I’m proud to welcome our first-ever Createquity Writing Fellows from the West Coast: Kelly Dylla and Jackie Hasa. These two ladies will be holding forth with some frequency between now and July. Because I select a small number of writers at a time based primarily on ability, I sometimes get oddly poetic intersections in interests. In addition to their nearly-rhyming names, it turns out both Kelly and Jackie will be writing extensively about audience engagement while coming at it from significantly different perspectives. Below, you’ll find a fuller introduction to each. I can’t wait to share their writing with you.

I was first introduced to Kelly Dylla by none other than Laura Zucker, irrepressible leader of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and Createquity superfan, who sensed that we would be “simpatico.” She was right: Kelly is the co-founder of a great organization called Arts Enterprise that connects artists with business school students, something that I had wanted to do at business school but (as with many of my ideas) never got around to. These days, Kelly is a Los Angeles-based arts consultant specializing in community and audience engagement. From 2009- 2011 she led the Pacific Symphony’s audience engagement program to deepen and broaden audiences’ experiences with orchestral repertoire, a position funded in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In this role, Kelly initiated and produced a county-wide public art project and awareness campaign, OC Can You Play?, leading to over 80 community performances throughout Orange County via online crowdsourcing tools. Prior to her work as an arts consultant and administrator, Kelly was a teaching artist for major arts institutions including the Lincoln Center Institute and New York Philharmonic. A graduate of The Juilliard School with a master of music in viola performance, Kelly also holds a bachelor of music from Rice University and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She was awarded the Ross Innovation Award for co-founding Arts Enterprise in 2006.

Jackie Hasa brings to Createquity a deep background in the red-hot topic of games in the arts – specifically, street games. Jackie views the arts as holding the potential for both consumptive pleasure and empowering production, and is particularly interested in forms that allow audience members to become creators themselves.  She lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she serves as Communications and Community Engagement Director for Come Out and Play San Francisco, an annual festival of street games.  Other projects include SFZero’s Journey to the End of the Night street game, which attracted 1,800 participants in 2011 to race across the city on Halloween, and the more recently formed Wanderers Union, a long-distance, non-competitive wandering club.  A generalist through and through, she has also worked in programming, publicity, and development for the San Francisco/Bay Area Emerging Arts ProfessionalsYerba Buena Center for theArts, and the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and currently works at Harder+Company Community Research in business development.  In the future, she hopes to not only develop dynamic programs, but also work to strengthen the cultural institutions so necessary for their effective implementation and expansion.

Let’s give a warm welcome to Kelly and Jackie!