Though Createquity remains a welterweight when it comes to overall budget size, our mighty team continues to grow. We’re excited to announce nine new advisors, managers, and associates who have been expanding our networks, smarts, and operational capacities since last fall:

  • Carlos Manjarrez and John Paxson have joined the Createquity Advisory Council, our dream team of movers and shakers who guide our work moving forward. They each bring decades of experience and a deep well of research and media expertise to our expanding cohort of advisors.
  • We now have a full complement of functional managers with the addition of Rebecca Ratzkin as our Research Team Leader and Jack Crager as Managing Editor. These new leadership positions have increased our ability to comprehensively review the latest arts research – culminating in our forthcoming inaugural Research Prize – and to regularly publish engaging content.
  • We’re also pleased to announce the expansion of our volunteer corps of contributing associates. This group has doubled in size over the past six months, greatly increasing our capacity in screening research, content curation, and audience engagement. Our newest team members are: Daniel Arnow, Ally Duffey, Sarah Frankland, Teresa Koberstein, Miguelina Nuñez, and Michael Spicher. We look forward to continuing to work with these talented contributors.

Meet the new Createquity team members:

ADVISORY COUNCIL

Carlos A. ManjarrezCarlos A. Manjarrez has more than 20 years of policy research experience. He is a principal and co-founder of NovaKultura Consulting, a cultural and social policy research firm.  He also serves as the director of the Office of Data Governance and Analysis at the Legal Services Corporation, where he heads a research team focused on civil legal aid and access for low-income families. Manjarrez was the founding director of the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, overseeing the only statistical program focused on cultural data in the United States federal statistical system. He has worked on more than 30 national surveys of individuals and institutions, and his research teams are responsible for making more than 80 data files open and accessible through data catalogs and DATA.GOV. He has received support for his research from a variety of foundations and public agencies including the National Science Foundation, Kimsey Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Department of Housing and Urban Development, the United States Agency for International Development, and The World Bank Group. Manjarrez is a Ph.D. student in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Maryland, College Park, focusing on local economic development and cultural sustainability.

John PaxsonJohn Paxson an Emmy Award–winning journalist, writer and educator. He began his career as a radio correspondent with the Voice of America in Washington, DC, and Chicago before moving to CBS News where he has worked in a variety of roles in radio and television in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. A former vice president at CBS News, Paxson served for nearly ten years as the network’s London bureau chief, responsible for coverage across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia; he directed wartime coverage in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In the US, he worked as the head of news for Northwest Public Radio which broadcasts across the Pacific Northwest and founded an innovative boot camp for journalism students at Washington State University. He lives on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

RESEARCH TEAM LEADER

Rebecca Ratzkin headshotRebecca Ratzkin has worked as a researcher and consultant in the nonprofit sector for over the past ten years, helping organizations, foundations and government agencies better understand how people engage with and are affected by arts and culture. Her interest and skills focus on bridging theory and practice, as well as empowering others to conduct and utilize research independent of “experts.” In her role as Senior Consultant at WolfBrown, she directed the Arts Research Collaborative (ARC) for the Hewlett Foundation Performing Arts Program from 2012 to 2015, and works with a range of clients from culturally specific and community-based organizations to large institutions and private foundations. Currently, Ratzkin is continuing her work in capacity building, research and evaluation as Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation at Special Service for Groups, where her projects include technical assistance for California Reducing Disparities Project addressing mental health disparities in Asian American Pacific Islander populations, and evaluation and capacity building for CONTRA-TIEMPO’s innovative From Movement to Movements: Creating Art & Action in South LA program, fostering social connection and community activism through dance. Rebecca is co-author of numerous reports, including Making Sense of Audience Engagement, Understanding the Intrinsic Impact of Live Theatre (part of Counting New Beans), Jazz Audience Initiative Study, and It’s Not About You…It’s About Them: Fund for Artists Donor Study. Rebecca graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Oberlin College with major in art history, and has a master’s in urban planning from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, where she studied economic clusters of arts organizations in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles.

MANAGING EDITOR

Jack CragerJack Crager is a freelance writer, editor, and content manager based in New York City. He’s a former managing editor of American Photo magazine and editor of Graphis, international journal of design and visual communication. Crager writes about visual arts, music, sports and fitness, and related topics for a variety of print and online publications. He earned bachelor degrees in English and journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. On the side he is a singer-songwriter, strummer, and marathoner. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter and their loyal mutt.

CONTRIBUTING ASSOCIATES

As a cultural worker in New York City, Daniel Arnow has a background in nonprofit arts programming, management and development; he has worked in arts education, creative aging, and producing organizations. Arnow holds a masters in Urban Planning from Pratt Institute with a focus on participatory planning, community development, and arts policy. Daniel recently joined The Actors Fund as Director of Affordable Housing Initiatives. Previously, he served as the Director of Programming at JazzReach where he focused on widening audiences for Jazz and as Executive Director at Meredith Monk’s organization, The House Foundations for the Arts. Arnow continues his own artistic practice as a bass player and composer.

Ally Duffey is an MBA candidate at Wisconsin School of Business, Bolz Center for Arts Administration. Originally from Dallas, she attended Barnard College, Columbia University where she earned a BA in dance and art history. Ally is interested in helping to build fiscally and organizationally strong performing arts organizations that are able to maximize their opportunities for creativity and innovation by building audiences and awareness for the arts across emerging platforms. Prior to returning to graduate school, she spent six years working in fundraising and marketing for dance companies in roles at the Cunningham Dance Foundation, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and Pilobolus.

Sarah Frankland provides strategic cultural relations advice to local and international arts organizations, as well as foreign governments, with a focus on the transatlantic relationship.  Sarah served as the British Council’s Deputy Director and Head of Arts in the United States for twelve years. During this time she led trade missions between the US and Europe, brokered more than 100 artist tours to the US, and spearheaded several international initiatives including Cultural Leadership, Greening the Arts and the UK/US Writers in Residence. Sarah has extensive experience in arts strategy and planning as well as project management, fundraising, and communications. She has worked with arts organizations including Ford’s Theatre and the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC. She graduated from American University with an MA in Arts Management and a BA in Special History from Hull University. She is a Fellow of the UK’s Royal Society for the Arts.

Teresa Koberstein dedicates her spare time to design solutions for improving access to, and quality of, performance spaces in Portland, Oregon. She is currently the Director of Finance & Operations for Krupp Group, a public relations agency in the fashion industry based in New York City, working remotely from her home in Portland. She also serves on the board of Portland-based ensemble Hand2Mouth Theatre Company. Koberstein has contributed to performing arts facility development studies with Webb Management Services, and was a research fellow at Fractured Atlas contributing to program evaluation and various projects. Previously, she served as the communications coordinator for the National Coalition Against Censorship, advocating for artists’ free speech. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in Theatre Arts and holds a Master of Nonprofit Management from Regis University.

Miguelina Nuñez specializes in the creation and development of bi-directional and experiential visual and written narratives for rich media platforms. She has written, produced, and consulted on works for the ANZ, EMEA, LATAM, and NAM markets. In her capacity as a creative consultant concerned with the social dynamics of language change, Nuñez has been featured in multi-disciplinary works sponsored by internationally distinguished institutions including the Centre for Contemporary Arts Geneva, the Wall Street Journal, BAMCinematek, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and the Berlin International Film Festival.

Michael R. Spicher works as a writer, researcher, editor, and philosopher. For more than a decade, he has studied, written, and lectured about issues in art and aesthetics, earning a PhD in philosophy from the University of South Carolina. As an academic, he has published articles on beauty, taste, aesthetic experience, and state support for the arts. In addition to his own writing projects, he currently serves as an editor for the Leonardo Electronic Almanac (published by MIT Press), and he also started a website dedicated to ideas in aesthetics, called the Aesthetics Research Lab. He is a lecturer at Boston University in the Arts Administration graduate program, teaching a course called “Writing for the Arts.” In addition to his academic work, he is an artist, moving between painting and fiction writing. His work tends to circle around basic questions concerning meaning, nihilism, and faith.

Featured image: Fireworks by Flickr user Håkon Johansen.