Stuart A. Ashman, Executive Director
The Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Stuart Ashman as Executive Director, effective August 8, 2016. Ashman is leaving his position as the President and CEO of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, Calif., to return to Santa Fe and assume leadership of CCA. “I am honored to have this opportunity to return to Santa Fe to lead CCA at this exciting time in its history,” Ashman said.
Ashman comes to CCA with a distinguished record of leadership and innovation in the arts and government. Prior to his current position, Ashman helped create the legislation, with Representative J. Paul Taylor, Governor Bill Richardson and the New Mexico legislature, to elevate the Department of Cultural Affairs to a cabinet-level agency and served as its Secretary from 2003-2010. Prior to 2003, he served as Director of the New Mexico Museum of Art and Executive Director of Santa Fe’s Museum of Spanish Colonial Art.
“We are thrilled that Stuart has agreed to serve as CCA’s Executive Director and we look forward to working with him as he leads the CCA to greater heights. Welcome home Stuart and Peggy.” said Paul Hultin, CCA’s Board Chair.
Ashman will assume leadership at a revitalized CCA which, during the past several years, completed extensive upgrades and renovations to its facilities, received support and recognition from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Sundance Institute, the Sloan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, received a Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (for Cinematheque Director, Jason Silverman) and has hosted, on an annual basis, more than 55,000 art and movie lovers. Its Board of Directors includes numerous civic leaders from the arts, film, and business communities. Founded in 1979, CCA works with more than 150 not-for-profit and educational partners, including the Santa Fe Public Schools.
Jason Silverman, Cinematheque Director
Jason has served as Cinematheque Director since 2004. In 2014, Jason was recognized with the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. He has produced programs that have drawn more than 420,000 in attendance at institutions including the Smithsonian (with whom he founded and co-directed for 10 years The Native Cinema Showcase), The Lensic and SITE Santa Fe. Jason has curated programs for the Bioneers Conference, El Museo del Barrio, Museum of Fine Arts/Museum of New Mexico, the Santa Fe Opera and the True/False Film Festival.
Silverman is, with Samba Gadjigo, the writer, director and producer of the feature film SEMBENE! which premiered in competition at the 2015 Sundance Film and the Cannes Festival du Film, where it was one of the top eight finalists for the Camera d’Or. It is distributed by Kino Lorber, which is releasing it in 30+ cities in the U.S. SEMBENE! was included on best-of-2015 lists by New York Magazine, RogerEbert.com, Movie City News and Christian Science Monitor. He is producer of Olympia (opening night film, SXSW; closing night film, Slamdance) and Shameless. His projects have received support from the Ford Foundation, the Sundance Institute, Cinereach, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Tribeca Film Institute.
Jason is a three-time Sundance Documentary Fellow and a 2010 New Visions Award winner. He has served as a staff member at the Telluride Film Festival for 25 years and is former artistic director of Taos Talking Pictures (named one of the world's top ten film festivals). Silverman has served as a panelist, juror and nominator for the SXSW and Sundance Film Festivals, the Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowships and Creative Capital. He has written more than 400 articles for Wired, been a contributor to the Santa Fean, Austin Chronicle, Time Out New York, Psychology Today and UTNE Reader, and his collection of essays Untold New Mexico was used as a textbook at the University of New Mexico. His essays on film and culture have been published in eight other collections and translated into more than a dozen languages. Jason is also a former adjunct professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Jason holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan and a MA in English from Middlebury College.
Angie Rizzo, Visual Arts Curator
Angie Rizzo's diverse background in the arts includes administration, education, conservation and an active personal practice. Angie has participated in the Getty Multicultural Internship Program, the Babayan Cultural Art Residency program (Cappadocia, Turkey) and Art Conservation de Rigueur (San Francisco, CA). Rizzo’s professional experience includes Saint Elmo Village, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), The Community Arts Partnership, and Machine Project. In 2012, Angie co-founded SuperLow Gallery, an alternative artist space and gallery in San Francisco that promoted freedom of artistic experimentation. Angie is a passionate supporter of the arts and dedicated to the growth of contemporary arts in the Santa Fe community.
Angie holds a BFA from CalArts (California Institute of the Arts).
Nathan Hollis, Cinematheque Manager
Nathan graduated from O.B.U. with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater in 2008. He then lived and worked in Washington D.C. as a professional actor, before heading to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to study Film. After completing his second undergraduate degree in Film in 2012, he moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, to attend post-graduate school at the Screen Academy Scotland. Nathan utilized his time at the Screen Academy to not only earn his Masters in Film, but to shoot his first Feature film, Harry & Avis. Nathan is now residing back in Santa Fe, where he is a Professor of Film at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, as well as the Manager of the Cinematheque at the Center for Contemporary Arts. Between teaching classes, the CCA, and working on a variety of professional film projects, he is also working on a new script for his second feature film.
Emily Leon, Administrative Coordinator
Emily relocated from North Carolina for a summer internship in Development at SITE Santa Fe and has previously worked as a Gallery Assistant for LewAllen Galleries at the Santa Fe Railyard. In Raleigh, North Carolina, Leon was an avid volunteer with the Contemporary Art Museum and the North Carolina Museum of Art. Some of Leon’s interests in the non-profit arts sphere include the didactic function of art and its accessibility to community.
Leon maintains active involvement in intellectual labor focusing on Modern Art with a concentration in music, sound, and the occult. Leon is in the process of compiling her research into a forthcoming online scholarly journal titled Desert Suprematism that invites artists, writers, composers, and occult practitioners to present essays and projects about visual artists, experimental musicians, and occultists who have been omitted from current art history pedagogy and academic curriculum--a forgotten but not eliminated history. Desert Suprematism will include scholars, visual artists, and composers, among other visionary thinkers experimenting with fringe ideas that run contrariwise to popular discourse. Desert Suprematism is a free platform that exists to provide a framework for facilitating innovative modes of expression, unfamiliar synchronicities, and under recognized but influential practitioners from all eras and creative disciplines.
Emily holds a BA in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Sara Magaletta, Membership & Development Coordinator
With over a decade of experience in the fine arts, fashion, and marketing fields, Sara moved to Santa Fe from the east coast to be closer to her transplanted family.
Sara's previous role as MIX Santa Fe's Executive Director and work with local start-ups have allowed her to utilize her skills in fundraising and communication towards empowering various businesses to succeed. Her lifelong love of the arts and formal education make her a perfect fit for the diverse programming at CCA.
Sara has a BA in Art History from Boston University and is pursuing her Masters in Museum Studies at University of New Mexico.
Alicia Piller, Gallery & Public Programs Coordinator
Alicia is a recent transplant from Brooklyn, NY (Hometown: Chicago). In 2004 she received her BA in both Anthropology & Fine Art from Rutgers University. For the past 11 years, Alicia has combined her interest in fine art, travel, and global cultures, traveling in/out of the country, learning and collecting. Currently, Alicia divides her time with Gallery and Public Programming at CCA, as well as leading an active studio practice: sculpting with leather and mixed medium, painting, and more.
Wylla Skye, Exhibitions Coordinator
Wylla Skye moved to Santa Fe from her home state of Vermont in August of 2015, specifically to immerse herself in the vibrant and industrious arts scene of the region. Her love for community oriented, contemporary art spaces developed during her time as a Gallery Assistant and Event Coordinator at Burlington City Arts in Burlington, VT. Wylla has also worked as a Gallery Assistant at Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury, VT, as a Studio Technician at the University of Vermont’s Ceramics facility, and as an artist’s assistant for two professional Vermont-based artists. Since moving to Santa Fe, Wylla has worked with the artist collective, Meow Wolf, in the making of their permanent exhibition The House of Eternal Return.
Wylla holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of Vermont, and continues to develop her own artistic practice.
Chris Bredenberg, Technical Director
Chris Bredenberg is born and raised in Santa Fe and has been with the Center for Contemporary Arts for over 11 years. For three years, Chris has been a projectionist for Telluride, Stanley, Palm Springs, Hawaii, Denver, Santa Fe and Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. In addition, he provides technical services for Hawaii, True/False, Telluride and Santa Fe Film Festival. Chris is a huge fan of the diverse and engaging cinema CCA provides.
James Gould, Facilities Coordinator
James grew up in a family who enjoyed working with their hands. Smitten with creating artwork and making things from an early age, James went on to secure a Bachelor's Degree in Art from SUNY Brockport. A spontaneous detour resulted in his founding a popular secondhand bookstore in Rochester, NY. He operated the store for eleven years before selling it and being lured to New Mexico. James perfected his skills as a woodworker in Santa Fe through on-the-job training and experience making custom furniture, architectural features and carving decorative picture frames. He has taught in the Fine Woodworking Department of the Santa Fe Community College School of Art and Design since 2002. In addition to woodworking and the pursuit of other art forms, James has exercised his range of skills, both practical and creative, to help people manage and improve buildings. He has managed the Santa Fe Farmers' Market building since it opened in 2008, and was the Property Manager for the McCune Charitable Foundation for several years. CCA is a good fit.
Sarah Ruth Finkel, Marketing/Communications Coordinator
Sarah Ruth, originally from Chicago, has been a professional graphic designer for 15 years. Her clients have included the ABQ BioPark, La Casa Norte, Chicago Reporter, Alien Arts Recording Studio and The Black Star Project. As an environmental justice activist, Sarah Ruth wrote a column, Metropolimón, for Extra Bilingual Newspaper discussing environmental concerns in Chicago’s latino neighborhoods. As an educator, she has partnered with community organizations, such as PERRO (Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization) and Elevarte, teaching skills in mud stenciling, seed saving and art in activism. In 2011, Sarah Ruth co-curated the exhibition Everyone Matters, at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture that told stories of resilience and positive life choices by Humboldt Park neighborhood residents. In 2014, Sarah Ruth performed with Circa PINTIG in their production of Scent of Home: Short Stories by Bienvenido Santos and was a bilingual song leader in the Opera-Matic community performance Moon on the Lagoon. Sarah Ruth continues her studio art practice in ceramics, is an avid community gardener, and holds a BFA from Syracuse University. She is excited to utilize her interdisciplinary background as the marketing force behind CCA’s multi-layered contemporary art programming.