2013 Leaders in Arts and Culture

Jason Michael Aragón | Video Producer, Pan Left Productions

Jason is a current member of Pan Left Productions and has worked in television and independent media for over 10 years in Tucson. His documentaries have been in SXSWclick Fest and AFI Film Festival, and the recent film Under Arpaio won Best of Arizona at the Arizona International Film Festival. Jason is a MAP fund award recipient, community media educator, and helps grassroots groups produce videos dealing with human rights issues in Arizona.

Stephanie Atkins | Resource Development Specialist, National Performance Network

Stephanie Atkins has been involved with the arts for more than 24 years as a visual artist, arts administrator and educator. Since 2006 she has worked with the National Performance Network (NPN); her current position is Resource Development Specialist. Prior to working with NPN, she taught art education in the Orleans Parish School Board in New Orleans and held adjunct teaching positions at Xavier University of Louisiana and Southern University at New Orleans. When practicing her art, Stephanie works in the installation format and draws inspiration by investigating the histories and present stories of women. She holds a B.A. in Visual Arts from Spelman College and a M.F.A. in Painting from University of Cincinnati. Her artwork focuses on women and investigating the histories and present stories that define the female existence.


Cece Carpio | Program Director, La Peña Cultural Center

Cece Carpio manages and directs La Peña Cultural Center’s programs.  La Peña has been promoting peace, social justice and cultural understanding through the arts, education and social action since 1975. Cece is also a visual artist and has exhibited work in the Philippines, Fiji Islands, Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Italy, Norway and throughout the United States. She has been awarded the New York Foundation’s Art Immigrant Artist Fellowship, a teaching residency at Café R.E.D & La Botica Espacio Cultural in Xela, Guatemala and an artist residency with KulArts at SOMA San Francisco and with Alliance for California’s Traditional Arts. Cece has been a guest lecturer at the New School in New York, California College of the Arts in Oakland and has taught Visual Arts at East Oakland School of the Arts and with the True Colors Mural Project at Berkeley City College. The Multicultural Community Center at UC Berkeley, Filipino- American Development Foundation and Oakland Museum of California has commissioned her works.


Aimee Chang | Director of Engagement, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Aimee Chang is director of engagement at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive where she oversees the communications, education, and membership departments. Since 2010 she has also been serving as a curatorial consultant with Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia, working on a social practice laboratory in the Chinatown and North Chinatown neighborhoods. Prior to moving to Berkeley, Chang worked as manager of public programs at the Blanton Museum at the University if Texas, Austin; as director of artist and residency programs at the Hammer Museum at UCLA; and as curator of contemporary art at the Orange County Museum of Art. Her areas of interest include the shifting identity of museums, social practice, university and museum partnerships, participatory museum models, new media, and new modes of audience engagement.


Anne Coates | Vice President of Strategy and Community Engagement, Municipal Art Society

Anne Coates, Vice President, Strategy and Community Engagement, joined the Municipal Art Society in 2011. She is also responsible for the MAS arts portfolio.  She was Vice President of the Alliance for the Arts 1996-2011,directing projects including a large-scale art audience building technology project. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Anthropology and Secondary School Education from Syracuse University and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from Columbia University. An arts veteran of 24 years, Ms. Coates has worked in management, project direction and fundraising. An alumna of Coro Leadership New York, she serves on the Coro Alumni Advisory Board, the Selection Committee for the NPCC Nonprofit Management Excellence Awards and the Fine Arts Federation. She has served on the New York CDP task force, boards of Women in Development and Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment, as well as the Oversight Committee for the national arts audience-building platform, Project Audience. She is a photographer organizing her first exhibition, and a lover of all things Maine.


Michelle Dahlenburg | Co-Artistic Director, Conspire Theater

Michelle Dahlenburg, an applied theatre practitioner, theatre-maker, oral historian, creates workshops, sound installations, documentaries, and performance pieces situated at the intersection of art and community, civic and social change. Recent projects include The Ghosts of Waller Creek, which used site-specific performance workshops to facilitate public participation in the redevelopment of an urban creek area, and a workshop for the NEA’s Your Town: Rural Design Institute, which helped residents of Mart, TX re-imagine uses for empty lots. Michelle is Co-Artistic Director of Conspire Theatre, which facilitates theatre and writing workshops for women during and post-incarceration. She teaches Drama-Based Instruction at Texas State University, and is a performer and teaching artist for the Paramount Theater’s Story Wranglers, an oral historian for Foodways Texas, and a story producer for Mortified Austin. Michelle is a graduate of the MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities program at the University of Texas at Austin.


Sarah Gonzales | Co-Director, Spoken Futures

Sarah Gonzales believes the intersection of art and activism is a critical place for community survival. After years of working for Universities and non-profits doing community work and youth organizing on racial justice in Arizona, she founded her own national social justice consulting company, TruthSarita, LLC which supports building collective power to dismantle inequity. Sarah also serves as Codirector of Spoken Futures, INC developing programs including Tucson Youth Poetry Slam and Liberation Lyrics which creates space for youth to process and address issues such as the school to prison pipeline, LGBTQ rights and migrant justice through spoken word poetry. In addition to facilitation, training and youth organizing work, Sarah is an extensive haiku writer, fierce dance floor occupier and a trickster performance artist whose recent work landed her in 6th place in the Arizona US Presidential Primaries in 2012. She loves horror movies and hates peanut butter.


Alice Loy | Co-Founder, Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship

Alice Loy, PhD, is the Co-founder of the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship and currently serves as Director of Programs.  Her driving passion is applying entrepreneurship to social and cultural challenges and opportunities.  Alice has lived and worked in Europe, Mexico, Central America, and Native America, researching cultural industry development and enterprise creation.  Alice has designed and taught university level courses ranging from Social Entrepreneurship to Environmental Ethics.  Alice holds a PhD in Strategic Communication and Entrepreneurship and an MBA.  Combining sophisticated analytical tools and research to program development, Alice has led the creation of award-winning programs in social entrepreneurship, digital inclusion, and cultural entrepreneurship.
The Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship partners with cultural entrepreneurs, artists, creative and their communities to develop economic opportunities that complement communities’ cultural assets and heritage and respond to market opportunities.  Founded in 2008, GCCE has developed award-winning programs in cultural entrepreneurship, digital inclusion, and regional cultural economy development.


James Kass | Founder and Executive Director, Youth Speaks

James Kass is a writer, educator, producer and media maker. He is the Founder & Executive Director of Youth Speaks, and is widely credited with launching the youth spoken word movement, working with tens of thousands of young people from across the country – and helping launch over 50 programs nationwide – to help them find, develop, publicly present, and apply their voices as leaders of societal change. Creator and Co-Executive Producer of the HBO series Brave New Voices and the Peabody-nominated Brave New Voices 2010, James also created and served as the Artistic Director of the PBS series Poetic License, created the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, serves as Executive Editor of First Word Press, was a founding member of the San Francisco Poet Laureate Selection Committee, and helped launch the SF and Oakland Youth Laureate Programs. 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.


Chandra McCormick | Co-Founder, L9 Center for the Arts

Chandra McCormick is a documentary photographer who chronicles the sociocultural aspects of human life. Born in New Orleans in 1957, her career background includes photography, activism, and history, which has given her a unique capability to focus on a range of subjects not commonly covered by other documentary photographers. Her dedication to the subject matter exemplifies the power of photographic storytelling.  Her photographs have been included in exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Philadelphia African American Museum, Civil Rights Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, The Peace Museum, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York University, Aperture Gallery and more. In addition, McCormick’s work has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers, receiving several awards from the New Orleans Press Club.  McCormick, with her husband and artistic partner, Keith Calhoun, co-founded L9 Center for the Arts after Hurricane Katrina.


Jay Mead | Program Director, Sustainable Leaders Network

Jay Mead is a visual and performance artist who creates site-specific sculpture, paintings, shadow puppet shows, mosaics, mask-making and community art. He has published “A Little Farm Story” which tells the story of a year in the life of a family farm. He is currently creating a graphic novel on successfully mitigating climate change based on his shadow puppet show The Turning. He designs logos for sustainability enterprises. Jay has worked with giant puppetry for 30 years, including with Bread & Puppet and Wise Fool Puppet Intervention. He has created site specific community giant puppet performances in the U.S., Germany, the Czech Republic, and Brazil. He has taught art for 30 years from kindergarten – college. Jay is Art of Sustainability program director for the Sustainability Leaders Network. He lives with his wife and two children at the Cobb Hill Eco-village in Hartland, Vermont. www.jaymead.net


Ashley Minner | Community Artist, Native American After School Program

Ashley Minner is a Community Artist from Baltimore, Maryland. She holds a BFA in General Fine Art and an MFA in Community Art, which she earned at Maryland Institute College of Art. A member of the Lumbee Tribe, she has been active in the Baltimore Lumbee community for many years. She is the director and founder of the Native American After School Art Program (NAASAP). She is also the Liaison for the Native American Program (Title VII Indian Education) in Baltimore City Public Schools. Her involvement in her own community informs and inspires her work.


Mankwe Ndosi | Culture Weaver, Archetypal Women

Mankwe Ndosi has been working in the Twin Cities and Chicago for more than 15 years as a musicmaker, performer, educator and culture weaver focused on sound, story, and expanding the vocabulary of singing. Ms. Ndosi received her B.S. in Social Studies from Harvard/Radcliffe, and uses her social science background to inform her art. She likes to get dirty, makes medicine from weeds and regularly heals herself by listening to and singing with human and non-human beings. She wants to grow food, end the drug war, and infuse creative practice into healing, schooling, economic transformation, and new village community building. Ms. Ndosi is currently working Intersections – international and intergenerational connections through creativity and conversation with Hope Community in South Minneapolis. She is also sharing music from her first full-length album, Science and Spirit, with community organizers and audiences in the Midwest.


Rachel Neumann | Publisher, Parallax Press

Rachel Neumann is the Publisher at Parallax Press, a nonprofit progressive publisher dedicated to making mindfulness teachings accessible to everyone and preserving them for future generations. Parallax authors focus on the connection between mindful awareness, happiness, peace-making, and social justice. Rachel has worked in as a legal trainer for civil disobedience demonstrations and as a journalist covering local, national, and international social justice movements. She is the author of Not Quite Nirvana: A Skeptic’s Journey to Mindfulness and writes regularly on politics, parenting, and social justice. Her work can be found at http://rachelneumann.blogspot.com.


Marianetta Porter | Professor, University of Michigan School of Design

Marianetta Porter is a visual artist, educator and cultural worker who recognizes the power of art to confront social justice issues, marginalization and difference, and to activate positive social change.  These values underscore her artistic practice, her pedagogical approach as well as her collaborative engagements with neighboring communities. Professor Porter has taught community-based studio courses that draw correlations between scholarship and meaningful community interaction and has worked with university initiatives to utilize art in building collaborations in Detroit with Horizons Upward Bound, Alternative for Girls and Latino Family Services. She is currently engaged in a visual arts project that confronts the racial representation of minority and immigrant communities while addressing the impact misconceptions have on individual perception as well as our collective understanding of others. She is the recipient of the Smithsonian Senior Research Fellowship, the Smithsonian Laureate Award, and the Helmut Stern Fellowship at the University of Michigan and has served as a visiting artist at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Ox-Bow Program.


Jeremy Rubingh | Filmmaker and Board Chair

Jeremy Rubingh is an accomplished filmmaker, nonprofit consultant and spokesman for clean air, clean water, human health and economic sustainability.  He also serves as an appointed Planning Commissioner for his county and as a senior partner for a youth mentoring program in rural Colorado.  He is very politically involved through his work on conservation in Colorado and throughout the West as well as his volunteer contributions to political campaigns. Jeremy’s largest passions are working to protect earth’s biodiversity, spending time outdoors, meeting new people, finding inspiration and creativity in unexpected places and learning. He likes to spend his free time on adventures like backcountry skiing, climbing, horse-back riding and floating rivers as well as eating interesting food and drinking well-crafted beer. Jeremy first discovered meditation and an interest in eastern traditions while on study abroad in Nepal as an undergraduate student.


Trinidad Ruiz | Program Director, Watts House Project

As the program director for the Watts House Project (WHP) in Los Angeles, Trinidad Ruiz has deep experience using art and architecture as economic drivers for neighborhood redevelopment.  In his current position, he works with artists, architects and designers to collaborate with local families to reimagine the Watts Tower neighborhood through housing renovations and community programs.  Ruiz has worked in arts and cultural institutions for over 13 years in many capacities and in many departments ranging from membership to education to programs to curatorial.  He is a practicing artist and has participated in several exhibitions.  He holds a degree from UCLA in Art History and an AA in Studio Art.


Anthem Salgado | Founder & Consultant, Art of Hustle

Anthem Salgado founded professional development program and web resource, Art of Hustle, providing training and consulting for independent artists, creative entrepreneurs, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. He focuses on marketing, helping maximize on referral building, social media, and income generation opportunities. He’s given talks and workshops at Foundation Center, Network of Ensemble Theaters Summit, UCLA, SF State University, University of San Francisco, California Institute of Integral Studies, Sonoma State University, Napa Valley College, and Mills College. He’s appeared on panels hosted by Social Media Week and Emerging Arts Professionals. Awards include a Philippines Fulbright-Hays scholarship via Sonoma State University’s North Bay International Studies Program, a Fellowship to Behance’s 99% Conference, and Young Leader of Color by Theatre Communications Group. He recently served Intersection for the Arts as Director of Communications & Special Events.


Ada Smith | Co-Director, Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute

Ada Smith is from Whitesburg, KY in the coalfields of Appalachia.  She is 25 years old and a graduate of Hampshire College.  She is currently an Interim Co-Director for Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute, which trains young people from eastern Kentucky on how to use media to address the critical issues in their communities. Ada is a founding member of the STAY Project, a youth-run, multi-issue central Appalachian regional network, and is coordinating their activities this year.


Denise Solis | Director & Drummer, Las Bomberas de la Bahia

Denise Solis is one of a few female  lead drummers (Primo(a) or Subidora) in Puerto Rico and the Diaspora within the Bomba genre. Denise began studying the Afro Puerto Rican musical tradition of Bomba in 2004 with Hector Lugo and Roman “Ito” Carrillo. In 2005, she became a founding member and musician with the Bay Area based Afro Puerto Rican ensemble Cacique y Kongo (2005-2007) for which she was a principal singer and drummer. She is also a co-founder and co-artistic director for the Bay Area’s first and only all women’s Bomba ensemble, Las Bomberas de la Bahia. Since 2003, Denise has also worked for SEIU-USWW, a union representing 40,000 low wage service industry workers – janitors, security officers, and stadium/arena workers in California. She was elected statewide in Vice President in 2011 and is currently the staff Director for Northern California for SEIU-USWW.


Weyland Southon | DJ, Writer, Curator

Weyland Southon is a first-generation Samoan Chinese American, a San Francisco native, a proud resident of West Oakland, and a stay-at-home Dad. Weyland is also a journalist, DJ, master of ceremonies and wedding officiant. He is widely known for his audacious and popular radio programming on KPFA FM such as 7 Generations and Hard Knock Radio. Recently, Weyland co-founded Father Figures, an irreverent parenting show co-hosted with NY Times Bestselling Author Adam Mansbach, and he is the lead curator for the bi-monthly art party Pecha Kucha Night Oakland. In 2012, Weyland helped convene the Future Soul Think Tank at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. He is also editing a new Voice of Witness (VoW) volume for Dave Eggers’ McSweeney’s, which will feature young Native and Traditional first-person narratives from across North America. Weyland currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Jonas Family Fund, and also consults on the Advisory Board of the Estria Foundation. Weyland has previously served on the Board of Directors for Youth Speaks and the Ecology Center.


Clyde Valentín | Executive Director, Hip Hop Theater Festival

Clyde Valentín was born and raised in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He is the producer and executive director of the Hip-Hop Theater Festival (HHTF), a unique arts organization dedicated to bringing new and diverse audiences to the theater. HHTF presentations and productions can be found in major urban markets around the United States including New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Valentín serves on the Art Advisory Board for the Times Square Alliance, is a Board member for the Theatre Communications Group, and serves as a Panelist for the New York State Council on Arts Theatre Program. He is an advisor for the New England Foundation for the Arts National Touring Pilot (NTP) funded by the Mellon Foundation. He presented at numerous conferences including the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture, Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) and the National Performance Network’s Annual Meeting.


Jack Walsh | Executive Director, National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture

Jack Walsh is the Executive Director of the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, the national service organization for media arts organizations. Since joining NAMAC, Jack has overseen four national conferences, regional convenings, leadership development, and capacity building programs.  He is the principal investigator of Mapping the Field: A National Survey of Media Arts Organizations, which he developed and launched in 2010. Prior to NAMAC, Jack held positions in the Bay Area’s television industry including Series Producer of the Living Room Festival, Station Manager of KTOP, Oakland’s government channel, and Executive Producer at San Francisco public television station KQED.  He was the Capital Campaign Manager for the 9th Street Independent Film Center, an innovative cross-sector collaboration that enabled four nonprofit organizations to buy and renovate a building in San Francisco’s SOMA district. An award-winning independent filmmaker and producer, Jack’s works have screened globally at film festivals and through television broadcast.  His current project, Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer is a feature length documentary about the pioneering choreographer and filmmaker.


Dan S. Wang | Board President, Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative

Dan S. Wang was born in 1968 in Midland, Michigan. He is a writer, artist, organizer, blogger, and printer living in Madison, Wisconsin. Dan’s critical writings have been published internationally in journals, exhibition catalogues, and book collections. He has lectured in many places, including at the Kansas City Art Institute, Salzburger Kunstverein, Art Institute of Chicago, Documenta 12 (Kassel, Germany), the Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing), and the third Creative Time Summit (New York). His art projects have been featured in three solo exhibitions and more than twenty-five group exhibitions, but mostly exist in small circles of functional and activist settings. Along with seven others he co-founded Mess Hall, an experimental cultural space in Chicago, and regularly works with the art/research groups Compass and Red76.