Board of Directors

Chairman: Abel López

Associate Producing Director
GALA Hispanic Theatre
Washington, D.C.

abel@galatheatre.org

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Chairman: Abel López

Associate Producing Director
GALA Hispanic Theatre (Washington, D.C.)
abel@galatheatre.org

Abel López is associate producing director of GALA Hispanic Theatre, and Chair of the National Performance Network and Americans for the Arts. He is also past president of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, the Helen Hayes Awards, Theater Communications Group, the Performing Arts Alliance, Salud, and Leadership Washington; past Chair of the Creative Communities Initiative of the Community Foundation of the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region; and past Chair of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Board of Governors of the Helen Hayes Awards. López is a member of the boards of directors of the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, TheatreWashington, In Series, and Black Women Playwrights Group; and served on the board of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project. As past chair of GALA Hispanic Theatre, López and Rebecca Medrano, GALA Executive Director, spearheaded a $4.4 million capital campaign to build the GALA Theatre that opened in 2005. As a director, his productions have been presented in theaters in Washington, D.C., Arizona, Texas, California, New York, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Cuba, and Venezuela. Among the honors he has received are the 2016 Herb White Award from DCAC for his contributions to the Washington, D.C., arts community, the 2015 Arthur L. Johnson Award from the Sphinx Organization, 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas A&M-Kingsville, the Selima Ottum Roberts Award from Americans for the Arts for his contributions to the arts, a 1991 Washingtonian of the Year Award, a 1991 Distinguished Leadership Award from the National Community Leadership Association, and The Washington Post Award for Distinguished Community Service at the 1990 Helen Hayes Awards. A graduate of Harvard Law School, López taught in the graduate arts management program at George Mason University.

Vice-Chair: Rosie Gordon-Wallace

Founding Executive Director
Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator
Miami, FL

rosie@dvcai.org

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Vice-Chair: Rosie Gordon-Wallace

Founding Executive Director
Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (Miami, FL)
rosie@dvcai.org

Rosie Gordon-Wallace is founder, curator, and director of Diaspora Vibe Gallery and Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator. Since 1996, Gordon-Wallace has initiated and produced transnational creative programs that redefine concepts of “diaspora,” including the International Cultural Exchange program, Caribbean Crossroads Series, artist-in-residence program, an ongoing contemporary exhibitions program, and numerous community-based outreach projects. One might never have guessed that this licensed medical microbiologist and former senior consultant for Searle Pharmaceuticals from 1981 to 1999 is now the founder and senior curator of Diaspora Vibe, one of the most talked about Caribbean art incubators in Miami and on the east coast. Gordon-Wallace, always a passionate lover of art, made up her mind in 1999 to devote herself full-time to the gallery she created and developed. Diaspora Vibe specializes in Caribbean and Latin American Art with an emphasis on emerging artists. The gallery supports the development of new work by resident artists by offering exhibition opportunities, artist talks, workshops, and other skill-building core values for emerging artists. She is dynamic and unstoppable and continues to create international cultural experiences for Miami artists that add value to our cultural aesthetic and economy with activities that bind us to “here and there.”

Treasurer: Shannon Daut

Director
City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs
Santa Monica, CA

shannon.daut@gmail.com

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Treasurer: Shannon Daut

Director
City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs (Santa Monica, CA)
shannon.daut@gmail.com

Shannon Daut was named director of Cultural Affairs for the City of Santa Monica in 2016. Previously, she was the executive director of the Alaska State Council on the Arts, where she worked to re-imagine and re-invigorate the leadership role the agency plays in the policies of the state – from tourism and economic development, to education and Alaska Native cultural advancement. Prior to moving to Alaska, Daut was deputy director of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), where she oversaw the organization’s work in the areas of cultural policy and technology development. Daut serves on the board of the National Performance Network, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and WESTAF. Daut received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts/Film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her graduate degree in Communication/Rhetoric from the University of Colorado-Denver.

Secretary: Shay Wafer

Executive Director
651 Arts
Brooklyn, NY

swafer@651arts.org

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Secretary: Shay Wafer

Executive Director
651 Arts (Brooklyn, NY)
swafer@651arts.org

Shay Wafer, executive director of 651 ARTS, has demonstrated a stalwart dedication to the arts and community development through many years of service to the field. Her passionate vision is balanced with pragmatic experience, as she has held senior level positions at a number of non-profit arts organizations with a focus on African Diasporic programming and community engagement. Shay was the founding VP of programs for the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, a multi-disciplinary center and museum in downtown Pittsburgh. Prior to that, she served as the managing director of Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles, TheatreWorks in Silicon Valley, and the St. Louis Black Repertory Company. She was a founding partner of Marla Gibb’s Crossroads Arts Academy and Theatre in Los Angeles, as well as the co-founder of Colored Girl Productions in Pennsylvania. Ms. Wafer has engaged in additional community and volunteer activities throughout her career including serving on the boards of directors of National Performance Network and Theatre Communications Group, and as a NEFA National Theatre Project Advisor. She has served on grant panels for the NEA, MAP Fund, Mellon Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Bush Foundation, among others. She is a graduate of Howard University and Yale School of Drama.

Leticia Bajuyo

Visiting Faculty
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN

bajuyo@me.com

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Leticia Bajuyo

Visiting Faculty
University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN)
bajuyo@me.com

Professor of Art
Hanover College (Hanover, IN)

An accomplished artist, Leticia Bajuyo’s sculptures and installations have been exhibited nationally in recent solo exhibitions at The New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art in New Harmony, Indiana; at Living Arts in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and at Women & Their Work Gallery in Austin, Texas. Large-scale public art installations in 2016 include the Tony Hillerman Library in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the entrance of the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis, and the Lyon Square outdoor plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Recent international exhibitions include FRAME OF MIND 2016, a Northern Mindanao Contemporary Art exhibit in Mindanao, Philippines, and the 2015 IV International From Waste to Art Exhibition at the From Waste to Art Museum in Baku, Azerbaijan. In addition to exhibitions of her individual artwork, Bajuyo is a member of Land Report Collective. This group of six artists in Wyoming, Tennessee, and Indiana create and exhibit artworks together as they deal with landscape in fundamental ways and as a foundational reference point.

A recipient of Hanover College’s Daryl R. Karns Award for Scholarly and Creative Activity, an Indiana Arts Commission Individual Artist Program grant recipient, and a Great Meadows Foundation grant recipient, Bajuyo received her MFA in 2001 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and her BFA in 1998 from the University of Notre Dame. She is a professor of art at Hanover College, presently on leave while serving as a visiting faculty member at Notre Dame through May 2017. Additionally, Bajuyo is a member of the board of governors for the Speed Museum, Louisville, Kentucky.

Jevon Collins

Performing Arts Program Director
King Arts Complex
Columbus, OH

jcollins@kingartscomplex.com

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Jevon Collins

Performing Arts Program Director
King Arts Complex (Columbus, OH)
jcollins@kingartscomplex.com

Jevon Collins is the performing arts program director at The King Arts Complex. His main duties include developing, organizing, and facilitating all performing arts programming. He has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Cuyahoga Arts Council. He has also served on The Wexner Center for the Arts – GenWex Advisory Committee and as a Columbus Urban League Young Professional. He currently serves as a member of the board of governors for The Ohio State University Black Alumni Society, The Ohio State University College of Arts & Sciences’ Town & Gown Committee, and is a founding member of the Next Gen National Arts Network and the Columbus Artist Network.

Jevon is a native of Columbus, Ohio, and earned a bachelor of science in Product Development and Evaluation from The Ohio State University. He received his scholarship to attend The Ohio State University via the Young Scholars Program at age eleven. That reception was held at The King Arts Complex where he returned years later to become an employee. Jevon enjoys reading, writing poetry, composing music, and designing during his spare time. He also enjoys running, weightlifting, and tennis.

Olga Garay-English

Principal
OMGArtsplus
Los Angeles, CA

omgartsplus@gmail.com

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Olga Garay-English

Principal
OMGArtsplus (Los Angeles, CA)
omgartsplus@gmail.com

Olga Garay-English has been an independent arts consultant since 2014 working on California-based, national, and international projects. During this period, she has been senior advisor on Local and International Cultural Programs to City of Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge; creative strategist to UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance; program and resource development consultant at the Emerson College Office of the Arts and its three campuses in Boston, Los Angeles, and The Netherlands; senior international advisor to Fundación Santiago a Mil in Chile; director of the California Institute for the Arts (CalArts) Latin American/Caribbean/Latino Initiative and Visiting Professor for the CalArts School of Theater on Management and Planning; project manager, on behalf of the Ford Foundation, to the U.S. Latino Arts Future Symposium (Teresita Fernández, project director); and senior advisor to France Los Angeles Foundation (FLAX). She was recently appointed interim executive director of the Ford Theatres in the Hollywood Hills. From 2007 to 2014, Olga was executive director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). During her tenure at the City, DCA and its programs were awarded more than $23 million in funding from private and public entities. As founding Program Director for the Arts for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (1998-2005), Ms. Garay-English was responsible for one of the largest national arts funders in the United States. She awarded $145 million to arts organizations in the U.S. and abroad during her nearly eight-year tenure.

The Western Arts Alliance named Ms. Garay-English one of 2013’s Fifty Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts (USA) and one of the top five Local Arts Agency Leaders. Ms. Garay-English was named a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 2012. Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, she became naturalized as a United States citizen in 1978.

Stephanie McKee

Executive Artistic Director
Junebug Productions
New Orleans, LA

smckee@junebugproductions.org

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Stephanie McKee

Executive Artistic Director
Junebug Productions (New Orleans, LA)
smckee@junebugproductions.org

Ms. McKee is a performer, choreographer, educator, facilitator, and cultural organizer born in Picayune, MS, and raised in New Orleans. She is the founder of Moving Stories Dance Project, an organization committed to dance education that provides opportunities for dancers and choreographers to showcase their talents. In 2007, she was awarded The Academy of Educational Development/New Voices Fellowship, an award for emerging leaders. For the past 20 years Ms. McKee has been involved with Junebug Productions as an artist and educator. Most recently she served as Associate Artistic Director of the first annual Homecoming Project 2011, a place-based performance project that addresses the Right of Return and what home means to communities in post-Katrina New Orleans. In 2006, Ms. McKee was one of ten artists who collaborated to create the original production “UPROOTED: The Katrina Project,” co-produced by Junebug Productions. As an artist and cultural organizer, Ms. McKee is deeply committed to creating work that supports social justice and aligns with the Free Southern Theater and Junebug legacy.

Joan K. Osato

Producing Director
Youth Speaks, Inc./The Living Word Project
San Francisco, CA

josato@youthspeaks.org

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Joan K. Osato

Producing Director
Youth Speaks, Inc./The Living Word Project (San Francisco, CA)
josato@youthspeaks.org

Joan Osato has played a pivotal role in local and national theater for over two decades and has been a core member of Youth Speaks since 2001. At Youth Speaks she produces live performance events for the organization, including Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival as well as Life is Living in cities around the country. She has brought a multiplicity of production and design talents to Living Word Project Repertory works such as The Break/s, Word Becomes Flesh, Scourge, Tree City Legends, Spiritrials and Chasing Mehserle as well as create work as an ensemble member of critically acclaimed theater group Campo Santo. She was the inaugural recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission Artist and Communities Partnership Grant (2007), Theater Bay Area Award for Excellence in Video Design (Tribes by Nina Raine, directed by Jonathan Moscone at Berkeley Repertory Theater) and the Surdna Foundation’s Artists Engaged in Social Change Award in 2015 for NOGALES with Richard Montoya and Sean San Jose. She is an awardee of prestigious grants from the MAP Fund, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, SFAC’s Individual Artist Commission, and the Columbia Foundation. She has been recognized for her work as a photographer from Artslant, Prix de Photographie and has exhibited throughout the San Francisco Bay Area since 2009.

Abe Rybeck

Executive Artistic Director
The Theater Offensive
Boston, MA

abe@theateroffensive.org

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Abe Rybeck

Executive Artistic Director
The Theater Offensive (Boston, MA)
abe@theateroffensive.org

As founder and artistic director of The Theater Offensive, Abe’s main work is uniting artists, neighbors, community groups and local businesses to collaborate on OUT performance work in the Boston neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and the South End. Programs Abe founded include True Colors: Out Youth Theater; A Street Theater Named Desire; an AIDS-activist guerrilla theater troupe performing in gay cruising areas; Come As You Are, a national performance series to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising; the band Adult Children of Heterosexuals, for which he was lead singer; and the OUT on the Edge Queer Theater Festival. Collaborating across cultures and generations to create performance work is Abe’s favorite part of his job. He won the 2007 Jonathan Larson Award for musical theater for his collaboration on the book of True Colors alumna Melissa Li’s Surviving the Nian. Abe was declared one of the “Heeb 100” progressive Jewish world cultural leaders. He is proud to have received several awards from his peers in the community.

Michèle Steinwald

Community Engagement Consultant
The Cowles Center
Minneapolis, MN

msteinwald@thecowlescenter.org

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Michèle Steinwald

Community Engagement Consultant
The Cowles Center (Minneapolis, MN)
msteinwald@thecowlescenter.org

Michèle Steinwald has an impressive assortment of curatorial, institutional, artistic, and educational bona fides. (If you’d like, you can skip to the end of all this and find them listed handily below.) But the fact is, she’d much rather talk to you about Deborah Hay, about Rosas’ Bartok, or maybe Jan Fabre. Maybe you’d like to hear about the punk and dance convergences that shaped her young career, or her thoughts on dance as practice rather than product? She could also tell you a story about this one time, when she was 19, a controversial shot of her in Jana Sterbak’s meat dress got front page play on all Arts’ sections of Canadian newspapers, the same day that they were covering Martha Graham’s death.

Since retiring as a dancer and choreographer, Steinwald has managed performing arts projects and professional development programs for On the Boards (Seattle), New England Foundation for the Arts/National Dance Project (Boston), DanceUSA (DC), and the Deborah Hay Dance Company (Austin). She joined the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) in October of 2006 as assistant curator for the Performing Arts and remained in that role until summer of 2013. She is on the boards of the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (New Orleans) and Movement Research (NYC). She has served on panels for the NEA, MANCC, NPN, McKnight Foundation, USA Fellows, Pew Foundation, MAP Fund, and has been an artist mentor for Creative Capital’s retreat and Arts Midwest’s ArtsLab. She is pursuing a graduate degree at the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University and is currently an independent curator and dance producer based in Minneapolis.

Harold Steward

Manager
South Dallas Cultural Center
Dallas, TX

harold.stewart@dallascityhall.com

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Harold Steward

Manager
South Dallas Cultural Center (Dallas, TX)
harold.stewart@dallascityhall.com

Harold Steward was named manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center in 2016, having served as performing arts coordinator since 2007. During his tenure, he has created Soul Children’s Theater, led professional development initiatives for the Center’s eight partner organizations, and directed two commissioned national touring theater productions, “Freckle in My Eye” by Ashley Wilkerson and “The Bull Jean Stories Multimedia Adaptation” by Q Ragsdale, based on a book by award-winning author Sharon Bridgforth. In 2009, Steward founded Fahari Arts Institute, a multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to producing high quality black queer arts and cultural programs.

Harold Steward is a founding partner of Steward Cultural Development Group and a member of Alternate ROOTS. In 2015, Steward received a grant from the Center for Performance and Civic Practice to work at The Cottages at Hickory Crossing, Dallas’ new housing first community. As an educator, Steward has conducted professional development workshops on Creative Dramatics, Theatre of the Oppressed, and Arts Integration for many local organizations and universities. Steward is a recipient of the Apostle Alex D. Byrd Empowerment Award (Legacy of Success Foundation) and the Dallas Voice Reader’s Choice award for Best Theatrical Director. He was also recognized as an ‘Upstarter in The Arts’ by D magazine and by the Dallas Voice as a “Notable Queer Local.”

Caitlin Strokosch

President & CEO
National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network
New Orleans, LA

caitlin@npnweb.org

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Caitlin Strokosch

President & CEO
National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (New Orleans, LA)
caitlin@npnweb.org

Caitlin Strokosch was appointed president and CEO of NPN/VAN in 2016. Most recently, she served the Alliance of Artists Communities – an international association of artist residency centers – from 2002 to 2016, and served as executive director as of 2008. A frequent public speaker and recognized advocate for artists of all disciplines, Strokosch has presented at conferences and events in the U.S., Europe, Brazil, and Taiwan. Her articles and publications range in topics from the intersections of art and science, the need for more support of research-and-development in dance, and the long-term organizational sustainability of artist residency centers. As a member of the board of directors of Grantmakers in the Arts, she serves on the Racial Equity committee and Support for Individual Artists committee; she is an advisory board member of Transcultural Exchange and a board member of the Performing Arts Alliance. Strokosch holds a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Columbia College Chicago and a master’s degree in musicology from Roosevelt University, where her research focused on music as a tool for building communities of resistance and social dissent.

Samuel Valdez

Artistic Director
CARPA San Diego
San Diego, CA

saamul2014@yahoo.com

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Samuel Valdez

Artistic Director
CARPA San Diego (San Diego, CA)
saamul2014@yahoo.com

Samuel Valdez – playwright, director, and performer – graduated from San Diego State University in 1991 with a BA degree in theater arts, with an emphasis in directing. He has directed a large number of Latino plays such as Roosters by Milcha Sanchez Scott, The Conduct of Life by Maria Irene Fornes, and The Guitarron by Lynne Alvarez. As a playwright he has also directed and produced several of his individual works, including Soy Yo/It’s Me, P13-Vive, Ambos/Both (co-directed with Dora Arreola), and most recently Outside the Circle, written and performed in collaboration with Andrea Assaf under the direction of Dora Arreola. His upcoming project is a one-man-show speaking about the creation and development of mankind and how he, as a Latino man with cerebral palsy, fits into it. In the past he has served as a grant review panelist for the California Arts Council, as a board member for the Centro Cultural de la Raza, and an active arts community liaison in San Diego for many years. Currently he is a member of The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC), Alternate Roots, and the Los Angeles Latino Theater Alliance. Valdez is always looking for new ways to intrigue audience members through his artistic work.

John B. White, Esq.

Executive Director
InHouse Consultants, Inc.
New Orleans, LA

John.brian.white@gmail.com

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John B. White, Esq.

Executive Director
InHouse Consultants, Inc. (New Orleans, LA)
John.brian.white@gmail.com

John has extensive experience surrounding construction and alternative energy development litigation in the New Orleans area as well as hands-on experience working with and in small businesses. He is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and admitted to practice in all Louisiana State Courts, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and the United States Tax Court. John attended the David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia where he was the editor-in-chief of the law review and his studies focused on public interest law including fair housing, disability law, government oversight of medical facilities, prison reform, and responsible corporate governance. Additionally, John is a graduate of the Corcoran School of Art and former student representative to the Washington Project for the Arts board of directors.

Will K. Wilkins

Executive Director
Real Art Ways
Hartford, CT

wwilkins@realartways.org

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Will K. Wilkins

Executive Director
Real Art Ways (Hartford, CT)
wwilkins@realartways.org

Will K. Wilkins is the executive director of Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut, a dynamic center for visual arts, cinema, performing arts, and social connection, with a cash reserve, diversified revenues, and a broad base of support. Wilkins has served on multiple grant review panels, including the National Endowment for the Arts (8 times), the Wallace Foundation, and the LEF Foundation; his board service includes the National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC), the Roberts Foundation, and National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network.




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