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.
Michael Seiwerath, Vice Chair
Michael Seiwerath is the Director of Community Programs and External Relations at Capitol Hill Housing Foundation. Overseeing the fundraising and communications work for Capitol Hill Housing, he has been involved with issues of preserving and expanding affordable arts space in Seattle for 15 years. He serves on the 4Culture Real Estate Task Force.
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.
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.
Jerry L. Garcia
Jerry L. Garcia is a designer, curator, community servant and critic. Garcia's practice has bridged the worlds of art and architecture, exploring and creating experiences rooted in place. As a senior project manager at Olson Kundig Architects, he works on a broad range of projects, from artist collaborations and commissioned artworks to the design of significantly-scaled buildings located around the globe. Notable projects with which he has been involved have received National and Regional AIA Honor Awards, and been published extensively. He has taught art and architecture in Italy and Chile, and authored pieces in The Stranger, City Arts Magazine, ARCADE Magazine, The Organ, and DBC Avisen. Garcia is a graduate of Texas A&M University.
Terri Hiroshima
Terri Hiroshima has worked in Seattle's non-profit sector for more than 18 years. She is currently Vice President of Communications at Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the largest and most diverse business association in the Puget Sound region. Terri was formerly the Director of Marketing & External Relations at Crosscut Public Media, a civics-based online news outlet that focuses on in-depth coverage of Northwest issues. Her background in the arts includes marketing and communications roles at Seattle Theatre Group, Empty Space Theatre and One Reel. She holds a BS in Public Relations from Boston University and has completed Seattle's Leadership Tomorrow program.
Perri Howard
Perri Howard is an artist working with combined techniques in sound, light, sculpture and image. Her studio practice and public artworks explore the relationship between human perception and sense of place.
Fidelma McGinn
Fidelma McGinn is the vice president of philanthropic services at The Seattle Foundation, one of the nation's largest community foundations for charitable giving. She was formerly the executive director of Artist Trust, a statewide organization dedicated to supporting artists in all creative disciplines with grants, resources and professional development training. She also serves on the board of the Washington State Arts Alliance.
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.
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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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