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.

CalebCaleb Duarte
Leadership Team

Caleb Duarte Pinon migrated from the northern states of Mexico into the farming communities of Central California. He began to paint at an early age and began his studies at Fresno City Collage and continued at the San Francisco Art Institute and at the Graduate Sculpture department of the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Art LTD magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, SPARK public television, and others. He has exhibited his work at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF, Red Dot Art fair in New York, The Sullivan Galleries in Chicago, Gallery 727 Los Angeles, The California Museum of Art in Oakland, the Fresno Art Museum and others. He is represented by Jack Fisher Gallery in SF.

Duarte has created public works and community performances at the World Social Forum in Mumbai India, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, El Pital, Honduras, Mexico City, and throughout out the US. Duarte is co-founder of an experimental artist residency and events space in Chiapas Mexico that invites participants of diverse practices to live and create with in a period of time. Residents are from PHDs to jugglers, contemporary artist, activist, educators, rural farmers, and community members of autonomous communities of rural Chiapas.

Hi is curator of the ZAPANTERA NEGRA project that brought artist and once Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party Emory Douglas and artist Rigo 23 to work with both Zapatista artist ( a rebel autonomous indigenous community that came to the world spot light in 1994, and with local and international artist in the rural areas of Chiapas Mexico. This project united Zapatistas with Black Panther esthetics to investigate the use of the Body and visual communication in both distinct political and artistic movements. Duarte is now artistic director in rotation for the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco California.

Marimar 6Marimar Suarez Penalva 
Leadership Team

Marimar Suarez – (CIDE, Mexico, Political Science; Goldsmiths College, London, Contemporary Art Theory; CCA, San Francisco, Design Strategy MBA Candidate). Marimar is a curator in the broader sense of the word: her passion is enabling projects and connecting ideas. She believes that magic happens when she works with people who can do something she can’t. She  was born and raised in Mexico City and has lived in Paris, London and San Francisco. She is an experienced arts management executive, project developer, fundraiser, and cultural/media/political professional, currently training as design strategist. Her experience includes being the Consul for Cultural Affairs of Mexico in San Francisco and the Spokeswoman of the First Lady of Mexico, Margarita Zavala. Marimar is an actress at heart and her acting passion comes from her strong ability to understand and relate to people deeply while keeping a higher level perspective on the big picture.

Michael Warr
Leadership Team

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.

Indira_UrrutiaIndira Urrutia
Leadership Team

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, a Leadership Team member 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_HaderoMeklit Hadero
Leadership Team

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-quinnNancy Quinn
Leadership Team

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.