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Five New Trustees Join Alliance Board

“As the Alliance works to advance and champion the vital work of the residency field, we know that the collective expertise of these new board members will bring new ideas and fresh perspectives to our efforts.”

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

The new trustees are Ryan Dennis, Curator and Programs Director at Project Row Houses (Houston, TX); Shey Rivera, Artistic Director at AS220 (Providence, RI); Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, Attorney at The Law Office of Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento (Austin, TX and New York, NY); Geoffrey Jackson Scott, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Peoplmovr (Brooklyn, NY); and Kibra A Yohannes, Executive Director of AFRICA’SOUT! (Brooklyn, NY). 

“I hope you will join me in welcoming this esteemed group of leaders,” said Alliance of Artists Communities Executive Director Lisa Hoffman. “As the Alliance works to advance and champion the vital work of the residency field, we know that the collective expertise of these new board members will bring new ideas and fresh perspectives to our efforts.”

The Alliance strives for a board that reflects the diversity of the field it serves. New trustees were selected from a pool of nominations submitted by Alliance member organizations and recommended by the board. Nominees were officially voted in by the membership this past September and will start their terms in December. In selecting nominees, consideration was given to experience within the residency field, creative practice, geography, as well as personal and professional perspective.

"One of the most important aspects of building a board of directors is inviting people to the mix who are a joy to work with and who embrace and embody the organization’s vision,” said Alliance Board Chair Esther Grisham Grimm. “It is my great pleasure to welcome to the Alliance of Artists Communities a group of leaders in the field who do just that—and much more."

For a full list of the 2019 Board of Trustees and the Honorary Board, click here.

  Ryan Dennis | Curator & Programs Director, Project Row Houses (Houston, TX)

Ryan N. Dennis is Curator and Programs Director at Project Row Houses. Her work focuses on African American contemporary art with a particular emphasis on socially engaged practices, site-specific projects, and public interventions. Since joining Project Row Houses in 2012, she has organized and co-organized ten Rounds of PRH group exhibitions with local, national, and international artists. Her writings have appeared in catalogs and journals, including Prospect.3 Notes for Now (2014), Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, and the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Studiomagazine. She has most recently edited Collective Creative Actions: Project Row Houses at 25 and contributed to the first monograph of artist Autumn Knight, titled In Rehearsal: Autumn Knight, published by the Krannert Art Museum. Dennis has been a visiting lecturer and critic at a number of art schools and art institutions throughout the country and has taught courses on community-based practices and contemporary art at the University of Houston.

Shey Rivera | Artistic Director, AS220 (Providence, RI)

Shey Rivera Ríos is the Artistic Director at AS220, an internationally renowned arts center in Providence, RI, and a multi-genre artist. Their work at AS220 focuses on the role of art and culture as a catalyst for social change through community engagement, cross-sector partnerships, and urban planning. Rivera is an active member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) and board member of the Alliance of Artist Communities. They are also a Fellow of the Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) and a Brown University's Public Humanities Community Fellow. Rivera was part of the founding team of Festival de la Palabra (2010), the largest literature festival in Puerto Rico. The same team reopened the Museum House Concha Melendez in San Juan and activated it with public programming as a hub for literary arts. Rivera completed a BA with double major in Psychology and Sociology in the University of Puerto Rico and coursework in the graduate program for Contemporary Media and Culture in the University of the Sacred Heart, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Outside of their arts management role, Rivera is a multi-genre artist active in the mediums of performance, installation, digital media, and poetry/narrative. The creations spam several genres and a myriad of topics, from home to capitalism to queerness to magic. Rivera is also a performance curator and producer of interventions that activate people creatively. Pronouns: They/Them.


Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento | Attorney, The Law Office of Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento (Austin, TX / New York, NY)

Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento is an arts lawyer and scholar interested in the relationship between art & law, with a focus on tangible and intangible property, appropriation, contractual agreements, authorship, freedom of expression, and outlaw culture. He received his BA in Art from the University of Texas-El Paso, an MFA in Art from the California Institute of the Arts, and a JD from Cornell Law School. He has lectured and taught on art law matters in a wide range of institutions, including Harvard University, Cornell Law School, Yale Law School, Columbia Law School, NYU School of Law, Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia), Universidad Torcuato di Tella (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Grand’Chambre (Paris, France), University of California-Irvine School of Art, and Brown University School of Art. He has also published art and law essays in several journals of law and the humanities, and his art projects have been exhibited nationally and internationally. From 2006 to 2012, Sarmiento was Director of Education and Associate Director for Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York City. In 2010, Sarmiento founded the Art & Law Program, a New York-based seminar/colloquium with a philosophical focus on the effects of law on cultural production and reception. He currently maintains a private art law practice.


Geoffrey Jackson Scott | Co-Founder & Creative Director, Peoplmovr (Brooklyn, NY)

A native of Quincy, IL, Geoffrey Jackson Scott is a Brooklyn-based cultural organizer, creative producer, and engagement strategist. He is Co-Founder and Creative Director of Peoplmovr, a creative studio specializing in engagement and communications that partners with artists, organizations, and communities on the development and delivery of strategies designed to bring arts and culture closer to the people and people closer to arts and culture. Peoplmovr is committed to undoing racism and centers the principles of equity and inclusion in all areas of its work. Recently, Geoffrey and Peoplmovr developed The Mile-Long Opera, a citywide public engagement project that brought together 1,000 singers for free performances on the High Line in Manhattan. At the heart of the work was an extensive engagement initiative that activated non-profit cultural organizations across all five boroughs. Seven Anchor Partners served as hubs for engaging local communities—from recruiting singers, to welcoming the public for open rehearsals and workshops, to hosting social and cultural events and public programs in the lead-up to the performances. From 2014-2016, Geoffrey served as Director, Engagement at Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI). At MoMI, he led an ambitious two-year engagement and outreach pilot, funded by the Ford Foundation. From 2012 - 2014, he delivered a suite of new programs and initiatives as a senior member of the in-house creative strategy team at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago where he was the Director of New Play Development. At Victory Gardens, he conceived, developed, and launched a civic engagement platform designed to embrace and reflect the diversity of Chicago. From 2004 - 2012, Geoffrey spent eight seasons as the Literary Associate at New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW), where he led the Artist of Color Fellowship program and supported the cultivation, development, and production of new work made by both emerging and established artists.


Kibra A Yohannes | Executive Director, AFRICA'SOUT! (Brooklyn, NY)

As the founding Executive Director, Kibra drives the programming, administration, and operations of AFRICA'SOUT!, a non profit organization which honors, supports and defends artists who radically change the narrative around Africa and its Diaspora, first and foremost, for themselves. Before joining AFRICA’SOUT! Kibra was the Director of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies at Long Island University, where she managed and designed children’s programs and accredited adult education, non-traditional and professional programs. Previously she served as Director of Operations and Director of Programs, respectively, at Arts Engine, Inc. a film production company producing social-issue documentaries of consequence, and programs such as the Media That Matters Film Festival, MediaRights and Filmmaker Services. Kibra holds a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Virginia and is a candidate for a Master’s in Social Science, with a Graduate Certificate in United Nations System from Long Island University.