About Us

The 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council, supports the city agency. Commission members include artists, arts professionals and other citizens with diverse backgrounds and strong links to Seattle's arts community. The mayor appoints seven of the commissioners; the City Council appoints seven, and a 15th member is selected by those 14. An additional commissioner is selected through the YMCA's "Get Engaged" program.


The Seattle Arts Commission supports the City by advocating for arts policy, creating access for equitable participation in the arts, and fostering enriching arts engagement for all residents.

Meet the Commissioners
Vivian Phillips, Chair
Vivian Phillips currently serves as the director of marketing and communications for Seattle Theatre Group, where she oversees the marketing, communications and social media engagement for three historic theatres in Seattle. She is also an adjunct professor at Seattle University teaching persuasive communications in the MFA Arts Leadership program and chairs the Seattle University College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Council. Vivian has executive produced for the stage and led marketing and outreach campaigns for large touring Broadway productions and served as director of communications for Mayor Paul Schell. She currently serves on the boards of Arts Corps, Washington State Building for the Arts Advisory Council, the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium, and the King County Civic Television Citizen Advisory Committee, and is an award-winning producer and host of arts focused television programs.
Juan Alonso-Rodriguez
Juan Alonso-Rodriguez arrived in the United States from his native Cuba in 1966. He is a self-taught artist whose transition from music to visual arts coincided with his move to Seattle in 1982. His work has been exhibited throughout the US, Canada and Latin America and is included in the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, Museum of Northwest Art, Microsoft, Swedish & Harborview Hospitals and General Mills and he has created public works for Century Link Field, Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, King County Housing Authority, Epiphany School, Sound Transit’s Light Rail system and Chief Sealth High School. His awards include a 2010 Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, The Neddy Fellowship, PONCHO Artist of the Year, two Artist Trust GAPs, a 4Culture Individual Artist Grant and a residency at the Centrum Foundation. In 2015, he completed artist residencies for the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture and Town Hall Seattle.
Jeff Benesi
Jeff Benesi has more than 30 years of experience as a landscape and urban designer and works at Mithun. His portfolio includes housing authority redevelopment, parks and streetscape design, transit-oriented development and large-scale master planning projects.
Cassie Chinn
Cassie Chinn, Deputy Executive Director at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, oversees planning and implementation of exhibition, collection, public programming and education initiatives in collaboration with community members. In her 20 plus years with the museum, she has worked with numerous community advisory committees and community members to create exhibitions, gather oral histories and produce other museum projects, including The Wing’s recent multi-year exhibition on Bruce Lee. During the museum's capital project, she led community-based program planning and served on the design team. She is the author of The Wing’s Community-based Exhibition handbook. She currently serves on the 4Culture Heritage Advisory Board. Chinn holds a BA and MA in art history as well as a Master in Teaching.
Jonathan Cunningham
Jonathan Cunningham is the Manager of Youth Programs and Community Outreach at EMP Museum where he's tasked with growing EMP's numerous youth initiatives and creating more opportunities for community members to access and design programming at the museum. He has facilitated after-school programming in Seattle's Central District and the South End; hosted a show on Hollow Earth Radio dedicated to music and news from the Central District; and is a part of Hidmo, a community arts collective based at Washington Hall. In addition to being a board member of The Seattle Globalist, he's currently working on a Masters in Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington. At his core, Jonathan is a transplanted Detroiter with deep connections to Seattle's music and arts community, and is an award-winning music journalist and editor with content published in major outlets such as FADER, Vibe, Spin, Rollingstone.com, and Village Voice Media.
Priya Frank
Priya Frank is the Associate Director for Advancement for the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell, where she is responsible for philanthropy, alumni engagement and industry/community partnerships for the school’s undergraduate and graduate programs. She is also Art Director at LUCID Lounge in the University District, curating art exhibits and designing interactive components that provide opportunities for interaction. Previous work at the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity and the UW World Series fueled a passion around inclusion, community building and the arts. Priya is a board member and Diversity Committee Chair at On the Boards, has co-founded a local women of color in the arts gathering group, and is a member of Leadership Tomorrow’s class of 2015. She holds a B.A. in Communications and American Ethnic Studies from University of Washington Seattle and an M.A. in Cultural Studies from University of Washington Bothell.
Steve Galatro
Steve Galatro, Pratt Fine Arts Center’s Executive Director since 2012, has extensive experience in nonprofit arts administration and higher education, elevated by an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University. Previous management experience comes from various positions at Empty Space Theatre and the Seattle University Fine Arts Department, where he continues to serve as an adjunct professor. In 2014, Galatro was honored for his rejuvenation of Pratt as one of the top 40 Under 40 business leaders in the region by the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Terri Hiroshima
Terri Hiroshima recently joined the University of Washington as a Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, and was formerly Vice President of Communications at Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. She has served and worked in Seattle's non-profit sector for more than 20 years, holding executive and marketing leadership positions at Crosscut Public Media, Seattle Theatre Group, Empty Space Theatre, and One Reel. She is currently vice chair of the Seattle Arts Commission and serves on the Langston board; in the past she has served on the boards of Shunpike and Degenerate Art Ensemble. Terri earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations from Boston University, and completed Seattle's Leadership Tomorrow program in 2009.
Billy O'Neill
Billy O'Neill is vice president of Chihuly Studio. He currently serves on the Executive Board of Directors of the Seattle International Film Festival and Advisory Boards for the Seattle Sounders and The Vera Project.
Tracy Rector
Tracy Rector is the executive director and co-founder of Longhouse Media and an independent filmmaker. After having worked with more than 2,200 youth since January of 2005, Longhouse Media has seen the artistic and community growth of many young Native filmmakers. Tracy is a Sundance Institute Lab Fellow and is the recipient of the Horace Mann Award for her work in utilizing media for social justice.
Kelly Rodriguez
Kelly Rodriguez is the executive director and editor of ARCADE, a nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to reinforce the principle that thoughtful design at every scale of human endeavor improves our quality of life. A native of Los Angeles, California, Kelly’s professional and educational accomplishments have afforded her opportunities to regularly serve the art, design and architecture communities in Seattle, including as a member of the architect selection advisory committee for the revolutionary Bullitt Center; and as artist selection panelist for King County’s cultural services agency 4Culture, and the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture. Kelly holds a bachelor and master of architecture and has been a ballet dancer for 37 years (and counting).
Gian-Carlo Scandiuzzi
Carlo Scandiuzzi has been the executive director of ACT - A Contemporary Theatre since 2008. He first joined ACT in 2007 to oversee its Central Heating Lab initiative, nurturing and supporting new works, new talent and local artists spanning all art forms. He is a founder of Agate Films, Clear Pictures and film distribution company Indieflix.
Huong Vu
Huong Vu manages the Pacific Northwest region's arts, culture and civic grants portfolio for The Boeing Company. Previously, she was the senior arts program officer at The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, guest curator at On the Boards, and director of grants programs at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. She currently serves on the Grantmakers in the Arts board of directors.
Sharon Nyree Williams
Sharon Nyree Williams is the Managing Director for the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas. A Seattle resident for past thirteen years, previously Williams was the manager of budget and operations for Seattle University's College of Nursing. Over the past ten years she has served as stage manager, research assistant, production assistant and producer for several performing arts organizations in the Seattle area. In 2006, she founded the collaborative arts organization The Mahogany Project. Sharon is also a playwright, filmmaker, solo performer, and producer.
Special Commission Position:


Ashraf Hasham
Ashraf Hasham is the Deputy Director of TeenTix, a revolutionary arts access and youth empowerment organization (of which he, too, was an arts-curious teenage member). After growing up in Seattle and graduating from Ballard High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Arts Administration from Wagner College in New York City. Ashraf's triumphant return (read: couldn't find a job out East) landed him with a splash back in his hometown, hungry to administer some art. Armed with a resume stuffed full of (un)paid internships, he found gainful employment in the Development/External Relations office at the Henry Art Gallery, where he worked until late 2014. He is also the House Manager of On the Boards, and can be seen in the wild on various dancefloors, arts events, and live music venues around the city.
King Street Station

King Street Station

ARTS at King Street Station
Seattle is transforming King Street Station into a hub for arts and culture. In a unique collaboration between the Office of Arts & Culture, the Seattle Department of Transportation, and the Office of Economic Development, the City will create a dynamic space for arts and culture in the heart of the city.
Work with Us
Public Art Project Manager <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
The Arts Program Specialist, Senior position in the Public Art Program of the Office of Arts & Culture will manage major permanently-sited, temporary and community engagement artwork projects. 5/31/2016
Our Staff

Staff & Commission

Meet the staff of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
Seattle Arts Commission
The 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council, supports the city agency.

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