THE TEAM

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RANDY
ENGSTROM

(He/Him)

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.

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DANIELLE BRAZELL

(She/Her)

Senior Advisor

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.

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JEN
COLE

(She/Her)

Senior Advisor

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. 

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ELISHEBA JOHNSON

(She/They)

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. 

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HOLLIS
WONG-WEAR

(She/Her)

Partner

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. 

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ESTRELLA
ESQUILIN

(She/Her)

Partner

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.

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CALANDRA
CHILDERS

(She/Her)

Partner

Calandra has more than 15 years’ experience in the cultural sector, with specific focus in cultural policy, communications strategy, strategic initiatives and team development. In her most recent position, she has held executive leadership positions with the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, where she worked collaboratively with the director, senior leadership team, fellow departments and elected officials to position the Office’s programs. In 2019, she oversaw and managed the renovation and cultural activation of a vacant train station into a cultural hub, ARTS at King Street Station, culminating in a 10,000 sq ft gallery, artist studio, meeting spaces, and offices in Downtown Seattle.  Previously, Calandra was with the Seattle Art Museum where, as the museum’s spokesperson, she was responsible for press coverage for three museum locations, building social networking strategies and digital media content, overseeing marketing plans for exhibitions and programs.  Prior to SAM, she was the Director of Communications for the Renton Chamber of Commerce where she wrote and managed all Chamber communications in support of economic development. Calandra received her BA in English from Whitman College, and lives in Seattle with her husband and dogs.

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(She/Her)

Project Manager

Bio coming soon...

VI
NGUYEN