Creative Conversations: Building Community Through Technology

Thursday, October 20, 2011 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The Foundation Center-San Francisco | San Francisco, CA

Register Here.

Explore the ways in which technology is influencing community building in the arts.

This is a Creative Conversation hosted by the Foundation Center-San Francisco and presented in partnership with the Emerging Arts Professionals/SFBA.

Today’s technology affords us a multitude of tools to share our work and spread our messages. As a result, people of all ages are accessing arts and culture in new ways, and changing all the rules of creation, performance, participation and engagement. This panel of innovators will discuss the pros and cons of building community through technology, and explore its potential to transform the work of artists and arts organizations.




Space is limited. Register online below or in person. Registrants requiring ASL signers or other disability-related services are asked to contact the Foundation Center at least two weeks in advance. If you need further information, please call (415) 397-0902.

Please arrive on time or your seat may be given away to others that are waiting to attend.


312 Sutter Street, 2nd floor
San Francisco, CA 94108
This event is Free.

Panelist Bios:

James Kass is an award-winning writer, educator, producer and media maker. He is the Founder & Executive Director of Youth Speaks Inc., and is widely credited with helping to launch the youth spoken word movement. Creator and Co-Executive Producer of the 7-part HBO series Brave New Voices and the Peabody-nominated HBO’s Brave New Voices 2010, James also created the concept and served as the Artistic Director of the PBSseries Poetic License, created the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, serves as Executive Editor of First Word Press, and was a founding member of the San Francisco Poet Laureate Selection Committee. James has received several awards for his writing, his work in the nonprofit sector, and his work as an educator, and was named a Future Aesthetic Artist by the Ford Foundation. Widely published, James recently curated the poetry for the first ever White House Poetry Jam, performing in front of the First Family, and was invited to be one of the first 35 people to meet the administration’s arts action team. He has served on committees, boards and panels for numerous local and national organizations, launched 63 spoken word programs across the country through the Brave New Voices Network, and has spoken on numerous panels including TEDx Silicon Valley, The New Progressive Coalition, the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, the Social Venture Network, Changemakers, Hip Hop Activism, the Open Society Institute, and Grantmakers in the Arts.

Jennifer Maerz (Producer, The Bold Italic) worked as SF Weekly’s music editor for four years before she joined the Bold Italic team. Before that she covered San Francisco pop culture for various publications: as an editor at Speak and Soma magazines, and as a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Spin, Rolling Stone, New York Times, Vice, and Salon, among other outlets. She’s worked at media outlets in other cities — as the editor of Dr. Drew’s now defunct website, and as the music editor of the alt weekly The Stranger in Seattle — but prefers living and covering her favorite city, San Francisco.

The same day Hurricane Katrina hit, Tanya Vlach was driving on the other side of the country in Northern California on her way to one of the largest arts festivals in the world. At dusk she was found unconscious from a traumatic accident. Tanya barely came out alive, losing her left eye in the tumble, among other injuries. Becoming this intimate with death, Tanya is driven by the consciousness of the fragile nature of life and her work is imbued with this sense of urgency. 5th generation San Franciscan, Tanya considers herself a trans-disciplinary artist, having an extensive background in dance, theater, visual, and literary arts. Founder of COLIBRITA Production Company, she has produced and curated several multidisciplinary events throughout the Bay Area.

Robin Wu is a Community Investment Officer at ZeroDivide, a social investor helping underserved communities realize the transformative power of technology to achieve social progress and economic opportunity. Prior to joining ZeroDivide, Robin worked as a Projects Director in Program Services at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services. At CompassPoint, she oversaw the management of a three-year statewide initiative designed to build capacity in HIV prevention organizations throughout California serving people of color. She also managed various aspects of the consulting practice comprised of thirty-plus consultants who worked with over 300 Bay Area nonprofit organizations each year out of offices in San Francisco and San Jose. Prior to working at CompassPoint, Robin oversaw minority access programs at the State Bar of California and provided staff direction to the Ethnic Minority Relations Committee, Committee on Women in the Law, Committee on Sexual Orientation Discrimination, and Committee on Legal Professionals with Disabilities. Previous to that, she carried out civil rights advocacy work at Chinese for Affirmative Action in San Francisco. Robin received her BA in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and anMBA from UCLA with a concentration in arts management and marketing. She serves on several nonprofit boards and is a recent empty-nester.


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