Todd Thomas Brown
Founder & Curator of Performance Programming
Todd Thomas Brown is an interdiscipinary 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 also commissioned by the de Young’s Department of Public Programs for the creation of 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) and the MAPP: Mission Arts & Performance Project (2003). His most recent performance work, Teobi’s Dreaming, explores the “bio-poetic” intersection of ancestry and being, and premiered at the Red Poppy Art House in March 2014.
Zéna Allen is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and visual artist based in the Bay-Area. Her traditional background in Kora and West African harp has inspired her to combine her love of classical West African string music with Appalachian folk, Delta blues and soul to create narratives of memory and migration in the African Diaspora. An accomplished visual artist, Zéna finds it a natural progression to apply in her own art the same themes of ritual and tradition found in West African music. As a fifth generation Bay-Area resident, she values the notion of longevity and sustainability in community, and sees the role of the Red Poppy as a vehicle for creativity and support for artists. She is currently producing new work for her first album and can be found at zenamusik.com.
Jen has been immersed in the visual arts since a young age, later going on to pursue a bachelors in studio art at UC Riverside. Although she eventually switched gears to language with a focus on Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, it became evident that art would continue to hold a certain significance in her life. Her ongoing interests in music, design, and culture led her to the discovery of the Red Poppy Art House, where she readily became a member of both the PR and hosting teams as well as the Professional Development Track. Upon graduating from the Poppy’s internship program, Jen continues her relationship with the space through the management of PR/communications and rentals.
Vocalist and composer, Amy LaCour, has over 15 years of administrative experience in the non-profit sector with a focus on arts and education. Born and raised in Seattle, Amy lived in both New York and Los Angeles, before calling the Bay Area her home. She believes that the Poppy epitomizes the uniquely supportive nature of the Bay arts community and is thrilled to be a part of the team. Amy can currently be seen performing with the Amy LaCour trio featuring Misha Khalikulov, cello, and Josh Mellinger, percussion. www.amylacour.com
Jeremy Allen is a musician, educator, composer, and producer. He performs with a variety of Bay Area artists and is co-founder of the acclaimed pan Latin-American jazz group Quijeremá. With this multi-media arts ensemble, he has performed, toured and recorded, both nationally and internationally, since 2002. Allen is also an adept instructor in media arts, focusing on live sound, event production and audio-visual installations. Jeremy graduated in American Studies: Urban Education from UC Berkeley, and is the owner/engineer at Musiquito Studios, an independent recording studio and media production shop in Oakland, California. www.musiquito.com
Aleksandra Bril joined the Poppy Team since September 2013. By way of great luck, she stumbled upon the Poppy online. Upon first stepping through its red doors, she could not stop smiling. The unique spirit of the room was evident in the dim lights, the sound of the boiling kettle, and three long paintings covering a bare wall. She first started out as a PR intern and later applied for and became a member of PRESENCE, the Red Poppy Development Cohort, participation in which gifted her a new sense of direction to pursue socially-conscious arts engagement. Currently, she reports on events at and affiliated with the Poppy, assists with drafting and editing press releases and is a participating host during performance programs.
Piano tunings are generously donated by Brani Piano.