ORGANIZING TEAM

A people-powered department is nothing without its people. The USDAC is an evolving act of collective imagination, conceived by many. The following people, along with our Cultural Agents and members of the National Cabinet,  are helping hold it together and bring it forth.


Office of Instigation

  Chief Instigator  (aka Deputy Secretary Norman Beckett)

Chief Instigator  (aka Deputy Secretary Norman Beckett)

Adam Horowitz is an artist, instigator, cultural organizer, and founder of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC). He’s also a co-convener of Nuns & Nones, bringing Women Religious and Millennials together in new communities of contemplation and social action. Adam was co-executive director of the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC and has worked with numerous organizations at the intersection of arts, education, and social change—Ashoka, The Future Project, and the International Folk Art Market, among others. He has traveled internationally as a theater-maker and researcher and was a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia, Artist in Residence at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and an inaugural Fellow with the Intercultural Leadership Institute and the Roddenberry Foundation

  Chief Policy Wonk

Chief Policy Wonk

Arlene Goldbard is a writer, speaker, consultant and cultural activist whose focus is the intersection of culture, politics and spirituality. Her blog and other writings may be downloaded from her Web site: www.arlenegoldbard.com. She was born in New York and grew up near San Francisco. Her two newest books on art’s public purpose—The Wave and The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future were published in spring 2013. Prior books include New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development, Community, Culture and Globalization, an international anthology published by the Rockefeller Foundation, Crossroads: Reflections on the Politics of Culture, and Clarity, a novel. Her essays have been published in In Motion Magazine, Art in America, Theatre, Tikkun, and many other journals. She has addressed many academic and community audiences in the U.S. and Europe on topics ranging from the ethics of community arts practice to the development of integral organizations. She has provided advice and counsel to hundreds of community-based organizations, independent media groups, and public and private funders and policymakers including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Independent Television Service, Appalshop and dozens of others. She serves as President of the Board of Directors of The Shalom Center

Gabrielle_headshot

Minister of Collaboration and Activation

Gabrielle Uballez is a cultural organizer, educator, and art omnivore. Her passion for equitable arts access is rooted in 20-years of experience, at every level, in community-based arts and platforms that support artists of color. She most recently served as the executive director of Working Classroom, a grassroots arts organization of which she is an alumnus.

She has served at and is associated with: the Studio Museum in Harlem; Crescendo Cultural at the National Museum of Mexican Art; the Western States Arts Federation Emerging Leaders of Color network; the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture Leadership Institute; the Creative Facilitation Gathering design team at the Academy for the Love of Learning; apprenticed under chef Zarela Martinez; grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts; and served on local community boards.

Uballez received her B.A. in Art and Art History from Pomona College and a certificate from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders.  She is a proud Latina, wife, and mother of a Chinese-Chicanx child, currently living in her hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

 
  Chief of Implementation

Chief of Implementation

Tiffany Bradley is the Chief of Implementation, helping with systems and social media at the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture. Her career reflects her lifelong love of the arts across disciplines and cultures. She is the founder of Colored Criticism, a media platform for cultural heritage stories. Her focus is intersectional, interpersonal, and interdisciplinary. Tiffany has worked in audience development at Race Forward, Americans for the Arts, and Fractured Atlas. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, Colorlines, Racialicious, and the Americans for the Arts blog. As a Fulbright scholar in Museum Studies, she worked with a variety of nonprofits in Israel and Palestine. She has studied at the American University in Cairo, the University of Haifa, and Al Quds University. Tiffany holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from Brown University.

 
  M  inister of Abundance

Minister of Abundance

Ericka Taylor is a writer, facilitator, and consultant based out of Washington, DC. Born and raised in Nashville, TN, she has spent the bulk of the last 20 years working for social justice organizations. Her career has spanned community organizing, philanthropy, and fundraising. She earned her BA in English from Cornell University and an MFA in
Creative Writing, with a concentration in fiction, from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors or Steering Committees of the National Organizers Alliance, Progressive Technology Project, Youth Education Alliance, and the National Priorities Project and is
currently a board member of the Western States Center, and La Clínica del Pueblo.

 
  Chief of Making Things Happen

Chief of Making Things Happen

Mo Manklang is a creative strategist focusing on cooperative solutions and network building. She has been convening people in the arts, nonprofit, social enterprise, and cooperative areas the past five years in Philadelphia. Mo is Board Vice President of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance, a member of the Media and Marketing committee of the Kensington Community Food Co-op, a member of the Policy Committee of the Sustainable Business Network, and is cofounder of The Bechdel Test Fest, an annual festival highlighting women and transgender comedians in Philadelphia.

regional envoys

  West Coast Regional Envoy   (California, Oregon, Washington)

West Coast Regional Envoy (California, Oregon, Washington)

Raised between Oakland and San Francisco, Katherin Canton envisions living in a community that values creative and cultural expression for all to participate in. She earned a BFA from California College of the Arts, with an emphasis in Community Arts through a studio practice in photography and textiles. During her time at CCA, she was the administrator and Community Collaborations Director at the volunteer-run arts center Rock Paper Scissors Collective; here she developed funding, business, and partnership processes that resulted in awards from the East Bay Committee Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, and the City of Oakland’s Cultural Arts Program. Katherin organizes with Arts for a Better Bay Area and consults with the Housing Rights Committee of SF. As the Co-Director of the Emerging Arts Professionals SF/BA, she strives to build a visible network for artists, local/small businesses, and government to communicate and share resources. Email Katherin >

 
  Southeast Regional Envoy    (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina)

Southeast Regional Envoy  (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina)

Yvette Hyater-Adams, MA-TLA, is Principal and Chief Storytelling Officer at Narratives for Change. Embracing “all things narrative” as her work in the world, Yvette is a poet and essayist, teaching artist, and narrative practitioner in applied behavioral science. A passionate mixed-media artist, Yvette uses collage and fiber arts to express stories. Projects span from autoethnography, story circles, writing workshops, developing leaders, narrative inquiry, and facilitating community change. Goddard College and the University of Denver is where Yvette completed her graduate studies in Transformative Language Arts for Personal and Social Change and Creative Writing. She publishes on the topics of intersectionality, diversity and inclusion, transformative narratives, and "women as leaders of their lives." The Community Foundation of North Florida ArtVentures recognized Yvette’s writing and awarded her a grant to support the completion of her essays and letters project. Jennifer Chen Tran, Fuse Literary Agency, represents Yvette’s work. Email Yvette >

 
  New England Regional Envoy    (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island)

New England Regional Envoy  (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island)

Devon Kelley-Yurdin is a maker, educator, and community arts activist living in Portland, Maine. She specializes in illustration and design, printmaking, and art direction, as well as community arts administration and collective/cooperative models. As a Vermont native and graduate from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn who has also lived in the Bay Area; Austin, TX; and rural Maine, Devon carries a diverse set of skills and community experiences in her tool belt. She believes creativity can be found everywhere, and that putting together a well curated outfit or finding the perfect bread-to-filling sandwich ratio are perfectly viable creative activities. Her activism and personal art practice are formed around the belief that art is a powerful avenue to learn new technical skills, discover ways of thinking and looking, explore ideas of place and community, learn histories, and find points of connection with others. Email Devon >


Action Squad

A growing group of engaged volunteers are coming together as the Action Squad to activate and enable the USDAC's continued activities and growth.  Interested in joining? We're always recruiting for new roles . Or if you have an idea, send us a note about how you'd like to get involved.

Current Action Squad Members include:

  • Amie Lam, Artreach Coordinator (Oakland, CA)
  • Angela Miles, Master of Swag (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Julie Yost, Deputy of Searching and Finding

The USDAC is an ongoing project shaped by many. Other catalytic collaborators include Jess Solomon, Yolanda Wisher, Stephanie Johnstone, Liz Maxwell, Cordelia Istel, Kathy Engel, Susan Clark, and Alissa Schwartz.  Through interviews and conversations, dozens of individuals have contributed to its development (though are not responsible for current programming). They include, but are not limited to: Marcy Arlin, Caron Atlas, Daniel Banks, Jack Becker, Eric Booth, Andrew Boyd, Kevin Bott, Alexa Bradley, Jeff Chang, Emma Shaw Crane, Stephen Duncomb, Kathy Engel, Lee Sunday Evans, Caleb Hammons, Bob Holman, Morgan Jenness, Stanley Katz, Erica Kohl-Arenas, Liz Lerman, Todd Lester, Roberta Levitow, Jessica Litwak, Randy Martin, Hannah Merriman, Grace Needlman, Rachel Parish, Rachel Plattus, Marlene Ramirez-Cancio, Lisandra Maria Ramos, Yosi Sargent, Levana Saxon, Alissa Schwartz, Baraka Sele, Niegel Smith, Doris Sommers, Aaron Stern, Molly Sturges, Caridad Svich, Carlton Turner, Duncan Wall, and others. Special thanks also to artists and former Action Squad members Jeff Placencia, Christie Goshe, Jessica Halfyard, Bob Bland, David Tomassini, Beth Brodsky, Melissa McClung, Lauren Zanedis, Soo Hyun Noh, Max Powers, Nikhil Melnechuk, Amanda Damewood, Claire Arkin, Veena Vasista, David Greenson, Rafa Kern, Monica Montgomery, Mary Morgan, Josh Adler, Liliana Ashman, Dorit Avganim, Jordan Cambell, Jax Gil, Liz Green, Sara Harvey, Kristen Scott Kennedy, Marinna Guzy, Shawn Lent, Karie Liao, Laurenellen McCann, Jalessa Mungin, Allison Schifani, Ralph Stalter, Jr., Les Talusan, Vanessa Urbina, Jenna Zhu, Kate McNeely, Lea A. Gilmore, Harold Steward and others who have lent talent and time to the USDAC.