Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Dinner-Vention 2 Guest List

Good morning.
And the beat goes on....................

The Dinner-Vention 2 Guest List:

I am pleased to present the 2014 guest list for Dinner-vention 2, to be held October 9th in Denver, Colorado.

As was the case last year, we received hundreds of nominations for inclusion on this year’s guest list.  With only eight spots, the process of settling on the eight names was an extremely hard decision.  Clearly, there were enough qualified and stellar people to fill several guest lists.  Again this year, we wanted a diverse, representative group who have already achieved a level of success and renown, but who have not yet reached the zenith in their career trajectories -- people who would make for a lively discussion on a topic (tbd).  We think we have an excellent list of guests.

The next step will be to determine the topic for the discussion.  We have a dozen or so ideas, but if you have a great idea for a dinner topic that would be of major interest to the entire arts field, please send it to me asap.  We plan to send the list of possible topics to the dinner guests in about a week, and ask them to indicate their preference.  The final topic will be a consensus choice of the guests themselves.

As was the case last year, we will ask each dinner guest to prepare a one page briefing paper that outlines their initial thinking on the chosen topic, including the paramount issues they think ought to be part of the dinner discussion.  I will post those briefing papers on this blog site.

More on the live streaming of the dinner conversation as we lock down the logistics of that process.

Thank you all again for your taking the time to suggest names to us for the guest list.  I am deeply appreciative of your time and interest.  And thanks again to Anthony Radich, Shannon Daut, Laurel Sherman, Bryce Miller and Leah Horn for their ongoing support in making Dinner-Vention 2 a reality.

Here is the 2014 Dinner-Vention 2 Guest List:

John Arroyo:  John Arroyo is interested in the sociocultural and physical dimensions of migration and urban design policy, and how those dimensions influence the built environment in transnational Mexican communities—on both sides of the border. A native Angeleno (East LA), he has over a decade of programmatic, publication, and research-related experience working for various arts, community development, and design-oriented nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies across the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. They include The Getty Foundation, L.A. Conservancy, L.A. Department of Cultural Affairs, L.A. County Arts Commission, Americans for the Arts, The California Endowment, National Trust for Historic Preservation, International Laboratory on Cultural Landscapes, Institute for Creative Sustainability, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Most recently, he has served as a creative placemaking and urban design consultant for ArtPlace America, The Kresge Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, USC Annenberg School of Communication, the Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the Bahamas National Trust. In 2012 he co-founded Project 51, a UCLA-sponsored public humanities project about the L.A. River supported by ArtPlace America and the University of California Humanities Research Institute. Arroyo received his Master’s in City Planning and a Certificate in Urban Design from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP); a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Minor in Planning and Development from USC as a USC Board of Trustees Renaissance Scholar; and was an Executive Fellow at the Coro Foundation’s Southern California Center for Civic Leadership. He is currently a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Diversity Fellow and PhD student at MIT DUSP.

Laura Bond:  Laura Bond serves as the Director of Community and Media Relations for the Colorado Symphony, the largest full-time professional orchestra in the Rocky Mountain West. In addition to creating and managing communications and public relations, Laura leads a number of educational and community engagement initiatives that support the evolution of a modern symphonic orchestra. As a member of an interdisciplinary leadership team, Laura is actively engaged with strategically addressing the challenges that face all major performing arts institutions in the United States, including audience and resource development. Prior to joining the Colorado Symphony, Laura served as the Executive Director of (now Youth on Record), a non-profit organization that empowers under-served youth through spoken word, hip-hop, music production and collaborative arts. Laura is the former Director of North American Operations for Ethiopia Reads, an international NGO that builds libraries for children in Ethiopia, and served as a Staff Writer/Music Editor for Westword, Denver's alternative newsweekly. She is the recipient of the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism from the Annie E. Casey Foundation for Children and Families as well as numerous state and national awards. Laura currently serves on the Western States Arts Federation's Denver Music Task Force, which produces the annual Denver Music Summit.

Rachel Grossman:  Rachel Grossman is an artist and engagement strategist focused on the triangulation between art, artist, and audience. She is a co-founder of and Ring Leader for the devised theatre ensemble dog & pony dc, with whom she has collaboratively created six original works that integrate the audience into the live performance, directed three, and appeared in five. Rachel launched Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company's "connectivity" initiative and served as the first connectivity director, transforming the way the company considers the relationship between its work, audience, and community. Prior to that she was the director of education & outreach at Round House Theatre, and managed education and community programming at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Arena Stage, and CENTERSTAGE. Rachel was honored to be featured in TCG's 50th Anniversary I AM THEATRE campaign. She has presented at TCG, NAMP, NET, ATHE, and AATE, and is a member of HowlRound’s National Advisory Committee. She’s a fan of beets, brussel sprouts, action films, and well facilitated discussions.  Rachel tweets about the world from @rgindc.

Karina Mangu-Ward:  Karina Mangu-Ward is the Director of Activating Innovation at EmcArts, where her work fosters a field-wide movement around the importance of innovation and adaptive change in the arts.

Fascinated by the possibilities of using media as a tool for field-wide learning, Karina came to EmcArts in 2011 to create the interactive online platform ArtsFwd.  Her current role, however, is much broader. Overseeing the Activating Innovation department — which acts as an entrepreneurial house within EmcArts - Karina and her team spread stories of innovation and foster a dialogue among arts leaders about what it takes to stay adaptive in the face of increasingly complex challenges.

Since joining EmcArts, Karina has led a series of experimental initiatives to celebrate and advance innovation in the field including: an Innovation  Story Contest, the Business Unusual National Challenge, and a popular series of livestreamed talks at the National Innovation Summit for Arts & Culture.  In addition to these special projects, she also maintains an active blog on ArtsFwd and is a process facilitator in EmcArts' local and national programs.

Prior to joining EmcArts, Karina served as the Associate Producer at HERE, where she managed cutting edge multi-disciplinary projects and produced the documentary series MADE HERE. While Karina enjoyed working in an arts organization, she increasingly wanted a more bird’s-eye view of the entire arts system. EmcArts gives her that opportunity.

Karina has an MFA in Theater Management and Producing from Columbia University and an AB from Harvard University.

Ebony McKinney:  Ebony McKinney has a diverse range of experience in non-profit, philanthropic and government organizations. McKinney served as the founding director of Emerging Arts Professionals/SFBA, a network focused on empowerment, leadership, and growth of next generation arts and culture workers in the San Francisco Bay Area and was instrumental n helping to establish the statewide California NextGen Arts Leadership Initiative funded by The James Irvine Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. She has held positions with Intersection for the Arts, the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has also sat on the Emerging Leader Council of Americans for the Arts. McKinney has participated in grant review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oakland Cultural Affairs Commission and currently serves on the on the Citizen's Advisory Committee of Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund. Ebony holds a BA in Communications from Chatham College and MA’s in both Cultural Entrepreneurship and Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths, University of London. McKinney also attended the International Summer School in Cultural Economics in Amsterdam (NL).

Ron Ragin:  Ron Ragin is a performing artist and philanthropy professional living and working in New York City. Currently, he is the program officer at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, where he manages a multi-sector portfolio of nonprofit grantees working at the intersections of art and issues such as climate change and education. Previously, he had a six-year tenure at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as a program officer in the Performing Arts Program and worked as a senior research analyst at the Center for Effective Philanthropy. Ron is a Steering Committee Member of the Art x Culture x Social Justice Network. Artistically, his work is rooted in African-American performance traditions and integrates sound, text, and movement.

Sanjit Sethi:   Born in Rochester, New York, Sanjit Sethi received a BFA in 1994 from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, an MFA in 1998 from the University of Georgia, and an MS in advanced visual studies in 2002 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sethi has been an artist in residence at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada; a visiting assistant professor at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana; lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and visiting faculty at the Srishti School of Art Design and Technology.

After completing a Fulbright fellowship in Bangalore, India, working on the Building Nomads project, he continued his strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration as director of the MFA program at the Memphis College of Art.  His work deals with issues of nomadism, identity, the residue of labor, and memory.  In 2009 Sethi completed the KuniWada Bakery Remembrance, an olfactory-based memorial in Memphis Tennessee. From 2008 to 2013 Sanjit was the Director of the Center for Art and Public Life and Barclay Simpson Professor and Chair of Community Arts at the California College of the Arts.

Currently Sethi is the Director of the Santa Fe Art Institute where he is focused on how creative cultural organizations can be drivers of social change.

Sixto Wagan is the inaugural director for the Center for Arts Leadership at the University of Houston.  Prior to this role, he led DiverseWorks Artspace as Artistic Director, Co-Executive Director and Performing Arts Curator during his tenure. He is known for collaborating with performers whose works tackle prescient cultural, social, and political issues.  He currently serves as a Hub Site for the National Dance Project and the Center for Houston's Future Policy Committee. He previously served on the boards of the National Performance Network, The MacDowell Colony and QFest: the Houston LGBT International Film Festival.  Mr. Wagan has been part of the Performing Arts Japan Advisory Committee, FUSED (French – US Exchange for Dance), and the Performing Americas Project; and has previously served as Dance Down Under Ambassador for the Australian Arts Council and as a primary consultant to Creative Capital.  Wagan has been recognized with two awards in Houston for Dance Presenting.

We're looking forward to a robust dinner topic discussion.

Have a great week.

Don't Quit.