Jamie Bennett has been the Executive Director of ArtPlace America since January 2014. Previously, Jamie served as Chief of Staff at the National Endowment for the Arts and Chief of Staff at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. He has also provided strategic counsel at the Agnes Gund Foundation; served as chief of staff to the President of Columbia University; and worked in fundraising at The Museum of Modern Art, the New York Philharmonic, and Columbia College. His past nonprofit affiliations have included the Board of Directors of Art21 and the HERE Arts Center; the Foot-in-the-Door Committee of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation; and Studio in a School’s Associates Committee. Jamie received his B.A. from Columbia College in New York City.
Sarah Calderon is the Managing Director of ArtPlace America. Previously, Sarah Calderon was the Executive Director of Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education (Bronx, NY) from 2008-2015. During her tenure, she has overseen the opening of a new, 90,000-square-foot facility for the Center's arts and education programming and developed partnerships with organizations ranging from Lincoln Center to the NYC Housing Authority. Before joining Casita, Sarah founded and ran Stickball Printmedia Arts in East Harlem a printmaking and digital arts organization for youth. Prior to that she was with the NYC Department of Education creating the Annual Arts in Schools Report - a data collection, analysis, and reporting effort for arts education in NYC's public schools and MPR Associates working as a consultant, managing research and evaluation projects from design through publication. Sarah has also worked as a teaching artist in Chicago, Oakland and New York City. Sarah holds a BFA in printmaking and a BA in psychology from the University of Michigan; and an M.Ed. in arts education from Harvard University.
Lyz Crane is the Deputy Director for ArtPlace America. Previously, she served as the Communications Director at ArtHome, an organization that helps artists and their communities build assets and equity through financial literacy; and the Director of Program Development and Program Manager of the Shifting Sands Initiative at Partners for Livable Communities, a national nonprofit leadership organization working to improve the livability of communities by promoting quality of life, economic development, and social equity. In 2009, Crane was named a ‘Next City Vanguard’ by urban affairs magazine Next City. She received her MPA in policy analysis from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and her BA in Urban Studies and Sociology from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Adam Erickson is the Director of Communications for ArtPlace America. From 2013 to 2016, Adam was the Senior Program Manager at the Aspen Institute Arts Program, where he brought together leading voices from a variety of sectors, including arts, philanthropy, government, business, and education with the purpose of accelerating artist-driven social change, service, and innovation in the United States. Adam and his team presented over 500 speakers in 150 events — including panels, roundtables, strategy groups, conferences, film screenings, exhibitions, performances, and education initiatives — to an audience of 25,000 people. He also oversaw administrative operations for the Arts Program, and was a member of the Institute’s Diversity Committee. Adam is originally from the Twin Cities, where he served as Assistant to the Chief Curator at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and as Executive Assistant to the President at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. He recently completed the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania and National Arts Strategies, and has been a visual artist nearly all his life.
Marirosa García is the Social Media Manager at ArtPlace America. Before she came to work for ArtPlace she worked for Penguin Young Readers (part of Penguin Random House Publishing) as an Assistant Marketing Manager, working on several New York Times bestselling books such as The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and the Legend series by Marie Lu. Marirosa got her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and her debut novel, Even If the Sky Falls, from Katherine Tegen Books (an imprint of Harper Collins Publishing) is currently out in the world.
Jamie Hand brings a background in landscape architecture, project management, and grantmaking to her role as ArtPlace's Director of Research Strategies. Previously, she served as a Design Specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts, where she launched and managed Our Town - the agency’s signature creative placemaking grant program - and oversaw the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design programs. Jamie also worked closely with the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force to develop the Rebuild by Design competition brief and team selection. Prior to her federal service, Jamie was Program Director at the Van Alen Institute in New York where she led large-scale design competitions focused on building social, economic, and ecological resilience for Gateway National Recreation Area (Envisioning Gateway) and the Lower Mississippi River Delta (Changing Course). Jamie started her career in the Bay Area as a research assistant and project manager for public artist Topher Delaney. Jamie is coeditor and author of Gateway: Visions for an Urban National Park (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011), and currently serves on the board of IOBY. Jamie holds degrees from Princeton University's School of Architecture and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She was raised at West Point, which to this day fuels her passions both for place and for public service.
Leila Tamari is Program Officer for the National Creative Placemaking Fund at ArtPlace America. Prior to ArtPlacekft, Leila was Programming Coordinator at Creative Time for over three years, where she led various engagement initiatives and produced a diverse range of major public art projects in New York City, from solo artist commissions such as Suzanne Lacy’s Between the Door and the Street (2013) and Kara Walker’s A Subtlety… (2014) to group shows like Funk, God, Jazz, & Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn (2014). Prior to her career in the arts non-profit sector, Leila was trained as a visual artist. She received her B.A. from Smith College in Art History with a Museums Concentration, and while there, she collaborated with notable artists Rick Lowe and Wendy Ewald, which led her to produce public art projects on a larger scale in her native town–New York City. With a budding passion for exploring public art practices globally, Leila presented her field research on public art spaces in Israel and Palestine at the 2011 Social Theory, Politics and the Arts Conference. Currently Leila co-hosts a radio show about the not to distant future, Hyperopia 20/30, on bel-air.org.
F. Javier Torres is the Director of National Grantmaking at ArtPlace America. In his role he is responsible for building a comprehensive set of demonstration projects that illustrate the many ways in which arts and culture can strengthen the processes and outcomes of the planning and development field across the United States. Thanks to ArtPlace he has travelled across 48 states in the last 3 years and visited a wide variety of community contexts. This travel has expanded his interest in the networks and knowledge sets necessary to sustain creative placemaking as a practice over time.
Prior to his role at ArtPlace, Javier was Senior Program Officer for Arts and Culture at the Boston Foundation where he led an exploration of the role of culture as a tool for transformation, sustainability, and as central to the development of vibrant communities. Javier spent six years as the Director of Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, a program of IBA, a community based multi-disciplinary arts complex that operates as a regional presenter and local programmer for Latino arts. Currently, he is a board member for Grantmakers in the Arts and an advisory board member for the Design Studio for Social Intervention. He has previously served as a board member for the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, MASSCreative, was a member of the MA Governor’s Creative Economy Council and Chair for the Boston Cultural Council.
Justin is the Grants Manager for ArtPlace America. Previously, he worked at OPERA America as Artistic Services Coordinator where he managed professional development activities for artists and was integral to grant administration, programming, visa support, and production. Prior to that, he worked within several arts organizations and nonprofits including Merkin Concert Hall at The Kaufman Center, Opera Singers Initiative, and the Clinton Foundation. A classically trained musician himself, Justin has sung with various choruses around New York, and been involved with the Virginia Opera, Opera Theater Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Opera. Beyond his work in the arts, he was a Co-Founder and the primary marketing officer for Climafy, a clean-tech company focused on affordable residential retrofits, from 2009 to 2015. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hampton University, and a Master’s degree in Social-Organizational Psychology from Teachers College Columbia University.
Sarah has been working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector for most of her professional career. Her last role was as the creative manager at the MS Society, a UK-based membership organization for people affected by multiple sclerosis. As well as seeing creative campaigns through from concept to delivery, she also managed a bi- monthly magazine, working with a team of community writers and bloggers. Sarah worked with a UK Government department to produce materials to help people with chronic health conditions stay in work. She has also run storytelling training, managed messaging, and taught writing for many organizations including the British Dyslexia Foundation, the Federation of Small Business and most recently, the NYC chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice — where she is the volunteer Communications Coordinator. Sarah comes to ArtPlace from London, England, and holds a post graduate qualification in Journalism as well as a BA in English Literature.