Creating Connection is led nationally by:

  • Arts Midwest: a nonprofit that promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to communities and enriching people’s lives

  • Metropolitan Group: a social change agency that crafts and integrates creative and strategic services that empower public purpose organizations to build a just and sustainable world

Local leadership teams have been assembled to advise and provide guidance to state and regional pilot and exploratory efforts. These local teams include:

California (San Jose)

  • Chair: Kerry Adams-Hapner, San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs

  • Marilee Jennings, Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

  • Lisa Mallette, City Lights Theatre Company

  • Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez, MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana

  • Larry Hancock, Opera San Jose

  • Rick Jenson, San Jose Downtown Association

  • Brendan Rawson, San Jose Jazz

  • Joan Phillips, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

  • Lisa Vollendorf, San Jose State University

  • Wisa Uemura, San Jose Taiko

  • Tamara Alvarado, School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza

  • Connie Martinez, Silicon Valley Creates

  • Andrew Bales, Symphony Silicon Valley


  • John Beck, ArtsBoston

  • Blair Benjamin, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Nick Capasso, Fitchburg Art Museum

  • Richard Chacon, WBUR

  • Cathy Edwards, New England Foundation for the Arts

  • Allyson Esposito, The Boston Foundation

  • Jay Finney, Peabody Essex Museum

  • Priscilla Kane Hellweg, Enchanted Circle Theater

  • Justin Kang, City Awake

  • Giles Li, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

  • Greg Liakos, Massachusetts Cultural Council

  • Wayne McWorter, ArtsEmerson

  • Celina Miranda, Hyde Square Task Force

  • Myran Parker-Brass, Boston Public Schools

  • Ann Smith, Featherstone Center for the Arts

  • David White, The Yard

  • San San Wong, Barr Foundation


  • Kristen Chesak, Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo

  • Kathryn Dimond, Arts Consultant

  • Shanna Draheim, Michigan Municipal League

  • Kimberly Driggins, City of Detroit

  • Greg Fielder, Greater Flint Arts Council

  • Mary Bevans Gillett, Northwest Michigan Arts & Culture Network and North Sky Nonprofit

  • Mary Jennings, Michigan Technological University

  • Kendrick Jones, Shop Floor Theatre Company

  • Omari Rush, Culture Source

  • Vincent Tilford, Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation

  • Sarah Gonzales Triplett, Creative Many

  • Alison Watson, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs

  • Shannon Easter White, FUNchitecture


  • Chair: Brian Weaver, Portland Playhouse

  • Adam Davis, Oregon Humanities

  • Alison Bailey, Regional Arts & Culture Council

  • Andrew Apter, Retired

  • Brian Rogers, Oregon Arts Commission & Oregon Cultural Trust

  • Bonnie Reagan, Bravo Youth Orchestras

  • Carol Shepherd, Musica Maestrale

  • Chuck Sams, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla

  • Crystal Muno, Linkville Playhouse

  • Cynthia Fuhrman, Portland Center Stage

  • David Laubenthal, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

  • Freda Casillas, Oregon Shakespeare Festival

  • Gayle S. Yamasaki, Klamath Falls City Schools

  • Jordan Anderson, Oregon Public Broadcasting

  • Julie Vigeland, immediate past chair Oregon Arts Commission

  • Kregg Arntson, Portland General Electric

  • Martha Richards, The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation

  • Phil Ortega, LIFE Art

  • Sara Mason, Eugene Symphony

  • Seth Truby, Bravo Youth Orchestras

  • Soo Pak, Portland Parks & Recreation

  • Sue Hildick, Cultural Advocacy Coalition

  • Suzanne Gray, Portland State University College of the Art

Banner image by Mark Saperstein courtesy of Hyde Square Task Force.