Headlands Center for the Arts

Amanda Ault | Director of Operations

As Director of Operations, I work with the staff, Board of Directors, and key partners to support the smooth operation and long term sustainability of the organization. My role ties together the amazing work happening in finance, facilities, operations, and the Mess Hall. For over 12 years I’ve helped creative organizations meet their day to day and long term goals, including Southern Exposure, the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, and the Wexner Center for the Arts. During time away from work I can be found enjoying California’s beautiful and chilly coastal water.

Holly Blake | Residency Manager

As Residency Manager, I oversee the Artist in Residence Program and the Affiliate Artist Program.  That involves everything from answering inquiries about the programs to organizing the application and jurying processes, scheduling artists and assigning artist housing and studio space. I’ve worked at Headlands for over 22 years: my past job experience ranged from being the Circulation Services Manager at a Public Library, a real estate paralegal in both Florida and California and a Nautilus trainer. I’m a painter and have an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Chris Doyle | Facilities Manager

As Facilities Manager, Christopher oversees the day-to-day care and maintenance of Headlands’ facility and aims to make it a safe and productive place for artists to work and for visitors to visit. The long-term goal is the rehabilitation and sustainability of our 75,000 square foot historic campus.

Christopher was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1965 and has lived in Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, England, South Carolina and of course California. He holds an A.A. from Northwestern, a B.A. from Kendall, and an M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. His studies have included Literature, History, Biology and Fine Arts.

Brittany Ficken | Administrative Coordinator

As Administrative Coordinator at Headlands, I support the Executive, Communications, and Operations departments. My background is in working on exhibitions, public programs, and grant programs for artists in New York and Kansas City. As a recent Bay Area transplant, I’m looking forward to exploring the Bay Area art scene. I’m an avid reader, amateur gardener, and independent blogger.

Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly | Communications & Outreach Manager

My role at Headlands is to enhance public understanding of Headlands’ mission and programs. I work closely with the different departments to promote all of Headlands’ offerings. I also work to expand Headlands’ audience, and ensure that our programming is accessible and relevant to the communities we serve. When I am not at Headlands I can most often be found experimenting with various forms of writing, reading, and drawing, creating idiosyncratic dance moves, baking bread, and trying to grow lemons.

Sarah Kermensky | Director of Development

As Director of Development, I strategize fundraising efforts with staff and the Board of Directors, with the goal of raising contributions to support Headlands’ programs. This work ranges from inviting art appreciators to more closely examine creative process to connecting with corporate sponsors. My path to Headlands includes time spent working at Modern Farmer magazine, Mohonk Preserve, and various contemporary dance organizations in NYC. Favorite pastimes include creating performance pieces, ocean daydreaming, biking, and marveling at backyard lemon trees.

Nicole Kite | Development Manager, Grants & Partnerships

As Development Manager, I work with staff to identify and prepare proposals for funding opportunities that support Headlands’ many programs. A former Bay Area resident, I came to Headlands most recently from Madison, Wisconsin, where I completed an MBA in Arts Administration. My time in the arts has included work for the Richmond Art Center and the Wormfarm Institute. I enjoy drawing, foraging bouquets of flowers, and weekend walks at Point Isabel with my pup, Moo.

Cathy Kossack | Assistant Chef
Damon Little | Chef

As Chef, I’m responsible for the creation of five dinners a week for the resident artists as well as cooking for larger public events. This involves everything from menu planning and shopping at the farmers market to cooking and doing dishes. I began my time at Headlands as a live-in kitchen intern for two years before being appointed Chef. In the past I’ve been a baker and pastry chef and spent some time working in the commercial printing industry. I’m a musician, though my current primary creative focus is food.

sharon maidenberg | Executive Director

As Executive Director I work closely with the staff and Board of Directors to envision and implement Headlands’ programs for artists and the public. I do this through fundraising, long-range planning, advocacy work, project management and partnership development. I am also responsible for our relationship with our primary partner, the National Park Service, and the long-term wellness and sustainability of the organization. I’ve worked with artists and nonprofit organizations in the Bay for the better part of the last dozen years. In my spare moments, I read, cook, walk in the Marin Headlands and practice regular furniture rearranging.

Betsy Menzel | Business Manager

My job touches on everything having to do with finance from the everyday (such as making bank deposits and cutting checks), to the big picture (as in “how do we sustain a financially viable organization?”). This involves a lot of multi-tasking which pretty much describes my whole life!

Jen Ontiveros | Development Manager, Special Events & Major Gifts

As Development Manager, I facilitate meaningful experiences for Headlands members, supporters, and partners through managing community and artist centered special events. I organize the Headlands’ annual benefit auction, which raises critical funds to support the organization’s mission, artists, and public programs. In my out-of-work hours, you can find me thumbing through dusty record stacks, growing my indoor garden, or crocheting and macrameing gifts for friends.

Nathan Smith | Facilities Assistant

As Facilities Assistant, I tend to various tasks around our Headlands campus in support of our staff and resident artists. I look forward to making sure our work spaces function properly to meet the needs of artists, creatives, and other visitors who come through the campus. I’ve lived all over the country- originally from Kansas City, I moved to Washington D.C. to work with AmeriCorps* NCCC, studied film production in Vancouver BC and worked in film in Chicago, then changed pace and started working on apple orchards in Mendocino, CA and Western North Carolina.  I also find ways to traverse the country as a musician or just driving Highway 1 singing along with all the classics.

Stephanie Stewart Bailey | Program Manager

As Program Manager I oversee our Affiliate Artist Program and work closely with the Director of Programs to implement our public programming. My days involve fostering community amongst our artists and finding ways to engage the public. Prior to the Headlands I worked at the Exploratorium and other museums in a number of public program and exhibition contexts. I’m not allergic to poison oak and sometimes you might find me dissecting a whale, collecting rocks, or taking a hike with with a blindfold on.

Sean Uyehara | Director of Programs

As Director of Programs I oversee the direction and processes of residencies and presentations at Headlands in the service of supporting artists, generating conversations, and offering the public access to ways that artistic approaches and production matter. Prior to joining Headlands, I was a programmer at the San Francisco Film Society, where I developed cross-disciplinary exhibitions, performances, and screenings. I have a PhD in Cinema-Television, Critical Studies from the University of Southern California and there focused my studies on the concept of the virtual.

Madeleine Wilhite | Operations & Special Events Manager

As Operations and Special Events Manager I coordinate Headlands’ event rental program, and provide support for the once a season Open House. In addition to managing day-to-day and general operations, I’ll occasionally help an artist track down a ladder or a karaoke machine, check in with the National Park Service about the local owl population, or unearth archival treasures in our attic.

When not at Headlands you can find me in Big Sur, at a ceramics class, or sitting next to my backyard campfire.