Arts Presenting, Translated Into a Convening of Relationships:
To Host is to Create the Welcome
Most of us, at some point, have been welcomed into a home that is not our own, be it for a meal or an overnight stay. To “host” is to play this role of welcoming and of facilitating an experience among family, friends, and strangers. It’s a role that becomes all the more important when people arrive from other lands and communities, to create a space of welcome.
The Red Poppy Art House produces over 140 performances annually, all of which are facilitated by a team of Hosts. These are the people that craft the space, setting up seating and sound equipment, adjusting the lighting, and presenting the artists to the public. They manage the volunteers and make sure the artists are appropriately paid at the end of the night. Without them, there would be no performance. The Poppy’s hosting structure, in fact, is one of its most innovative organizational practices. From it, we’ve created a program that continually cultivates and trains new hosts as a kind of hands-on immersive incubator for individuals wanting to develop skills and experience in community-engaged arts presenting. If you want to find out more about our Hosting Program or are interested in joining the team, click here!
Julianne is a graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz and a transplant to San Francisco. She is actively engaged with the Bay Area arts community and finds her involvement with the Red Poppy especially fulfilling. Julianne is interested in cross-cultural communications, art education, and cultural diplomacy. She is an avid traveler, and her love of culture, language, and art have brought her to many different countries around the globe.
DINA ZARIF / LEAD PERFORMANCE HOST
Dina began singing in chorus as a youth in Iran and continued training as a classical vocalist when she moved to the United States. Since then, she has collaborated with the Stanford Symphonic Choirs, participated in a performance in the Stanford Pan-Asian Music Festival, and performed in multiple theater projects at the Stanford Persian Studies Department and The Darvag Theater group. More recently, you can find her performing in a Persian traditional musical in Stanford and a shadow light production to be premiered in San Francisco’s Cowell Theater, Brooklyn’s BAM, and New York’s Met.
WILLIAM SMITH / LEAD PERFORMANCE HOST
Will is a third-year at UC Berkeley studying Latin-American History and Portuguese. He started working at the Poppy through an internship with the upcoming arts festival Flying Under the Radar. In his travels to Rio, he hopes to continue his studies and help with the Poppy and Flying Under the Radar’s plans to introduce a MAPP-like program to the city. In the time he isn’t hosting or studying, he can be found playing folk and jazz guitar. Will has played in local San Diego jazz combos and is featured on one album.
AUDE DALIE / LEAD PERFORMANCE HOST
Aude Dalie is currently a graduate student at the University of California, San Francisco and is studying the interplay between body metabolism and neural functioning. She has an interest in global health and the intersection of the arts, medicine, human rights, and social justice.
SARA SALARI / LEAD PERFORMANCE HOST
Sara is a photographer currently enrolled at San Francisco State University. She is most interested in capturing the intimacy of friendships through black and white portraits. Taking on the role as a host in such a welcoming space, Sara anticipates to foster all the knowledge to be gained from the wide range of people that perform, set, and make the stage.
MARIA LENTZOU / LEAD PERFORMANCE HOST
Maria is an expressive art-play therapist, interdisciplinary artist, and the newest member to join the Poppy team. Originally from Greece, she is a free and joyful spirit that has lived, worked, and performed in Argentina and Peru. Now she is an emerging performing artist in the Bay Area and facilitates groups in Authentic Movement. Her mission is to honor the beauty of our multifaceted existences, along with the mystery of life-death-life in its paradoxical nature; to embody and communicate the power of authenticity of humbleness and of love; and to advocate for the priceless value of play, imagination, expression, and creativity in our everyday lives at ALL ages. www.marialive.net
ELENA MENCARELLI / LEAD PERFORMANCE HOST
Elena Mencarelli is an artist and curator. She moved to San Francisco after finishing her master’s degree in visual arts at the University of Bologna in Bologna, Italy. Previously, she was the artistic director of the Make Your Mark Art Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to her artistic practice and curatorial background, she is also engaged in art criticism. What she loves most about the Red Poppy are its interdisciplinary nature and its role as a meeting point for artists and creatives from all over the world—it was the very first place, in fact, that Elena visited the moment she arrived in San Francisco. She aims to help the Poppy spread artistic voices into the community, sustain and promote cultural diversity, and support quality and emerging art. www.elenamencarelli.com