Annie Holden, Tim Lennon, and Liz Johnson. Photo by Jenny Crooks.
Annie Holden, Tim Lennon, and Liz Johnson. Photo by Jenny Crooks.


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 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.
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 manages the Neighborhood & Community Arts and smART Ventures programs. 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 is also a local theatre artist and enjoys photography and the outdoors.
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. With more than 20 years in the field, she endeavors to bring diverse arts experiences to Seattle’s residents and visitors and to expand the definition of public art. She has managed of a range of projects and has developed policies, procedures and best practices for public art administration. She has been a member of several interdepartmental teams addressing city-wide planning issues such as the Central Waterfront. She is a member of the Public Art Network Council of Americans for the Arts. A registered architect, in a past life she practiced architecture in New York. She has 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
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 Lead
(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 Manager
(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 Pajek has worked nationally to cultivate the work of artists in the civic landscape. In 2012 Kelly joined the public art team at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Kelly hails from New York City (NYC), where she was the deputy director of Percent for Art, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. Prior to Percent for Art, she managed projects for Fort Worth Public Art in Texas and the NYC Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts for Transit program. In her 18 years in public art Kelly has commissioned emerging and established artists to develop more than 100 permanent and temporary artworks throughout the country. Kelly serves as an advisor to 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.
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
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.
Community Development and Outreach
Calandra Childers
Deputy Director
(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.
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) 733-9591
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.
Larry Mizell Jr.
Digital Media Specialist
(206) 684-4337
You may know Larry from his “My Philosophy” column in the The Stranger, and his Sunday night hip-hop show on KEXP. In addition he has worked social media for a number of musicians and projects, directed music videos and more. In this position, Larry will promote and highlight the public benefit of the artistic expression found in the City of Seattle through digital projects. He has been advocating for Seattle arts for years and been instrumental in cultivating community online, founding popular local music forums and blogs. He is probably always listening to and thinking about music—but when not online, writing or DJing, he enjoys food, travel, being near water, and playing with his dog.
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 over 14 years. She works on development of the annual budget and oversees accounting, contracting, administrative and operational functions for the office. She has worked in various departments during her 28 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, R&B, Sci-Fi, 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 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. Sandy loves to look at and talk about art, travel, make jewelry and is a self-confessed ancient cultures geek. She is writes contemporary fantasy novels that incorporate elements of adventure, ancient myth and history.
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.

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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.