The Heart of It is a MADE awardee because it is a project aimed at knowledge-sharing, a cornerstone of Emerging Arts Professionals / SFBA. The Heart of It embraces transparency through storytelling and encourages arts leaders at all levels to learn from each other and ask important questions.

Michelle Reynolds Lynch – EAP Engagement Director, MADE Program Director

The Heart of It – A series of interviews with leaders in the arts.

The Heart of It is a project to discover and document the stories of established leaders in the local arts sector — unearthing the risks, success, failures, strokes of genius, and strokes of luck that have helped them become the leaders they are today.

“The Heart of It is a sustained exploration of the lives of those who shape our community. With this project, we hope to gain a glimpse into the collective wisdom and expertise that guides and inspires us, as emerging arts professionals, in working hard in order to make a difference.”  – Alex Randall (Project Coordinator)

As members of a professional field, we want to understand what growth and leadership looks like in practice. As participants in a local arts community, we want to share and document the stories of those who lead us and find, in these stories, connections among ourselves.  And as emerging arts professionals, we want to consider the stories of those we admire and unearth the risks, successes, failures, strokes of genius, and strokes of genius that have helped them become the leaders they are today.

The Heart of It is led by Alex Randall in collaboration with Jessie Dykstra, Leah Reisman, Adriana Marcial, and Claire Frost, all of whom were EAP 2013-14 Fellows.

The first three interviews will be published on October 15th, October 29th, and November 12th (all Wednesdays), with more interviews to follow in upcoming months.

Stay tuned!

Alex Randall, EAP Fellowship Alumni, 2013


 Alex aims to bring arts and business communities together to celebrate the artists in all of us. He’s lived a tech/art double life for the last eight years, starting at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA, where he earned an engineering degree while dancing and acting on the side. Since graduating in 2010, Alex has worked for two education technology companies (one in Houston, on in SF), managing teams in business analysis, recruitment, account management, and customer service. In his evenings and weekends, he has performed with dance and theater companies, organized festivals (included the 2012 and 2013 Houston Fringe Festivals), covered dance for an arts publication, and volunteered with a number of art organizations (including Houston’s Business Volunteers for the Arts program and SF’s SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts). When he’s not busy with work or the performing arts, Alex enjoys creative writing and driving to the coast.

The Heart of It Interviews

Cultivating a Community with East Bay Center’s Jordan Simmons

Jordan Simmons is the Artistic Director of the East Bay Center…

Delving into Dance with AXIS’s Judith Smith

Judith Smith is the Artistic Director and Founding Member of…

A Glance at Grantmaking with Helicon’s Marcy Hinand

Marcelle Hinand is a management consultant with over 25 years…

Philanthropic Pursuits: Insights from Irvine Foundation’s Josephine Ramirez

Josephine Ramirez was appointed Program Director at the James…

Executive Director Roadmap: Insights into OCMA’s Lori Fogarty

Executive Director, Lori Fogarty, is leading Oakland Museum…