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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.