Will has lectured at NYU, Drew University, and Parsons: The New School for Design. He holds an M.A. in Arts Administration from Columbia University, as well as a B.S. in Economics, B.F.A. in Drawing, and Minor in Philosophy from Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University.

Carla Peterson | Director, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography

Carla Peterson was appointed Director of Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University’s School of Dance in Tallahassee, Florida in May 2014 after serving as Artistic Director (and chief curator) of New York Live Arts and of Dance Theater Workshop. Previously, she served as Executive Director of Movement Research, an internationally recognized dance laboratory in New York City, as both Managing Director of the National Performance Network and Director of The Suitcase Fund at Dance Theater Workshop and as Assistant Performing Arts Director at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio. She has worked widely as a freelance arts consultant with artists, not-for-profit arts organizations and foundations and continues to serve on national dance and performing arts panels. She received a 2005 “Bessie “ (New York Dance and Performance Award) in recognition of her leadership at Movement Research and service to the dance community. In 2012, she was made a Chevalier de L’Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres by the French government. She currently serves on the boards of Movement Research and Mount Tremper Arts, and on the Steering Committee of the New York Dance and Performance Awards, aka The Bessies, since 2009. Carla holds an MFA from The Ohio State University and a BS from the University of Illinois.

 

Craig T. Peterson | Director of Programs + Presentation, Gibney Dance

Craig T. Peterson has twenty years of experience as a curator, cultural organizer, and programmer of contemporary performing arts. Craig is the previous Co-Artistic Director of the Dance Theater Workshop (now known as New York Live Arts), one of America’s preeminent contemporary performing arts institutions based in New York City. After moving to Philadelphia in 2009, Craig launched and directed the Live Arts Brewery (LAB), a program of FringeArts, designed to support artistic research, development, and presentation. 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 150 performing artists and companies. Craig recently returned to NYC to join the staff of Gibney Dance as the Director of Programs and Presentation. He also serves on the board of the Alliance of Artists Communities.

Renee Piechocki | Founding Director, Pittsburgh's Office of Public Art

Renee Piechocki is an artist and public art consultant. She is the founding director of Pittsburgh’s Office of Public Art, a partnership of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and the City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, which provides technical assistance and educational programs to the public and private sectors in the Pittsburgh region. Previous positions include Facilitator of Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network; studio manager for Vito Acconci and Acconci Studio; and public art project manager for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Select consulting projects include a public art plan for Laramie, WY; the development of a public art strategy for the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway in Boston, MA and Lancaster, PA; developing public art guidelines and procedures for the City of Charleston, WV, serving on the public art development committee for the new Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, GA; and the development of a Public Artist in Residence Program for Cary Visual Arts in Cary, NC. Renee has written for many public art related publications and guides. She is part of the collaboration Two Girls Working with artist Tiffany Ludwig. For ten years, they produced Trappings,  a social practice project that investigated how women define and present power in their lives. The Trappings archive is housed at the Schlesinger Library of the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. Renee was born in Queens, New York and grew up in Long Island. She received her BA in Studio Art and Honors Program from Hunter College of the City University of New York.

Steven Pincus | National Practice Leader, Fine Arts and Private Client Groups, DeWitt Stern

Steven directs five of DeWitt Stern's Divisions in New York: Fine Art, Commercial, Private Client and Financial-Professional and Claims he has more than 30 years of experience in these areas. Before joining DeWitt Stern, Steven was President of Rockefeller Risk Advisors, Inc. specializing in insurance for high-net-worth families, commercial real estate, fine art, and not-for-profit companies and foundations.

Jeff Prystowsky | Musician + Founding Member, Columbus Cooperative

Jeff Prystowsky is in the Low Anthem, a Providence band comprised of Ben Knox Miller, Bryan Minto, Jeff and Florence Wallis. Ben and Jeff met while students at Brown University, and formed The Low Anthem in 2006. Albums include OH MY GOD, CHARLIE DARWIN, WHAT THE CROW BRINGS and SMART FLESH. They have toured the US and Europe, made records for Nonesuch, appeared on Austin City Limits, Glastonbury, Jools Holland, Letterman and NPR, and opened for Bruce Springsteen, The National, Emmylou Harris, Avett Brothers and Iron & Wine. Known for their social activism as well as their music, the Low Anthem recently converted the shuttered Columbus Theatre building into a vibrant home for alternative music with a recording studio, energizing its neighborhood. The most recent recording sessions at the theatre have included Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band for Blue Note Records, and Xylouris White, Jim White (Dirty Three, Cat Power) and Giorgos Xylouris (lutist from Crete), for Other Music. A new record from the Low Anthem is slated to come out next year.

Laurel Ptak | Executive + Creative Director, Triangle Arts Association

Laurel Ptak is Executive and Creative Director of Triangle Arts Association, a 33-year old artist-founded residency program in New York City within an international network of arts organizations around the world. She is also co-founder of Rethinking Residencies, a working group of several New York-based artist residency programs whose members share knowledge and resources, while cultivating critical thinking and discourse about residencies. Laurel has previously held diverse roles at non-profit art institutions including the Guggenheim Museum (New York City), MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Center (New York City), Museo Tamayo (Mexico City), Tensta Konsthall (Stockholm), among others. She is co-editor of the book Undoing Property? (Sternberg Press, 2013) and has received numerous accolades for her curatorial work including a Leading Global Thinker award from Foreign Policy Magazine, curatorial fellowship at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, nomination for Independent Curators International's Vision Award, among others. Laurel holds an MA from the Center For Curatorial Studies at Bard College and currently teaches at the New School in New York City.

 

Elaina Richardson | President, Yaddo

Elaina has been Yaddo’s President since September of 2000. She’s responsible for all aspects of this century-old artists retreat, which has been home to many of the leading writers and artists of the 20th century and today. She oversees a 2.8 million dollar annual operating budget, all programming decisions, board relations, and a major restoration and renovation schedule. During her tenure, Yaddo has completed its first ever Facilities Master Plan, a Strategic Plan, built 7 new live/work studio spaces, been the subject of a major exhibition at the New York Public Library where its archives are housed, and been awarded National Landmark status. Before joining Yaddo, Elaina was Editor-in-Chief of ELLE where both she and the magazine won numerous awards. She was educated at Oxford University and the University of Edinburgh (she is a British Citizen) and has lectured and written extensively about her specialty, 18th century English literature. She splits her time between Saratoga Springs, where Yaddo is located on 400 wooded acres, and New York City.

 

Shey Rivera Ríos | Artistic Director, AS220

Shey Rivera Ríos is a multi-genre artist and Artistic Director at AS220, an internationally-renowned cultural center in Providence, RI. Her work takes the form of mixed media installation, music, poetry, performance, and video. She is part of the performance duo ISLANDS, with artist Jason Curzake. Along with Curzake and artist/poet Sussy Santana, she launched the Fluxus Moon Cabaret series in 2013, featuring the work of 20 artists from diverse media. Shey is a founding member of the Latina feminist poetry collective Las Tenoras and her artwork has been featured in Puerto Rico, Boston, and throughout Rhode Island. Her literary work has been published in several publications, including the first Queer Puerto Rican literary anthology, Los otros cuerpos: Antología de temática gay, lésbica y 'queer' desde Puerto Rico y su diáspora ("The Other Bodies: Anthology of Gay, Lesbian and Queer Literature from Puerto Rico and its Diaspora"). Shey is the founder of Crudo, an independent arts and culture digital magazine focused on contemporary Latin-American art and culture. She specializes in arts management and is a strong advocate for artists as critical agents of change in society, as well as the value of artist-run organizations. 

Bruce Rodgers | Executive Director, The Hermitage Artist Retreat

Bruce Rodgers is the founding executive director of the Hermitage Artist Retreat on Manasota Key in Englewood, Florida. He is a musician, writer, producer, playwright and author and his work has been produced at major regional professional theatres throughout the US and in Europe. In 1984, Bruce was named a "Distinguished Artist of the State of New Jersey." In 1990 his play Lost Electra won the prestigious Rosenthal New Play Prize at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park where it was produced. It saw many subsequent productions around the US including at the Asolo Theater in Sarasota, Florida. In 1992, the Asolo commissioned him to write the very successful Centerberg Tales based on Robert McCloskey's "Homer Price" short stories. Bruce's play, The Gravity of Honey has been produced around the US as well as in Dublin and Paris, as well as at the Asolo in 1995. From 1993-2004 he served as the Associate Artistic Director of the Asolo Theatre Company. In the 1980s he was a resident playwright at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, New Jersey, and a creative consultant to Fortune 500 corporations throughout the US. He has been the Executive Director of the Hermitage since 2005. 

 

Sokeo Ros | Artistic Director/Choreographer, Case Closed! / Everett: Company, Stage and School

Sokeo was born in a Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand, arriving in the United States at the age of three. As a sophomore in high school he began performing with the Carriage House Performers, a Providence-based hip-hop group. In 1998, Sokeo joined Everett as a creator and performer and has taught many master classes in universities throughout his touring experience. Sokeo also tours throughout New England in Everett’s educational shows. He is the director of the hip-hop program at Everett’s School and has taught at many Rhode Island institutions including Central Falls High School, Highlander School, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Sokeo also directs the hip-hop based troupe, Case Closed!, which he founded in 2004. Case Closed! has performed at venues across New England including the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Brown University and the Providence Performing Arts Center. Sokeo received a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts grant to develop a hip-hop theater piece, Culture Shock. Currently, he is a performer and creator of Everett’s new work, BRAIN STORM, and developing the Case Closed! piece called A Daydream in the Ghetto.

 

Randall Rosenbaum | Executive Director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

Randall "Randy" Rosenbaum is the executive director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, a position he has held since 1995. From 1984 to January 1995, Randy served in a variety of capacities at the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, including deputy director and director of the dance and presenting organizations programs. He has a Bachelor of music education degree from Temple University and has managed orchestras and non-profit arts organizations in FL, GA, NC, and OH. Randy has served as a site visitor and panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts in the dance, theatre, music, musical theatre/opera, and state and regional programs and as a panelist for numerous state arts agencies as well as for the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Heinz Endowment of Pittsburgh, and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture in Cleveland, OH. He has also taught arts administration courses, classes, and seminars at Brown University and Rhode Island College. He serves on the board of the New England Foundation for the Arts and the board of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. A practicing musician, Randy has sung professionally in churches and synagogues, and with performing ensembles throughout the East Coast. As a choral artist, he has performed as a charter member of the Robert Page Singers in Cleveland, as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and the Providence Singers.

 

Rachel Rosenkrantz | Musician + Luthier, Atelier Rosenkrantz

Rachel is a French luthier based in Providence, RI, who started handcrafting custom-made guitars under the guidance of master luthier Dan Collins, after years of playing music and developing architectural-design products and furniture. Born and raised in Paris, France, Rachel studied Design at ESAG-Penninghen, in Paris as well as at RISD, where she was exposed to both fine arts and applied arts. Her thesis project, "Les Animaux Totem", was already combining music and woodworking. Her understanding of construction through her design years as well as her knowledge of music are two strong assets forming a stable backbone to her actual art making of string instruments. Some of her previous artwork was shown in exhibits at Le Carousel du Louvre, at Le Musée d’art contemporain du Palais de Tokyo, Paris France, at the Hangaram museum of modern art, Seoul Korea and the RISD Museum in Providence, RI. Just like her music and her designs, Rachel works her luthiery by exploring the combination of both traditional and new styles and techniques and tries to bring a unique perspective to her work.

 

Tamara Ross | Director - Programming Operations, The Banff Centre

Tamara’s connection with The Banff Centre has spanned her entire life. After working in various departments in support of the artist at The Banff Centre during her teens, Tamara ventured to Vancouver to garner both a Commerce and Education degree from UBC. In Vancouver she was Manager of Artistic Operations with Ballet British Columbia and a high school teacher. In 2005, Tamara went east to complete her MBA at HEC Montreal and returned to Calgary to manage the School of Alberta Ballet before re-joining The Banff Centre in her current role in 2007. She is proud to be contributing to the great things The Banff Centre does and has seen first-hand the transformative effects this special place has for artists, leaders and all who visit it. Tamara is a founding Board member of Kidd Pivot Performing Arts Society in Vancouver, BC, is a board member of Alliance of Artists Communities, and has served for 7 years as Treasurer for the Mountain Haven Cooperative Homes Inc. a low-income housing development in Canmore, Alberta.

 

Jack Ruderman | Director, Community Solar Initiatives, ReVision Energy

Jack Ruderman is Director, Community Solar Initiatives at ReVision Energy, where he develops solar energy projects for towns, schools and non-profit organizations. He is also responsible for government relations. Trained as a lawyer, he practiced criminal law for six years, and then joined the staff of New Hampshire's Office of Energy and Planning. Over the course of twelve years there, he served as a Program Manager, Director of Renewable Energy and Efficiency Programs, Deputy Director and Acting Director. He next served for six years as Director of the Sustainable Energy Division at the state’s Public Utilities Commission, where he managed the state’s Renewable Energy Fund. While at the PUC he served on the board of directors of the Clean Energy States Alliance. Jack holds a BA in political science from Tufts University and a JD from Northeastern University School of Law.

 

Naomi Schliesman | Artist Development Coordinator, Springboard for the Arts

Naomi Schliesman is the Artist Development Coordinator for Springboard for the Arts - Lake Region Office in Fergus Falls, MN. Naomi has been leading and managing artists in exploring the past and future of the Fergus Falls Kirkbride through the Hinge Arts Residency Program and Imagine Fergus Falls. She travels in greater Minnesota to teach the Work Of Art Series and Placemaking workshops. She also does one and one Artist Career Consultations with artists. As an artist, she is a sculpture and installation artist who attended Minnesota State University of Moorhead where she received her BFA in 2004 and attended University of Wisconsin Madison and received her MFA in 2009 in Studio Arts.  With her own studio practice she 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, Ragdale, IL, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, NE, and Hospitalfield Arts, Arbroath, Scotland. Naomi has exhibited her artwork nationally and continues to show her work and curate exhibitions.

Roddy Schrock | Director, Eyebeam

Roddy Schrock works to raise Eyebeam’s support for emerging practice in art and technology to its highest levels yet. For the past years he has overseen and grown Eyebeam’s Creative Residencies Program, having supported numerous practitioners whose innovative and award-winning work has received international recognition. As Director, he is centering the organization squarely on the future of this innovative and unique residency program, while maintaining and expanding its engagement with the public through numerous presentation and learning programs. Roddy is adjunct faculty at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and sits on the Netherland-America Foundation Cultural Commission. He holds an MFA in Electronic Music/Recording Media from Mills College in Oakland, CA.

 

Jason Schupbach | Director of Design Programs, Visual Arts Division Team Leader, National Endowment for the Arts

Jason Schupbach is the Director of Design Programs for the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversees all design and creative placemaking, grantmaking and partnerships, including Our Town and Design Art Works grants, the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, and the NEA's Federal agency collaborations. Previous to his current position, Jason served Governor Patrick of Massachusetts as the Creative Economy Director, tasked with growing creative and tech businesses in the state. He was formerly the director of ArtistLink, a Ford Foundation funded initiative to stabilize and revitalize communities through the creation of affordable space and innovative environments for creatives. He has also worked for the Mayor of Chicago and New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

James Scruggs | Fieldwork Facilitator, The Field

James Scruggs, has been a facilitator of Fieldwork, The Field's signature peer-to-peer critical feedback method for over 10 years and uses the tool to create his own work. He is a writer, performer and arts administrator who creates topical, theatrical, multi-media work usually focused on inequity or gender politics. He was recently awarded a 2015 MAP Grant to create 3/5 a piece exploring race and racism today. In 2005, Disposable Men, his multi-media solo performance work, juxtaposed images from Hollywood monster movies with the harsh reality of the historical treatment of black men in America was produced by HERE Arts Center and toured nationally. He is currently a consultant and Fieldwork facilitator for The Field, leading peer to peer performing artist feedback workshops in NYC and artist retreats. He is also a curator at 3LD Art & Technology Center. James has a BFA in Film from School of Visual Arts.

 

Sanjit Sethi | Executive Director, Santa Fe Art Institute

Sanjit is currently the Executive Director of the Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI). He holds an MFA from the University of Georgia, and an MS in advanced visual studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sanjit has taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Memphis College of Art, the Shristi School of Art, Design and Technology, and the California College of the Arts. His work deals with issues of nomadism, identity, the residue of labor, and memory. Sanjit recently completed the Kuni Wada Bakery Remembrance, an olfactory-based memorial in Memphis, and Richmond Voting Stories, a community-based collaboration between local high school students and older members of the Richmond, CA. His current works include Urban Defibrillator, the Gypsy Bridge project, the Richmond Ceramics Workshop, the architecture of inversion series, and Indians/Indians – all of which involve varied social and geographic communities. After completing a Fulbright fellowship in Bangalore, India, working on the Building Nomads project, he continued his strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration as director of the MFA program at the Memphis College of Art. Prior to becoming the Executive Director of SFAI, Sanjit was Director of the Center for Art and Public Life and Barclay Simpson Professor and Chair of Community Arts at the California College of the Arts.

Mary Sherman | Director, TransCultural Exchange

Mary Sherman is the founding director of TransCultural Exchange. From its grassroots inception in 1989, Mary transformed TransCultural Exchange into a leading arts organization that has worked with hundreds of artists, arts organizations, foundations, galleries, museums and cultural centers in more than 60 countries to produce over 350 exhibitions. In 2002, she incorporated the organization as a non-profit organization; and later revamped the organizations’ website to expand its international resources for artists; opened a NGO branch in Berlin; and facilitated new partnerships and exchanges between international organizations, including Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and International Arts at CERN. This history of service has earned TransCultural Exchange awards from numerous associations, organizations and consulates. Mary is also a professor at Boston College and at Northeastern University. In 2010, she served as the interim Associate Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Art, Culture and Technology Program and from 2002-2003 was an artist in residence at MIT in Mechanical Engineering. She is an active and acclaimed artist. Recipient of two Fulbright Senior Specialist Grants (Istanbul; Taipei) and additional residences at such institutions as CAMAC (France) and the Taipei Artist Village, her works have been shown at Taipei’s Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, New York University, Shanghai’s Zendai MoMA, Vienna’s WUK Kunsthalle, Beijing’s Central Conservatory and New York’s Trans Hudson Gallery, among others.

Kira Simon-Kennedy | Co-Founder + Director, China Residencies

Kira Simon-Kennedy is the co-founder of China Residencies, a directory and regional network of artist residencies in China. Kira is also a French and Mandarin translator for contemporary art publications and an independent film producer focused on projects centring around music and human rights in China, Iceland, France, Mali, and Mississippi. Kira holds a BA in Chinese and photography from the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently a part of the inaugural Arts & Culture Social Impact Strategy program at Penn's School of Social Policy & Practice.

Sydney Skybetter | Choreographer, Writer + Technologist

Sydney Skybetter is a technologist, choreographer, and writer. His dances are regularly performed around the country, most recently at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Boston Center for the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow and the Joyce Theater. As a Founding Partner with the Edwards & Skybetter | Change Agency, he has consulted on issues of change management and technology for The National Ballet of Canada, Barnes & Noble, New York University and The University of Southern California among others. He lectures on everything from dance history to cultural futurism, and is a frequent speaker at Juilliard, Dance/USA, and Opera America. He is a regular contributor to The Clyde Fitch Report, serves on the faculty of The Boston Conservatory, and is a lecturer on Dance History at Harvard University. He produces shows at Joe’s Pub and OBERON with DanceNOW[NYC], recently received a RISCA Fellowship in Choreography from the State of Rhode Island, was the first to get the word “Frack” in print at Dance Magazine.

 

Jayson Smart | Program Officer, Rasmuson Foundation

Jayson Smart serves as a Program Officer for the Rasmuson Foundation, a private family foundation based in Anchorage. He provides oversight of the foundation’s portfolio in arts and culture, and also works on special topics in health and education. Jayson brings unique experience from the public and nonprofit sectors to his role advancing partnerships between the foundation and Alaska organizations. He has held positions in arts and education administration, with a focus on performing arts presenting and touring. He formerly served as deputy director with the Municipality of Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services, and has a background in social service agency management with a focus on disability advocacy and policy. He presently serves as a Trustee of the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation, and is a Board member of the Anchorage Concert Association, and the Alliance of Artists Communities. Jayson holds two degrees from the University of Alaska Anchorage: a Master's degree in public administration with an emphasis in public management; and a BA in psychology. He has spent the last 30 years in Southcentral Alaska.

 

Lise Soskolne | Core Organizer, W.A.G.E.

Lise Soskolne has been an organizer within Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) since its founding and its core organizer since 2012. Founded in 2008, W.A.G.E. is a New York-based activist organization focused on regulating the payment of artist fees by nonprofit art institutions, and establishing a sustainable labor relation between artists and the institutions that subcontract their labor. In 2014 W.A.G.E. launched a national certification program that publicly recognizes those institutions demonstrating a history of, and commitment to, voluntarily paying artist fees. W.A.G.E. Certification is the only model of its kind—and the first in the U.S. to establish a sector-wide minimum standard for compensation, as well as a clear set of guidelines and standards for the conditions under which artistic labor is contracted.

Vanphouthon Souvannasane | Director, Yellow Peril Gallery

Vanphouthon Souvannasan is the director of Yellow Peril Gallery in Olneyville, a gritty section of Providence many artists have called home since the Fort Thunder days. Opening in 2011, Yellow Peril has become a vital presence on the art scene. With so many artists and few venues to showcase talent, Yellow Peril has earned respect as a serious venue by focusing on solo shows and participating in international art fairs. A Hampshire College graduate, Van is passionate about contributing to Providence’s creative heritage and cosmopolitan vibe by promoting artists through innovative, engaging channels. Prior to gallery work, he spent 10 years in corporate communications, learning about the importance of standardization and partnerships for success. Incorporating these “co-opetition” lessons into running a gallery, with no previous experience, provides him the right level of discipline and professionalism for conducting business in the artworld and its numerous satellites. With peers and thought leaders, Van aspires to build upon a pioneering spirit and advance critical dialogue about contemporary art.He is ecstatic about stepping out of his commercial role into the nonprofit Providence Biennial.

John D. Spiak | Director + Chief Curator, Grand Central Art Center at California State University, Fullerton

John D. Spiak was appointed Director/Chief Curator of California State University Fullerton’s Grand Central Art Center (GCAC), Santa Ana in September of 2011. His curatorial emphasis is on contemporary art and society, with focus on works in social practice and video. Through the GCAC Artist-in-Residence initiative, GCAC hosts national and international artists as they develop projects, most recently Adriana Salazar (Bogata), Carmen Papalia (Vancouver), Daniel Tucker (Chicago), Lisa Bielawa (New York), and Vincent Goudreau (Maui). Prior to his appointment at GCAC, he was Curator at the Arizona State University Art Museum. John was acting curator in charge of the ASU Art Museum residency series Social Studies. In 1997, he founded and was acting director for fifteen years of the annual ASU Art Museum Short Film and Video Festival. He has curated over 100 solo and group exhibitions, working directly with artists including Pipilotti Rist, Shirin Neshat, Brent Green, Tony de los Reyes, Jillian Mcdonald and Adam Chodzko. His projects have received support from such prestigious organizations as The British Council, Metabolic Studio, Polish Cultural Institute, National Endowment for the Arts, CEC ArtsLink and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. John currently serves on the Editorial Board for the journal Museum and Social Issues, Advisory Board of SPArt (Social Practice Art - Los Angeles), and Board of Community Engagement.

John Stephenson | Managing Director + Co-Founder, The Rhode Island Writers Colony

[bio to come]

Caitlin Strokosch Caitlin Strokosch | Executive Director, Alliance of Artists Communities

Caitlin has served the Alliance since 2002 and was appointed Executive Director in 2008. During her tenure she has launched the Emerging Program Institute, conducted New Voices of Modern Arab Literature, was a writer and editor of "Surviving to Thriving: Sustaining Artist Residencies," and has authored numerous reports, essays, and articles about artist residencies and support for today's artists. A frequent public speaker, she has served as a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, The Joyce Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America, Rasmuson Foundation, and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. She serves on the Board of Directors of Grantmakers in the Arts and Girls Rock! Rhode Island, and on the Advisory Boards of Transcultural Exchange and Outpost Journal. Caitlin holds a BA in music performance from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in musicology from Roosevelt University, where her research focused on music as a tool for building communities of resistance and social dissent.

Carl Atiya Swanson | Director of Movement Building, Springboard for the Arts

Carl Atiya Swanson is Springboard for the Arts' Director of Movement Building, working on Creative Exchange, a national hub of artful solutions for stronger communities. Carl previously worked at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and founded Crown & Sparrow, a boutique communications consulting firm specializing in work with artists. He is a theatermaker with Savage Umbrella, a company dedicated to creating new, relevant works of theater, and is on the board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Twin Cities. Carl holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.

David Szlasa | Co-Director + Artist, Range Studio

David Szlasa’s work spans performance, video, public art, and social practice as a producer and practitioner. His work is rooted in a commitment to social and ecological sustainability and leverages the power of remix and re-appropriation of popular imagery, ideas, and actions in unexpected ways to challenge structures of authority and inspire social change. He is the co-director of Range Studio: a tiny, mobile art studio and artist residency program that supports creative work, fosters partnerships across disciplines, and advocates for sustainable solutions for artists and the arts community. David is a visiting lecturer at Stanford University and St Mary’s College and a recipient of the Gerbode Award, Future Aesthetics Artist Award, and grants from the Rainin Foundation, Zellerbach Foundation, and Center for Cultural Innovation.

Judith Tolnick Champa | Founding Director, Providence Biennial for Contemporary Art

Judith Tolnick-Champa is an actively independent contemporary art curator launched by Brown’s History of Art graduate program, where teaching with objects became her desire and the impetus for a curatorial career. She is an experienced art critic, editor-in-chief of a regional art magazine in Boston, and director/curator for Brown’s Bell Gallery and former University of RI, Kingston Galleries. Cultivating the complementary practices of curating and writing, inspired by the pace of global change, she is passionate about creating a high-profile, art residency embracing a European style Biennial for our region. As The Providence Biennial’s founder, Judith is motivated to lead and to learn from tremendously talented colleagues and supporters to achieve this plan.

 

Charles Tracy | National Park Service

Charles Tracy is a National Park Service (NPS) landscape architect based in Boston and currently superintendent of the New England National Scenic Trail. On the national level, he specializes in advancing NPS art partnerships and park artist-in-residence programs. He holds a master’s degrees in landscape architecture from the University of Massachusetts and in classics from the University of Texas.

 

Sharon Ullman | Chief Operating Officer, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Sharon Ullman is the first Chief Operating Officer of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, an organization that supports the legacy of the artist’s life and work as well as extensive philanthropy and residency programs. Previously she was Chief Operating Officer for Office for Metropolitan Architecture/NY, founded by Rem Koolhaas, and Director of Administration for 2x4, a global design consultancy that focuses on brand strategy for cultural and commercial clients. She has been a Freelance Producer working in print photography, broadcast television, music videos, and graphic design. Sharon has devoted her nearly twenty-five-year career to providing managerial leadership and financial acumen to advance creative and artistic endeavors and organizations. Born in Ohio, Sharon is a graduate of Kent State University and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her son, Sam.

Lori Urso | Executive Director, Slater Mill

Lori Urso is the Executive Director of Slater Mill, the internationally recognized birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution and a National Historic Landmark. During the nine years she has worked in cultural site administration, Lori has nurtured a connection to contemporary art by showcasing works within historic venues. She believes historic structure as a backdrop for contemporary art makes a very powerful statement about the state of our culture today - and the culture of our state - facilitating a connection to place that is immediately relevant. Earlier in her career as an executive director, she led a watershed council overseeing work in river and fish passage restoration and engaged contemporary artists to unite people with the landscape in meaningful ways. Additionally she provided venue support for the inaugural launch of Poetry of the Wild by Cuban-American sculptor Ana Flores. This interweave of the arts, humanities, and landscape continues to touch worldwide audiences 11 years later. Lori is energized by her exploration of the impact of public art and public statement on community.

Clyde Valentín | Director, Ignite Arts Dallas

Clyde Valentín was born and raised in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He is the co-founding Producer and Executive Director of Hi-ARTS (formerly known as the Hip-Hop Theater Festival). Most recently he became the inaugural Director of Ignite/Arts Dallas: A Center for People, Purpose + Place at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts. The mission is Ignite/Arts Dallas is to challenge the imagination of students and citizens to foster more just and vibrant communities through art and culture experiences. Clyde has served as a consultant and panelist for Creative Capital, has worked with Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) and was a Senior Advisor for the New England Foundation for the Arts, National Touring Project (NTP). He is on the Advisory Board of the Latino Theater Commons and he serves on the Board of Theater Communications Group (TCG), as well as Hi-ARTS, a unique Arts Center dedicated to Hip-Hop Arts & Culture, which produces the Hip-Hop Theater Festival and other major events around the country. He has presented at numerous conferences including the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture (NALAC), APAP, and the National Performance Network’s (NPN) Annual Meeting.

 

Jacques Louis Vidal | Resident Director, The Lighthouse Works

Jacques Louis Vidal is an artist, performer, and advocate for artists who was raised in Houston, Texas. He has exhibited his work internationally including solo exhibitions at Marc Jancou Contemporary NYC, Horton Gallery NYC, and Texan Equities Los Angeles. He co-founded KNOWMOREGAMES an exhibition space in Brooklyn where he has co-curated 35 shows over the past five years. He received his BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts and his MFA in Sculpture from Yale University. He currently lives and works on Fishers Island, NY.

Patrice Walker Powell | Retired, Cultural Worker + Public Servant

Before retiring in October 2014, Patrice Walker Powell served as deputy chairman for programs and partnerships at the National Endowment for the Arts, a position she held since 2010. In this role, she had oversight of the agency's nearly $100 million in grants and special projects for a national network of governmental and nonprofit partners, as well as for grant awards to cultural organizations in all disciplines and fields. Before joining the NEA in 1991, she served as deputy director for the Texas Commission on the Arts and program staff for the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. She earned her BFA from Howard University and MFA from Yale University's School of Drama.

Ryan Walsh | Development + Writing Program Director, Vermont Studio Center

Ryan Walsh is the Director of Development & the Writing Program at VSC, where he has worked since 2011. His poetry has been published in several literary journals, including Ecotone; FIELD; Forklift, Ohio; and Narrative, as well as the chapbook collections Reckoner and The Sinks. Ryan has been awarded a Vermont Arts Council artist grant and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarships, and he was named a 2011 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship finalist. He received his BA in Integrative Studies from Warren Wilson College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lauren Was | Co-Director, Art Garda; Critic, Wassaic Project

Lauren Was is an artist, educator, and active critic. She has a BFA in Sculpture from the Art Institute of Chicago, an MFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a collegiate teaching certificate from Brown University. As an artist she primarily works under the moniker Ghost of a Dream, in collaboration with artist Adam Eckstrom. Ghost of a Dream has had solo exhibitions in Bologna, Basel, Paris, London, Brussels, Beijing, Berlin, and many US cities. Before deciding to start Art Garda Residency Program, Lauren participated in residencies in Germany, Switzerland, the US, China and France. Her work with Ghost of a Dream been featured in The Guardian (London), The Independent (London), Time Out (New York), ArtForum.com, Vice Art Talk, Vogue Magazine, among many other publications, and is included in important collections and museums in both the United States and abroad. Lauren currently teaches At Binghamton University, and has taught Sculpture at RISD, University of Tennessee Knoxville, and Oxbow School of Art. She is also an active core member of the Wassaic Project where she founded, and continues to run, an active resident critique program.

 

Raymond Two Hawks Watson | Executive Member, Eastern Medicine Singers

Raymond Two Hawks Watson was born and raised in Providence, RI, growing up in the city’s Mt. Hope and Fox Point neighborhoods. He is a product of the Providence Public School system, graduating from Classical High School in 1997. Raymond graduated from Union College in Schenectady, NY with a BA in Political Science in 2002 and the University of Rhode Island, graduated with a Master’s Degree in Community Planning, concentrating in Housing and Community Development, in 2005. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Mount Hope Neighborhood Association, Inc in Providence and as the Acting Chair of the Providence Human Relations Commission. Raymond is also an Executive/Founding Member of the Eastern Medicine Singers Native American Drum Group and serves as Pomham Sachem of the Historic Mashapaug Nahaganset Tribe, based in Providence, RI.

 

David R. White | Artistic Director + Executive Producer, The Yard

David R White is the Artistic Director and Producer of The Yard in Chilmark, MA (Martha’s Vineyard), an artist/company creative residency, presentation and educational center dedicated to the nurturing of outstanding artists in contemporary dance and related art forms and to creative citizenship within the demographic realities of the island. He also chairs the National [Artist] Council of Florida’s Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach. Until 2011, he was the Director of ARTVENTURES New England. From 1975-2003, David served as the Executive Director and Producer of Dance Theater Workshop in NYC, where he mentored, commissioned and presented over 800 contemporary dance and performance artists. At DTW he founded such programs as the National Performance Network, the Suitcase Fund, and the NY State Dance Force. With a colleague, he created the New York Dance and Performance Awards (aka the Bessies), for which he was honored in 2014 at the Apollo Theater on their 30th anniversary. He co-founded Pentacle, a pioneering arts management cooperative. A former dancer and filmmaker, David is a “Distinguished Alumnus” of Wesleyan University; a Knight in France’s Order of Arts and Letters; a recipient of the Dance/USA Honors, the Capezio Award and the Dance Magazine Award; a recipient of the Association of American Cultures Award for his pioneering work in real-world cultural diversity; as well as both the Governor’s and Mayor’s Award of NY State and City. He has served as a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and actively serves on many Martha's Vineyard boards and steering committees including Fishermen’s Preservation Trust, Healthy Aging Taskforce and Arts MV.

 

Adrienne Willis | Executive Director, American Dance Institute

Adrienne Willis was appointed Executive Director of American Dance Institute (ADI) in 2010 after being hired as a consultant to produce extensive research and analysis of local and national needs within the dance field. Adrienne quickly  designed and implemented programs to develop new dance audiences in the Washington, DC area and establish ADI as a nationally recognized dance presenter and residency site. ADI’s Incubator production residency has added a much-needed support structure to the national contemporary dance field, providing late-stage production residencies for 17 new dance works in its first four years. Prior to ADI, Adrienne consulted with high-profile nonprofit and corporate clients on branding, messaging, and media coverage. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and New York University, she has worked as a theater director, producer, and designer at a range of theaters, including Naked Angels, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Zipper, Collective Unconscious, Mass MOCA, Lucille Lortel, and the Westport Country Playhouse. She directed a touring theatrical production about the devastating effects of landmines – Watch Your Step – and served as Director of Strategy and Communications for Veterans for America (VFA)/Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF), securing high-level press coverage and co-directing the VFA National Guard Program and Wounded Warrior Outreach Program. While Executive Director of ADI, Adrienne has served on numerous grant and review panels, including the Maryland State Arts Council, the DC Commission on the Arts, and Velocity DC.

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 foundation's senior leadership team, she is leading the organization through a new phase of charitable giving- one that builds on the legacy of its founder while remaining relevant to contemporary concerns. The foundation supports initiatives at the intersection of arts and issues that embody the fearlessness and innovation Rauschenberg exemplified in both his art and philanthropic endeavors. The foundation is particularly interested in the role of creative problem solving in achieving social change. Before entering cultural philanthropy, Risë founded The Laundromat Project, an award-winning organization that mounts public art projects in local laundromats as a way of amplifying the creative power available in neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy, Harlem, and the South Bronx. Her tenure in arts and culture includes roles at the Ford Foundation, Parsons, MoMA, and ICP. A frequently sought public speaker on topics ranging from social enterprise to arts and community development, Risë most recently served as keynote for the Young People for the American Way's annual summit. She holds a BA from Columbia University and an MA from NYU.

Holly Wren Spaulding | Director, Poetry Forge + STORYhouse Partners

Holly Wren Spaulding is a teaching artist, editor, and creative coach. She is the founder of Poetry Forge (an incubator for writers and their work) and with her husband, author Matt Rigney, Holly co-directs STORYhouse Partners. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, Michigan Quarterly Review, Witness, The Ecologist, in the book We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-Capitalism (Verso) and elsewhere. Her most recent collection of poems, Pilgrim, was released in 2014 by Alice Greene & Co. She serves on the faculty of the Interlochen College of Creative Arts and is an advisor to the board of the Institute for Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design.

 

Jennifer Wright Cook | Executive Director, The Field

Jennifer Wright Cook, Executive Director of The Field since 2006, has worked on both coasts in arts management and as a dance/theater performer for more than 20 years. Her work has been recognized by published articles in Backstage and AM New York, interviews on WNYC Public Radio, and by participation on adjudication panels, seminars, and at roundtables for the National Endowment for the Arts, Alliance of Artists Communities, CUNY Prelude Festival, Americans for the Arts, Future of Music, Center for an Urban Future and the Cultural Data Project Task Force. Jennifer has performed with the Joe Goode Performance Group, Neil Greenberg, Sarah Skaggs, Mark Dendy and others. She sings in a gospel choir and lives in Brooklyn with her partner and daughter.

 

Pippi Zornoza | Co-Founder, Dirt Palace

Pippi Zornoza is an interdisciplinary artist working in sound, installation, performance and printmaking, and a co-founder of the Dirt Palace feminist art collective in Providence, RI. Formed in 2000, the Dirt Palace was identified in 2012 as one of 20 ground breaking small arts organizations nationwide to receive recognition from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Pippi's work has been featured internationally at such venues as Carpenter Center, Harvard University; P.S. 1; Boston Center for the Arts; SOHO20 CHELSEA; Santa Monica Museum of Art; Queens Museum; David Winton Bell Gallery, Providence; Centro Polivalente di Villa Pacchiani, Italy; REMAINS; Art Aqua, 5 Traverse Gallery, Miami; ADHOC gallery, NYC; Space 1026, Philadelphia; Sala el Circulo and Epif Arte Bar, Valparaiso, Chile; Casa 13, Cordoba, Argentina; Appetite, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rhode Island School of Design Museum; Contemporary Artists Center, North Adams; Museum of Natural History, Providence; Gallery Rocket, Tokyo. Her work is housed in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and has been published in the Bell Gallery's Building Expectation: Past and Present Visions of the Architectural Future, Anthony Alvarado's DIY Magic, Mathew Barney and Brandon Stousy's Tubal Cain, and in the art-poster anthology, The Art of Modern Rock.

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