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Keynote Presenters

BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE | Friday, October 7 | Keynote Address

BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE's bold new album, Power in the Blood, is resonating with fans of the Cree singer-songwriter, activist, educator, visual artist, and winner of countless awards (Oscar, Juno, and Golden Globe, among them). Perhaps you know Buffy from her protest anthems, open-hearted love songs, incendiary powwow rock, or the juggernaut pop hit "Up Where We Belong," which she co-wrote and Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes sang. Or maybe you remember her from her five years on "Sesame Street" beginning in the mid-'70s. Every song and every era has revealed new and distinctive shades of an artist revered for her pioneering and chameleon ways. She is like an investigative journalist who prods and provokes to tell another side of a story. Her songs have been a light in the dark, uncovering everything from corporate greed to violations of human rights to governmental abuse of the very people it's supposed to protect. Buffy's presentation will touch on the award-winning singer-songwriter's music career, philanthropy projects and world travels. Through her discussion, Buffy hopes to inspire listeners to stay positive in troubled times and keep their nose on the joy trail.

BARAK adé SOLEIL | Thursday, October 6 | Keynote Address

Barak ade SoleilBARAK adé SOLEIL makes dance, theatre and performance art. An award-winning creative practitioner he has been invested in engaging diverse communities throughout the US, Panama, Europe and West Africa. Barak is the founder of D UNDERBELLY, an interdisciplinary network of artists of color, and recipient of the Katherine Dunham Choreography award given by NYC's AUDELCO for excellence in Black Theatre. His directing, performing, and process speak to the expanse of contemporary art; utilizing techniques drawn from the African diaspora, disability and queer culture, post-modern and conceptual forms. In 2015, Barak was invited to be the keynote speaker and performer for Middlebury College's noted Clifford Symposium. NewCity media named him as one of the "top 50 players" of the year. He is a 2015 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Awardee, 2015-16 University of Illinois Chicago/ 3Arts Fellow, and 2016 Choreographer-in-Residence for Rebuild Foundation. Barak is currently developing what the body knows: an expansive project focused on the complex intersection and legacy of disability and race. For the 2016 international Hemispheric Institute Encuentro, he will travel to Santiago, Chile to present excerpts of this work. what the body knows will receive its world premiere in fall of 2016 at Stony Island Arts Bank. Other projects include: lower(the)depths, a galvanizing interdisciplinary theatre project developed within Montreal's diverse community and the black | body, an independently curated series of transgressive art by black artists from across the diaspora. Barak is currently celebrating his 25th anniversary of being involved in live arts.

LIDIA YUKNAVITCH | Wednesday, October 5 | Keynote Address

Lidia YuknavitchLIDIA YUKNAVITCH is the National Bestselling author of the novels The Small Backs of Children (Harpers) and Dora: A Headcase (Hawthorne Books), and the memoir The Chronology of Water (Hawthorne Books), as well as three books of short fictions – her other mouths, Liberty's Excess, and Real to Reel, and a critical book on war and narrative, Allegories of Violence. Her acclaimed TED Talk The Beauty of Being a Misfit has an accompanying Misfit's Manifesto scheduled to be published next year. Her writing has appeared in publications including Guernica Magazine, Ms., The Iowa Review, Zyzzyva, Another Chicago Magazine, The Sun, Exquisite Corpse, TANK, and in the anthologies Life As We Show It (City Lights), Wreckage of Reason (Spuytin Duyvil), Forms at War (FC2), Feminaissance (Les Figues Press), and Representing Bisexualities (SUNY), as well as online at The Rumpus. She is the recipient of the Oregon Book Award – Ken Kesey Fiction Award as well as two Reader's Choice Awards, a PNBA award, and was a finalist for the 2012 Pen Center Creative Nonfiction award. She is a very good swimmer. She writes, teaches and lives in Portland, Oregon with the filmmaker Andy Mingo and their renaissance man son Miles.

ELIZABETH WOODY | Wednesday, October 5 | Welcome Poem

ELIZABETH WOODY was appointed Oregon Poet Laureate in the spring of 2016. An enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon, Elizabeth is of Yakama Nation descent, and is "born for" the Tódích'íinii (Bitter Water clan) of the Navajo Nation. Her paternal grandfather's clan is Mą'ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass - Jemez clan). She received the American Book Award in 1990, the William Stafford Memorial Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards in 1995. She has taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts and at Portland State University and is an alumna of the first Kellogg Foundation's Fellowship through AIO's Ambassadors program. Elizabeth is presently on the Board of Directors of Soapstone: Celebrating Women Writers, and Willamette University Advisory Council for Native Programs located in Salem, Oregon. She has published three books of poetry. She also writes short fiction, essays, and is a visual artist.


Yaelle Amir | Curator, Newspace Center for Photography (Portland, OR)
Roya Amirsoleymani | Community Engagement Manager, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (Portland, OR)
Lulani Arquette | President + CEO, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (Vancouver, WA)
Katy Asher | Artist (Portland, OR)
Claudia Bach | Principal + Founder, AdvisArts (Seattle, WA)
Rob Bailis | Associate Director, Cal Performances (Berkley, CA)
Jim Baker | Executive Director, Pilchuck Glass School (Seattle, WA)
Susanna Battin | Artist + Program Director, North Mountain Residency (Hedgesville, WV)
Jamie Blosser | Executive Director, Santa Fe Art Institute, + Founder, Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative (Santa Fe, NM)
Will Bowling | National Programs Specialist, National Performance Network (New Orleans, LA)
Kandis Brewer Nunn | Senior Advisor, The Ford Family Foundation (Roseburg, OR)
Ansje Burdick | Managing Director, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (Tallahassee, FL)
Karl Burkheimer | MFA in Craft, Chair/Professor, Oregon College of Art + Craft (Portland, OR)
Ben Cameron | President + CEO, The Jerome Foundation + Camargo Foundation (St. Paul, MN)
Megan Canning | Manager of Media + Special Projects, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (New York, NY)
Elizabeth Chodos | Executive + Creative Director, Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency (Saugatuck, MI)
Donna Conwell | Curator, Lucas Artists Program, Montalvo Arts Center (Saratoga, CA)
Helen Daltoso | Grants Officer, Regional Arts + Culture Council (Portland, OR)
Deana Dartt, PhD | Curator of Native American Art, Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR)
Alec De León | Program Specialist, National Performance Network (New Orleans, LA)
Ryan Dennis | Public Art Director, Project Row Houses (Houston, TX)
Sherry Dobbin | Director, Times Square Arts (New York, NY)
Sharon Dynak | President, Ucross Foundation (Clearmont, WY)
Nina Elder | Residency Program Manager, Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM)
Faerthen Felix | Assistant Manager, Sagehen Creek Field Station (Truckee, CA)
Emily Fitzgerald | Interdisciplinary Artist, Photographer + Storyteller (Portland, OR)
Deborah Ford | Executive Director, PLAYA (Summer Lake, OR)
William Fox | Director of Center for Art + Environment, Nevada Museum of Art (Reno, NV)
David Fraher | President + CEO, Arts Midwest (Minneapolis, MN)
Melissa Franklin | Director, Pew Fellowships, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (Philadelphia, PA)
Judy Freeland | Residency Coordinator, Djerassi Resident Artists Program (Woodside, CA)
Mario Garcia Durham | President + CEO, Association of Performing Arts Presenters (Washington, DC)
Charles Goodrich | Director of Spring Creek Project, Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR)
Shawn René Graham | Artist Services Manager, The Field (New York, NY)
Shir Ly Grisanti | Founding Director, c3:initiative (Portland, OR)
Esther Grisham Grimm | Executive Director, 3Arts (Chicago, IL)
David Grozinsky | Admissions Coordinator, Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT)
Gia Hamilton | Director, Joan Mitchell Center (New Orleans, LA)
Andrea Hanley | Membership + Program Manager, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (Santa Fe, NM)
Jeff Hawthorne | Director of Community Engagement, Regional Arts & Culture Council (Portland, OR)
Brandon Hinman | Director, AIR Serenbe (Chattahoochee Hills, GA)
Ariana Jacob | Artist (Portland, OR)
Daniel Jáquez | Freelance Stage Director, Theatre-maker and Translator (San Diego, CA)
Vanessa Kauffman | Communications + Outreach Manager, Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA)
Ellina Kevorkian | Artistic Director - Residency Programs, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE)
Brad Kik | Co-Director, Crosshatch Center for Art + Ecology (Bellaire, MI)
Margot H. Knight | Executive Director, Djerassi Resident Artists Program (Woodside, CA)
Holly Kranker | Residency Program Manager, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE)
John Labovitz | Director, North Mountain Residency (Hedgesville, WV)
Mitch Loch| President, Sacatar Foundation (Los Angeles, CA)
David Macy | Resident Director, The MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, NH)   
Brenda Mallory | Artist (Portland, OR)
Betty Marín | Research + Project Coordinator, 18th Street Arts Center (Santa Monica, CA)
Bethany Martin-Breen | Senior Program Associate, The Rockefeller Foundation (New York, NY)
Angela Mattox | Artistic Director, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (Portland, OR)
Sara Nash | Manager, National Dance Project, New England Foundation for the Arts (Boston, MA)
Aaron O'Connor | Director, The Arctic Circle (Brooklyn, NY)
Jaamil Olawale Kosoko | Co-Director, anonymous bodies (Brooklyn, NY)
Michael Orlove | Director, Artist Communities + Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works; International Activities Coordinator, National Endowment for the Arts (Washington, DC)
Jeremy Pataky | Consultant, Overstory Consulting | Rasmuson Foundation
Carla Peterson | Director, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (Tallahassee, FL)
Beth Prevor | Co-Founder + Executive Director, Hands On (New York, NY)
Elizabeth Quinn | Creative Director, Caldera (Portland, OR)
Megha Ralapati | Residency + Special Projects Manager, Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago, IL)
Kristen Ramirez | Seattle Department of Transportation Art & Enhancements Project Manager, Office of Arts & Culture and Department of Transportation (Seattle, WA)
Martha Richards | Executive Director, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation (Portland, OR)
Maria Robinson | Marketing + Communications Manager, Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT)
Bruce Rodgers | Executive Director, Hermitage Artist Retreat (Englewood, FL)
Ama Rogan | Managing Director, A Studio in the Woods (New Orleans, LA)
Tamara Ross | Director, Programming Operations, The Banff Centre (Banff, Canada)
Carrie Sandahl | Director, Bodies of Work - University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Paolo Salvagione | Artist (San Francisco, CA)
Eleanor Savage | Senior Program Officer, Jerome Foundation (St. Paul, MN)
George Scheer | Executive Director, Elsewhere (Greensboro, NC)
John Schratwieser | Executive Director, Maryland Citizens for the Arts (Baltimore, MD)
James Scruggs | Artist + Facilitator, The Field (New York, NY)
Vanessa Sigurdson | Artist in Residence (AIR) Program Manager, Autodesk - Pier 9 (San Francisco, CA)
Marc Smiley | Principal, Solid Ground Consulting (Portland, OR)
Tricia Snell | Executive Director, Caldera (Portland, OR)
Bryan Suereth | Director, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center (Portland, OR)
Pireeni Sundaralingam | Poet + Neuroscientist, Associate Professor, California Institute of Integral Studies (San Francisco, CA)
Stacy Switzer | Curator + Executive Director, Fathomers (Los Angeles, CA)
Rulan Tangen | Founding Artistic Director + Choreographer, Dancing Earth (San Francisco, CA)
Mi'Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, EdD | Community Scholar, Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory + Empirics at Columbia University (Santa Fe, NM)
Erica Thomas | Artist, Producer + Manager (Portland, OR)
Taryn Tomasello | Writer, Curator, Organizer + Artist (Portland, OR)
Sharita Towne | Artist (Portland, OR)
Anuradha Vikram | Artistic Director, 18th Street Arts Center (Santa Monica, CA)
Lexa Walsh | Artist + Archivist (Oakland, CA) + Culinary Artist in Residence, Atlantic Center for the Arts (New Smyrna Beach, FL)
Edisa Weeks | Choreographer, DELIRIOUS Dances + Assistant Professor, Queens College (Brooklyn, NY)
Noah Weinstein | Senior Creative Programs Manager, Autodesk - Pier 9 (San Francisco, CA)
Dana Whitco | Director, Tisch Initiative for Creative Research (New York, NY)
Cameron Whitten | Executive Director, Know Your City (Portland, OR)
Steven Yazzie | Multidisciplinary Artist (Phoenix, AZ)


Yaelle Amir | Curator, Newspace Center for Photography

Yaelle S. Amir is the Curator at Newspace Center for Photography, where she manages the exhibitions and public programs. Yaelle has worked as a curator and researcher for over a decade, focusing primarily on socially-engaged photography, video, and installation, with an emphasis on community engagement. She has held curatorial and research positions at major institutions including the International Center of Photography, Museum of Modern Art, and New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. She has curated exhibitions at numerous nonprofit institutions across the U.S. such as Artists Space, CUE Art Foundation, Center for Book Arts, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Franklin Street Works, ISE Cultural Foundation, Marginal Utility, and the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University, among others. She is the recipient of several curatorial fellowships and awards by national organizations including The Luminary in St. Louis, BRIC Media in Brooklyn and the Art & Law Program in New York.

Roya Amirsoleymani | Community Engagement Manager, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art

Roya Amirsoleymani seeks to generate and facilitate provocative, productive dialogue about contemporary art, culture, and politics in a public, community, and civic context. She oversees community engagement for the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), including public programs, education, partnerships, outreach, audience expansion, youth participation, and the Precipice Fund, part of an initiative of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Roya holds an MA in Arts Management from the University of Oregon, and a BA in Contemporary Visual Culture and Gender Studies from the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies. She is on faculty in Portland State University's Art & Social Practice Program, has lectured at colleges and conferences, and participated in think tanks, selection committees, and review panels, including Performance Works Northwest, New Foundation Seattle, National Performance Network, APAP/TCG/DanceUSA, ArtPlace, Oregon Arts Commission, and The Contemporary Baltimore's Grit Fund.

Lulani Arquette | President + CEO, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation

Lulani Arquette is the President and CEO of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, a leading national organizaiton dedicated to promoting the revitalization, appreciation and perpetuation of Native arts and cultures and bringing together Native and non-Native communities to drive social impact. Under her leadership, the new foundation opened its doors and launched a grantmaking program supporting individual artists and Native Alaskan, American Indian and Native Hawaiian arts and culture organizations. She is a strong advocate of arts and culture, Native self-determination, business and economic development, as well as social justice. Before leading the foundation, her innovative stewardship for nonprofit, public sector and private organizations developed unique collaborations enriched by the strengths of racial and ethnic diversity. She has a degree in political science, drama and theatre from the University of Hawai`i and has performed in many theatrical productions. Lulani has served on the boards of the National Insight Center for Community Economic Development, Organization of Women Leaders and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. She is especially proud to now serve as member of the Grantmakers In the Arts Board of Directors.

Katy Asher | Artist

Katy Asher investigates how audiences create shared meaning around ideas of place through group work and facilitation of participatory events. She is curious about the dynamics of small groups and systems change. As a program manager at SE Uplift Neighborhood Coalition, Katy engages citizens in determining how their neighborhoods evolve. Her project Resident Residency envisioned the neighborhood association meeting as a clearinghouse for a broad array of issues, inviting six Portland artists to see their work affected by participation in their own neighborhood associations. Along with regular meeting attendance, artists received project support, publicity, and opportunities for feedback through the residency structure. Katy has exhibited work and organized events at apexart in New York, the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne Contemporary Art Fair and Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, Australia and the Time-Based Art Festival and Portland Art Museum in Portland, OR.

Claudia Bach | Principal + Founder, AdvisArts

Claudia Bach works with artists, public and nonprofit organizations, communities, and cross-sector initiatives to advance informed, imaginative and purposeful change in the creative sector. Her work focuses on providing timely information and honest exploration of issues through planning, research, strategy development and training that stimulates new perspectives and generates effective action. She has had the pleasure of working on numerous initiatives to support the work and lives of individual artists with Artist Trust, Grantmakers in the Arts, NPN/VAN, foundations and many other entities. In addition to her consulting practice, AdvisArts, she is faculty for Seattle University's MFA in Arts Leadership.

Rob Bailis | Associate Director, Cal Performances

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

Jim Baker | Executive Director, Pilchuck Glass School

James Baker is Executive Director of the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle and Stanwood, Washington. He recently served as President of Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine (2006-2010). Previously he was Executive Director of Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado (1995-2006). In 1973, Jim received his undergraduate degree in Meteorology from The Pennsylvania State University. In 1975, he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design. He served as an Assistant Professor of Art (tenured) at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and as an Associate Professor of Arts and Humanities (tenured) at the University of Texas at Dallas. In 1986, he accepted the position of Program Director for Photography at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and in 1995 was invited to serve as Executive Director. Nationally, Jim has served on the boards of the Society for Photographic Education, the Alliance of Artists Communities (chair 2004-2005), the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, and the Nominating Committee for the Glass Art Society.


Susanna Battin | Artist + Program Director, North Mountain Residency

Susanna Battin lives and works in Los Angeles and Shanghai, West Virginia. She maintains an art practice that dovetails into her work as Program Director at North Mountain, a new artist residency in the Appalachian Mountains of WV. Valuing process over product, she allows the many identities and histories of her locations to continually interrupt and inspire her methods. She uses various forms of media, which include video, sculpture, performance, and installation, to trouble normative narratives we have about nature, landscape, death, and gender. Since 2014, Susanna has been working alongside John Labovitz to develop the mission goals of North Mountain, which privilege self-determination, radical forms of outreach, indeterminate 'termite' working processes, and local embeddedness. In 2015 Susanna graduated from CalArts with her masters in photography and media.


Jamie Blosser | Executive Director, Santa Fe Art Institute, + Founder, Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative

A resident of Santa Fe for almost 20 years, Jamie is a licensed architect working to creatively address equity in the built environment through community dialogue. Jamie recently completed a Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, focusing on equity, resilience, and effects of global urbanization in rural communities. Significant local projects of hers as Director of the Santa Fe office of Atkin Olshin Schade Architects (2005-2015), include the CCA Muñoz Waxman Gallery, El Mirador Administration Building, and the Santo Domingo Safety Complex. Her community design work with Ohkay Owingeh over the last fifteen years has led to revitalization of their historic plaza area, and has been published in several magazines and books, including Architectural Record and the Public Interest Design Practice Guidebook. Jamie founded the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative as a forum for peer networking, advocacy, and education supporting culturally appropriate and sustainable development in American Indian communities. She is Executive Producer of a PBS Natural Heroes documentary, airing in Spring 2016. She received her Masters in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.

Will Bowling | National Programs Specialist, National Performance Network

William Bowling is the National Programs Specialist at the National Performance Network (NPN) in New Orleans, Louisiana. He facilitates all NPN's National Programs, subsidizing the creation and touring of new performance work around the US, and abroad. Bowling has been with NPN since 2010. When not with NPN, Bowling is the Co-Artistic Director of the New Orleans based performance ensemble, Goat In The Road, and is a composer, performer and writer. He was recently a Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) Micro-Fest Fellow (2012-2013), and was featured on the cover of American Theater Magazine (March 2013).

Brewer Nunn

Kandis Brewer Nunn | Senior Advisor, The Ford Family Foundation

Kandis Brewer Nunn is Senior Advisor to The Ford Family Foundation. She is a veteran of the issues management and communications industry, having worked with several leading Oregon corporations and marketing communications firms before establishing Strategic Resources LLC in the early 1990s. Her advisory practice serves non-profit, public and private sector clients with strategic planning, governance, marketing communications and policy matters. She assists boards and staff to better manage challenging issues, organizational functionality and positioning, program effectiveness, and re-alignment, merger or dissolution, where beneficial or necessary. Over the course of her career she has worked in various disciplines, including: arts and culture, entrepreneurial enterprises, energy, crisis management, real estate development, health care, airline industry, retail, legal and accounting firms, Native American tribal interests, non-profit and philanthropic programs, and political initiatives.


Ansje Burdick | Managing Director, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography

[bio to come]


Karl Burkheimer | MFA in Craft, Chair/Professor, Oregon College of Art + Craft

Karl leads the newest OCAC graduate program, the MFA in Craft. Formerly the head of the College's Wood Department, Karl has been actively involved in the development of OCAC's MFA programs, and was the Associate Chair within the Applied Craft + Design program. Prior to joining the faculty at OCAC, Karl was an Assistant Professor of Design at Virginia Commonwealth University's branch campus in Qatar. He has also worked with students and faculty from the University of Manitoba as a guest artisan for service learning studios in Turkey and Africa. Karl's artistic practice is founded on his complicity with material culture and the built environment, particularly as expressed through a making space. He holds an MFA in Craft and Materials Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University; BED in Architecture, North Carolina State University. 

Ben Cameron | President + CEO, The Jerome Foundation + Camargo Foundation

Ben Cameron is the President of the Jerome Foundation, supporting emerging artists in MN and New York City, and the Camargo Foundation, operating a retreat center for artists and scholars in Cassis, France. From 2006-2015, he was Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in New York, NY, supervising both an annual $15 million grants program focusing on the theatre, contemporary dance, jazz and presenting fields, and an additional $50 million initiative designed primarily to serve individual artists. Previously, he managed philanthropic programs for Target Stores and the Dayton Hudson Foundation; served as the Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group, and was Director of the Theater Program at the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and the recipient of two honorary doctorates.


Megan Canning | Manager of Media + Special Projects, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

As the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation's first manager of media & special projects, Megan Canning directs external communications and branding, oversees digital initiatives, and manages a wide array of special projects. A studio artist, Megan is passionate about creating compelling and engaging visual stories for artists and organizations that are both effective and innovative. Prior to joining the Foundation in late 2015, she spent over a decade in the nonprofit sector in New York City leading content strategy, creative direction, and community engagement for a wide array of public design projects and print and digital initiatives. Megan holds a bachelor's degree in art education from Ohio University and a master's degree in painting from Hunter College, and maintains a studio in Brooklyn, NY.

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.

Donna Conwell | Curator, Lucas Artists Program, Montalvo Arts Center

Donna Conwell is Montalvo Arts Center's Associate Curator responsible for development, implementation, and documentation of Montalvo's curatorial program. Working primarily with artists in residence at Montalvo's Lucas Artists Residency Program, since 2011 she has organized over fifty exhibitions and public programs, and  supported artists in the realization and presentation of more than forty five new art works. Previous roles include Project Specialist in the department of Contemporary Programs and Research at the Getty Research Institute; Associate Curator of inSite_05-a visual arts organization that commissions artists to create new work at the San Diego-Tijuana border; Commissioning Editor for web-based magazine concerning art and culture in the Americas; and Assistant Curator at the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil in Mexico City. Additional curatorial projects, which encompass research-based museum exhibitions and temporal public commissions, include Farewell to Surrealism: the Dyn Circle in Mexico, The Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles, 2012; co-curator with Annette Leddy); Wandering Position: Selections from the inSite Archive, Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo (Mexico City, 2010); Overflow: A Reinvention of Alan Kaprow's Fluids by the L.A. Art Girls, The Getty Center (Los Angeles, 2008; co-curator with Andrew Perchuk); and From A to B, Fellows of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, 2008).

Helen Daltoso | Grants Officer, Regional Arts + Culture Council

As a Grants Officer for the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Helen oversees the tri-county agency's grantmaking processes including: General Operating Support, Professional Development Grants, Project Support Grants, Arts Equity Grants and the RACC Fellowship. Since 2003 Helen has also managed the RACC Cultural Leadership Program. This program offers consulting, workshop and networking opportunities to emerging and established arts leaders throughout the region. She has been a member of RACC's Equity Committee since its inception in 2012 and was the recipient of the Community Inclusion Award from the Portland Commission on Disability in 2009. Helen is a member of both Grantmakers in the Arts and Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington. Helen has worked in the Arts in Portland since 1995. Before joining RACC in 1997 as the Neighborhood Arts Program Coordinator, she served as the Program Manager for the Network of Oregon Artists, a service and support organization for individual artists. Prior to her work in the arts, Helen worked for three years in Lesotho as a community extension agent and radio producer for the U.S. Peace Corps and USAID.

Deana Dartt, PhD | Curator of Native American Art, Portland Art Museum

Deana Dartt (Chumash), Curator of Native American Art, at the Portland Art Museum, develops approaches to research, scholarship and exhibition that underscore indigenous methodologies. With an emphasis on contemporary Native art, she is building a strong modern component in the Native collection as well as working closely with the education department to develop new, engaging modes of interpretation including the development of a series of first-person, community-centered Object Stories. These engagement strategies are evident in permanent as well as temporary installations, which include: the newly opened Center for Contemporary Native Art and its inaugural exhibition, Thatwa, Thatwa: Indigenous Currents; the exhibition, Native Photographers and the Edward Curtis Legacy; and Native Fashion Now, an exhibition of over 50 Native designers. Motivated by the vision of a collaborative, Native/Artist centered approach, Deana recently received a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support two consecutive full-time pre-doctoral fellowships. The first round of this work will culminate in October 2017 in a major exhibition of Tlingit art titled, The Art of Resilience. This exhibition will open as part of the Museum's 125th Anniversary celebration and then travel nationally and internationally. Prior to her appointment at PAM, Deana curated Indigenous Voices Reply, at the Burke Museum and in collaboration with the Quileute Nation, developed the Truth versus Twilight website which addresses stereotypes about Native people in popular culture. She received her MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Oregon.


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.

Ryan Dennis | Public Art Director, Project Row Houses

Ryan N. Dennis joined Project Row Houses in Houston as the Public Art Director in October 2012. Her interests include African American and international contemporary art, with a particular focus on socially engaged practices in all media, site-specific projects, and public interventions. At Project Row Houses, Ryan has organized exhibitions and programs including, Round 41: Process and Action: An Exploration of Ideas; Round 40: Monuments: Right Beyond the Site; Social Practice, Social Justice Symposium; Round 39: Looking Back, Moving Forward. She has written for the 2014 Prospect 3 catalogue and the Studio Museum in Harlem Magazine. Prior to Project Row Houses she worked in New York City at the Museum for African Art as the traveling exhibition manager, working on exhibitions which included El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa, Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria, and Jane Alexander: Surveys (from the Cape of Good Hope). She received her MA in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute where her research focused on the role of the artist as administrator and cultural producer through residencies, and collaborative programming.

Sherry Dobbin | Director, Times Square Arts

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. Sherry brings over 25 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 PULSE Advisory Committee, 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.

Sharon Dynak | President, Ucross Foundation

Sharon Dynak moved from New York City to Ucross, Wyoming (population 25) in 1996 to serve as Residency Director. She was later named Executive Director of the Foundation, and in 2007, President. Prior to her move to Ucross, Sharon was a book publicist at Scribner. She received a BA in English from Michigan State University, and is a graduate of the Radcliffe College publishing course (a program currently run by Columbia University). Sharon has developed national partnerships with the Sundance Institute, the Herb Alpert Foundation, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming, the University of New Mexico's Land Arts of the American West program, Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and the University of Wyoming's MFA program in Creative Writing.

Nina Elder | Residency Program Manager, Santa Fe Art Institute

Nina Elder has nearly a decade of experience working with creative communities and residency programs. She grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico, and continues to relish the vibrant culture and nature of the region. 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. At SFAI she helps to conceptually form the residency program, welcome residents from around the world, and connect them with local and regional resources to create impactful experiences and public programs. Nina is a practicing artist who exhibits nationally and whose research ranges from piles of rocks to polar bears.

Faerthen Felix | Assistant Manager, Sagehen Creek Field Station

Faerthen Felix has been the Assistant Manager of the University of California, Berkeley's Sagehen Creek Field Station since 2001. Faerthen is the founder and Chair of the Art at Field Stations and Marine Labs Committee of the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) and the National Association of Marine Labs (NAML).


Emily Fitzgerald | Interdisciplinary Artist, Photographer + Storyteller

Emily Fitzgerald is an interdisciplinary artist, photographer and storyteller. Her work investigates how visual media can elevate engagement, build empathy, and reframe ways of relating. She consciously engenders direct participation and utilizes video and photographic mediums to create visual art where collaboration, co-authorship and ethical representation are primary. Her practice explores the nuance and complexity of personal identity and its relationship to family, community and culture. With projects that often manifest outside a traditional exhibition space, her intention is to transform public space into a site for civic engagement and dialogue. Emily's recent creative collaborations include the Portland Art Museum, Hollywood Senior Center, Zenger Farm, King Public School, Multnomah County Health Clinics, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, the City of Portland, and a current intergenerational project in partnership with TriMet.

Deborah Ford | Executive Director, PLAYA

Deborah (Springstead) Ford is currently Executive Director of PLAYA, a residency program for artists and scientists in the Oregon Outback. She has been an arts advocate, educator and program administrator in addition to being a professional visual artist for over 30 years. Her work is found in numerous public and private collections including the Center for Creative Photography, California Museum of Photography, Northlight Gallery, among others and has been exhibited widely. Recent publications include a profile in Black and White Magazine, Issue #82, photographs in Orion magazine and images in Undermining: A Wild Ride Through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West (by Lucy Lippard).

William Fox | Director of Center for Art + Environment, Nevada Museum of Art

William L. Fox, Director of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada, has variously been called an art critic, science writer, and cultural geographer. He has published fifteen books on cognition and landscape, numerous essays in art monographs, magazines and journals, and fifteen collections of poetry. William has researched and written books set in the Antarctic, the Arctic, the Himalaya, and the deserts of Chile, Australia, and the United States. He is a fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and Explorers Club, and recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Science Foundation. He has been a visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute, the Clark Art Institute, the Australian National University, the National Museum of Australia, and the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

David Fraher | President + CEO, Arts Midwest

David Fraher has been executive director of Arts Midwest since January 1984 when he joined the Affiliated State Arts Agencies of the Upper Midwest and successfully led that organization through a merger with Great Lakes Arts Alliance, forming Arts Midwest in July 1985. Prior to his position at Arts Midwest, David had been the executive director of the Wyoming Council on the Arts and had worked as a consultant for the Western States Arts Foundation in Santa Fe where he designed and developed the Western States Book Awards project. David has been active as a panelist and trustee for numerous arts organizations over the past twelve years, including terms on the boards of Western States Arts Foundation, BOA Publishing, Inc., and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. He has also served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pew Charitable Trusts. David has a degree in creative writing from SUNY at Brockport, New York and has taken graduate studies at Ohio University in Athens.

Melissa Franklin | Director, Pew Fellowships, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage

Melissa Franklin is the director of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in Philadelphia. The program annually awards up to 12 unrestricted fellowships of $75,000 to artists of exemplary talent working in any discipline. She has held this position since 1995 and has been with the program as a senior staff member since its inception in 1991. In addition to administering the fellowship awards, she oversees the professional development and programmatic activities related to the fellowships. She is currently a board member of the Alliance of Artists Communities.

Judy Freeland | Residency Coordinator, Djerassi Resident Artists Program

Judy Freeland is the Residency Coordinator at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California. Since joining the Program in 1994 she has been committed to providing "the gift of time" to artists from around the world. She has also designed the Program's print collateral and numerous generations of the Djerassi website. Her contributions have helped shape Djerassi into the renowned artist residency program that it is today. In addition to her work at Djerassi she has taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Foothill Community College, and San Mateo County Office of Education. Judy lives in La Honda, California, a small, eclectic town located in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco. She received her BA in Art from San Francisco State University and is a practicing artist who has exhibited her work in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sonoma Wine Country, Southern California, Upstate New York, and South Carolina.

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

In October 2011, Mario Garcia Durham became the fifth director 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.

Charles Goodrich | Director of Spring Creek Project, Oregon State University

Charles Goodrich is the author of three books of poetry, A Scripture of Crows; Going to Seed: Dispatches from the Garden; and Insects of South Corvallis, and a collection of essays, The Practice of Home. He has co-edited two anthologies, Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest (University of Washington Press, 2016) and In the Blast Zone: Catastrophe and Renewal on Mount St. Helens (Oregon State University Press, 2008). His poems and essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies, and his poems have been read more than a dozen times by Garrison Keillor on "The Writer's Almanac." Following a long career as a professional gardener, he now serves as director for the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word at Oregon State University.


Shawn René Graham | Artist Services Manager, The Field

Shawn René Graham is a freelance writer and dramaturg from San Jose, CA who has worked with many writers including, Dennis Allen, France-Luce Benson, Nilo Cruz, Steve Harper, Walter Mosley, Lynn Nottage, Paul Rudnick, Susan Sontag, Dominic A. Taylor, Judy Tate, and Cori Thomas. She has been a guest dramaturg at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the Crossroads Theatre Company's Genesis Festival, the New Professional Theatre, and African American Women's New Play Festival and on many panels including, National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Mark Taper Forum's New Works Festival and is currently the resident dramaturg of The American Slavery Project's: Unheard Voices collaboration. Shawn René has worked in dance, serving as dramaturg for Kayla Hamilton Projects. She is the Literary Director for the Classical Theatre of Harlem's Future Classics Series and Playwright's Playground, and founder of All Creative Writes, an artistic assistance service designed to provide individual artists and performing arts organizations with administrative, fundraising and writing support. Shawn René holds degrees from the California State University, Los Angeles and the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. She lives in Bronx, NY.

Shir Ly Grisanti | Founding Director, c3:initiative

Shir Ly Grisanti founded the alternative residency program c3:initiative after working as an independent consultant facilitating community engagement between individual artists, arts and cultural institutions, and the public. Her work is guided by the philosophy that society moves toward greater social justice through individual growth, collaboration, and community-building. Prior to juggling the joys of entrepreneurial work and motherhood, Shir worked in the Education and Public Programs department of three wonderful and women founded museums: Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR; The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA. She received her MA in Museum Studies at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA; a BA in International Relations at Tufts University, Medford, MA; and received a certificate in Mediation & Conflict Resolution from The Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Esther Grisham Grimm | Executive Director, 3Arts

Esther's career in the arts spans administration, museum education, education, and philanthropy. She is the executive director of 3Arts, a nonprofit service and grantmaking organization dedicated to advocating for women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities. 3Arts offers unrestricted $25,000 awards, project support, professional development, and promotion to artists working in dance, music teaching arts, theater, and visual arts in the Chicago metropolitan area. Prior to joining 3Arts in 2002, Esther was the associate director of Marwen, an organization that provides out-of-school art instruction, college planning, and career development programs to Chicago's under-served youth in grades 6-12. Before Marwen, she was the assistant director of Museum Education at The Art Institute of Chicago and the docent coordinator at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. Esther has worked as a writer, researcher, and editor since 1990, with reviews and features in a variety of magazines, gallery guides, and exhibition catalogues. She also authored six children's non-fiction, art-activity books focusing on the art of ancient and living cultures. Currently, she is the vice chair of the board of the Alliance of Artists Communities and serves on the boards of Arts Alliance Illinois and The Hypocrites. She is also on the Friends of the Vienna Museum Board of Directors, a member of the Grantmakers in the Arts Individual Artist Support Committee, and is active in the Local Artist Funders Group (a cohort of Chicago funders who support individual artists).

David Grozinsky | Admissions Coordinator, Vermont Studio Center

Inspired by his time at Centro de Arte e Communição Visual in Lisbon, Portugal, David Grozinsky has spent the past 22 years serving artist communities, working to create opportunities for others. David is an artist, educator, and arts administrator. He's held the role of Admissions Manager at the Vermont Studio Center for the past 10 years. Previously, he spent eight years working at Ox-Bow School of Art as arborist, auctioneer, and glassblowing instructor. He has served on the Advisory Board of Burlington City Arts since 2008. David earned his BFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and his MFA in Sculpture and Drawing from State University at Stonybrook. He lives with his family on a hilltop in Johnson, VT in a house he designed and built.

Gia Hamilton

Gia Hamilton | Director, Joan Mitchell Center

Gia M. Hamilton is a cultural practitioner and entrepreneur who has worked at the heart of art, healing, food security and education to help build sustainable communities for the past 20 years. After 15+ years in New York, working first in the corporate sector and later with non-profits, grassroots collectives, and individuals while refining her individual practice, Gia returned to her native New Orleans where she founded Gris Gris Lab – a place based incubator and cultural exchange space. Gia holds a Bachelor's in cultural anthropology from New York University and a Masters in applied anthropology from CUNY. Following two years as a consultant for the Joan Mitchell Center, Gia was appointed its Director. In that role, she designed the artist-in-residence program, community engagement strategies, public programs and operational systems, and acted as lead director on a multi-million dollar capitol redevelopment at the Joan Mitchell Center. She continues to act as a conductor of information between the New York and New Orleans communities, as well as a catalyst for change in contemporary art through designing innovative models for artistic and cultural exchanges. Most recently, Gia founded Afrofuture Society, an online platform for the arts community of color, providing a way and place to communicate across disciplines throughout the life cycle in arts and culture.

Andrea Hanley | Membership + Program Manager, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts 

Andrea R. Hanley is the Membership and Program Manager for the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her career has been guided and dedicated to the work of contemporary American Indian artists and the American Indian fine art field. She spent more than nine years at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, serving both as Special Assistant to the Director and Exhibition Developer/Project Manager. Upon returning to Arizona, Andrea worked as the fine arts coordinator and curator for the city of Tempe; executive director for ATLATL, Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting Native American art; and Artrain, USA, a national arts organization, as its sponsorship and major gifts officer. More recently, she was the founding manager of the Berlin Gallery at the Heard Museum for six years. She has over two and half decades of professional experience working in the field of programming, exhibition development, and arts management, primarily focusing on contemporary American Indian art. Andrea is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.

Jeff Hawthorne | Director of Community Engagement, Regional Arts & Culture Council

Jeff Hawthorne is responsible for raising a large portion of Regional Arts & Cultural Council's $10 million annual budget, and organizes RACC's advocacy efforts, research activities, and fundraising campaigns. Among his accomplishments at RACC, Jeff designed and implemented the state's first United Arts Fund (Work for Art), co-authored Act for Art, the region's first action plan for arts and culture since 1995, and worked closely with the Creative Advocacy Network to secure a new funding stream for the arts through Portland's voter-approved Arts Education & Access Fund. He has a strong background in theatre including nine years of fundraising at Portland Center Stage and several years of arts education coordination at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. Jeff currently serves on the boards of the Northwest Regional Re-Entry Center and the state of Oregon's Cultural Advocacy Coalition. In 2015 Jeff received the Michael Newton Award from Americans for the Arts, recognizing innovative work in developing private sector partnerships for the arts.

Brandon Hinman | Director, AIR Serenbe

Brandon Hinman is Director of AIR Serenbe, the artist in residence program at Serenbe in Chattahoochee Hills, GA. He is the creator of Pointer Studio, an artist residency housed in a Tennessee denim factory, and Wink Supper, a roving dinner series started in Boston. This year, Brandon served as project manager for the construction of the first Rural Studio 20K Houses outside of Alabama.  AIR Serenbe visiting artists now live and work in these 500 sq. ft. houses.


Ariana Jacob | Artist

Ariana Jacob makes artwork that uses conversation as medium and as a subjective research method. Her work explores experiences of interdependence and disconnection, questions her own idealistic beliefs, and investigates how people make culture and culture makes people. She received her MFA in Art & Social Practice from Portland State University. Her work has been included in the NW Biennial at the Tacoma Art Museum, Disjecta's Portland 2012 Biennial, The Open Engagement Conference and the Discourse and Discord Symposium at the Walker Art Center. She has exhibited work and organized events at apexart and Smack Mellon in New York City, Betonsalon in Paris, France, The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's Time Based Arts Festival, The Portland Art Museum, The Department of Safety in Anacortes, WA, Southern Exposure in San Francisco, CA; and in many public places.

Daniel Jáquez | Freelance Stage Director, Theatre-maker and Translator

Daniel Jáquez was most recently Interim Artistic Director of Milagro Theatre in Portland, OR, where he has directed several productions, including his original works. He is an Associate Artist with INTAR Theatre in NYC and with Teatro V!da in Springfield, MA, as well as an Advisory Committee member for The Lark Play Development Center's US/Mexico Playwright Exchange. He is the co-founder of Calpulli Mexican Dance Theatre in Queens, NY, and from 2003 to 2011 served as its Artistic Director and choreographer. Daniel has worked extensively in new play development with award winning playwrights, and has collaborated with composers to develop new performance dance-theatre pieces. His recent translations into English include plays by award-winning Mexican playwrights David Olguín, Alejandro Ricaño and Luis Ayhllón. His teaching experience includes: Adjunct Professor at Manhattanville College; Teaching Fellow at Harvard University; Guest Artist/Teacher at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College, and many community workshops in theatre and dance. Daniel is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the Latina/o Theatre Commons Steering Committee, Lincoln Center Theater Director's Lab and NoPassport, a Pan-American theatre coalition. Daniel grew up in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México. He studied Actuarial Science at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, earned a BS in Mathematics from the University of Texas and an MFA in Directing from the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute at Harvard University.

Vanessa Kauffman | Communications + Outreach Manager, Headlands Center for the Arts

Vanessa Kauffman is the Communications & Outreach Manager at Headlands Center for the Arts, an interdisciplinary and international residency center in northern California, where she has worked since 2014. In this role, Vanessa works closely with all departments to promote Headlands' offerings, works to expand the audiences and communities served, and develops materials to enhance both online and on-site visitor experience. Vanessa completed her MA in Visual & Critical Studies at California College of the Arts, has a BFA in Printmaking from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, and continues to take on writing and editorial projects for various publications.

Ellina Kevorkian | Artistic Director - Residency Programs, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

Ellina Kevorkian is a practicing interdisciplinary artist, curator, and artistic director for residency programs at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, where she is responsible for conceiving of programs that best support contemporary artists across many disciplines. Ongoing endeavors include Liveness Is Critical, a curated artist-in-residence program of artists, curators, scholars, and writers who talk out contemporary issues in performance; Sci-Fi and The Human Condition which gathers artists exploring social issues through futurist perspectives; and Art and Empathy which invites artists interested in exploring empathy as a foundational beginning for social justice, human relationships, and other industries. Her curated exhibitions include Recollecting Performance, presented at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions as part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980, an initiative of The Getty Center, where she presented 1970s and early 1980s garments worn by Southern Californian performance artists such as Eleanor Antin, Paul McCarthy, and Senga Nengudi. Her work has been written about in the LA Times, LA Weekly, ArtForum and Artnet. She has an MFA from Claremont Graduate University and is a graduate of the inaugural class at the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance.

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

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

Margot H. Knight | Executive Director, Djerassi Resident Artists Program

In November of 2011, Margot H. Knight became Executive Director of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, her seventh job in the arts and humanities in 35 years. Each position has incorporated the things she loves--history, challenges, artists, scholars, education and access. She has the privilege to guide one of the foremost artist communities on the planet AND is encouraged to pursue her own literary pursuits. Her play, Funnel of Love was published in Characters Magazine. Previous positions include the presidencies of United Arts of Central Florida and United Arts of Raleigh & Wake County, executive director of the Idaho Commission on the Arts and Washington State University's Oral History Office and staff positions with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and Washington Commission for the Humanities. She served two terms on the Private Sector Council for Americans for the Arts and is a proud recipient of the Michael Newton Award. A frequent consultant, speaker and grants panelist, she has also served on over 25 chamber of commerce, tourism, regional planning and cultural boards, including the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Visit Orlando, and Florida Cultural Alliance. Margot lives on-site at the Djerassi Program with her new husband, Nick, and two cats.

John Labovitz | Director, North Mountain Residency

John is a photographer, typographer, printmaker, and computer programmer. He had the good fortune to grow up in an environment of creative planners, artists, and community organizers. In 2015, John decided to combine this varied background and start North Mountain, a small-scale rural artist residency located on his family's apple farm in West Virginia.

David Macy

David Macy | Resident Director, The MacDowell Colony

David Macy is Resident Director at the MacDowell Colony, a pioneer and contemporary leader in the field of artists' residency programs. In the early 1990s David managed facilities and the residency program at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California. Since moving to New Hampshire in 1994 he's focused on organizational development and capital improvements to the 32 studios and common buildings serving the program. As of June 2013, MacDowell Fellows moved into a newly built library designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. David also directs MacDowell's community engagement programs which include a monthly presentation series (MacDowell Downtown), a program in the public schools (MacDowell in the Schools) and the highly acclaimed but cagey band that has dominated Peterborough's summer music scene (the Indigent Bohemians).

Brenda Mallory | Artist

Brenda Mallory (Cherokee Nation) grew up in Oklahoma and is a longtime resident of Portland, Oregon. She has a BFA in General Fine Art from Pacific Northwest College of Art and a BA in Linguistics & English from UCLA. In 2015 she was a Contemporary Art Fellow at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis. She has had residencies at Anderson Ranch, GLEAN, Crow's Shadow Institute and has received grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, Ford Family Foundation and Regional Arts & Culture Council. Brenda is primarily known for sculpture and installation, mining natural and founds materials and mimicking organic processes with her generative installations. Texture and repeated rhythmic forms are instrumental to Brenda's abstract compositions. Her work is represented by Julie Nester Gallery in Park City, Utah, Butters Gallery in Portland and Patricia Rovzar in Seattle.

Betty Marín | Research + Project Coordinator, 18th Street Arts Center

Betty Marín, Research and Project Coordinator at 18th Street Arts Center, is an artist, educator, and social justice worker from Wilmington, CA. Her work centers on creating educational spaces that encourage dialogue and solidarity between different communities. Based in her home city of Los Angeles, she is currently exploring the theory and practice of popular education by organizing tenants, through a community oral history project, and through a reading group examining solidarity across racial difference. She also recently edited a book called Art and Education, published in 2014 by Publication Studio, where she is in conversation with Pablo Helguera and Luis Camnitzer on the theory and practice that connect these two disciplines.

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

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

Angela Mattox | Artistic Director, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art

Angela Mattox is the Artistic Director of Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), which presents performance and visual art programs and embraces those artists who exist at the borders of disciplines and ideas. Her global curatorial approach focuses on experimental performance practice, cross cultural exchange, and interdisciplinary work. Angela was the former Performing Arts Curator at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) - San Francisco's leading multidisciplinary contemporary art center. She joined the curatorial team in 2003 and was instrumental in revitalizing the performing arts presenting program. In her eight years at YBCA, she supported such visionary artists as Ralph Lemon, Meg Stuart, Nick Cave, Jerome Bel, Lemi Ponifasio, Reggie Wilson, and Cynthia Hopkins. She commissioned new work by local artists in the Bay Area such as Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Keith Hennessy, Sarah Shelton Mann and Jess Curtis. From 1999–2003, she served as Program Coordinator at Arts International, a New York based organization dedicated to the support of global cultural exchange in the arts.

Sara Nash | Manager, National Dance Project, New England Foundation for the Arts

Sara C. Nash is the Manager of the National Dance Project at the New England Foundation for the Arts. Prior to joining NEFA, Sara managed the USArtists International grant program at the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. She worked as senior producer in programming at Dance Theater Workshop (New York Live Arts) in New York City, where she oversaw the international program The Suitcase Fund and helped develop residency programs for commissioned artists. Sara has also worked at Tanec Praha, an international contemporary dance festival in Prague, and at the British Council in London. She has served as a moderator, speaker, and panelist for a variety of organizations, including Dance/USA, The Japan Foundation, the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, and the National Performance Network, among others, and holds a degree in Theater and Dance from Mary Washington College.

Aaron O'Connor | Director, The Arctic Circle

Aaron O'Connor is the founding director of The Arctic Circle expeditionary residency program. This unique residency takes place aboard a specially outfitted, century old sailing vessel in the High Arctic. The Arctic Circle program is open to international artists of all disciplines, scientists, architects, innovators and educators who seek out areas of collaborative exploration. The Arctic Circle supports the creation and exhibition of new and pioneering work, and cultivates the residents' professional development, with a focus on public engagement.

Jaamil Olawale Kosoko | Co-Director, anonymous bodies

Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Manager of Public Programs and Residencies at The Watermill Center, is a Nigerian American performance and humanities curator, producer, cultural strategist and artist currently based between Brooklyn, New York and Philadelphia. He is an inaugural APAP Leadership Fellow, a Co-Curator of the 2015 Movement Research Spring Festival, a 2014 American Express Leadership Academy alum, a 2012 Live Arts Brewery Fellow as a part of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival; a 2011 Fellow as a part of the DeVos Institute of Art Management at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and an inaugural graduate of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) at Wesleyan University. Jaamil is a Founding Advisory Board Member of the Coalition for Diasporan Scholars Moving and was most recently elected to the Executive Committee on the Board of Trustees at Dance/USA. He has served on numerous curatorial and national funding panels including the National Endowment for the Arts, MAP Fund, the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Baker Artists Awards, among others.

Michael Orlove | Director, Artist Communities + Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works; International Activities Coordinator, National Endowment for the Arts

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

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 after serving as Artistic Director 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. Carla has worked widely as a freelance arts consultant with artists, not-for- profit art 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. She holds an MFA from The Ohio State University and a BS from the University of Illinois.

Craig T. Peterson | Artistic Director, Abrons Arts Center

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

Beth Prevor | Co-Founder + Executive Director, Hands On

Beth Prevor is a co-founder and Executive Director of Hands On, an arts service organization that advocates for access to the cultural arts for the Deaf community and audiences with disabilities. For the last 30+ years, Hands On has been providing access for the Deaf and hard of hearing communities of NYC through sign language interpreted theater at some of NYC's most prestigious theaters including The Roundabout Theater Company, The New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater and The New Victory Theater. As Executive Director, Beth works with arts organizations to ensure inclusion for all by providing marketing, community engagement and audience development strategies. As a disabled advocate, Beth is active as an advisory member to many groups including, Lincoln Center's Department of Programs and Services for People with Disabilities, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, and the Museum Access Consortium . She has led workshops on accessibility and the arts for organizations around the country including the Kennedy Center's LEAD (Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability) Conference, Americans for the Arts, The National Arts Marketing Project, the Alliance of Resident Theaters/New York and Theater Communications Group. She is the 2015 recipient of the John F. Kennedy Center's Excellence in Accessibility Leadership Lifetime Achievement award.

Elizabeth Quinn | Creative Director, Caldera

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

Megha Ralapati | Residency + Special Projects Manager, Hyde Park Art Center

Megha Ralapati oversees the Jackman Goldwasser Residency at Hyde Park Art Center, an initiative that brings international and regional artists to Chicago to deepen engagement between local and global art practice. Since 2012, Megha has organized residencies with Deniz Gül (Istanbul), Minouk Lim (Seoul), Einat Amir (Tel Aviv), Mahmoud Khaled (Alexandria, Egypt), and Paul Mpagi Sepuya (Los Angeles), among others. Upcoming residencies this year include Basim Magdy, Tintin Wulia and a 2017 residency exchange with Art Port in Tel Aviv. Megha has also developed independent projects, including "A Perfect Human" at Dorsch Gallery in Miami, "Double-Jointed" at Scaramouche gallery in New York, and contributed to "New Narratives: Contemporary Art from India" at the Chicago Cultural Center. She has presented at School of the Art Institute, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center and as a participant at the Incheon Biennial. Megha received an MA in Visual Culture from Goldsmiths with a focus on informal financial networks and is a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific magazine. Her recent writing has been included in publications, Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic (2015 Brooklyn Museum), Black Sun (2014 Devi Art Foundation) and Manual for Treason (2011 Sharjah Art Foundation).

Kristen Ramirez | Seattle Department of Transportation Art & Enhancements Project Manager, Office of Arts & Culture and Department of Transportation

Kristen Ramirez is the Art & Enhancements Project Manager for Seattle's Office of Arts & Culture and Department of Transportation (SDOT). In this liaison role, she manages public art projects and residencies while also acting as artist-in-residence to SDOT. Prior to her work at the City of Seattle, Kristen worked for ten years as both faculty and staff at Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts. She is also a practicing studio and public artist with various commissions throughout the Puget Sound region. Kristen received a BA from UC Santa Cruz, an MA in Education from San Francisco State University, and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Washington.

Martha Richards | Executive Director, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation

Martha Sloca Richards is the Executive Director of the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. The Foundation's mission is focused in two areas -- funding arts organizations and supporting educational programs that lift and strengthen student achievement in Oregon. Prior to joining the foundation, Martha had a 30-year career managing, fundraising and consulting with nonprofit organizations. She has served on many boards, and currently serves on the boards of Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington and on the Executive Committee of Foundations for a Better Oregon. In addition to project and capacity-building support, the Miller Foundation has two multi-year general support initiatives – one for Portland-based large arts institutions, and another for 40 small and mid-sized arts organizations throughout Oregon. The Foundation was a pilot funder for Creating Connection: An Initiative to Build Public Will for Arts and Culture.

Maria Robinson | Marketing + Communications Manager, Vermont Studio Center

Maria Robinson has been managing the Vermont Studio Center's marketing and communications since 2012. She has over 18 years' experience in marketing, communications, and design, and believes passionately in the power of digital spaces to foster real and lasting community. She holds a BA from the Johns Hopkins University and has done graduate work at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. At VSC, she works to support the creative practices of artists and writers from across the country and around the world; in turn, participation in VSC's vibrant community nurtures her own creative practice as well.

Bruce Rodgers | Executive Director, 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. 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.

Ama Rogan | Managing Director, A Studio in the Woods

Ama Rogan is the Managing Director of A Studio in the Woods at Tulane University, an artist-in- residency facility centered on creative and innovative responses to environmental themes. Ama earned a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1988 and had a professional art practice until 2000 working in a variety of media including printmaking, ceramics and mixed media. In 2001 she joined the fledgling Board of A Studio in the Woods and founded the Program committee that oversaw the development of the Studio signature residency program. In 2004 she became Managing Director at the Studio and recognizing the opportunity to focus residencies on pressing environmental themes she spearheaded the transition of the program to the international recognized leader in ecological residencies that it is today. Ama is dedicated to supporting artists and facilitating creative projects that address environmental issues with imagination, power and resourcefulness.

Paolo Salvagione | Artist

Paolo Salvagione is an artist who works at the intersection of engineering, participation, and levity. He has exhibited at such San Francisco Bay Area venues as Aggregate Space, Headlands Center for the Arts (artist-in-residence), MacArthur B Arthur, Performance Art Institute/Zero1 Biennial, Root Division, San Francisco Center for the Book (artist-in-residence), and Seager Gray Gallery, and was tapped by Regensburg Theater in Germany to be the first non-native to serve as artist in residence at its annual festival. In his art, Paolo has sent his studio visitors out one second-story window and in another on a 900-pound steel wheel, created scent-based sculptures that use smell as a touchstone for memory, and mixed pure geometry and pure fun in the form of ten oversized swings with the implicit suggestion that visitors compete. He had a 2014 solo show at the Luggage Store in San Francisco. And he worked, for over a decade, as lead engineer on the 10,000 Year Clock of the Long Now Foundation.

Carrie Sandahl | Director, Bodies of Work - University of Illinois at Chicago

Carrie Sandahl, PhD, is scholar/artist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is head of the Program on Disability Art, Culture, and Humanities, which is devoted to research on and the creation of disability art. She is also the director Chicago's Bodies of Work, an organization that supports city-wide disability arts festivals and that promotes disability arts and culture year-round. Her own research and creative activity focus on disability and gender identities in live performance, including theatre, dance, and performance art. Carrie has published numerous research articles and an anthology she co-edited with Philip Auslander, entitled Bodies in Commotion: Disability and Performance (University of Michigan Press) garnered the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's award for Outstanding Book in Theatre Practice and Pedagogy in 2006. She is currently collaborating on a feature-length documentary film on Hollywood representations of disability entitled Code of the Freaks.

Eleanor Savage | Senior Program Officer, Jerome Foundation

Eleanor Savage is a civic-minded, anti-racist artist and organizer, who has instigated many community-focused/artist-centered events in the Twin Cities.   She is currently the Senior Program Officer at the Jerome Foundation. She serves on Grantmakers in the Arts Support for Individual Artist committee and has been involved in its Racial Equity forums. She previously was the Associate Director of Event and Media Production at the Walker Art Center for sixteen years. Eleanor has produced and curated many community-focused events independently and through Intermedia Arts, Walker Art Center and KFAI radio.  She is a queer activist / media artist and has produced documentary and experimental video work in collaboration with many Minnesota and New York City artists. Her work in non-profit arts is consistently framed by advocacy for social justice and a belief in the power of art to bridge understanding across cultural differences.

George Scheer | Executive Director, Elsewhere

George Scheer is an artist, writer, and scholar who fosters creative communities at the intersection of aesthetics and social change. George is the co-founder and Director of Elsewhere, a living museum and artist residency set in a former thrift store in Greensboro, NC. Other projects include Kulturpark, a public investigation of an abandoned amusement park in East Berlin, and South Elm Projects, a curated series of place-based public art commissions for downtown Greensboro. George holds an MA in Critical Theory and Visual Culture from Duke University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in Political Communications. Currently, George is pursuing a PhD in Communication and Performance Studies, writing about the cultural economy of art and urbanism.

John Schratwieser | Executive Director, Maryland Citizens for the Arts

John Schratwieser joined Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA) as Executive Director in June 2010. John has more than 20 years experience in the field of arts and non-profit management. In his six years at MCA, John has worked to raise public support for the arts in Maryland by 45% from $14 million in 2010 to $20 million in 2016. Prior to joining MCA, John spent five years as the Executive Director at the Prince Theatre Foundation in Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Previously, he worked at Lincoln Center Theatre in New York and Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA. John received a BA from Fairfield University and an MPA from George Washington University. John has also performed, as an actor and singer, for most of his life, rounding out his understanding of, and affinity for, arts organizations of all shapes and sizes.

James Scruggs | Artist + 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 (images from Hollywood monster movies juxtaposed 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..


Vanessa Sigurdson | Artist in Residence (AIR) Program Manager, Autodesk - Pier 9

Vanessa Sigurdson is the Artist in Residence (AIR) Program Manager at Pier 9. With over a decade of experience in CAD and digital fabrication, Vanessa has worked with artists and fabrication companies worldwide to combine modern technologies with traditional art making practices. Vanessa joined Autodesk in 2013, and has facilitated over 150 artist in exploring new methods of creating their work at Pier 9.


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.

Marc Smiley | Principal, Solid Ground Consulting

Every experience is an opportunity to learn. For Marc Smiley, those experiences include more than 20 years as a consultant to nonprofit organizations nationwide. They include key staff leadership roles helping to grow and strengthen organizations and key stints as a volunteer leader with organizations that make a difference. Marc's consulting experience has taken him to nearly every state in the U.S., working in the areas of board governance, strategic planning, board-staff relations, organizational structure and fundraising planning and training. Marc has also published books on board governance, strategic planning and fundraising. Marc has served in staff leadership roles with the Oregon Natural Resource Council, River Network, the Yakima Greenway Foundation and the Land Trust Alliance. He has also served on the boards of the Columbia Land Trust, Online Networking for the Environment (ONE-NW) and REACH Community Development. Marc is a native Oregonian whose efforts to migrate elsewhere can't overcome a homing instinct. Family is important, and raising two boys with his wife Amy may be his most important role. Since the boys are teenagers, the jury is still out.

Tricia Snell | Executive Director, Caldera

Tricia possesses a passionate belief in the power of creativity and a varied, 35-year background as a writer, arts administrator, teacher, musician, and environmental advocate. Since 2007 she has led the Oregon nonprofit, Caldera, which provides arts mentoring to youth and residencies to artists. Her career prior to Caldera includes Director of her own Suzuki Music Studio (teaching flute and recorder); the founding Executive Director of the Alliance of Artists' Communities (an American-based network of artist residency programs), which she led for eight years; and Staff Writer at the Center for Marine Conservation. Tricia has taught writing, literature, and arts administration in several universities, and she is the author of Artists' Communities (1996/2000, Allworth Press) amongst other publications, stories, poems, and articles. A Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum in Oregon, Tricia's varied public service roles include Res Artis (an international arts network based in Amsterdam) and the Regional Arts and Culture Council (a community funding organization in Portland, OR). She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and an ARCT (Flute Performance).

Bryan Suereth | Executive Director, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center

Bryan Suereth is the founder and executive director of Disjecta, a 12,000-square-foot arts hub which houses artist studios, performance space and one of the state’s largest visual arts galleries. In 2010, Suereth and Disjecta reintroduced the Oregon Biennial as a platform to celebrate Oregon’s creative talent. This year marks the fourth installment of the program, Portland2016, curated by Milwaukee-based Michelle Grabner. The two-month event revitalized the traditional biennial scope and spirit and was heralded by The Oregonian as “a summary of the kind of vigorous energy that has made Oregon’s art scene an ascending one nationally.” In 2011, Disjecta launched its groundbreaking Curator-in-Residence program, bringing emerging curators from around the country to produce a full season of highly regarded exhibitions. Over the last decade, Suereth has helped showcase some of the region’s most challenging and significant contemporary art, provided a platform for over 3,000 artists, and directed programming that has drawn over 100,000 patrons. 

Disjecta is now the longest-running contemporary arts center in the history of Portland and was named “One of Portland’s Top Ten Cultural Destinations” by The Guardian.

Pireeni Sundaralingam | Poet + Neuroscientist, Associate Professor, California Institute of Integral Studies

Pireeni Sundaralingam is Associate Professor in the Department of Writing, Consciousness & Creative Inquiry at the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco. Educated at Oxford University, Pireeni has held cognitive science research posts at MIT and UCLA, while her poetry has been published in over 20 journals and translated into 5 languages. She has held national fellowships in both cognitive science and poetry, including a PEN USA fellowship, Salzburg Global Fellowships (in Creativity & Neuroscience 2015; in "Sustainability & the Arts" in 2016) and is currently Urban Fellow at the Exploratorium. Literary awards include the N. California Book Award, the PEN Josephine Miles Book award and others. Pireeni is a science advisor to the Irish Government's Department of Art & Heritage, and consultant to the United Nations Museum of Humanity. She is currently writing a book on "Creativity & The Brain".


Stacy Switzer | Curator + Executive Director, Fathomers

Stacy Switzer is curator and executive director of Fathomers, a philanthropic research institute dedicated to reshaping the realm of the possible. Fathomers' first project is a multi-site, long term collaboration with artist Michael Jones McKean. She was artistic director of Grand Arts, a contemporary art project space in Kansas City, Missouri from 2004-2015. At Grand Arts, Stacy curated and produced more than two dozen projects by artists including Glenn Kaino, William Pope.L, Sissel Tolaas, Tavares Strachan, Stanya Kahn, Pablo Helguera and Sanford Biggers. In 2011, Grand Arts commissioned and produced John Salvest's "IOU/USA," a seven story installation comprised of 115 cargo shipping containers sited in a public park across the street from the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. In 2005, Stacy curated Fritz Haeg's first Edible Estate garden as part of a group exhibition at the Salina Art Center in Salina, Kansas. She has been a visiting lecturer, critic and consultant for Creative Capital, the Jerome Foundation, Smack Mellon and many other organizations throughout the United States. Stacy is co-editor, with Annie Fischer, of the forthcoming "Problems and Provocations: Grand Arts 1995-2015," published by Grand Arts and to be released by D.A.P. in fall 2016.

Rulan Tangen | Founding Artistic Director + Choreographer, Dancing Earth

Rulan believes that "to dance is to live, to live is to dance". Her work values movement as an expression of indigenous worldview, including the honoring of matriarchal leadership, dance as functional ritual for transformation and healing, the process of decolonizing the body, and the animistic energetic connection with all forms of life on earth. As Founding Artistic Director/Choreographer of DANCING EARTH, Rulan has been honored to recruit and nurture new generations of Indigenous contemporary dancers as brilliant leaders, artists, culture carriers and educators. Her work spans dance, opera, film, television, circus, education, social-environmental justice advocacy, and writing in 8 countries, with honors for Dancing Earth including top ten finalist across all disciplines for Nathan Cummings Award for Social Change, Arts for Social Change Award from Arts and Healing Network, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation first Dance Fellowship for Artistic Innovation, National Museum of American Indian's Expressive Arts Award, Dance Magazine mention as one of the top "25 To Watch".

Mi'Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, EdD | Community Scholar, Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory + Empirics at Columbia University

Mi'Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, EdD, is a Visiting Scholar with the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics at Columbia University. She is inaugural leadership member with The Banff Centre's New Fundamentals in the Creative Ecology, as well as the Aspen Institute's Franklin Project; and the lead designer and facilitator for the 2016 public policy digital storytelling and documentation training with women organizers who labor for social change, at the Steinem Initiative at Smith College. Additionally, Mi'Jan Celie serves on the South by Southwest (SxSWedu) advisory board, and in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, is the founder of the inaugural 2017 Community Artist Year.


Erica Thomas | Artist, Producer + Manager

Erica Thomas is an artist, producer and manager of a Portland design studio. She holds an MFA in Art & Social Practice from Portland State University. Her practice explores relationship structures, intimacy, and public/private presentations of the self through collaborative research, writing, photography and designed experiences. You may have seen her work in the Portland Art Museum, the Queens Museum, interstitial art spaces, dimly lit bars, public parks or private homes around Portland. She aspires to use her voice to create space for emotional exploration, opportunities for meaningful shared experience, and to challenge conventional narratives around gender, identity and love.

Taryn Tomasello | Writer, Curator, Organizer + Artist

Taryn Tomasello is a writer, curator, organizer and artist. Her research based practice is centered on memory, risk and difference inside human geography. The work takes place between video, performance, text, facilitation, and sculpture. Her videos have been screened by experimental video platforms such as Experimental Half Hour among others. Taryn's curatorial endeavor, Object Permanence Project, is an itinerant artists' gallery that takes shape through exhibitions and events at different host venues, often nontraditional sites. She is part of CENTRAL, an independent creative research initiative focused on an expanded concept of the built environment. She has just collaboratively launched a new curatorial endeavor called Character Plant hosted in the gym of the abandoned YMCA building in Astoria, OR. In 2015 she enacted a year-long renegade residency, Ross Island Residency in collaboration with the curator Will Elder. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her family.

Sharita Towne | Artist

As an artist, Sharita Towne's interests lie in unpacking the inherited struggles of past burdens and in affording collective catharsis. Through collaboration, stereo-photography, printmaking, video, and community art projects, she's worked at memorials in Germany; in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria; Brazil; in gentrifying cities like Portland, Oregon; in schools, museums, and neighborhoods, and within her own family. She received a BFA from UC Berkeley and an MFA from Portland State University. She currently teaches at Pacific Northwest College of Art, and is a 2016 Art Matters grant recipient.

Anuradha Vikram | Artistic Director, 18th Street Arts Center

Anuradha Vikram is the Artistic Director at 18th Street Arts Center. Since 2015, 18th Street Arts Center has partnered with LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) to host 15 international artists in residence as participants in the Getty Museum's PST: LA/LA initiative in 2015-16, and to be one of three venues for the resulting exhibition, A Universal History of Infamy, in 2017. 18th Street Arts Center's participation in the project is anchored in a research-based residency program, which nourishes the whole artist through a combination of academic, professional, and personal support systems.

Lexa Walsh | Artist, Archivist + Culinary Artist in Residence, Atlantic Center for the Arts

Lexa Walsh is an interdisciplinary socially engaged artist and cultural worker based in Oakland, CA. She examines and creates social ties to craft "hospitable democracies" within cultural institutions both corporeal and imagined. She has become an authority on archiving practices through projects such as Mapping the Archive, Intersection for the Arts' 50th Anniversary Archive Show, and Archiving a Socially Engaged Practice.

Edisa Weeks | Choreographer, DELIRIOUS Dances + Assistant Professor, Queens College

Choreographer Edisa Weeks formed DELIRIOUS Dances to empower people through the immediacy of dance. Edisa creates intimate environments that merge theater with dance, to deliriously explore our deepest desires, darkest fears and dearest dreams. Described by the New York Times as having, "a gift for simple but striking visual effects," her work has been performed in a variety of venues including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, chashama arts, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Emory University, Inside/Out at Jacob's Pillow, Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum, Harlem Stage, The Kennedy Center, The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, The Mermaid Parade, The National Black Arts Festival, Summerstages Dance Festival, as well as swimming pools, storefront windows, senior centers, sidewalks and living rooms. She grew up in Uganda, Papua New Guinea and Brooklyn, NY. Edisa has a BA from Brown University, and received a full fellowship to attend New York University's TISCH School of the Arts where she obtained an MFA in choreography. She has taught and created works for the Alvin Ailey School, Ailey II, Bard College, Brigham Young University, Brooklyn Friends School, MIT, Milwaukee University, Princeton University and Texas Christian University. In addition, Edisa is on the Bessie Committee, which recognizes outstanding dance and performance work in New York City, and teaches technique, improvisation and choreography at Queens College.

Noah Weinstein | Senior Creative Programs Manager, Autodesk - Pier 9

Noah Weinstein is the Senior Creative Programs Manager for Autodesk where he founded, and now directs the Artists in Residence Program and Workshop at Autodesk's Pier 9. Noah enjoys creating, testing, and exploring new models of creative communities and operational teams. He graduated from Brown University in 2005 with a concentration in Environmental Studies and Visual Art and joined in 2006, holding positions in the community management, editorial and content production.

Dana Whitco | Director, Tisch Initiative for Creative Research

Dana Whitco directs the Tisch Initiative for Creative Research, a new strategic initiative designed to catalyze, nurture and promote the research praxis of Tisch faculty, students and staff. Dana works with diverse Tisch stakeholders to formulate new opportunities for research, to deeply integrate artists into the intellectual life of the University, and to strengthen Tisch's capacity as an incubator for innovation and collaboration. She is the Founding Director of the Center for Creative Research (Graduate School of Arts & Science, New York University) and Co-Founder of PositiveFeedback, NYC's first inter-institutional consortium dedicated to supporting collaborations between artists and scientists working on issues of climate change. Previous appointments in the performing arts include the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Dance Project (New England Foundation for the Arts) and Center Theater Group (Mark Taper Forum/Ahmanson Theater/Kirk Douglas Theater) in Los Angeles where she also completed graduate studies in dance at University of California, Los Angeles. Dana is a frequent advisor and panelist for arts grant-making programs in New York City and across the country, and is a regular presenter at national and international conferences. She has taught dance and dance-related subjects at NYU, Temple University, UCLA, and Loyola Marymount University and currently serves on the boards of Movement Research, Bebe Miller Company and Culturebot.

Cameron Whitten | Executive Director, Know Your City

Cameron is a writer, civic entrepreneur, and Executive Director at Know Your City. He has a Bachelor's of Economics from Portland State University and has been engaged with nonprofit, civic and political causes in Portland for his entire adult life. His passion of advocating for human rights and marginalized communities was catalyzed in 2011, the year the Occupy Movement was born. Cameron currently serves as a member of the City Club of Portland's Advocacy and Awareness Board, the Portland Bureau of Transportation Budget Advisory Committee, the Multnomah County Oregon Historical Society Levy Oversight Committee, and the Board of Trustees for Pioneer Square. Cameron's biggest pride is that he's a first-time uncle to two year-old Dominick Daniel Whitten.

Steven Yazzie | Multidisciplinary Artist

Steven J. Yazzie is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Phoenix, Arizona. A proud member of the Navajo Nation, he has served honorably with the United States Marine Corps. His interdisciplinary projects explore systems, geographies and narratives of cultural conquest, often manifesting through socially-driven collaborations as video installation and performance. He received a BFA in Intermedia at Arizona State University and was named the 2014 outstanding graduate for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. He also studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine. Steven has been part of numerous regional, national, and international exhibitions, most notably at the Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of the American Indian, National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Museum of Contemporary Native Art, Santa Fe. Throughout Arizona, Steven has exhibited at the Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona State University Art Museum, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson Museum of Art and the Museum of Northern Arizona. Steven has received regional and national grants from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The National Museum of the American Indian, the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Joan Mitchell Award.

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