OUR TEAM

LEADERSHIP

Executive DIRECTOR

Eola Lewis Dance

What do you make?
I seek to make an impact and create memories
What is the future?
Full of possibilities
Where were you born?
Hampton, VA
Where are you based?
Hampton is home, and Washington, DC is home away from home
Where do you belong?
With the people…near the water, where there is amazing food and conversation
Fantasy League Roundtable:
You ask a cultural historian to only choose (4), well…since this is fantasy I’d start with my dream team from the past…Nzinga Mbande, Meta Fuller, WEB Dubois, and Zora Neale Hurston

STAFF

Wikimedia Director

Eliza Myrie

What do you make?
sculptures and prints
What is the future?
is there a future?
Where were you born?
New York
Where are you based?
Chicago
Where do you belong?
by the sea
Fantasy League Roundtable:
Sylvia Wynter, Lorraine O’Grady, Lenny Briscoe, Tracy Morgan

Finance + Operations Director

Viva Yeboah

What do you make?
Styling those numbers and peaceful moments.
What is the future?
Unfolding everyday
Where were you born?
New Orleans
Where are you based?
Chicago
Where do you belong?
hmmmmm figuring that out
Fantasy League Roundtable:
Helina Metaferia
Rutina Wesley
Maryse Condé
Mia Young aka Mia X

sylvan

inspiration

Sylvan Palm Valentine

What do you make?
robots, music
What is the future?
hoverboards for $1
Where were you born?
Chapel Hill, NC
Where are you based?
Chicago, IL
Where do you belong?
At the beach.
Fantasy League Roundtable:
to come…

Transcriber

Miwa Lee

What do you make?
Primarily drawings, food, and messes, but I also enjoy experimenting with whatever media I can get my hands on.
What is the future?
In my experience, it is a number of wonderfully fickle potential realities that no one is entitled to experience but everyone is obligated to do what they can to improve.
Where were you born?
Chicago, IL
Where are you based?
Chicago, IL
Where do you belong?
Wherever I am needed.
Fantasy League Roundtable:
Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd, Nnedi Okorafor, Sadhguru, Indya Moore

Digital Specialist

Marlo Longley

What do you make?
I make websites and tech tools with the goal of increasing access to information and resources.
What is the future?
Another world is possible.
Where were you born?
Brunswick, Maine
Where are you based?
Oakland, California
Where do you belong?
Ocean or forest.
Fantasy League Roundtable:
Activists and artists who supported past struggles like James Baldwin, Grace Lee Boggs, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Lou Sullivan.

Finance + Operations assistant

Ericha Hernandez

What do you make? Numbers make sense
What is the future? Hopefully the future is a place where my kids can receive the same treatment as others, no matter their gender or race.
Where were you born? Bethlehem, PA
Where are you based? Prosper, TX
Where do you belong? Wherever my family is
Fantasy League Roundtable
Maya Angelou, Cicely Tyson, Rosa Parks, Michelle Obama

Digital collections manager

Marian Ekweogwu

What do you make?
Words and laughter.
What is the future?
A dark place waiting for the light each person can bring.
Where were you born?
Springfield.
Where are you based?
Los Angeles.
Where do you belong?
A clean but crowded study, with a slight reek of old books and recently smoked herbs.
Fantasy League Roundtable:
Ursula Le Guin, Octavia Butler, The widow Kang from The Years of Rice and Salt, and the One.

Digital deveoper + technology manager

Shawne Michaelain Holloway

What do you make?
I make software, experimental electronic music, and video installations!
What is the future?
Another chance.
Where were you born?
On an air force base in Ohio.
Where are you based?
CHI / RVA
Where do you belong?
Risa
Fantasy League Roundtable:
Cheryl Clarke, Pauli Murray, Guinan, Captain Sisko

Audio Engineer + Mixer

Issam Mesfioui

What do you make?
I do my best to make your life easier by editing your favorite podcast and taking you on a journey through sound aesthetics.
What is the future?
The future for me is the present, because i really believe that we all are exactly where we need to be
Where were you born?
Meknes, Morocco
Where are you based?Rabat, Morocco
Where do you belong?
Sound waves …
Fantasy League Roundtable
my grandparents, Maya Angelou, Zaha Hadid. (Can I have one more seat please for Mr. Quincy Jones?)

Communications + Web Designer

Joey Rodriguez

What do you make?
Intergalactic beats.
What is the future?
A place for art and music beyond our home.
Where were you born?
Flushing, NY
Where are you based?
Astoria, NY
Where do you belong?
In my own space.
Fantasy League Roundtable:
Joe Strummer, Zdzislaw Beksinski, Akira Kurosawa, Jack Horner

Jennifer IMG_7451

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Jennifer Heslop

What do you make?
I make people feel sure about their ability to accomplish everything they put their mind and body to.
What is the future?
No such thing. Time as we know it is a construct to explain the unexplainable.
Where were you born?
Dusseldorf, Germany.
Where are you based?
For now? Miami, FL
Where do you belong?
Everywhere. Cause I BE.
Fantasy League Roundtable
Russell Brand, Mike Tyson, Vandana Shiva, any one of my ancestors who rides with me (I’ve got a lot of questions).

kearra

Project Assistant

Kearra Gopee

What do you make?
Installation/video/photo/writing.
What is the future?
The present.
Where were you born?
Miami, FL.
Where are you based?
Los Angeles, CA.
Where do you belong?
Nowhere, really.
Fantasy League Roundtable:
Zoé Samudzi, Belkis Ayón, M. Jacqui Alexander, Dionne Brand.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Board of Directors

Alice Gray Stites

Alice Gray Stites is Museum Director and Chief Curator at 21c Museum Hotels, a multi-venue museum now located in nine cities across the U.S. Stites curates exhibitions, site-specific commissions, and a range of cultural programming at all 21c Museum Hotels. Under Stites’s leadership, 21c has collaborated with artists and other cultural organizations worldwide, including Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, North Carolina Museum of Art, Speed Art Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Creative Capital Foundation, FotoFocus, Creative Time, ArtPrize, Pen & Brush, For Freedoms, EXPO Chicago, Warhol Museum, and others. Since opening in Louisville in 2006, 21c has presented over 100 exhibitions. Recently, Stites has curated Seeing Now; Albano Alfonso: Self-Portrait As Light; Labor&Materials, Fallen Fruit: The Practices of Everyday LifeThe Future is Female; Truth or Dare: A Reality Show; Dress Up, Speak Up: Regalia and Resistance; The SuperNatural; Refuge; This We Believe, and others.

Advisory Council

Nicole Caruth

For more than 20 years, Nicole has worked with artists and art spaces to present exhibitions and develop public engagement initiatives. Her work examines race, place, food, and health and how all these aspects of life intersect. Her exhibitions include The Grace Jones ProjectBurning Down the House: Building a Feminist Art CollectionFallen Fruit: Power of People, Power of PlaceDerrick Adams: Crossroad—A Social Sculpture; and Build Better Tables. She’s held posts at Art21, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, and the Brooklyn Museum. She was a recipient of the 2017 Diversity + Leadership Fellowship with the Alliance of Artists Communities, and a 2019 Arts Writers Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital.

Board of Directors

Lisa Dent

Lisa Dent is an advocate for living artists and cultural workers. Her background includes work in film, theater and the visual arts as a curator, gallerist, writer, production designer and creative producer. She is the Executive Director of Artspace New Haven, a nonprofit for contemporary art. Previously, Dent was the director of resources & award programs at Creative Capital leading the financial and advisory services programs, advising artists on the full realization of their projects. Dent was a Helena Rubenstein Fellow at the MoMA and held curatorial staff positions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. From 2004-08, Lisa owned Lisa Dent Gallery in San Francisco where she presented the work of emerging and mid-career international artists. Dent received her BFA from Howard University, her MFA from NYU, and completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in curatorial studies.

Board of Directors

Hasan Elahi

Hasan Elahi is an artist whose work examines issues of surveillance, citizenship, migration, transport, and the challenges of borders and frontiers. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions at venues such as SITE Santa Fe, Centre Georges Pompidou, the Sundance Film Festival, the Gwangju Biennale, and the Venice Biennale. His work is frequently in the media and has been covered by The New York Times, Forbes, Wired, and has appeared on Al Jazeera, Fox News, and The Colbert Report. Elahi has spoken about his work to a broad range of audiences such as Tate Modern, Einstein Forum, the American Association of Artificial Intelligence, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, TED, and the World Economic Forum. His recent awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship, grants from Creative Capital, Art Matters Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, and he is a recipient of a Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award. He is currently Professor and Director of the School of Art at George Mason University.

Advisory Council

Ryan Horne

Ryan has worked with BLT since 2016 and is UCLA’s Sinai Manuscripts Digital Library Data/Metadata Coordinator. He came to UCLA from the University of Pittsburgh where he served as Research Associate in the World History Center. There, his work focused on developing open data standards to describe and model historical artifacts, geography, and events in order to visualize and inform our understanding of the social, political, and economic networks at play. Prior to this position, Ryan served as Director of the Ancient World Mapping Center at UNC-Chapel Hill and he currently serves as an Associate Editor of the Pleiades gazetteer of ancient places, an authoritative source for data on over 35,000 ancient locations in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Ryan received his Ph.D. in Ancient History from UNC-Chapel Hill. 

Advisory Council

Sarah Workneh

In 2020, Sarah Workneh will mark 10 years as Co-Director at Skowhegan. Prior to her tenure, Sarah was the Associate Director of Ox-Bow, School of Art & Artists’ Residency for 9 years. Primarily focused on the educational program, and off-season programming with Alumni, Sarah leads all efforts to support artists in the expansion of their practices. Understanding the holistic nature of the program, Sarah oversees the admissions process, facilities usage and expansion under Skowhegan’s Master Plan, as well as the educational daily life on campus. Sarah has published a variety of texts — most recently an essay on participatory education and a catalog essay on radical education published by the New Museum. She serves on the boards of Colby College Museum of Art, RAIR in Philadelphia, and the Somerset County Cultural Planning Commission. She has just joined the Black Lunch Table as a member of the Founding Board of Directors and is currently partnering with Linda Goode Bryant & Project Eats to convert an urban farm to a food pantry in Brownsville, NYC.

CO-FOUNDER + BOARD OF DIRECTORS, EMERITUS

jina valentine

What do you make?
paper, ink, plans for future projects, and a small human (below)
What is the future?
a promise, a hope
Where were you born?
Philadelphia
Where are you based?
Chicago
Where do you belong?
nowhere
Fantasy League Roundtable:
children + elders

co-Founder + board of directors, emerituS

Heather Hart

What do you make?
echoes.
What is the future?
faith.
Where were you born?
Seattle
Where are you based?
Brooklyn
Where do you belong?
in the threshold.
Fantasy League Roundtable:
all of the folks on this page. <3