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.

Christopher 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 | Development & Outreach Coordinator

As Development & Outreach Coordinator at Headlands Center for the Arts, I support the Executive and Development departments. Before moving to the Bay Area I worked on exhibitions and public programs at Artis and Foundation for Contemporary Arts in New York. I have also worked as the Assistant Curator at City Ice Arts Gallery in Kansas City and I have taught digital and darkroom photography through the Kansas City Art Institute. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Marina Weiner | Communications & Outreach Coordinator

As Communications & Outreach Coordinator, I use every platform from social media to snail-mailers to spread the word about our incredible programs. I come from a studio art background, and I’m excited to work with artists and staff to find ways to creatively engage our audience and increase awareness of everything that happens here at Headlands. Offline interests include painting, ceramic sculpture, tomato plants, and scones.

Madeleine Wilhite | Operations & Special Events Manager

As Operations and Special Events Manager I coordinate Headlands’ 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.