Todd T Brown
Founder and Leadership Team
Multidisciplinary artist and cultural connector, Todd’s experience spans 20 years of integrating artistic disciplines and small-scale arts presenting within the context of community cultural development. In 2003, Todd founded the Red Poppy Art House, originally under the name Porfilio Is, and seeded the Mission Arts & Performance Project (MAPP) later that year. In 2007, together with Meklit Hadero, he co-founded the music ensemble Nefasha Ayer – The Space of In between, a recipient of grants from the San Francisco Foundation and Zellerbach Family Foundation. He has been a Resident Artist atSan Francisco’s de Young Museum (2009) and Residencia Otro Lado,Chiapas,Mexico(2009/10). Todd is an artistic collaborator and advisor for EDELO contemporary art center inSan Cristobalde lasCasas,Chiapas,Mexico. Most recently, Todd was selected for a 2011 year-long Artist Fellowship at the de Young Museum, through which he will be creating new multidisciplinary works, and piloting an organizational network model that merges social networking strategies with administrative support for emerging arts initiatives.
Languages: English & Spanish
Born and raised, 6th generation, in the green mountain state of Vermont
Michael Warr’s literary awards include a Gwendolyn Brooks Significant Illinois Poets Award, a NEA Creative Writing Fellowship for Poetry, and The Beat Museum Poet of the Month. He is a co-editor of Power Lines: A Decade of Poetry From Chicago’s Guild Complex and his first book of poems We Are All The Black Boy, was honored by the Illinois Library Association.
His poems are widely anthologized, including such collections as The Spoken Word Revolution: Slam, Hip-hop & the Poetry of a New Generation, Unsettling America: Race and Ethnicity in Contemporary American Poetry, Voices From the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Scars – Poetry In the Face of Violence, Changer l’Amerique, Anthologie de la Poesie, Protestataire des USA. His digital photo/poetry performance, Poetic Aperture – An African American Interprets Africa, based on his poetry and original images created as a photojournalist in Ethiopia and Mali, debuted at Chicago’s Field Museum.
Since returning to his nativeSan Francisco in 2007 Michael has performed spoken word at venues ranging from the Red Poppy Art House to the De Young Museum with Nefasha Ayer. Most recently he has collaborated with multi-instrumentalist Keenan Webster on the performance “FromBaton Rouge toBamako,” featuring the poetic-storytelling of his travels within the African-American and African experience, with Webster’s performance on the kora, m’bira, and balafon.
Leadership Team, Advisory Member
Kate Dumbleton is Executive Director of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, resident at Columbia College Chicago. She is also a member of the part-time faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to owning a successful art exhibition and performance space in San Francisco (2000-2006), Kate’s experience includes music direction and programming for jazz clubs and festivals; curatorial and project direction of artist residencies for nonprofit arts organizations; project and production direction for interdisciplinary projects in music, dance, theater, visual art and film; venue and record label management; administrative direction; and artist management.
Kate is particularly interested in advocating for support for artistic experimentation, in managing the development and distribution of new work, and in building and managing interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. Her current research stems from study on black experimentalism, the relationship between black music and social justice advocacy and alternative arts infrastructure, to the emerging field of improvisation studies. Kate serves on the Advisory Council for the Arts Administration and Policy program at SAIC; on the Board of Directors for Rova Arts; and on the Artistic Direction Advisory Council with the Yerba Buena Garden Festival.
Renee Baldocchi is the Director of Public Programs at the de Young Museum of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She has developed and spearheaded the popular “Cultural Encounters: Friday Nights at the de Young” series and Artist Studio/Artist-in-Residence program with an ever-changing and dynamic mix of artists presenting live music, poetry, films, dance, artists’ demonstrations, lectures and art making projects. She and her dedicated team in public programs have embarked on a new program that invites year- long artist fellows to create new
work at the de Young thanks to the generous 2nd Innovation Award granted by
the James Irvine Foundation.
The cultural programs that she oversees attract a wide range of audiences including children, teens, young adults, families, elders, and-the community-at-large. Baldocchi has developed a unique style of bringing new collaborators into the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco while also evolving older relationships with the goal of creating long-term friendships and partnerships with collaborating partners. In addition, she oversees the New Generations: Student and Faculty Advisory Board and the Native American Programs Advisory Committee as well as other exhibition related program advisory boards.
Baldocchi has been with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco since 1991. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Textile Design, was a practicing artist for 20 years, and has been involved with organizing community engagement projects and
festivals since 1981. She currently sits on the leadership committee for The Red
Poppy Art House and advisory committee for the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival.
Alexis is a cultural anthropologist with a passion for how communities can be built and transformed through culture. She works with Helicon Collaborative, a research and strategy consultancy focused on helping to develop a healthier cultural sector. Current areas of interest include: increasing social justice and equitable practices in cultural organizations and philanthropy, holistic strategies for organizational health, and the role of artists in communities. She applies influences from a diverse range of fields to her work including physics, psychology, acupuncture, ecology, tai chi, and design. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Princeton University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has a background in visual arts and writing, but currently expresses creativity through cooking and meditation. She is on the board of High Concept Laboratories, an arts incubator based in Chicago, and Food Shift, a food justice organization based in Oakland. She lives in San Francisco.
Leadership Team, Advisory Member
Kenneth Foster is the Executive Director of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), a multi-disciplinary, contemporary arts center in San Francisco. With a BA from Metropolitan State College and MA from New York University, he has worked in arts administration for nearly 30 years directing arts presenting programs at Millikin University, Penn State University and the University of Arizona, prior to coming to YBCA in 2003. Mr. Foster has been active in national arts service organizations throughout his career, including serving as Chair of the Board of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) from 2000-2003. He is a founding member of The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium and has a particular interest in contemporary art practice in non-Western cultures. In 2007, his book: Presenting the Performing Arts; From Theory to Practice was published by APAP. In 2009 he published “Thriving in an Uncertain World; Arts Presenting and the New Realities” and has lead several workshops on this topic. In 2008, he received APAP’s prestigious Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award for Exemplary Service to the Field of Performing Arts Presenting.
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