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APAP|365 > Knowledge > Leadership Initiatives > Leadership Fellows 2016

Leadership Fellows Program Co-Directors 

Ken Foster, is Associate Professor of Practice in the Thornton School of Music and Director of Arts Leadership at the University of Southern California. Before joining the faculty of USC, he was executive director of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) for ten years. The organization thrived under his leadership, benefitting from his dedication to nurturing long-term relationships with artists, growing YBCA’s audience and establishing the Center as an international leader in the contemporary arts. Foster has more than 30 years of experience as an arts administrator, curator, educator, and performing arts presenter at Millikin University, Penn State University and the University of Arizona in addition to YBCA. He has served as a board member for national arts organizations like the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Dance USA, and Chamber Music America, is a Founding Member of the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium and consults regularly with arts organizations around the world on issues of relevance to the arts and the contemporary world.

Scott Stoner, is the vice president of programs and resources at APAP, has devoted his professional life to integrating the arts in education, in health care, and in the community. At APAP, he is responsible for the organization’s grants, leadership, and annual conference programs. As Vice-President for Education at VSA, and Director of National Education Programs at The Kennedy Center, he also focused on professional development and founded ArtsEdge (one of the first educational websites). He served as a teacher and therapist in both private and public schools, and co-founded a public charter school in Washington, DC. In conjunction with Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. He established an artist-in-residence program for cancer patients in Washington, DC hospitals and for wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. His creative background includes piano and percussion, mixed-media artwork, and production management for stage and nationally televised events in the U.S.

Leadership Fellows Program Group Leaders: Cohort II 2016-2018 

Rika Iino, is Founder and President of Sozo Artists Inc., discovering and developing the next generation artist with global reach, a deep commitment to arts advocacy, and a seamless connection to the worlds of advertising, design, technology and other industries. Sozo works with arts presenters, brand managers and content marketers across the globe to provide artistic work that resonates with today’s diverse audiences. Rika began her creative career at a young age with classical piano, traversing from her native Japan to the Mozarteum Conservatory in Austria, and graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University with a degree in music.

Ben Johnsonis the Director of Performing Arts for the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs. Previously he was the Program Manager at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA (CAP-UCLA),​ Director of Programs at United States Artists (Los Angeles), the Director of Northrop Concerts and Lectures at the University of Minnesota –Minneapolis, and the Director of Education and Audience Development at the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. He has also worked at the Ordway Music Theater, and interned at the American Dance Festival and Walker Art Center. He is affiliated with many artists, foundations, funders, and national and international peer institutions.

Georgiana Pickett, has been Executive Director of BAC since August 2011. In this role, she is responsible for all facets of planning and operations, including fundraising, budget oversight, and general management of staff and facilities. Prior to her appointment at BAC, she served from 2004-2011 as the Executive Director of 651 ARTS, a performing arts institution dedicated to contemporary artists and art forms of the African Diaspora, based in Brooklyn’s BAM Harvey Theater.

Jessica Solomon, is a systems-thinker, facilitator and instigator of arts and social change projects. As the Director of Art in Praxis, she works with people and organizations to build capacity and increase impact by weaving creative processes into organization development. Jess is a National Arts Strategies Creative Communities Fellow, Board President of Alternate ROOTS, a 40 year-old network supporting artists and cultural workers based in the US South and serves as the Chief Weaver of Social Fabric at the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the nation's newest "people powered" department.

Sixto Wagan, is the director for the Center for Arts Leadership at the University of Houston. Prior to this role, he led DiverseWorks Artspace as Artistic Director, Co-Executive Director and Performing Arts Curator. During his tenure, he nurtured artists, communities and emerging arts organizations through commissions, professional development programs, and place-based initiatives. Wagan is known for collaborating with performers whose works tackle prescient cultural, social, and political issues. He currently serves on the boards of Dance/USA and Dance Source Houston. He previously served as a Hub Site for the National Dance Project, on the boards of the National Performance Network, QFest, and The MacDowell Colony.