This year, more than ever, our arts and culture community needs a platform for discussion, support and solidarity as we face the road ahead in rebuilding and re-shaping our arts sector from the devastation of COVID19 and the long history of injustice, oppression, and racism against Black and Indigenous people within arts and culture institutions, and our society at large.
The first 30 people to register and attend the event will receive an exclusive Rising Arts Leaders face mask in the mail! You must provide your mailing address at registration and attend the event to qualify.
Executive Director, Women’s Museum of California
Founder, Rising Arts Leaders
Felicia W. Shaw currently serves as Executive Director of The Women’s Museum of California. She is a seasoned professional in the field of arts administration and nonprofit management, a career that has included executive leadership with the Regional Arts Commission of St Louis, the San Diego Foundation and City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.
Felicia has been recognized for her leadership with awards that include the San Diego Magazine “Women who Mean Business” Award. Shaw served for 12 years as program manager for the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and for seven years as the director of the arts program at the San Diego Foundation, where she initiated the foundation’s innovative Creative Catalyst grants program.
Artistic Director, San Diego Ballet
Javier currently serves as artistic director of the San Diego Ballet, having created over 70 original pieces for the company since its inception, including 10 pieces in collaboration with composer David Burge. His ballet set to the poems of Kenneth Fearing, Love: 20 Cents the First Quarter Mile,, was given the award for Best Choreography by the San Diego Area Dance Alliance, the third time he was honored by the organization. Most recently, Mr. Velasco wrote and directed The Toughest Girl Alive, which premiered at Moxie Theatre and had a successful run at the New York International Fringe Festival. Mr. Velasco was recently awarded a Creative Catalyst Fellowship by the San Diego Foundation to create new work.
Javier’s distinct choreography redefines what most people would expect from ballet to bring inspired, provocative and thrilling performances year after year. He has supplied dances for productions at the La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, and has a long-standing relationship with the San Diego Repertory Theatre, where he has staged productions of A Christmas Carol, Cabaret, Hairspray, Tommy, In the Heights, and many others.
Editor-in-Chief, PACIFIC Magazine
Nina Garin is Editor-In-Chief and Digital Director, PACIFIC Magazine at The San Diego Union Tribune. She previously produced and edited the KPBS/Arts Calendar. She also wrote the weekly KPBS/Arts Newsletter and produced arts segments for Midday Edition. Before joining KPBS, Nina worked for nearly 20 years as an arts and entertainment reporter at The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Nina is a native San Diegan, raised in Chula Vista and Tijuana, who was exposed to local arts at an early age. As a child, she tagged along to her mother’s photography classes, went to elementary school blocks away from Balboa Park and visited all the museums at least twice. While earning her English degree at San Diego State University, she participated in poetry readings and covered local music for The Daily Aztec.
Nina has two daughters who study ballet and musical theater. She spends her free time pinning hair buns and perfecting stage makeup. Her husband, Matthew, is also a writer and editor.
Education and Engagement Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
Cristina (Cris) Scorza is MCASD’s Education and Engagement Director. During her tenure, Scorza has overseen the development of an inclusive education platform that increases the level of visitor engagement with the arts and broadens its relevance to diverse audiences. These programs include collaborations with artists and arts organizations in the U.S./Mexico border region, school programs that empower teachers to integrate the arts across academic disciplines, leadership development for teens in areas of art and social justice, and cutting-edge work with combat troops recovering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Scorza is dedicated to building accessible programs that make arts education widely accessible to students of all ages and backgrounds through bilingual interpretation both oral and written.