Jan Williamson is the Executive Director of the 18th Street Arts Center. She came to the Center during its fifth year in 1995. Under her leadership 18SAC has evolved from a small, alternative artist-run space to Southern California’s largest artist residency center, working with diverse local and international artists who provoke public dialogue through their art making. During her tenure, the organization purchased 18SAC’s 1.25-acre property and Williamson has been leading the planning and fundraising efforts for the renovation and redevelopment of the site. Williamson holds a certificate from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 2010, she was awarded a Durfee Foundation Sabbatical Fellowship for her executive leadership in the arts. For nine years she served on Santa Monica City’s Arts Commission. She currently serves on the board of Arts For LA a regional arts advocacy agency.
Prior to 18th Street Arts Center Williamson worked for visual artist Tom Van Sant for four years on his revolutionary artwork The GeoSphere Project – the first satellite composite map of the Earth, free of clouds, and for performance artist, Barbara T. Smith. As an artist, Williamson co-founded and produced EWALA (Earth Water Air-Los Angeles) an annual performance art trek with playwright Susan Suntree, which engaged hundreds of Angelenos from 1994 to 2000 in honoring the Los Angeles River watershed while drawing public attention to threatened environmental areas along the river. She was also a founding member of the eco-political street theatre troupe FrogWorks, which performed original works nationally on the plight of California’s wetlands.
Anuradha Vikram is a writer, curator, and educator. Her research focus is transnational futurism, combining media studies, theory of globalization, and critical race discourse with modern and contemporary art history. Recent publications include “‘Naked in the Sight of the Object’: Masking, Masquerade, and Black Identity” (X-TRA, vol. 18 no. 4, Summer 2016), “Becoming Human: Nam June Paik’s Futuristic Compassion” (X-TRA, vol. 18 no. 1, Fall 2015), “A Brief and Incomplete History of Art and Technology Ventures in the Bay Area 1980-2010” (Afterimage, vol. 41, no. 6, Summer 2014), and “Sonya Rapoport: A Woman’s Place is in the Studio” (Sonya Rapoport: Pairings of Polarities. Berkeley: Heyday, 2012). She has contributed essays to Leonardo, KCET Artbound, Artillery, Hyperallergic, Daily Serving, and OPEN SPACE, the blog of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Vikram holds an MA in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts and a BS in Studio Art from New York University. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Graduate Public Practice program at Otis College of Art and Design, and a member of the Board of Directors of the College Art Association.
Sue Bell Yank
Director of Communications and Outreach
Sue Bell Yank is an arts educator, producer, and writer. She has worked in arts, entertainment, and public schools for over a decade. After working as an elementary school teacher in South LA, she became frustrated with the lack of arts, and the systemic forces that made it nearly impossible to effectively integrate arts into her classroom. She decided to work on arts education from the other side, and became Associate Director of Academic Programs at the Hammer Museum, working with students, artists, and forming city-wide partnerships triangulating communities, the arts, and schools. She became interested in the enormous potential of interactive digital platforms to increase arts access, and began working for the Oprah Winfrey Network as the Director for Online Education to discover how pop culture and technology could reach so many people. Now, she wants to bring all of those experiences together to create accessible dialogue around contemporary art for all communities, supporting artists in making their work and share it with a broader public.
Assistant Operations Manager
As Assistant Operations Manager at 18th Street Arts Center, Haroon Dasti brings a passion for public service and an interest in cultural exploration through the arts. While a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, he worked alongside local counterparts in campaigns against the guinea worm and trachoma diseases, and managed the construction of a rural health clinic. After returning to the US, Dasti completed his Master of Public Administration at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Later, he traveled to Togo for his practicum and collaborated with environmental NGO Les Amis de la Terre to evaluate their potable water project in the Fiokpo region.
From 2011 to 2013 Dasti worked for RTI International as the Logistics Manager of USAID’s Millennium Water and Sanitation Program in Senegal. Aside from coordinating the program’s logistical needs, he implemented an innovative and empowering community-based approach to address sanitation issues in rural areas.
During his travels in West Africa Dasti has had the pleasure of connecting with many local artists, both learning from them and helping them promote their work.
Director of Development
Joy Kliewer is the Director of Development at 18th Street Arts Center, where she oversees fundraising and donor outreach, events, and engagement. She has spent the last two decades in development, leadership, organizational planning, and research. Among her appointments, Kliewer has served as Development Director at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, Director of Advancement at Mirman School for Gifted Children, and Director of Institutional Advancement at Fountain Valley School of Colorado. She previously was Associate Vice President for Advancement at Pitzer College and Director of Alumni and Donor Relations at Claremont Graduate University, where she received her PhD in Higher Education and launched the arts and cultural events series in collaboration with MFA alumni.
Kliewer was founding Dean of the College of Education and Assistant Professor at Argosy University Orange County, and Assistant to the Executive Vice President for Distance Learning and Educational Outreach at Western University of Health Sciences.
In addition to her PhD, she received a master’s degree in Higher Education at University of California, Los Angeles, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology at University of California, Irvine. She is the author of the book, The Innovative Campus: Nurturing the Distinctive Learning Environment (American Council on Education/Greenwood Press).
Kliewer is passionate about philanthropy and innovation, and working with 18th Street’s leading edge artist residency programs and creative community.
Pacific Standard Time Research Assistant
Betty Marín is an artist, educator, and social justice worker from Wilmington, CA. Her work centers on creating educational spaces that encourage dialogue and solidarity between different communities. Based in her home city of Los Angeles, she is currently exploring the theory and practice of popular education by organizing tenants, through a community oral history project, and through a reading group examining solidarity across racial difference. She also recently edited a book called Art and Education, published in 2014 by Publication Studio, where she is in conversation with Pablo Helguera and Luis Camnitzer on the theory and practice that connect these two disciplines.
Jeny Amaya is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker whose recent body of work explores the Salvadoran diaspora experience in the California. She is a 2015 Porter College Undergraduate Fellowship recipient and a recipient of the Princess Grace Film Scholarship.
Amaya’s work has been featured in the Santa Cruz Museum of Art, Porter Sesnon Underground Gallery, and in 2014’s Santa Cruz Film Festival. Jeny graduated from the University of California in Santa Cruz, studying Latin American and Latino Studies and Film and Digital Media.
Andrew is the founder of the EarthWays Foundation in Malibu, California, as well as several other nonprofit social justice and environmental organizations. His foundation has initiated projects to protect wilderness and assist threatened communities in South, Central and North America. Andrew is also author of the book Consciousness in Action. His personal interest continues to focus on potential solutions to our ecological problems by dealing with the issues of poverty in the third world, consumption in our country, expanding human population, specific environmental problems, and the undeniable interconnectedness of all these things. EarthWays projects are meant to be a catalyst for personal and global awareness, and social and environmental activism.
Joan Abrahamson is president of the Jefferson Institute, a public policy institute that identifies and implements innovative approaches to current policy problems. She was assistant chief of staff to Vice President George H. W. Bush from 1981 to 1985. She has also worked with the U.N. Human Rights Commission and UNESCO’s Division of Human Rights and Peace, where she designed new procedures for the treatment of alleged violations of human rights. She planned and implemented the Vienna International Congress on the Teaching of Human Rights and the International Symposium on the Political Participation of Women. In 1985 she was named a MacArthur Fellow. She is president of the Jonas Salk Foundation and founding chair of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
Jonathan Aronson is professor of communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California as well as professor of international relations. He also is on the board of the Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis. His two most recent books (with P. Cowhey) are Digital DNA: Disruption and the Challenges for Global Governance (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Transforming Global Information and Communication Markets: The Political Economy of Innovation (MIT, 2009). He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served as president of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs. Aronson received his degrees from Stanford (1976) and Harvard (1971). He received an honorary doctorate from St. Petersburg State University, Russia, in 2000.
Alice Salinas is an affordable housing consultant and activist. Her commitment to housing the homeless and very low income individuals stems from the many years of working with poor families in addressing their needs for decent and safe shelter. She also works with homeless advocates assisting them with permanent solutions to the issue of chronic homelessness. Alice was born and raised in LA and is a graduate of the Occidental College and UCLA. She has one sister, two brothers and is the daughter of a United Auto Worker.
Born in Los Angeles but grew up in Colombia, Janine Arbelaez is a private practice Marriage & Family therapist in Santa Monica. Her past experience includes serving MOCA on the board of the Contemporaries Council from 2001-2010, as Vice President from 2007-2010, and also as Education Co-Chair (2004-2007) and Members at-Large Co-Chair (2001-2005) and also serving the Santa Monica Museum of Art from 2007-2009 on the Incognito Committee. Currently she serves on the board of the Contemporary Craft Council at CAFAM and also the Acquisitions Committee for MOLAA both since 2012. Janine brings a breadth of knowledge of Contemporary Latin American Art as a collector and avid supporter.
Susanna Bixby Dakin
A native California writer and sculptor, Susanna Bixby Dakin is a co-founder of 18th Street Arts Center and the former publisher of High Performance Magazine. Susanna has also been instrumental and an sustaining figure over many decades in family and indigenous farmers’ rights, nuclear disarmament, and environmental justice movements.
Malindi Davies is Vice President, Business Development & Finance at Demand Media and Saatchi Art in Santa Monica, CA. She has a Master of Business Administration, Accounting, Finance from University of Chicago and a Master of Arts in Social Organizational Psychology from Teachers College of Columbia University. Previously, Malindi was Corporate Strategy & Investor Relations for Xo Group.
Laddie John Dill
A native California visual artist, Laddie John Dill is internationally recognized with work in the permanent collections of over 25 museums. He has extensive teaching experience at Cal Arts, Otis Art Institute and the Santa Monica College of Design, Art and Architecture.
Lori Harris is a lawyer for and for the past 14 years has served as a Deputy Public Defender in Los Angeles. She currently advocates on the behalf of youth incarcerated in the state prisons. Her past experience includes working in the arts as an administrator, producer, and board member for Inner City Cultural Center and Kaos Networks. She was the founding president of Art Against Apartheid.
Alexandra Grant is a Los Angeles-based artist who uses language, literature and exchanges with writers as the basis for her work in painting, drawing, sculpture and photography. Grant’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LAMCA), among other museums and galleries. She has collaborated with artists and writers including philosopher and playwright Hélène Cixous, hypertext pioneer Michael Joyce, and actor and writer Keanu Reeves. Grant is also recognized for her philanthropic grantLOVE project (www.grantlove.com), which produces and sells original artworks and editions to benefit artist projects and arts non-profits. You can read more about Alexandra Grant at www.alexandragrant.com.
Jim Suhr, principal of James Suhr & Associates LLC, has focused on urban infill development of all product types throughout his career in Southern California real estate. His thirty-two years in the field encompass experience in acquisitions, entitlements, development and asset management of a wide range of land uses. Jim has been involved in developing a number of transit-oriented mixed-use projects, including Washington National Station in Culver City and Wilshire Vermont Station in Koreatown, as well as industrial, office, apartment, condominium and historic rehab projects in markets across Southern California. Prior to forming JSA, he held positions with BRE Properties, Newhall Land & Farming, Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., and The Ratkovich Company. He is a graduate of UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and School of Urban Planning.