Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE)

The National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN) and the Non-Profit Finance Fund (NFF) have selected a group of professionals in the fields of arts, culture, and finance who have agreed to share their experiences during LANE’s first year of diagnostics, education and planning. Advisory committee members were selected based upon their knowledge of capitalization, experience with organizations that fit the cohort criteria, and interest in equity as a practice. As advisers they will:

  • provide feedback on the context and framing of the initiative;
  • participate in the selection process of the first cohort of LANE participants;
  • share knowledge on the ways capitalization projects are being executed throughout the United States;
  • inform evaluation metrics; and
  • assist in outlining measures of cohort readiness.

A full description of the program is on the “Overview” tab.

Advisory Committee

Tamara Alvarado, Executive Director for the School of Arts & Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza — Prior to her current position, Tamara Alvarado was the director of Multicultural Leadership for 1stACT Silicon Valley. From 2003 to 2008 she served as executive director of MACLA/ Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, an NPN/VAN Partner, in San Jose, California. From 1999 – 2003 she served as program director for the newly opened Washington United Youth Center, a partnership between Catholic Charities and the City of San Jose. She is a member of the board of trustees of the Western State Arts Federation, president of the board of directors for ACE Charter Schools in San Jose. For six years she served on the NPN/VAN board of directors, and she was part of the advisory committee during VAN’s pilot phase. Tamara is also co-founder of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute, a leadership development program for people of color working in arts, culture and entertainment that is now housed at the School of Arts & Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. A traditional Aztec dancer for the past 15 years, she is a member of Calpulli Tonalehqueh Danza Azteca of San Jose. Originally from Escondido, CA, Tamara holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature from Stanford University.

Kim Cook, President and CEO, Arts Council New Orleans – Kim Cook joined Arts Council New Orleans as President and CEO in May 2013. Her imperative in this work is to drive sector change such that collaborative and innovative projects lead to an acknowledged and celebrated intersection between arts, culture, and civic life. A cross-sector, multi-disciplinary activist by nature, Cook has extensive experience in a broad spectrum of practice related to arts and culture. Most recently, as associate director for the Nonprofit Finance Fund, she managed arts and culture initiatives across the country including conducting arts sector research, writing for the NFF national blog, and delivering custom engagements to help clients craft strategy grounded in financial analysis. Ms. Cook’s work as an arts manager comprises working as the artistic director of Theater Artaud in San Francisco, executive director of the Oakland Youth Chorus, and as a free-lance director and producer.

Leatrice Ellzy, Beatrix Moss Consulting – Leatrice Ellzy, a cultural curator, producer, thinker and fan of disruption, is the CEO of Beatrix Moss, which she founded in 2012. Through 25 years of non-profit management, she has developed a penchant for pushing the envelope to engage new responses to old questions and solutions to old problems. Her arts management and administrative experience developed through work in two major arts institutions, Woodruff Arts Center and the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF). In 2005 she was named director of artistic programming, making her the fifth artistic director of the National Black Arts Festival. Leatrice is active in the field and often sits on panels, advisory committees and participates in conversations about the state of the arts nationally, regionally and locally. Her past and present professional affiliations include the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Fractured Atlas, Women of Color in the Arts, the Contemporary African Arts Consortium, C4 Atlanta, Idea Capital, the International Advisory Committee for the Kumasi Festival in Ghana, West Africa and the Fulton County Arts Council.

Vicki Meek, Manager, South Dallas Cultural Center, an NPN Partner – A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Vicki Meek is a nationally-recognized artist who has exhibited widely. Meek is in the permanent collections of the African American Museum in Dallas, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Connecticut. She was awarded three public arts commissions with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Art Program and was co-artist on the largest public art project in Dallas, the Dallas Convention Center Public Art Project. In addition, Meek is an independent curator, writes cultural criticism for “Literafeelya,” an online art publication and ARTLIES: A Texas Art Journal. She has over 30 years of arts administrative experience that includes working as a senior program administrator for a state arts agency, a local arts agency and running a non-profit visual arts center.

Ed Noonan, Playwright, Poet; Lecturer at Carroll College – Noonan has recently retired after serving for 14 years as the executive director of the Myrna Loy Center, an NPN Partner in Helena, Montana. The Myrna Loy Center has been noted for its outreach programs to Montana’s rural communities. As a presenter, the Myrna Loy Center strived to bring a diversity of cultures and artistic practices to Montana, while championing Montana artists to other presenters around the country.  As a writer, Noonan was honored with a Montana Arts Council Fellowship for Playwriting. For more than 30 years, he has been an adjunct faculty member of the Arts Management and Administration program at Carroll College in Helena.

Terezita (Tere) Romo, Program Officer, Arts and Culture Program, San Francisco Foundation – An independent curator and scholar, Romo recently served as the arts project coordinator at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. Previously, she was the arts director at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago and resident curator at The Mexican Museum in San Francisco, where she organized exhibitions and public programs. She was the program manager of the Organizational Support Program at the California Arts Council, where she developed a traditional arts program and participated in the development of the multi-cultural arts programs. Romo has served as a reviewer for the National Endowment for the Arts, Alpert Awards, Denver Airport, and Sacramento public art programs. She currently serves on the San Francisco Grants for the Arts Citizens Advisory Committee and is the co-chair of the Arts Loan Fund at Northern California Grantmakers.

Mildred Ruiz, Universes – Mildred Ruiz-Sapp is an actor, vocalist, poet, and playwright born and raised on the Lower East Side of New York. In 1995, she and her husband, Steven Sapp, co-founded UNIVERSES, a national/international poetic musical theatre ensemble. With UNIVERSES, she has developed and performed in Party People (2012-2014), about former Black Panther and Young Lords members untangling a traumatic past and unclear future; Spring Training (2013), using Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring to explore urban rites of passage; Ameriville (2009-2014), using Hurricane Katrina as an entry point to exploring race, class, poverty, and immigration; Slanguage (2001- 2009) tracking a unique mix of language and culture that is life on American streets; among other plays. She was a founding team member of THE POINT, a nonprofit, arts and economic development organization revitalizing the South Bronx. Honors include a NEFA National Theater Project grant (2011), an NPN Creation Fund grant (2009), and a Ford Foundation grant (2006). UNIVERSES is the current and first ever Ensemble in Residence at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

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