Randy Engstrom
(206) 684-7173
Randy has been a passionate advocate and organizer for cultural and community development for more than 10 years. Before coming to our office in October 2012, he ran Reflex Strategies, a cultural and community-based consulting services business. He served as chair of the Seattle Arts Commission in 2011 after serving two years as vice-chair and was chair of the Facilities and Economic Development Committee from 2006 to 2010. Previously, he was the deputy director of the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, interim director of the King County Food and Fitness Initiative, founding director of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, founding CEO of Static Factory Media and the program coordinator of the Fremont Unconventional Center, a non-profit event space. He is a founding member of the artist live/work project Stronghold Arts Collective. In 2009 Randy received the Emerging Leader Award from Americans for the Arts and was one of Puget Sound Business Journal's 40 Under 40. He is a graduate of the Evergreen State College in Olympia and received his masters in public administration at the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Affairs.

Cultural Partnerships Program

Kathy Hsieh
Cultural Partnerships and Grants Manager
(206) 733-9926
Kathy manages the Cultural Partnerships funding programs with specific oversight of the Civic Partners program for local arts and cultural organizations. She leads the office's Race & Social Justice Initiative efforts and represents the office in numerous interdepartmental and community collaborations. Kathy first joined the office in 2003 as the community liaison, working with other city departments and neighborhood community groups, using art and culture as a means towards achieving community goals. Kathy is a local theatre artist with a non-profit background in the arts. An avid traveler, she also loves to read, attends theatre religiously, and tries to squeeze in dance classes and walking as often as possible.
Payton Bordley
Racial Equity Liaison
(206) 727-8668
Payton Bordley supports a variety of Cultural Partnerships programs, specifically focused on the internal capacity building of the Office towards racial equity, and in collaboration with other community organizations. She manages the Seattle Arts Leadership Team, and coordinates the office's Race & Social Justice Initiative Change Team. Payton first joined us in 2014 as the Communications intern, and loved getting exposure to the incredible work of everyone in the office before coming into her new role. She currently studies Creative Writing at the University of Washington—focusing specifically in poetry. Outside of work and school, Payton enjoys gathering traditional plants and medicines, and spending time with her family on the Skokomish reservation.
Jenny Crooks
Project Manager
(206) 684-7084
Jenny works with Neighborhood & Community Arts and smART Ventures programs and serves as the arts education liaison with Seattle Public Schools. She grew up in Maryland, just outside of D.C., and was involved in the arts from an early age. She graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville, Penn., with a BA in international environmental studies. After returning to D.C. she worked as volunteer coordinator at The Studio Theatre and then as a grants specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts. Jenny moved to Seattle in June 2012 after spending a year in Belgium with her husband. She looks forward to bringing her passion for the arts to the Seattle community.
Lara Davis
Arts Education Manager
(206) 615-1879
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.
Irene Gómez
Project Manager
(206) 684-7310
Irene administers Youth Arts and CityArtists Projects funding programs in addition to related technical support. She's an active member of the city's Race & Social Justice Initiative Change Team and volunteers on several boards and committees of a community foundation, artist collectives and heritage organizations. Film, travel, friends and being parent of an emerging media artist balance interests outside of work.
Matthew Richter
Cultural Space Liaison
(206) 733-9955
Matthew joined the office in 2013 as the Cultural Space Liaison, a new position aimed at stabilizing and increasing the number of cultural square feet in Seattle. Matthew is an arts entrepreneur, and was the founding director of both the Consolidated Works contemporary arts center and the Rm 608 gallery for visual and performing arts. He comes to the office from Shunpike, where he spent two years building the Storefronts Seattle program. He has served as the Performance Editor of The Stranger, and is a nationally published writer. He has created a series of Dinner Theater productions at On the Boards and elsewhere, is an accomplished furniture designer and builder, and has lectured internationally on the state of the arts.

Public Art Program

Ruri Yampolsky
Public Art Director
(206) 684-7309
Ruri oversees the Public Art program, working to integrate the ideas and work of artists into the public realm and large-scale, capital construction projects. With more than 20 years in the field, she has spent time focusing on expanding the public art experience, best practices for public art administration, developing policies, procedures and contracts, investigating issues of artists' rights, and coordinating the program's artwork conservation efforts. She has been a member of several interdepartmental teams addressing city-wide planning issues such as the Central Waterfront. She is also a registered architect with a Masters of Architecture from Columbia University, and earned her bachelor's in architecture with a minor in Latin from Barnard College.
Eric Fredericksen
Waterfront Program Art Manager
(206) 733-9838
Eric coordinates arts activities and implements public art projects along the Central Waterfront. Eric is also an adjunct lecturer at the School of Art, University of Washington, and an independent curator, consultant and writer. He was the founding director of Western Bridge, a Seattle contemporary exhibition space, from 2003 to 2012. He has been a board member of On the Boards since 2005, and served on the Seattle Arts Commission from 2008 to 2012. He was previously an editor and writer at Architecture magazine and The Stranger, and was a 2001 fellow of the National Arts Journalism Program, Columbia University.
Blake Haygood
Curatorial Assistant
(206) 615-1742
Blake helps rotate and maintain the Portable Works Collection, with more than 2,800 works; assists in curating city exhibitions; and provides handyman services in the office when needed. He is a practicing artist and his work can be viewed at www.blakehaygood.com.
Tiffany Hedrick
Artwork Conservation
(206) 615-0175
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.
Jason Huff
Project Manager
(206) 684-7278
As a public art project manager with our office since 2007, Jason has worked with local and national artists to design and install artworks for the city's 1% for Art collection. From 2000 to 2007, Jason was the artistic director at the Kirkland Arts Center. Born and raised in White Plains, New York, he received his BFA in art from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and his MFA in ceramics from the University of Washington. Jason continues to work in ceramics and has exhibited his work regionally at Gallery IMA, SOIL, Bellevue Art Museum, Gallery IMA, and nationally at the Contemporary Crafts Gallery in Portland, Ore.; San Angelo Museum of Fine Art in San Angelo, Tex.; Contemporary Arts Collective and Donna Beam Fine Arts Gallery in Las Vegas, Nev.; and the Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery in Reno, Nev.
Marcia Iwasaki
Project Manager
(206) 233-3946
Marcia enjoys helping artists and communities realize their artistic vision and projects. She is the only staff member who has worked on both Public Art and Cultural Partnerships teams, working with artists in public art as well as music, dance, theater, film and literary arts. Her projects range from modest, ephemeral events to hefty-scaled, permanent public art, like the Joint Fire Fighter and Seattle Public Utility training campus.Marcia's enthusiasm for the arts is infectious, with more than 20 years with the office, preceded by teaching art at a small Native American school in Montana, working at the Boston Children's Museum, and co-founding the Boston Dragon Boat Festival (now in its 34th year!). She was raised on a family farm in Oregon and enjoys travel, gardening and new recipes.
Deborah Paine
Curator & Collections
(206) 684-7132
Deborah directs the care, management and placement of the Portable Works Collection, with more than 2,800 pieces of art. Deborah oversees and administers purchases of portable artworks. She also develops and supervises the printing of interpretive materials and catalogues related to the Portable Works Collection. When not venturing out to attend art openings, Deborah can be found in the audience as a board member at On the Boards and, weather permitting, in her garden.
Kelly Pajek
Project Manager
(206) 684-7311
Kelly joined us in 2012. She was previously the deputy director of Percent for Art, at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In her time prior, Kelly curated and managed public art projects for Fort Worth Public Art in Texas and the New York City subway as part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts for Transit program. In her 16 years in public art Kelly has commissioned emerging and established artists to develop more than 75 permanent and temporary artworks. Kelly serves as treasurer for Public Art Dialogue, a national organization and affiliate of College Art Association, devoted to public art and dialogue as the basis for effective public art endeavors. Personally Kelly creates craft-based work and is a supporter of self-initiated projects. She is a world explorer, stifled chef and pickler of sorts who makes some of the best bread-and-butter pickles you are likely to have.
Joan Peterson
(206) 615-1800
Joan has worked as the office's registrar since 2005. She oversees the public art collection database, files and image bank documenting nearly 3,300 artworks. She accessions and catalogs all new artworks and facilitates the deaccessioning of artworks. Joan also produces an ongoing inventory of current locations of all artworks, maintains rights and reproductions services, and negotiates loan agreements. A longtime hiker, Joan loves to hike in the Cascades and Olympics. She can also be found singing in choirs and playing music with friends.
Kristen Ramirez
Seattle Department of Transportation Art & Enhancements Project Manager
(206) 615-1095
Prior to joining the Office Kristen worked at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle in a variety of capacities including: Art Faculty, Manager of Summer & External Programs, and Manager of Academic and Community Engagement. 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. In addition to teaching, Kristen is an artist, whose artwork explores many media, including printmaking, drawing, painting, installation and public art. Her work is often about place, conjuring an affection for disorienting urban/suburban places by appropriating signs and symbols of commerce. Her studio practice takes her increasingly into the public realm through community-based projects and murals. Ramirez earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz, a MA in Education and California Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University, and a MFA in Printmaking from the University of Washington.

Community Development and Outreach

Calandra Childers
Communications & Outreach Manager
(206) 684-7306
Calandra leads the Community Development and Outreach team, which is charged with office communications (including printed materials, website, blog and social media), working with the press and partnering with other organizations. In addition, the team produces special events such as the Seattle Presents summer concert series at City Hall and the annual Mayor's Arts Awards. Calandra also serves as the office's public information officer. Calandra has a decade of public relations and communications experience working with non-profit and government agencies including the Seattle Art Museum, the Renton Chamber of Commerce and the City of Renton. Calandra holds a BA in English from Whitman College.
Annie Holden
Public Relations Specialist
(206) 733-9591
Before Annie joined the Communications team, she was involved with The Vera Project, an all ages music and arts venue in Seattle, for three years. While there she held a number of different roles, including heading up marketing and communications, assisting with booking shows, and supporting fundraising and event efforts. She is a graduate of the University of Washington with a major in Comparative History of Ideas, an interdisciplinary degree which focuses on experiential and alternative forms of thought. Her thesis was titled "The Intertwining Future of Bodies, Thought, and Technology."
Jenny Ku
Events Coordinator
(206) 684-4186

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.

Erika Lindsay
Public Relations Specialist
(206) 727-8668
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.
Jeff Pierce
Web & Technology Coordinator
(206) 684-7305
Since 2006, Jeff has worked on all things tech for the office, including the department website, email communications, internal tool development, graphic design and support. Previously, he worked in the IT department at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art while earning his MS in computer science from California State University, Fullerton. Jeff seems to always be training for endurance events such as another marathon, century bike ride or triathlon. When not training, he can be found with a line in a stream, a toe in the ocean, or playing fetch with his golden retriever.

Office Operations

Jane Morris
Finance and Office
Operations Manager
(206) 684-8362
Jane has managed the overall administrative and finance operations of the office for 12 years. She works on development of the annual budget and oversees accounting, contracting, administrative and personnel functions for the office. She has worked in various departments during her 26 years with the city of Seattle including the Mayor's Office, Department of Neighborhoods, Office of Housing, Department of Planning and Development, and a few others that don't exist anymore. Jane received a post-graduate certificate in finance from Seattle Pacific University. She loves big cities, small houses, good Rock, indie movies, orange cats and adding stuff to her already over-planted garden.
Steven Eng
Accounting Services
(206) 615-1825
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.
Sandy Esene
Panel Coordinator
(206) 233-3930
Sandy provides administrative coordination for the art selection panels for both the Public Art and Cultural Partnership programs. She works with the online application tools CaFÉ and CGO in all stages of the call process. She compiles and readies the submitted application materials and makes arrangements for selection panel technology requirements. Sandy has completed Museum Studies Certificate and Popular Fiction programs at the University of Washington. Currently, she is in the process of writing her first novel. Sandy also loves to look at and talk about art, travel, make jewelry and is a self-confessed ancient cultures geek.
Elisheba Johnson
Partnerships Coordinator
(206) 684-0182
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".
Sheila Moss
Accounting Services
(206) 233-7016
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
Operations Coordinator
(206) 684-4185
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.

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute

Visit the staff page at www.langstoninstitute.org