Todd T Brown
Founder and Leadership Team
Todd Thomas Brown is an interdisciplinary artist engaged in performative inquiry and visual arts. As a visual artist, Brown has 25 years combined experience in oil painting and mixed media, with 11 years professional teaching experience. He has been awarded an artist residencies with San Francisco’s de Young Museum (2009) and Residencia el Otro Lado (EDELO, Chiapas, MX. 2009/10) and was selected as one of the first three artists to initiate the de Young Museum’s current year-long Artist Fellowship Program (20011/12) funded by the James Irvine Foundation. As part of his 2009 his Residency, Brown was commissioned by the de Young’s Department of Public Programs, resulting in his mural-scale painting “Invisible Passage.” He currently sits on the de Young’s Community Engagement Artist Council, and continues to exhibit work both nationally and internationally, most recently featured in ArtMarket Budapest 2013.
As a performing artist, Brown has been awarded grants in disciplines of music and theater, from the San Francisco Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. He is the Founder of the Red Poppy Art House of San Francisco (2003), where he served as Executive/Creative Director for 10 years, and the MAPP: Mission Arts & Performance Project (2003). Brown currently teaches at the Academy of Art University. His most recent performance work, Teobi’s Dreaming, explores the “bio-poetic” intersection of ancestry and being, and will be premiered at the Red Poppy Art House on the third week of March 2014.
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 native San 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 instrumentalist Keenan Webster on the performance “From Baton Rouge to Bamako,” 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 collaborations.
In 2012, Indira came back to the San Francisco Bay Area after a four-year bicycle journey that brought her to cross thirteen countries of the American continent. She is co-founder of the project 2greenprints.org, part of the Leadership Team at the Red Poppy Art House and artist teacher at Marsh Youth Theater. Indira also exhibits her artistic work throughout the Bay Area.
Indira Urrutia, is Chilean-born and immigrated to New Haven, Connecticut in 1986 with her entire family. She finished high school to continue her higher education at Southern Connecticut State University where she graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Studio Art with a specialty in Photography. Since then, Indira has followed her passion for photography with explorations into other formats such as mixed media, installation art and experimental video. Teaching allows her to transmit the importance of free artistic expression in a safe environment that guides the students to experiment with there own creativity.
Meklit’s music is imbued with poetry and multiplicity, from hybridized sounds of Tizita (haunting and nostalgic music) drawing from her Ethiopian heritage, to the annals of jazz, folk songs, hip-hop and art rock. Drawing from the concept of the “inbetween”, Meklit’s music transports us to the post-national space of Africa and the Americas, inspiring us to bridge the frontiers between language, tribes and disciplines. Her songs celebrate the newness of life and the hyphens that bring us together.
Meklit has released four studio albums, tours regularly and is currently signed to Six Degrees Records. She is a TED Senior Fellow and has served as an artist-in-residence at NYU, where she curated a performing arts series at the Lincoln Center Atrium. Meklit has completed musical commissions for the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Fund for Artists, Brava For Women in the Arts, and the De Young Museum. She is currently working on a body of music steeped in Ethio-Jazz thanks to a grant from the prestigious MAP Fund. She is the founder of the Arba Minch Collective, one third of the Ethiopian Hip-Hop Space Opera trio CopperWire, and former Co-Director of the Red Poppy Art House. In 2011, Meklit co-founded the Nile Project with Egyptian Ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis. She holds a BA in Political Science from Yale University.
Nancy Quinn has been working in arts management for more than 30 years. She received her MBA in Arts Administration from the UCLA Anderson School of Management in 1983, completing a two-year course of study and a six-month internship at New York City Ballet under the artistic direction of George Balanchine. After business school, she gained extensive managerial and fundraising experience in the arts through her work with the Sequoia String Quartet Foundation, Chamber Music America, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and San Francisco Performances.
Nancy is the founder of Quinn Associates, which since 1988 has provided an array of arts administration and fundraising services for Bay Area non-profits, with a special focus on small and mid-sized performing arts organizations. The firm’s client list includes Dimensions Dance Theater, Peninsula Symphony, Women’s Audio Mission, Meridian Gallery, Purple Silk Music Education Foundation, Lieder Alive!, The Singer’s Gym, Diablo Regional Arts Association, California Symphony, Jess Curtis/Gravity, Epiphany Productions, El Campanil Theatre, American Bach Soloists, Smuin Ballet, California Summer Music, Opera Piccola, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Golden Thread Productions, the Playwrights Foundation, Flyaway Productions, San Francisco Art & Film Program, and many others.
Nancy is widely sought-after as a writer, organizational consultant, and executive coach. She is also active as a teacher in the field of arts administration: she has taught course work for The Foundation Center and the Center for Cultural Innovation, and served as an Adjunct Faculty Member at the California College of the Arts.