I get excited about creative combustion - the moment when people or groups come together to spark something new. It gives me goose bumps and reminds me that all organizations and companies emerge from the desire to serve ideas and people.
Jana La Sorte / Founder & Creative Director
Jana is a creative strategist with over 25 years of experience in arts, education, politics, community engagement and communications. She connects ideas, action and people for positive change for clients and communities. The former executive director of Urban Bush Women (UBW), she managed business and program operations including strategic planning; board development; fundraising; executive producing; touring; programs; partnerships; and community engagement - expertise she now offers to clients. Selected as a chief executive fellow for National Arts Strategies, Jana re-imagines what cultural institutions can be and how they can contribute. Also a CORO New York Leadership fellow, she served as a staff field organizer for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and facilitated community conversations for Create NYC, the City of New York's first cultural planning initiative.
A college professor and former TV host and producer, she lectures and writes on cultural policy, arts management, corporate social responsibility, communications and more. A passionate curator and innovator, Jana created the Boss Girl Boot Camp, a social innovation course; and a weekly jazz series; an arts gallery; a culture and community series for UBW; and co-founded the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance. She created Ask the Experts, an industry platform to assist emerging and mid-career jazz artists that is still running 15 years later.
A proud Washington Heights resident in New York City, she has created and/or produced arts events for her neighborhood; co-founded Color Uptown, a public arts organization; and with Yuby Hernandez; and volunteers at Word Up Bookstore. Formerly on boards for Dance/NYC, BEAT Brooklyn and United Palace of Cultural Arts, she now serves on boards for the Dominican Women’s Development Center and AIR Serenbe, an artist residency program in Georgia. She continues to work on her own art...slowly.
I’m passionate about the role of the arts and creativity in developing vibrant people and communities.
Alison Kibbe / Associate
Alison is an independent cultural organizer, arts administrator, educator and performer who works at the intersection of arts, community building, education and cross-cultural dialogue. Her background includes community organizing, program and curriculum development, social justice activism, qualitative and quantitative research, ethnography, and program evaluation. Based in New York City, she was raised in North Carolina and her research and work have taken her through Brazil, the Mississippi Delta, South Africa, and her mother’s home country Jamaica, exploring questions of art, identity, and social change. She has worked at arts consulting firms WolfBrown and Webb Management Services, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the White House - Office of the First Lady Michelle Obama, and Obama for America. Performance credits include two-hundred thirty-four, two-hundred thirty-four, two-hundred thirty-four choreographed by Ebony Noelle Golden (2014) and Death Made Love to my Feet choreographed by Audrey Hailes (2014). She was a 2014 Create Change Fellow with The Laundromat Project and received the Dance Writing Award, the Benenson Award in the Arts, and the Paul Farmer Award for Justice and Social Responsibility at Duke University, where she graduated cum laude with distinction in cultural anthropology and public policy. She was a participant in Urban Bush Women’s acclaimed Summer Leadership Institute and attended the American Dance Festival. More at www.alisonkibbe.com
I'm inspired by the power of design to ignite change and bring communities together.
Mary Mitchell / Designer
Mary Mitchell is a Bay Area native currently pursuing a degree in graphic design at the University of San Francisco. She has a passion for visual storytelling and illustration and dreams of one day illustrating her own children’s book. Her work is influenced by her love of poetry, botanicals, and whimsy. Mary is presently working as a freelance illustrator and designer.
More at www.marymitchelldesign.com