Gina Acebo is a Third generation Filipina who grew up in Oakland, California. For the last twenty years she has worked with movement organizations as a community and labor organizer, policy advocate, and coordinator of national gatherings. A recent graduate of the California College of the Arts, her art practice explores how art and activism fuel the imagination of the general public to make change. When she’s not busy at the office or in a studio, she’s on a quest to roll the perfect lumpia and to try to keep up with her six-year old daughter.
Sheeka Arbuthnot is a San Francisco-based curator and writer. Recent curatorial projects have included Circular Motion: Subverting Circumscription at Meridian Gallery in San Francisco and Video Guerrilha in São Paulo, Brazil and the Mid Market Art Project in San Francisco. Her upcoming exhibition is American Beauty: The Opulent Pre-Depression Architecture of Detroit. She has assisted in curatorial projects at El Museo del Barrio (New York) and Sonoma County Museum. She holds a BA in Art History from Mills College and a MA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art from San Francisco Art Institute. Her writings have been published in Cement. She is the recipient of the Mary Laughlin Beardmore Award in Art History, the Searing Dhaemers Art History Award, and the Excellence in Scholarship, Master of Arts Thesis Award.
Claire Frost was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She ventured east to Massachusetts for college at Clark University where she received a B.A. in Art History. Her western roots and internships with SFMOMA’s Architecture and Design department, and Intersection for the Arts’ Incubator Program brought her to the Bay Area, where she can often be found riding her bike. In her current position as the Curatorial Assistant at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, she curates exhibitions and manages the exhibition process. She is drawn to the spaces and ways in which life and art meet, and in her work seeks to cultivate and explore these moments and their enlightening possibilities.
Adriana believes in the power of art as a tool for social change and awareness. For the past two and a half years, she has served as the Curatorial & Special Programs Manager at Galería de la Raza, a non-profit community arts space based in the Mission District dedicated to advancing intercultural dialog. While at Galería, Adriana has worked with numerous artists, managed the installation of over twenty exhibitions, programmed the gallery’s public billboard project, and assisted in developing the gallery’s grant writing workshops. She received her B.A. in Art History and Archaeology from Tufts University in 2008, decided to leave the east coast behind shortly after and moved to San Francisco on the best whim she’s ever had. She enjoys going to live shows, camping, dancing and when life allows traveling to places she’s never been or returning to her motherlands, Puerto Rico and Spain.
Jessie is a native of the East Bay, and since childhood has been actively involved in the performing arts, including dance, theater, and orchestra. Her passion for arts administration was cultivated during her work on the Development team at The Wooden Floor, a dance education program for underserved youth in Santa Ana, CA. Jessie is currently on staff at Quinn Associates, an arts fundraising and management consultancy in San Francisco, and also serves as a volunteer with several organizations across the arts spectrum. She envisions a creative sector empowered by strong cross-sector philanthropic partnerships, and looks forward to utilizing the EAP Fellowship to research tools that cultivate healthy fundraising cultures within organizations. Jessie received her B.A. in Communications from Biola University.
Tossie Long is a San Francisco native, mother, vocalist and actor. Her interest in performance arts was sparked while traveling to Brazil in High School. She has since traveled to other countries and studies different forms of music in the bay area. Tossie does not perform simply for the sake of performing, but rather, to challenge herself and experiment with intimacy, risk, vulnerability and connection.
My name is Carrie Leilam Love and I’m a writer and community artist from Oakland, California. I was a real book nerd growing up, so it surprised no one when I received an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. I like to write poems and stories about people struggling to love themselves and each other, which I see as the dominant narrative of the human condition. That sounds depressing but I promise I’m not sad about it, because all the beauty we know is born from that struggle too. Some of my poems and stories have been published by Diner Journal, Intersection for the Arts, and others. I have been invited to present my work at RADAR, Lit Crawl, Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance, and other popular literary and performance venues. Formerly, I was a contributing editor for Ironing Board Collective, where I wrote about the intersections of politics and sartorial choice. I recently signed on with YBCAs new “In Community” program to produce public, participatory community art in West Oakland, coming in 2014. In my free time, I have pursued to varying degrees of success: gardening, triathlon, roller derby, and quilting. Currently I am the Bayview Community Artist in Residence for WritersCorps, a program of the San Francisco Arts Commission.
Adriana currently serves as Development & Communications manager for Joe Goode Performance Group, a San Francisco based dance theater company. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest and received a BA in dance and communication studies from Northwestern University. While in Chicago she was a performing company member for Mordine & Co. Dance Theater and served as Marketing Director. She also served as Marketing Assistant for Carol Fox & Associates providing marketing services to non-profit and commercial arts and entertainment organizations and Program Assistant for Chicago Dancemakers Forum, assisting in efforts to fund local individual dance artists. She relocated to the Bay Area two years ago.
Hannah Merriman, Co-founder, Fortnight Collective; Cultural Agent, US Department of Arts and Culture
Hannah Merriman is an artist, advocate, and educator based in San Rafael. Deeply moved by the power of socially engaged art to restore community, stir the soul, and unleash our collective ingenuity, Hannah is inspired to serve creative initiatives that deliver art’s regenerative potential. She earned her BA from Oberlin College and a Masters degree from Harvard Divinity School, where she created an interdisciplinary program in theology, community transformation, and visual art. Hannah has worked as creative director of the Global Oneness Project, and now she teaches in the Art Education department at the Academy of Art University while raising her two young children. Hannah’s current collaborations are as a founding “cultural agent” of the US Department of Arts and Culture, an emerging citizen-powered movement lifting up the arts as the cornerstone of authentic and resilient communities; and as co-founder of Fortnight, a local women’s collective in San Rafael committed to creating dialogue through the arts around local issues of environment, social segregation, and downtown revitalization. Hannah’s drawings and installations have been shown in exhibitions in both the Bay Area and her home state of Massachusetts, and her spontaneous social art happenings draw the public into participatory experiences of beauty and reverence.
Lisa Nowlain is currently getting her library and information science masters degree at San Jose State. She is also an artist. The seemingly disparate arenas converge through her interests in collaborative and social justice oriented projects and programs that connect people with information, action, and each other. Lisa has experience working with non-profits, coalitions, small business, and as a freelance artist. She graduated from Scripps College with a BA in Studio Art and has lived in Laos as a Fulbright research fellow and Sweden as a half Swede. She loves her cat in a librarianish way.
Jen Ontiveros is a mixed-media installation artist and arts administrator living in Oakland, CA. Native to Abilene, Texas, Jen uprooted with her family to California in the early 90s, moving throughout the state for school and a two-year AmeriCorps service program. She graduated with a B.A. in Art Studio Practice and Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and received an M.Ed. in Equity and Social Justice with a focus on community arts programming for youth from San Francisco State University. Currently she is finishing her M.A. in Contemporary Art History, Theory, & Criticism, researching socially engaged art and public practices at SFSU. She recently joined on as the Development Coordinator for di Rosa, an art museum and sculpture park nestled in the Carneros region of Napa Valley. When she is not working, researching, or commuting, Jen enjoys playing dominos, crocheting relentlessly, and sharing food and conversations with close friends.
Alex is a technology professional by day and a performing arts enthusiast by night, particularly interested in bridging the arts and business communities in creative and impactful ways. His tech/art double life began at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA, where he received a degree in engineering while dancing and acting throughout his four years there. After graduation in 2010, he kept this up in Houston, TX, where he worked for an education technology nonprofit called Reasoning Mind while becoming well-acquainted with Houston’s performing arts community. He performed with a dance company called FrenetiCore, acted in local plays, helped organize the 2012 and 2013 Houston Fringe Festivals, served as a freelance dance writer for the Houston Press, and volunteered for Dance Source Houston and Houston Art Alliance’s Business Volunteers for the Arts program. In April, Alex moved back to the Bay Area (his original stomping grounds) to join an education technology startup called BloomBoard and to get involved in the Bay Area’s arts community. Outside of work and the arts, Alex enjoys rediscovering San Francisco as an adult and cheering on local sports teams.
Leah is an Assistant Research Specialist in the Research Group at the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley. At the Hall, she contributes to research and evaluation studies about science learning. She has worked in a variety of museums including the Field Museum in Chicago and San Francisco’s de Young Museum. Leah has also conducted independent research at a science museum in Chicago and an art museum in Oaxaca, Mexico. She has a background in anthropology, and her interests include strategic planning, cultural policy, qualitative research methods and the intrinsic impacts of experiences with arts and cultural organizations. She’s excited about EAP because she loves exploring the overlaps and tensions between science and art, having her assumptions challenged, and debating field-wide issues like sustainability and evaluation. She enjoys cooking, speaking Spanish, and running in Golden Gate Park!
Malia is an Oakland-based writer who was born and raised in Athens, Georgia. She holds an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts and a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Lewis and Clark College. Malia’s commitment to a career in the arts developed during her interim years between undergraduate and graduate school, when she held an Americorps VISTA position as a curator and arts advocate at the Daybreak Star Native American Cultural Center in Seattle, WA. While living in Seattle, she would often sneak into art history lectures on the local university and community college campuses, and was a regular attendee of the public programs at the Seattle Art Museum. Because of the autodidactic nature of her foundational visual culture knowledge, Malia remains devoted to supporting public programming at local cultural institutions. She feels particularly privileged to hold her position at SFMOMA, which is so synchronized with her personal passion for culture-based continuing education opportunities.
Brittney Shepherd is a San Francisco-based independent media maker. Currently, Brittney is directing her first feature doc, EYE, CAMERA which follows monocular visual artist Tanya Vlach as she sets out to install a camera inside her prosthetic eye and confronts ethnical and existential dilemmas from her controversial decision. Brittney is the co-producer of A FRAGILE TRUST (ITVS/Sheffield 2013), about the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal at the NYTimes and the co-producer of OUT RUN about openly gay politicians in the developing world (ITVS/Sundance Time Warner). She is also the co-creator of the ITVS news game, Decisions on Deadline. Brittney is the former staff producer at GroundSpark, where she produced award-winning films alongside the Academy-Award winning director Debra Chasnoff. Brittney holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley in Ethnic Studies and is a 2013 BAVC Media Maker Fellow and 2013 CPB/PBS Producer’s Academy alum.
Tavia Stewart-Streit, Deputy Director, Office of Letters & Light; Founder & Executive Director, Invisible City Audio Tours
Tavia Stewart-Streit works as the Deputy Director for National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org) and is the founder and Executive Director of Invisible City Audio Tours (invisiblecityaudiotours.org). Shortly after graduating from the University of Southern California with a degree in Creative Writing, she packed up and moved to San Francisco in search of a new life immersed in the Bay Area’s literary scene. For the first couple years, she waited tables, volunteered at 826 Valencia’s creative writing center, and interned for McSweeney’s Publishing, Watchword Press, and ZYZZYVA. In 2006 she consolidated to one full-time job with NaNoWriMo, and in 2010 founded Invisible City. She is also the co-author of six creativewriting workbooks for kids and teens and one for adults—-Ready, Set, Novel published by Chronicle Books. When she’s not at NaNoWriMo or producing literary-based audio tours, you will find her hanging with her extra-awesome son Archer (21 mos. and counting!).
Matt Sussman, Marketing & Development Associate, Bay Area Video Coalition, Associate Editor, Art Practical
A Kentucky native, Matt Sussman has called the Bay Area home for most of his adult life. Currently the Marketing and Development Associate at the Bay Area Video Coalition, he is also a contributor to and Managing Editor of Columns and Reviews for the online magazine Art Practical. A longtime freelance arts journalist, Matt’s writing has appeared in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Art in America, The Wire, Flavorpill, Queerty, BUTT Magazine, and KQED Arts. He holds a BA in Modern Literary Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Victor Valle, Founder, We Move Against The Tides; Manager, VCV Artist Management; Writer, The Deli SF
Los Angeles born, Bay Area transplant, Victor C. Valle attends the University of San Francisco where he double majors in Communication Studies and Media Studies. After a year of immersing himself into the Bay Area arts and culture scene, he then began his music website, We Move Against The Tides, in late 2011 which brings light to local and underrated artists based out of the Bay Area through articles, interviews, and reviews. He then moved onto the backside of the music industry with his first exposure to artist management through his work with Zeitgeist Artist Management. This then inspired him this past year to sign on as management for local Bay Area band Morgan Manifacier. Along with this, Victor has expanded his work in music journalism by contributing to local music website The Deli San Francisco. Additionally, Victor is involved with radio station KUSF.org, photography magazine THSNDWRDS, and directs the on-campus poetry club WORD!
Caroline is a fundraising professional, dance artist, and ardent encourager of creative development. After relocating to San Francisco by way of Massachusetts and New York City in 2012, she worked in individual giving and events at San Francisco Ballet and acquired her 200-hour yoga teacher certification at Yoga Tree. She currently works as a development associate at ODC/Dance and volunteers at CounterPULSE. Caroline is an advocate for dance and is writing a chapter for an academic anthology on site-specific performance. After graduating from Barnard College with a B.A. in Dance and American Studies in 2011, she explored her passion for education as a teaching fellow at Achievement First Brownsville charter school in Brooklyn. As a dancer, she has worked with renowned artists including Camille A. Brown, Nora Chipaumire, Faye Driscoll, Nicholas Leichter, and Colleen Young. Her interests in community building and cultural mapping led her to serve on the Junior Committee of Dance/NYCfor two terms from 2010- 2012, where she contributed to a highly successful Dance Workforce Census campaign, and led a partnership project team. She continues to seek out other change agents on the west coast and aims to cultivate network ties that internally strengthen and expand the reach of the dance and arts communities.
Madeleine Wilhite, an arts professional based in San Francisco, has engaged with the arts–as an administrator, content creator and appreciator–for as long as she can remember. In her current position as Operations and Special Events Manager at Headlands Center for the Arts, she coordinates the volunteer and internship program, manages event rentals, and implements seasonal Open Houses among other public events. Originally from Portland, OR, Madeleine moved to California to earn a BA in Media Studies from Pitzer College. She has had the pleasure of working with a number of arts organizations and projects in the Bay Area and beyond, ranging from curating a fiber arts show, to interning at a contemporary art museum in far West Texas, and filling a variety of front line and behind the scenes positions at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She is a member of the founding Board of Project 387, a brand new multidisciplinary residency program in Mendocino County, and recently received a NextGen Arts Professional Development grant. When not in the Marin Headlands you can find Madeleine in Big Sur, at a ceramics class, or sitting next to her backyard campfire.