Co-Founder / Principal
Randy has been a passionate advocate and organizer of cultural and community development for over 20 years. He is currently the Co-Founder and Principal of Third Way Creative, a collaborative consulting studio focused on cultural policy, racial equity, and creative economy. He is also Adjunct Faculty at the Seattle University Arts Leadership Program where he teaches cultural policy and advocacy, and a regular lecturer at the Evan’s School of Governance and Public Policy at the University of Washington. Most recently he served as Director of the Office of Arts and Culture for the City of Seattle from 2012 - 2021. As Director he expanded their investments in grantmaking and Public Art, while establishing new programs and policies in arts education, cultural space affordability, and racial equity. At the City he also led several multi-department sub cabinets, including Affordability and Livability, Youth Opportunity, The Future of Work, and COVID Recovery. He served as Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission in 2011 and was Chair of the Facilities and Economic Development Committee from 2006 to 2010. Before joining the City, he owned and operated Reflex Strategies, a cultural and community based consulting practice. From 2005-2010 Randy was the Founding Director of the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, a multimedia and multidisciplinary community space that offers youth and community members access to arts, technology, and cultural resources. Prior to Youngstown, Randy spent 3 years as the Founding CEO of Static Factory Media, an artist development organization that owned and operated a record label, bar and performance venue, graphic design house, recording studio, and web development business. 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 he received his Executive Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Governance and Public Policy.
Co-Founder / Partner
Elisheba is a curator, poet, public artist and consultant that lives in Seattle, WA. Johnson, who has a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, was the owner of Faire Gallery Café, a multi-use art space that held art exhibitions, music shows, poetry readings and creative gatherings. For six years Johnson worked at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture on capacity building initiatives and racial equity in public art. Johnson was a member of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network advisory council and has won four Americans for the Arts Public Art Year in Review Awards for her work. She currently co-manages Wa Na Wari, a Black art center in Seattle’s Central Area that uses the arts to build community and resist displacement.
Kristen Ramirez is both a studio artist and public artist who toggles between commissions and socially engaged practices. Ramirez has a professional career in education and arts administration, championing aspiring artists and established artists alike. Ramirez taught in San Francisco’s public schools before moving to Seattle, where she has since taught at the University of Washington, Edmonds Community College, Pratt Fine Arts Center, Path with Art, and Cornish College of the Arts. She currently manages public art projects for the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture and Seattle’s Department of Transportation (SDOT). Ramirez is a practicing muralist who has painted murals in California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington. Ramirez has received numerous awards, including Individual Artist Awards from 4Culture, an Artist Trust Fellowship Award, two Artist Trust GAP grants, two Public Art Network Year-in-Review Awards.
Jennifer Gilligan Cole (Jen) is the Jordan Schnitzer Dean of Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) at Willamette University. Cole’s focus at PNCA is to create an ecosystem of students, faculty and community collaborators who can reimagine arts and design at the heart of civic imagination, justice and human thriving in Portland and the greater region. Prior to joining Willamette/PNCA, Cole served as Executive Director of Programs & Public Affairs (external affairs) at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University—the largest comprehensive art and design college in the U.S. While at ASU, she co-founded The National Collaborative for Creative Work-- a network of creators, policy thinkers, movement makers that weave projects, partnerships and policy solutions that enable healthy, equitable creative work in America. Before joining ASU, Cole was Nashville’s chief cultural officer working with the mayor, elected officials, artists, cultural organizations, and activists to explore how arts and cultural participation were central to community prosperity and health. There, she led strategic and policy planning for culture and creative economy and widened arts-based investments in housing, parks, youth justice and creative placemaking. She has served as board member of Americans for the Arts, chaired the US Urban Arts Federation, and in national advisory roles with Creative Youth Development Network, ArtPlace America, Creative Capital, Grantmakers in the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her research and consulting focus on community-centered cultural planning and fair labor structures for creative workers.
Estrella is a multi-disciplinary artist, arts administrator, and cultural strategist in Arizona and New Mexico. Esquilín’s applied creative practices have been intuitively rooted in spatial justice. She is an observer of how people interact with, relate to, and impact each other in the built environment. Formally trained as a printmaker, her artwork also explores building human-scale installations and composing scores for somatic experiences in the built and natural environment. As a cultural strategist, she embraces a guiding question, “how could it feel to be welcomed into a space designed for you?” She embeds her values of social justice, racial equity, and inclusion into her studio practice, administrative processes, program design, and creative professional development to narrow gaps of inequity within arts and culture. She serves as Residency Director at the Sante Fe Art Institute and previously held senior management roles at Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, as well as City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. Esquilín holds a Master of Fine Art degree in Interdisciplinary Studio Art from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Fine Art in Printmaking from Kansas City Art Institute.
Hollis is a Grammy-nominated recording artist, songwriter, content producer and strategic facilitator who works at the intersection of creativity, community organizing and public policy. With her roots in spoken word and slam poetry through the nationally recognized Youth Speaks program, Hollis is passionate about how the arts fuel and shape civic discourse and is dedicated to lending her voice and capacities towards vibrant social equity. In addition to her artistry and songwriting career, Hollis is also a public speaker, event curator, and facilitator who works frequently with organizations and government. Current clients include the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture, Create CA, YWCA Seattle King Snohomish, as well as the DC-based non-profit Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice and their program Take Creative Control. She is a Google Next Gen Policy Leader, an alumna of the Hedgebrook Residency, and is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow.
Danielle is a national arts and cultural leader, committed to advancing the role arts, culture, and creativity play in advancing civic belonging, equity, economic prosperity, and social connectedness. Her career spans thirty years, first as an artist, teaching artist, cultural producer, and administrator, and most recently as the General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). A passionate advocate, she continues to advance the support systems for creativity to thrive. As the former General Manager to the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Ms. Brazell expanded funding programs, such as the Arts Activation Fund, developed new public and community arts programs including CURRENT:LA, the city’s first citywide temporary public art exhibition, and policies including adopting new administrative guidelines for the one-percent for art program. Additionally, Ms. Brazell delivered the first UNESCO World Heritage Site - Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House and oversaw an historic restoration of the Watts Towers, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Each of these initiatives, advanced access and equity for thousands of residents and visitors to the city annually. During her tenure, Ms. Brazell elevated the role, the Department, and creativity, plays to key stakeholders and authorizers leading to the largest budget and staffing allocation in the history of the agency. Appointed by Mayor Garcetti in July 2014, Ms. Brazell grew the agency from $13 to $22 million and formalized a robust $150 million portfolio of capital projects, facilities, programming, and initiatives of free/low-cost publicly accessible arts and cultural services citywide. Ms. Brazell, in collaboration with a dynamic staff of 84 full-time (and over 200 part-time including a robust roster of teaching artists), leveraged the city's investment in direct benefit to the 4 million residents, and 50 million visitors to Los Angeles annually. Prior to 2014, Ms. Brazell was the Executive Director of Arts for LA, a highly effective arts and arts education advocacy organization serving the greater Los Angeles region. Under her stewardship, Arts for LA became a formidable coalition advancing the arts in the largest county in the country. Ms. Brazell was previously the Artistic Director of Highways Performance Art Space and the Director of Special Projects for the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. She currently serves on the World Cities Culture Forum Transition Advisory Board and the DataArts Advisory Board.
Alberto first channeled the transformative power of culture as an emcee, starting at Fairhaven College between 2002-2005. As a teaching artist he engaged young people in Hip Hop cultural practices in settings ranging from juvenile diversion/detention, schools, community centers, tribal reservations, and week-long immersive arts camps in the Pacific Northwest -trained in the Partnership for Youth Empowerment’s (PYE) Creative Empowerment Model. Alberto also worked as case manager and mentor with youth transitioning from foster care at the YMCA center for social impact and navigating alternatives to violence at El Centro de la Raza. During graduate studies in Public Administration- Alberto interned at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Bringing together youth, resident artists, the on-site alternative school, and several youth serving orgs housed in the center – Alberto leveraged city funding to launch the ALL ACCESS after school arts program and co-founded the FEEST (Food Education, Empowerment and Sustainability Team) program with local youth. Alberto became director of YCAC until 2011. Following an eight-month indigenous prayer run/pilgrimage from Alaska to Guatemala, Alberto served as site director with Communities in Schools in 2012, directing academic/behavioral case management with a team of social workers at Denny Middle School. He also led programming including multilingual parent workshops, outdoor/experiential education programs and restorative justice circles.
As manager of the Dougherty Arts Center and the Zilker Hillside Theater in Austin,Texas in 2014 Alberto oversaw capital improvements that nearly doubled gallery space, upgraded technology, safety and HR process, and catalyzed dynamic community programming. As Senior Director of Community Programs at Creative Action in 2016 Alberto focused on catalyzing partnerships that increased public access, public value and advanced the mission. Internally, Alberto provided leadership in structuring people processes and advancing racial and social equity. In 2019 as manager of Cultural Funding and Investments for the City of Austin “Alberto masterfully led initiatives at EDD focused on enhancing access to cultural funding opportunities for communities of color and other communities historically excluded from city services/programs. His professional and lived experiences provided critical perspectives that guided his work and impact”. - David Gray, Assistant Director of Economic Development. Most recently Alberto served as Chief Operations Officer/Deputy Director at the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures, where he managed all staff, programs and operations. Currently Alberto is principal consultant with Tequio Community Works.
Roberto Bedoya is the Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Oakland, where he recently shepherded its Cultural Plan, Belonging in Oakland: a Cultural Development Plan. Throughout his career, Bedoya has consistently supported artist-centered cultural practices and advocated for expanded definitions of inclusion and belonging in the cultural sector. His essays, “U.S. Cultural Policy; Its Politics of Participation, Its Creative Potential;” “Creative Placemaking and the Politics of Belonging and Dis-Belonging;” and “Spatial Justice: Rasquachification, Race and the City,” have reframed the discussion on cultural policy to shed light on exclusionary practices in cultural policy decision making. Prior to his work in Oakland, he was the Executive Director of the Tucson Pima Arts Council (Tucson, AZ), where he established the innovative P.L.A.C.E (People, Land, Arts, Culture and Engagement) initiative, which supported art-based civic engagement/creative placemaking projects. He is the author of The Ballad of Cholo Dandy, a poetry chapbook (Chax Press, Tucson AZ ) and has contributed poems to publications about visual artists James Luna, Daniel J Martinez, Dario Robelto, and the artists group Postcommodity. Bedoya has been a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Research Institute, a Rockefeller Fellow at New York University, and a Creative Placemaking Fellow at Arizona State University. He is the recipient of the United States Artist 2021 Berresford Prize.