Headlands Center for the Arts

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.

MJ Brown | Development Manager, Donor Engagement

As Development Manager of Donor Engagement at Headlands I support the organization’s fundraising efforts and Executive Department. This includes donor stewardship, special event support, and managing Headlands’ Artist Limited Edition program. I made my way to the hills via Michigan and St. Louis, previously working at Christie’s and the Kemper Art Museum. In my spare time, I’m likely on the hunt for new collage materials, hiking in the Marin Headlands, or spending lengthy amounts of time examining wine and beer labels at the grocery store.

Dorothy Davila | Managing Director

As Managing Director, I work closely with the team to realize strategic objectives through the effective management of resources, including finance, human resources, and operations. I have over twenty years of experience as an arts administrator in the museum field, and have held positions ranging from curatorial to operational at institutions like Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Harvard Art Museums. In my free time I enjoy practicing ballet, biking around the city, reading, looking at art, and cuddling with my cats.

Noah Gavrich | Program Intern

As one of the Program Interns I help out with various aspects of programming and day-to-day operations, including facilities, event prep, and working with the social media team. Before coming to Headlands I worked with various non-profits in the Bay Area, in arts education and animal welfare. In my spare time I like to dip my toes in various visual art forms, currently focusing a lot of my time on a short documentary and learning to oil paint (which I am terrible at, but hey, that’s the best place to start!). I also like to collect things people drop on the ground to use in my work and create an archive of discarded treasures. There it is, you know it all!

Juliana Gerdts Dager | Auction Coordinator

As Auction Coordinator, I work with donors, artists, galleries, and others to help organize the annual Headlands Benefit Art Auction. Prior to joining the development team at Headlands, I have worked for the past six years at local arts organizations, including the de Young Museum, Creativity Explored, and Jack Fischer Gallery. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, reading novels, volunteering, and attending artist talks and exhibitions.

Daniel Glendening | Communication & Outreach Coordinator

As Communications & Outreach Coordinator I support and implement communications strategies across the board, from web to print to on-site wayfinding—all in service of supporting our artists’ work and welcoming audiences. Prior to and outside of Headlands I’ve taken on many roles, including as educator, UFO-hunter, science fiction publisher, city government arts administrator, preparator, and arts librarian. Other interests include working in the studio, reading (anything & everything), trying to grow a garden, tossing a ball for my woofer, Huckleberry, playing records from my meager collection, and prepping my D&D campaign. I also bake bread.

Nicole Kite | Senior Development Manager

As a Development Manager, I work across our staff to identify funding opportunities and prepare proposals supporting Headlands’ unique programs and campus. I also manage our Membership program, a group of more than 400 individuals who deeply engage with Headlands’ work. I have an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and serve on the Advisory Board for the Wormfarm Institute, an organization working at the intersection of culture and agriculture in rural Wisconsin. When not at Headlands, you’ll find me and my pup Moo at home in Sausalito, dabbling in creative projects and lingering in the sunshine.

Alison Konecki | Director of Communications & Outreach

As Headlands’ Director of Communications & Outreach I oversee communications and audience engagement, helping the public connect with the artistic process and the rich array of programming here. Prior to Headlands I worked at Transformer, an alternative art space in Washington, DC, and the public art nonprofit FOR-SITE in San Francisco. In my spare time I’m a writer and an inveterate explorer of California (and places further afield whenever I can swing it). I love when I’m on a trail or wrapped up in a sleeping bag under the stars.

Cathy Kossack | Sous Chef

As Sous Chef, I help prepare and execute the dinners here at Headlands. This involves baking fresh sourdough bread, perusing the farmers for market local goods, and making gelato from scratch. I originally started my time at Headlands as a Program Intern and after a cross-country bike tour and a few years in New York working as a baker and artist, I am thrilled to be back. I love supporting the community by creating these meals, where resident artists come together to discuss their experiences and artistic inspirations during their residency. When I’m not in the kitchen, you can find me cruising on my bike in the Headlands’ hills, backpacking throughout California, or working in my studio.

Patricia Leal | Development Assistant

As Development Assistant I support the Development and Executive Department, making sure the efforts of our team towards fundraising run smoothly. Outside of Headlands, I’m an artist and a member of CTRL+SHFT Collective in West Oakland—a studio and gallery exhibition space centered on giving a platform to artists of color, women, queer, and gender non-conforming artists. When I’m not in the studio or working to sustain an artist-centered space with my collective members, I like to go for walks, research and listen to a lot of music, and practice my DJ skills.

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.

Dany Naierman | Director of Facilities

As Director of Facilities, I ensure the well-being of the Headlands campus structures, infrastructures, and surrounding landscape. My role encompasses daily and long-term planning, information technology matters, and dialogue with our GGNRA park partners and the National Park Service. Headlands Center for the Arts embodies its deeply historical grounds and I am thrilled to work in a place where nature drives the day-to-day. My past experiences include working in operations, facilities, and technical direction at various arts organizations. I very much enjoy preparing food, hiking, making art happen, and thinking about historically rich landscapes.

Andrew Niklaus | Interim Executive Director

As the Interim Executive Director I work closely with the staff and Board to ensure Headlands remains focused and effective, implementing strategy and being responsive to the needs of artists and the larger community. I have over twenty years in nonprofit leadership in social justice, program service design and delivery, and philanthropy. I have three children that keep me busy, and when I can find free time I like to spend it at the beach, paddle boarding, reading, and generally relaxing in the beautiful surroundings of my home town of Santa Cruz.

Aay Preston-Myint | Program Manager

As Headlands’ Program Manager, I administer our Graduate Fellowship and Affiliate Artist programs and organize our public events. A native New Yorker, I arrived at Headlands by way of Chicago, where I spent 15 years organizing collective, artist-run enterprises such as Chances Dances (a queer dance party and microgrant for local artists), the ACRE Residency, and the Chicago Art Book Fair. As a visual artist myself, when at Headlands my work is motivated by how ideas of value, criticality and belonging inform and nurture our practices. When I’m not in the office or on the grounds I enjoy finding new music, night life, gardening fruits and vegetables, exploring the Bay Area on foot and bike, and working on my own studio practice with a focus on print, design, and publishing.

Ariela Putterman | Development Manager, Special Events

As Development Manager of Special Events I produce Headlands’ Benefit Art Auction and special events throughout the year for major donors. For over a decade, I have worked at the intersection of arts and culture as a creative producer, grant writer, administrator, and arts advocate. My experience has spanned working with public agencies, private galleries, non-profit organizations, and artist led initiatives in New York, London, Berlin, and San Francisco.

On my off time, I enjoy sharing home cooked meals and instigating creative collaborations with friends and community. Otherwise, you will likely find me meditating, horseback riding, or grooving hard to a wide range of rhythms (not mutually exclusive).

Adrian Skaj | Business Manager

As Business Manager, I work with Headlands staff and the Board Finance Committee to ensure that all business and financial matters run smoothly. I’m a San Francisco native and I’ve spent the last 15 years working for exceptional non-profits to fulfill their missions. When not at the Headlands, I can be found teaching Iyengar yoga, weeding my wildflower patch, and spending time with my family.

Mathilda Strauss | Development Intern

I am thrilled to be Headlands’ newest Development Intern and hope to learn as much as I can about the operations of an arts organization. So far, my career in the arts has allowed me to work alongside performance artists, in production restoring vintage posters, and most recently in a fine art gallery. I grew up not too far from here, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and graduated from Seattle University where I studied both Film Studies and Studio Art. In my spare time, I love learning a new craft, watching a scary movie, and taking my dogs to the beach!

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.

Ali Vaughan | Program Intern

I am excited to join the Headlands team as a spring Program Intern. As an intern, I will have a hand in various aspects of the Headlands program experience, whether assisting staff and artists, maintaining facilities, participating in public programming, or working with and researching the archives. In my free time I like to write about and make art—I find welding therapeutic, and often think about the landscape, geology, and culture of Central California. Before Headlands, I studied Art Practice and Art History at Stanford, produced writing for a private art dealership in the bay area, painted murals, and interned for art galleries and artist organizations in the Bay Area and New York.

Jen Weiss | Interim Development Director

When I’m not supporting Headlands Center for the Arts as the Interim Development Director, I serve as a Fund Development Consultant + Coach, and I am passionate about helping non-profit organizations to build fundraising capacity, strengthen systems, and increase philanthropic revenue. With over 20 years of experience in non-profit, education, and grassroots organizing sectors, I provide a range of consulting and coaching services to non-profit organizations with the goal of building organizational capacity to achieve strong fundraising results year after year. I am also is the founder of Urban Word NYC, an arts organization based in New York City.

Ally Zimmerman | Operations & Events Manager

As Operations & Events Manager, I support the management of administrative systems and internal logistics, manage bookings of weddings and special event rentals, and support our partnership with the National Park Service. Over the last twenty years I’ve worked with park partners within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area: as a naturalist at Fort Funston & The Presidio, Program Manager at Crissy Field, Public Programs Director for NatureBridge Golden Gate, and as a National Park Service Ranger at Alcatraz & in the Marin Headlands. My favorite pastimes include walking in forests and attempting to organize chaos.