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The Alliance Board Welcomes Five New Trustees

The Alliance of Artists Communities is thrilled to announce five accomplished arts leaders, with incredible records of supporting individual artists, have joined the Alliance board.

New trustees are Rob Bailis, Associate Director of Cal Performances; Elizabeth Chodos, Co-Founder of Common Field and Executive & Creative Director of Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency; Tony Grant, Executive Director of Sustainable Arts Foundation; Franklin Sirmans, Director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami; and Sharon Ullman, COO of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. The Alliance Board is chaired by Jason Kalajainen, Executive Director - of Luminarts Cultural Foundation at the Union League Club of Chicago.

The Alliance board is comprised of distinguished national arts leaders, artists, patrons, and policy-makers, representing a diverse range of perspectives. "We are incredibly excited and fortunate to have such a talented and diverse group of arts professionals and residency advocates joining the Alliance of Artists Communities’ Board" said Jason Kalajainen. "Whether from the perspective of a thriving residency program, arts center, or foundation their experience and backgrounds are sure to inform and expand the way the Alliance supports residency programs and the artists those programs serve."

For a full list of the 2016 Board of Trustees and the Honorary Board, click here.

Rob Bailis

Rob Bailis is a musician, writer, and performing arts curator living in his native San Francisco. A classical clarinetist, he has performed with orchestras, chamber ensembles, and as a recitalist across the U.S., Canada, Asia, and the U.K. He was Director of ODC Theater - leading  a $9 million dollar expansion of the theater during his tenure. Rob was named “MVP” in dance presenting by the San Francisco Chronicle - describing his curation as, “…smart…instinctive, and infectious.” He has commissioned over 30 new works and has served as a panelist/consultant for foundations and arts funding organizations including MAP Fund, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Creative Capital, SF Arts Commission, New England Foundation for the Arts, Chamber Music America, WESTAF, and the Center for Cultural Innovation. In June of 2013, Mr. Bailis was appointed Associate Director of Cal Performances on the UC Berkeley campus, where he leads the artistic programming team in areas of dance, theater, and world stages, and oversees the fundraising, marketing, education, and publication departments. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and Yale School of Music.

Elizabeth Chodos

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. Chodos 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.

Tony Grant

Tony Grant is the Executive Director of the 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.

Franklin Sirmans

Franklin Sirmans was named director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami in September 2015. In 2014, he served as Artist Director of Prospect.3 New Orleans. Since 2010, he has held the position of the Terri and Michael Smooke Department Head and Curator of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. From 2006 to 2010, he was the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Menil Collection in Houston, TX. Prior to that, Sirmans worked as an independent curator, freelance writer and teacher at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and Princeton University, after holding positions at Dia Center for the Arts and Flash Art Magazine. He was co-curator of One Planet Under A Groove: Contemporary Art and Hip Hop; Make It Now: New Sculpture in New York, and Basquiat. Sirmans has written for The New York Times, Time Out New York, Essence, and Grand Street. He was the recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize awarded by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta and the inaugural honoree of the Gold Rush Awards by Rush Philanthropic Art Foundation. Franklin currently serves on the National Artist Advisory Committee for Hermitage Artist Retreat.                 

Sharon Ullman

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. Ullman 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, Ullman is a graduate of Kent State University and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her son, Sam.