Board of Directors
Ted Russell, Chair
Kenneth Rainin Foundation
Ted Russell is Associate Director of Arts Strategy and Ventures at Kenneth Rainin Foundation. Previously he served as senior program officer for the arts at The James Irvine Foundation from 2005 to 2016, and before that was director of marketing at Montalvo Arts Center, where he developed and implemented comprehensive marketing strategies that helped generate $4 million in revenue. He also has served in a variety of marketing and audience development positions at the San Francisco Symphony, La Jolla Playhouse, and Malashock Dance & Company in San Diego, and as director of the Jazz at the Wadsworth series at the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition, Ted has successfully developed and implemented media and marketing plans for Listen.com as senior manager of online marketing and for SFGate.com as marketing director. Ted has served as a board member for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Joe Goode Performance Group, and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), and is the former co-chair of Northern California Grantmakers’ Arts Loan Fund. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Yale University, and an Master in Business Administration in arts management from Anderson Graduate School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles.
Jaime Dempsey, Vice Chair
Arizona Commission on the Arts
Jaime Dempsey is executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona and a partner in the creative advancement of Arizona’s arts sector. Prior to joining the Arts Commission, Dempsey developed community programs and partnerships at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University, and managed programs for Idaho’s nexStage theatre and Sun Valley Center for the Arts. Dempsey currently serves on the national board of advisors for SMU DataArts (formerly Cultural Data Project). In alignment with her passion for public policy and the promise of her home state, Dempsey completed a fellowship with the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership’s Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy, receiving the academy’s Network Builder Award in 2018. In 2017, Dempsey also received a Gabe Zimmerman Award for Public Service from the Center for the Future of Arizona. Dempsey’s creative practice lives at the intersection of performance, public policy, and community-determined processes and aspirations.
Eleanor Savage, Secretary
Eleanor Savage is program director of the Jerome Foundation, which seeks to contribute to a dynamic and evolving culture by supporting the creation, development, and production of new works by early career/emerging artists. Savage has focused much of her work in the field of arts philanthropy as an advocate for racial equity and undoing racism. She is one of the founding members of the Racial Equity Funder Collaborative, a Minnesota-based learning and action cohort focused on furthering equity and justice in philanthropy. She recently authored the collaboratively developed RE-Tool: Racial Equity in the Panel Process, a discussion tool to encourage racial equity in the review and selection process. Savage is a co-chair for GIA’s Support for Individual Artists Committee. Previously, she was the associate director of Events and Media Production at Walker Art Center for 16 years. As a queer, civic-minded, anti-racist producer, Savage instigated many community-focused, artist-centered programs in the Twin Cities, supporting artists in all creative disciplines. Savage received an MFA in Arts Management from Virginia Tech and a BFA in Psychology and Theater from Mercer University.
San San Wong, Treasurer
San San Wong joined Barr in 2012 to direct the arts and culture portfolio. Prior to Barr, she served as director of grants at the San Francisco Arts Commission, executive director of the National Performance Network, director of development and special initiatives at Theatre Artaud, and as performing arts producer/presenter. As an international arts consultant, San San specialized in facilitation, organizational development, research, and project/initiative development. Her clients included the Ford Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Res Artis, among many others. San San earned an MS in community psychology from New York University and a BS in clinical psychology from Smith College.
Board of Directors
City of Oakland
Roberto Bedoya is cultural affairs manager for the city of Oakland, California. Previously, he served as director of civic engagement for the Tucson Pima Arts Council where he has established the innovative PLACE (People, Land, Arts, Culture, and Engagement) Initiative to support projects in Tucson. Bedoya’s tenure as executive director of the National Association of Artists’ Organizations (NAAO) from 1996 to 2001 included serving as co-plaintiff in the lawsuit Finley vs. NEA. His essays “U.S. Cultural Policy: Its Politics of Participation, Its Creative Potential” and “Creative Placemaking and the Politics of Belonging and Dis-Belonging” reframed the discussion on cultural policy to shed light on exclusionary practices in cultural policy decision-making. Bedoya is also a poet, whose work has appeared in numerous publications, and an art consultant, with projects for Creative Capital Foundation, the Ford Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Urban Institute.
The Houston Endowment
Bao-Long Chu is program officer for Houston Endowment. Long oversees grantmaking for the foundation’s arts and culture portfolio. Prior to joining Houston Endowment in 2015, Long was associate director of the literary-education nonprofit Writers in the Schools (WITS) where he developed his extensive background in literacy, arts, and community engagement and worked in collaboration with a wide variety of Houston-area institutions and organizations, including Art League Houston, Houston Grand Opera, Texas Children’s Hospital, and University of Houston Moores School of Music. Long has also written and presented extensively on writing pedagogy, the connection between art and the refugee experience, and non-profit programming. Originally from Vietnam, Long earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and psychology from Houston Baptist University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. His poems and essays have been published in several anthologies, including The New Anthology of American Poetry: Postmodernisms 1950-Present and From Both Sides Now: The Poetry of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath. His libretto for the opera Bound, composed by Huang Ruo, premiered in Houston in 2014 and in New York in 2019.
As executive director, Michelle Coffey designs, implements, and furthers the strategic agenda, leadership, and vision of Lambent Foundation. Lambent Foundation leverages the critical role of arts and culture at the intersection of social justice. Through innovative grantmaking, they explore the impact of contemporary art as a strategy for promoting sustainable cultural practices in New York City, New Orleans, and Nairobi. Prior to the creation of Lambent Foundation in January 2009, Coffey was director of Starry Night Fund and Senior Philanthropic Advisor at Tides Foundation. With a global lens, her areas of focus included Human Rights, Women/Girls, Criminal Justice Reform, Arts and Culture and HIV/AIDS. In addition, she currently serves on the boards of Creative Capital Foundation, the Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Care Center in East New York, and most recently, Socrates Sculpture Park.
Anita Contini joined Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2010 as the Arts Program Lead. Through the Arts Program, Bloomberg Philanthropies helps small and mid-size cultural organizations strengthen long-term organizational capacity, supports temporary public art projects that enrich the vibrancy of cities, and helps leading cultural institutions globally implement cutting-edge technology projects that transform visitor experience. Bloomberg Philanthropies also collaborates with some of the nation’s top foundations, federal agencies, and banks to invest in projects where artists and arts organizations play a central role in shaping their communities’ social, physical, and economic future. Prior to joining Bloomberg Philanthropies, Anita was Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Public Affairs and Philanthropy at CIT Group. From 2002 to 2005, she served as Vice President and Director of the WTC Memorial, Cultural, and Civic Programs at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. She developed a process and implementation plan for the 9/11 World Trade Center memorial, including the jury process for selecting its designer.
Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
Randy Engstrom is the director of the Office of Arts & Culture for the City of Seattle. Previously, he owned and operated Reflex Strategies, a cultural and community based consulting business. He served as chair of the Seattle Arts Commission in 2011 after serving two years as vice-chair, and was chair of the Facilities and Economic Development Committee from 2006 to 2010. He has served as the founding director of the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, a multimedia/multidisciplinary community space that offers youth and community members access to arts, technology, and cultural resources. Prior to Youngstown, Randy spent three years as the founding CEO of Static Factory Media, an artist development organization that owned and operated a record label, bar/performance venue, graphic design house, recording studio, and web development business. In 2009 Randy received the Emerging Leader Award from Americans for the Arts and was one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. He is a graduate of the Evergreen State College in Olympia, and he received his Executive Masters in Public Administration at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Susan Feder joined The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in January 2007 as program officer for Performing Arts and now serves in that capacity in the consolidated program for Arts and Cultural Heritage. She oversees grantmaking for performing arts and related organizations, helps develop new initiatives, and works closely with other programs on grants of overlapping areas of interest. Before joining the Mellon Foundation, as vice president of the music publishing firm G. Schirmer, Inc., she spent 20 years developing the careers of many leading composers in the United States, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Ms. Feder is vice president of the Amphion Foundation, serves on the boards of the Kurt Weill Foundation and Charles Ives Society, and is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Curtis Institute of Music.
As an artist at the service of other artists, Adriana Gallego's work in arts administration and education is motivated by human rights, where she seeks to connect people with meaningful resources that grow personal and organizational capacity, build community, foster collaboration, and bridge cultural understanding. Leading from this perspective, Gallego was the first chief operating officer of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). She also recently served as co-chair the Grantmakers in the Arts Support for Individual Artist Committee. Previously, she was director of Strategic Initiatives with the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Educational Assistant at the Norton Simon Museum, and arts educator throughout the Southwest. She has served on many review panels, advisory boards, and committees including the National Endowment for the Arts, Arizona Mexico Commission, Arizona Public Art Network, Transportation Enhancement Review Committee, Asset Building for Artists of Color Advisory Board and Flagstaff Cultural Partners Arts Advisory Board, and The Association of American Cultures.
Alliance for California Traditional Arts
Amy Kitchener co-founded the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) in 1997. ACTA’s work has focused on social change through grantmaking, capacity and leadership development, technical assistance, and bilingual program development. Trained as a public folklorist with an M.A. from UCLA, Amy has piloted participatory cultural asset mapping in neglected and rural areas of the state and consults with other organizations and across sectors on this method of discovery and inclusion of community voices. She continues to serve as a consultant for many national organizations and has taken part in two U.S.-China Intangible Cultural Heritage exchanges. She has published on a variety subjects involving California folklife, including immigrant arts training and transmission, and Asian American folk arts.
The McKnight Foundation
Arleta Little joined the McKnight Foundation in 2014. As a member of the Arts Team, she participates in arts grant making and leads the McKnight Artist Fellowships Program. Prior to working in philanthropy, Arleta served as the Executive Director of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature, a literary arts organization in Minneapolis dedicated to advancing and celebrating African American literature and writers. With degrees in English, Social Work, and Public Affairs, Arleta has also worked for over 15 years as an organizational development consultant providing strategic planning, program evaluation, and grant writing services organizations in Minnesota. Committed to public service, Arleta taught English for two years in Thailand as a Peace Corps Volunteer and has since served on numerous boards. As a poet and writer, she was most recently published in Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota. A native of Washington D.C., Arleta loves to travel, has lived abroad three times, and has visited more than 35 countries.
Central Carolina Community Foundation
Ken May recently retired as executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, where he had served in several positions since 1985. During his tenure at the Commission, May played a key role in the creation of many of the agency’s nationally recognized programs and partnerships in arts education, community design, public participation in the arts, rural arts development, and career development for artists. May has served as a panelist and site-visitor for the National Endowment for the Arts; a panelist, presenter, consultant, and facilitator for national, state, and local arts organizations; and a guest lecturer in arts administration programs at the College of Charleston and Winthrop University. He is a member of the board of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the Central Carolina Community Foundation, and is an alumnus fellow of the Diversity Leaders Initiative of the Riley Institute at Furman University. May worked previously as a professional musician. He received undergraduate and master’s degrees in music history and musicology from Florida State University.
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Emiko Ono is the director of the Performing Arts Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Since 2018, she has led the foundation’s team responsible for grantmaking to sustain artistic expression and encourage public engagement in the arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. She joined the Hewlett Foundation in 2011. Previously, she served as the director of grants and professional development at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Arts Council for Long Beach, where she held the same title. She also managed docent and education programs and helped establish a multi-disciplinary arts partnership program at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. In addition to her knowledge of the Bay Area arts community, she is recognized for her work on cross-generational leadership in the arts, described in a 2016 report, Moving Arts Leadership Forward. As a member of the foundation’s Building an Inclusive Culture working group, she helped lead an internal review of the foundation’s approach to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She currently serves on the advisory council for Fund the People, which works to ensure funders invest in a well-supported, diverse, and sustainable nonprofit workforce. Ono holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Bank Street College of Education in New York City.
Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts
Zeyba Rahman is senior program officer for the Building Bridges Program of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Rahman joined the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, an extension of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, in 2013 as senior program officer for the Building Bridges Program. Rahman manages the Program’s national grant making to support projects that advance relationships, increase understanding between American Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Prior to joining the foundation, Rahman led internationally and nationally recognized projects as an artistic director and producer to promote understanding and communal harmony between diverse communities. In that capacity, she has served as: director, Asia and North America, Fes Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco; creative consultant, Public Programs, Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia Galleries; curator, Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Mic Check Hip Hop; senior advisor, Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas Festival led by Asia Society and Brooklyn Academy of Music in collaboration with more than fifteen leading New York City-based institutional cultural and educational partner; artistic director, Arts Midwest’s Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet; chief curator, Alliance Francaise’s World Nomads Morocco Festival and project director, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Global Cultural Connections. She is an advisor to Artworks for Freedom, an organization using the arts for strategic communication to fight human trafficking; and serves on the steering committee of the Switzerland-based Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s Music Awards and the nominating committee of the Civitella Foundation in Italy. Twice honored by New York City’s government, Rahman is the subject of two television profiles as a global arts leader.
Gary Steuer has headed Denver, Colorado’s Bonfils-Stanton Foundation since October 2013. He oversees the foundation’s $3 million in annual grantmaking to arts and culture in the Denver area. From 2008-2013 he was the chief cultural officer for the City of Philadelphia, directing the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. Before that Steuer was the Vice President for Private-Sector Affairs at Americans for the Arts, advancing foundation, corporate and individual philanthropy for the arts nationally. He served for ten years as the president and CEO of the national Arts & Business Council Inc. before and during its merger with Americans for the Arts. He has also been active in speaking and writing about cultural philanthropy and policy issues.
National Performance Network
Caitlin Strokosch was appointed president and CEO of the National Performance Network (NPN) in 2016, where her work has focused on building a more just and equitable arts presenting field. 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. Strokosch has written extensively and spoken around the world on artist- and community-centered practices, organizational sustainability and leadership development, and she has served as a grant panelist for local, state, and national funders. She served for six years on Grantmakers in the Arts’ Support for Individual Artists committee, and as a GIA board member she also serves on the Racial Equity committee. Strokosch has a BA in music performance from Columbia College and a Master's in musicology from Roosevelt University, where her research focused on arts as a tool for anti-oppression and building communities of resistance.
Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
Gaby Strong joined Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies in November 2010 as a program officer for the Arts & Cultures domain. Strong is primarily responsible for carrying out the grantmaking strategies of the domain’s Native Arts and Cultures program. She brings over 35 years of experience in the tribal, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors. Her professional work includes serving as technical assistance specialist with Education Development Center, advising tribes, schools, and communities with federal funding streams; serving as tribal administrator for Lower Sioux Indian Community; and as program officer with the Grotto Foundation, where she administered key initiatives, including the Native Language Revitalization Initiative and American Indian Family Empowerment Program. Strong has held a variety of elected and appointed positions within the American Indian community, on various boards and service organizations, and at local, county and state levels. She also has held adjunct faculty positions at Hamline University and Metro State University. Strong is an enrolled tribal member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate. Her community and professional experience has centered on Indian education, Indian child welfare, Native history, language and lifeways, leadership, and community development. She is committed to perpetuating and sharing Native cultural knowledge, particularly Native songs, dance, and horse traditions.
New England Foundation for the Arts
Quita Sullivan (Montaukett/Shinnecock) is the program director for Theater at New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) where she leads the National Theater Project, supporting the creation and touring of devised, ensemble-based theater. She holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Theatre from Knox College and SUNY Stony Brook, respectively, as well as a Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University Law School. Before law school, she worked as a Stage Manager at ETA in Chicago and was the first stage manager for ETA’s production of Checkmates by Ron Milner, directed by Woodie King, Jr. She later worked at Great Lakes Performing Artist Associates, a not-for-profit artist management office, creating contracts, and managing booking and performing fees for musicians in the Great Lakes area. After law school, she practiced environmental justice law for 10 years in Detroit and Boston. She is a senior fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program and an alumna of the artEquity Facilitator Training. She is also a former Associated Grant Makers Diversity Fellow, the mission of which was to identify, recruit, and cultivate emerging practitioners of color who represent the next generation of philanthropic leaders and offer them training, support and strong community. She continues to work to support equity and inclusion at all levels of theater and grant making. She is a frequent speaker on supporting Indigenous Artists and Land Acknowledgement. Prior to joining NEFA as a staff member, Sullivan was an advisor for NEFA’s Native Arts Program. Outside of work, she continues to develop her own artistic talents as a beadwork artist. Sullivan is Of Counsel to and an enrolled member of the Montaukett tribe.