Kathy is the Cultural Partnerships and Grants Manager, overseeing the community-building, funding, and racial equity programs of the Office. A change agent in transforming the City’s arts funding program through a racial equity lens, she helped the agency earn the Seattle Management Association’s first Race & Social Justice Management Award. A leader with the City’s nationally recognized Race & Social Justice Initiative, she has presented on numerous national panels, and is an adjunct professor on Asian American Theatre for the University of Washington. Kathy is also a theatre artist and award-winning actor, playwright, director and producer with a special focus on work that creates visibility and opportunities for, and highlights the talent and contributions of, artists of color. She has been honored by the National Association of Asian American Professionals in Seattle as their Artist of the Year and as an actor by ArtsFund in 2003, featured in The Dramatist Magazine as “50 to Watch” in 2007, received A Special Award of Recognition by The Seattle Theater Writers Gypsy Awards for Excellence in Playwriting and Verizon’s Asian Pacific American Bash’s Innovator Award in 2012, and is the 2015 International Examiner Community Voice Awardee in the Arts.
Lara Davis has been active in youth development and community arts education for more than a decade. She has served as a Seattle arts commissioner and as program director for Arts Corps, an award winning Seattle-based youth arts organization. As arts education manager for the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Lara is the City's representative for the Creative Advantage, a public/private partnership to ensure equitable access to high quality arts learning for all Seattle students. Lara serves on the National Advisory Committee for the Teaching Artists Guild, and facilitates equity and racial justice trainings for teaching artists, educators and organizations, presenting locally and at national conferences. As a person of color, Lara understands the value of cross-cultural, multi-sector efforts to dismantle racism and other oppressions, and to promote justice. As an artist and arts administrator, she knows firsthand the power of creativity necessary to build access, foster engagement, transform communities, and inspire systemic change.
Kristi serves as ARTS' Youth Funding Project Manager and has a passion for cultural preservation, youth empowerment and community advocacy. Kristi is a former Arts Education Manager of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute and Education Manager for the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. Her innovation in bridge-building amongst schools, families and artists along with advocacy in underserved communities around arts education is well respected. She has worked and volunteered with pluralistic communities in Seattle's Rainier Valley, Chinatown International District and Central Area neighborhoods for more than 20 years.
For over seven years Tiffany has facilitated and performed conservation for the city of Seattle's public art collection, comprised of more than 2,800 portable and 450 permanent works of art. Tiffany also works with Seattle Parks and Recreation to assess, restore and maintain artworks in their collection. Tiffany received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from the University of Washington and her Master of Arts degree in Conservation from Northumbria University. When not scaling totem poles, Tiffany loves to go camping and hiking, spend time in the garden, build furniture and train her Border collie and Australian shepherd on their agility skills.
Elisheba Johnson is a life-long participant in the arts. Most recently she owned Faire Gallery Café, a multi-use art space that had art exhibitions, music shows, poetry readings and creative gatherings. Being a visual artist, Elisheba brought the community together to create multidisciplinary arts projects at Faire. Elisheba has also volunteered at various arts organizations to help broaden the impact the arts has in the Seattle area. She is now writing for "Curating a Life" her parenting blog, creating mixed media art pieces, and finishing up work on a children's book she co-authored with her father, Charles Johnson. When she is not enjoying an art exhibit with her son, she is volunteering with the parenting support group "Rooting for Mama".
The Public Art Program welcomes Maija McKnight as its newest project manager. Maija has worked in the arts field for more than 15 years including serving as the Arts Coordinator for the City of Auburn, Washington and within the education departments of Tacoma Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, and Seattle Asian Art Museum. With an undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies from Western Washington University and a masters degree in Museum Studies from the University of Washington, this former Montanan enjoys spending time at the beach with her family and making things out of metal in her studio.
As Art & Enhancements Project Manager, Kristen Ramirez works between the Office of Arts and Culture and SDOT (Department of Transportation) managing public art projects and working to activate our streets with art. Prior to joining the Office, Kristen worked for ten years as faculty and staff at Cornish College of the Arts. A long-time teacher, Kristen has also taught at the University of Washington, Tacoma Museum of Glass, Pratt Fine Arts Center, Edmonds Community College, and Path with Art, a non-profit that serves adults in recovery. Kristen is also a busy studio and public artist, whose work conjures an affection for place by appropriating signs and symbols of commerce. Kristen earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz, a MA in Education from San Francisco State University, and a MFA in Printmaking from the University of Washington. When not engaged in the arts, Kristen loves paddling her canoe on the Duwamish River, cooking, outdoor adventures of many stripes, and being a mom to her son.
Fourteen years of social justice work has attuned Otts to the rhythms of stories and how they can move us to action. Blogs were the newest form of social media back then, and Otts trained the Seattle contingent of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride to document and share their cross-country journey with the family and supporters they left behind.
Technology planning and strategic communications led to electronic advocacy and movement building, where Otts learned that all the shiny promise of emerging online platforms meant nothing without mobilizing grassroots participation. Along with video production, he began exploring other visual communications like graphic design, comics and most recently, animation.
Otts has seen first-hand the critical role art plays in social change and is excited to learn, experience and share stories from Seattle's vibrant arts community.
Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, she moved to Seattle in June of 2002 and has been an active member of our vibrant arts community ever since. Prior to joining the Community Development and Outreach team, Jenny served as the Director of Arts and Culture and Programming Coordinator for BurlyCon.
She is also the cabaret curator and coordinator for The Wing Luke Asian Museum and artistic director for numerous theatrical productions. Additionally, Jenny is a practicing visual and performance artist herself, and is thrilled to support the arts in this new capacity.
Prior to joining the communications team, Erika worked as a media and community relations professional at arts groups for more than 12 years including the Smithsonian, Seattle Art Museum and the Frye Art Museum. Originally hailing from the sultry suburbs of Washington, D.C. Erika graduated from St. Mary's College of Maryland with a B.A. in English. She is happiest in the Pacific Northwest working in the arts and enjoying the liquid sunshine with her family.
Sandra is a native to Seattle and majored in finance and marketing at the University of Washington. After working as a contract specialist with Sedgewick Payne brokerage, where she managed multi-million dollar international accounts, she came aboard LHPAI in 2003. Her artistic lineage starts with her father, the noted jazz pianist Kenny Boas, one of Seattle's celebrated jazz-era musicians. She continues as a founding member of The Mahogany Project, a performing arts group that provides African-American's a means to be the makers and owners of their art. Her play Journey from Spruce Street premiered in the 2007 Mahogany Project's theater festival. In 2015, her play Jazz Prayer about the 1940's jazz era in Seattle premiered at Theater Off Jackson with Freehold Theater's Emboldened play about Buddy Bolden. Sandra's plays, including Sister Fusion and Black Label, challenge simple-minded stereotypical beliefs about African Americans and reveal her family's vanguard confrontation of racist barriers in Seattle. A social activist, her careers have always included involvement in race and social justice initiatives in both public and private sectors.
Amanda Licorish comes to ARTS with a background in building and program management and a Recreation Administration Degree from the University of Idaho. She has a great appreciation for the arts and has served on many committees and boards providing enriching programs to the Seattle community. She is a passionate advocate for teens, especially surrounding issues of access and equity. Licorish is volunteers on her Sorority’s youth committee and enjoys being a mentor for others in her field. She is happiest when she has had an adventure, is surprised with treats or anytime she is playing with her son Lawford.
Dominique Thomas has been an entertainment professional for the past 15 years working in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Colorado. He has taught stagecraft at Bellevue College and Western Washington University as well as run three production companies aimed at creating a more positive future for artists in the information era. He is a member of I.A.T.S.E. and has worked on stage as well as behind the camera. After seven years of freelance work he now rests at Seattle's Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute where he intends on using his knowledge accrued in the industry to enable a new community of budding artists to grow.
Steven oversees the accounting operations for the office including creating general ledger journal entries, general ledger maintenance and reconciliation, accounts receivable, asset management, approving vouchers, and preparing various financial reports. He also assists in the loading of the yearly budget into the city of Seattle's financial accounting system. Prior to joining the office in 2010, Steven worked for more than 20 years in various financial institutions in Seattle as an accountant and data warehouse analyst. In his spare time, Steven enjoys watching sports, especially basketball, soccer, football and baseball. He plays basketball every week.
Jennifer Frohwerk joins the Office of Arts & Culture as the Contracts Coordinator. She will provide contract support for the Cultural Partnerships team and will lead the transition to a new online granting system. Previously she was Creative Director and Project Coordinator for Clearpath, where she collaborated with executive teams to develop strategies, improve processes, and design meaningful customer experiences for clients in municipal, educational, healthcare, and for-profit and non-profit organizations. Frohwerk received her Fine Arts – Studio Arts degree from Indiana University. In 2011, she graduated from Artist Trust's EDGE Professional Development Program for Visual Artists. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, her illustrations have been published in two children’s picture books. She loves to paint and draw.
Sheila has been with the office since 2009 and performs accounting and administrative duties within the city's financial system including accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash receipts and payroll, as well as some human resources duties. Sheila is also a talented vocalist and lyricist and has written, arranged and recorded music for many years.
Amanda Standley (previously Stoddard) joins the Office of Arts & Culture as the new Operations Coordinator. In addition to working with contracts, Amanda also serves the Cultural Partnerships Team, providing administrative and community support. Amanda is an activist, organizer, and collaborative theater artist. She is the Board Chair of the Satori Group, an ensemble of theatre makers generating new work with an eye toward audience experience. Previously, she worked for the Mayor's Office in the Office of Policy and Innovation, working as liaison to the Office of Arts and Culture and the Office of Film+Music. Amanda loves old movies, thinks that protests are an act of love, and has not met a cheese she doesn't like.