Pamela Kohanchi

Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Skirball Cultural Center
Pamela Kohanchi brings deep experience engaging both internal and external partners to move the arts and legal world forward. In her role as LACMA’s Deputy General Counsel, she advised on myriad strategic initiatives and complex projects, including large-scale public art installations, international partnerships, a planned $650 million new building, major acquisitions and gifts of art, and technology collaborations. Her expertise in a broad array of complex legal issues􏱒from corporate governance and copyright to employment and nonprofit matters􏱒coupled with a collaborative approach to policymakers and staff alike, facilitated iconic, wondrous works for Los Angeles such as Levitated Mass, the promised gift of the Sheats-Goldstein Residence, and Art + Technology Lab partnerships with innovation leaders such as Google and SpaceX.

Prior to LACMA, Kohanchi served as an attorney at Sidley Austin LLP in Los Angeles and worked for the American Bar Association’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities in Washington, DC. A member of the California State Bar, Kohanchi holds a JD degree from Stanford Law School and a BA in political science from University of California, Los Angeles.

Nahal Jalali

Nahal Jalali is a visual artist, writer, and strategy consultant focused on advancing social change through the arts. She is a Manager within the Monitor Institute by Deloitte, a social change consultancy that provides strategic support and services to nonprofit organizations, corporate foundations, and other entities seeking to create social change. Currently, Nahal manages strategy and sourcing for Deloitte’s Purpose Office. In this role, she helps source equity-focused investment opportunities in the areas of education/workforce development, health equity, and financial inclusion to fulfill Deloitte’s 10-year, $1.5B social impact investment. Nahal also spent five years in Deloitte’s Government and Public Services practice where she supported dozens of public, private, and social sector organizations with strategic services focused on growth and innovation.

Nahal has been involved with Arts for LA since 2020 – including as a Laura Zucker fellow, ACTIVATE Delegate, and most recently, as a member of AFLA’s Policy Committee. Nahal earned her Master’s in Public Policy from Georgetown University where she wrote her graduate thesis on individual preferences for public funding of the arts in the United States. She also has a personal ceramic arts practice and is a member of the CLAY CA studio in Chinatown.

Karen Hill

Vice President for Human Resources and Development, Otis College
Karen Hill is an accomplished human resources leader with over 20 years’ experience. In addition to her exemplary degree qualifications, she holds an M.B.A. from UCLA with an emphasis in Marketing, a B.S. in Business, a Senior Professional Human Resources Designation, Leadership Certification from the Center for Creative Leadership, and a Strategic HR Certification. Her prior senior leadership positions – at such firms/institutions as Sony, USC, and DeviantArt – include Senior Vice President, Human Resources/Diversity & Inclusion; Vice President, Human Resources and Development; and Executive Director, Human Resources. Hill also serves on several non-profit boards. Throughout her career, she has focused holistically on organizations, and developed congruent people strategies to produce positive results. She brings a verifiable record of leading workplace culture and employee engagement initiatives, along with expertise in designing diversity and inclusion strategies and integrating them into organizational culture. Hill’s expertise also includes fiscally minded and data-driven human resources perspectives that add efficiencies through such areas as business development, employee relations, risk management, and vendor relationship contracts.

Linda Grimes

Linda Grimes is currently the Executive Director of the San Pedro Waterfront Arts District; a non-profit she helped create from the ashes of the former Community Redevelopment Agency. Linda is passionate about creative placemaking and the power of public art. The Arts District’s accomplishments over the past 11 years, reflect this commitment to leaving a lasting legacy in San Pedro.

Linda is a recovering, retired AT&T marketing executive and has employed her marketing ‘superpowers’ as the former Executive Director of the Golden State Pops Orchestra, as a communications consultant to the Port of Los Angeles High School and for the Grand Vision Foundation. Since November 2022, she writes a monthly column for San Pedro Today Magazine about local arts and culture.

Under her guidance, the Arts District has commissioned over 25 DOT boxes, painted by professional artists, 8 storm drains and 3 large murals in downtown San Pedro. In the summer of 2019, the Arts District launched another new pilot program, “Adventures in Public Art”, aimed at giving students public art experiences. The second Adventures in Public Art mural will be painted on the Los Angeles Maritime Institute’s Building G in June of 2023, in collaboration with the San Pedro High School’s STEAM Magnet students, led by Teaching Artist Jay Davis.

In August 2021, Linda was part of a team that included the San Pedro Arts and Culture District Partners the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and the San Pedro Property Owner’s Alliance to bring back the pandemic shuttered FirstThursday ArtWalk. In November 2023, the FirstThursday ArtWalk celebrated its 25th Anniversary.

In 2017, the Arts District launched a new arts appreciation series, called “Cuatro@Cabrillo”, hosted by the preeminent arts scholar, Gregorio Luke and in collaboration with one of the Arts and Cultural District Partners, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. Now it is called Culture TALKS! this series was relaunched in the fall of 2022 at the Aquarium and included an LA-ist, 89.3 Retake Live John Horn conversation with Culture Clash’s Richard Montoya.
In 2017, San Pedro was named as a California Cultural District by the Sacramento based California Arts Council. San Pedro is one of 14 initial Cultural Districts and has been recertified for another five years.

Linda’s past community involvement includes – Board President of the Palos Verdes Art Center, Arts for LA Advancement Committee, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Harbor Communications Committee, communications assistance for the Beacon House Men and served on the Board of the Little Italy of LA non-profit. Linda also served as the Arts for LA Advancement Committee co-chair and is now a proud member of the Arts for LA Board.

Mark Edwards

Mark brings serves as the Vice President of Government Relations for JVS SoCal where he advocates for the systems change that address the barriers to good paying jobs, including the creative sector. Much of the work is done in collaboration with other organizations.

Mark has an expertise in navigating complex bureaucratic systems that was first developed in the private sector while employed as an Associate for a leading land-use firm, where he specialized in land use entitlement issues and later serving as the Director of Government Relations for a premier boutique lobbying firm. In this capacity, Mark assisted clients with obtaining or maintaining nearly $250,000,000 in contracts with city and county governments.
In the public sector, Mark’s knowledge base was further developed as a Senior Field Deputy for former Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski. He was responsible for managing Brentwood, West Los Angeles and a portion of Palms serving the array of needs for approximately 50,000 constituents. Solving constituent issues involved working collaboratively with city, county, and state agencies, and with the community.

Mark worked for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority as a Planner. In this capacity, he was an integral member of a team that brought to completion the Bring Los Angeles Home Plan, a blueprint to significantly reduce the number of people who are homeless within ten-years. The project was a successful public-private partnership that involved managing a broad and diverse coalition of stakeholders.

Mark is involved with and committed to community. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves and was honorably discharged. He was instrumental, as part of a team of community leaders, in the creation of the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council. He completed a three-year stint as a Board Member of Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles, a dynamic, and progressive, not-for-profit agency that effectively works to improve the health of people who are homeless through direct services, education, and advocacy, working with fellow board members and the executive director to navigate us through a horrible economic downturn. Mark served on the board of Barnsdall Art Park Foundation Board, where he served as chair for two years where they had a role in supporting the inclusion of the Hollyhock House as an UNESCO World Heritage Site representing one-of-eight Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. Presently, Mark serves on the Executive Board of Governors for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, chairs the Legislative Action committee, and formerly co-chair of the Economic and Workforce Development committee.
A product of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Mark has resided in Los Angeles for 27 years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from California State University, Northridge with a concentration in Public Administration and Community Service.

Nadia Savira Chrisanto

Nadia Savira Chrisanto (she/her) is the Assistant Operations + Digital Assets Manager at the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI). She is passionate about advocacy, accessibility, equity, inclusivity, fat liberation, and social justice issues, particularly within the undocumented & immigrant community. Nadia’s professional experiences include serving as the Curatorial & Program Assistant at the California African American Museum (CAAM) and the Administrative Assistant for the Education & Public Programs Department at the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA). Her expertise includes nonprofit operations & administration, programming, curatorial & exhibitions planning, and grantmaking. She was the elected Leadership Council Co-Chair for the Emerging Arts Leaders Los Angeles, was a fellow in the ACTIVATE: Delegates program, and is currently a mentor for the ACTIVATE: Protege program. Nadia is currently serving on the board of Arts for LA.

Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, Nadia moved to Los Angeles in 2002 with her family to seek stability and safety. Nadia received her A.A. in History, Humanities, and Social & Behavioral Sciences from Pasadena City College and her B.A. in History from California State Polytechnic University Pomona. Nadia is a cat mom to her two spoiled kitties, Boba and Mochi. She enjoys playing video games and experimenting with new recipes in her free time.

Clifford Warner

Cliff has garnered a reputation for being one of the top producers of award-winning experiences including Universal Studios’ WaterWorld Stunt Show, FiestaAventura’s Templo Del Fuego, Bollywood Park and Motiongate including the THEA Award-winning DreamWorks Animation Zone.

Having earned his MFA at the Yale School of Drama, Cliff has collaborated with some of the most creative people in the entertainment industry (notably as producer on Tokyo DisneySea and DisneyFest Asia). Cliff was one of the original founders of Thinkwell Group for which he served as CEO and Chairman for over a decade. Cliff produced notable projects including Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter; Sesame Presents: The Body touring exhibit and many more projects for Universal Studios, Walt Disney Entertainment, Harrah’s Entertainment and MGM Studios. In 2011, Cliff founded the entertainment development company Mycotoo, Inc., which was designated a top media company by Inc. 500 in 2017.

As chairman, Cliff has continued to build on his reputation of delivering compelling experiences. Mycotoo’s design collaborations have resulted in the opening of two theme parks (Motiongate and Bollywood Parks) for which Cliff oversaw the production development, strategic planning and team staffing. He built the award-winning creative team and served as liaison to facilitate master planning, production design, engineering and management of the specialty groups involved with the both parks. Cliff has been an invited speaker on multiple industry panels. His roots in theatre keep him anchored to like-minded organizations. He serves as board member for the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (YaleGALE) – an international leadership exchange with China, France, United Kingdom, South Africa and Mexico; And Ojai Valley Playwrights Association – a non-profit group that champions the introduction of new, aspiring playwrights to wider audiences off and on Broadway.

Amy Schiffman

Amy Schiffman has been a literary agent and manager in the film and television fields for over twenty five years. After graduating from Hamilton College, she worked in New York, first at the CBS News Broadcast Center, and then in magazines, including the award winning American Photographer Magazine, where she eventually became an editor and columnist, and later at GQ and Diversion magazines. Her Hollywood career began in the Literary Properties division of the William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills, where she was Vice President. There she sold the books “Friday Night Lights,” “Apollo 13,” “Sleepers,” “Permanent Midnight” and “Primal Fear,” all of which were produced as feature films during her tenure at the agency.

Schiffman later became a partner in the literary management firm Intellectual Property Group before joining Echo Lake. She represents Dennis Lehane, (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island, The Drop), Don DeLillo (Cosmopolis) and Daniel Woodrell (Winter’s Bone) among many others. Among her recently released book to film projects are the international best seller “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” by Mary Anne Shaeffer and Annie Barrows. The film, starring Lilly James and directed by Mike Newell, is streaming on Netflix, as is the film “Nappily Ever After” based on the novel by Trisha R. Thomas.

Schiffman recently joined Echo Lake Entertainment, to build and run the intellectual property department.

Felicia Rosenfeld

Felicia Rosenfeld, through FARconnector, serves as thought partner, organizational catalyst, infrastructure architect and creative strategist, working with artists and creative organizations to define and attain success.

Felicia has been involved in the not-for-profit world for most of her working life. After graduating with honors from Swarthmore College, she worked at Pentacle (in New York) and also for David Gordon Pick Up Company. Receiving a J.D. from Fordham Law School, Felicia practiced for five years, concentrating in entertainment, copyright and trademark law. Felicia returned to Pentacle as Director of Educational Programming in 2002, then became Director of Programming, and ultimately Co-Director.Felicia served as Executive Director of Dance Resource Center, the service organization for dance in the Greater Los Angeles Area from 2015-2018, professionalizing a 30 year-old all-volunteer organization and making it a leading example of arts service. Since relocating to Los Angeles in 2006, Felicia also has worked and consulted with many arts individuals/organizations and social service organizations.

Felicia sits on the Boards of Directors of Arts for L.A., Dance Resource Center and Koreatown Youth & Community Center. She is a member of the Ford Theatre Connector Council, Americans for the Arts and Californians for the Arts. Felicia was a member Dance/USA Board of Trustees for six years; the Co-Chair of Dance/USA 2018 Conference Host Committee; and served on Pentacle’s Board of Directors; the Advisory Board of Show Box LA, as a Trustee of New Roads School, and on the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Karsh Social Service Center Steering Committee.

Gail Lopes

Gail Lopes is a retired lawyer with specialties in corporate, employment, technology, and nonprofit law. She has served as Chair of the Boards of Directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) in New York City, and Students Rising Above in the California Bay Area. She is also a member of Theatre Communications Group’s (TCG) National Advisory Council and former Chair of its Governance Task Force. After earning a JD at Harvard Law School, she spent ten years at the law firm of Morrison & Forester. Gail was also Vice President of Product Development for two start-up software companies serving legal and HR professionals. Through a consulting firm she co-founded, she has led numerous strategic planning and business development initiatives at both profit and nonprofit organizations. Gail is prioritizing equity and social justice through her nonprofit work and has participated in equity and anti-racism trainings from TCG’s EDI Institute, artEquity, The Interaction Institute for Social Change, and The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (Undoing Racism). As the Chair of three nonprofits’ Governance & Nominating Committees, she has designed equity-based Board recruitment strategies, EDI Committees, codes of conduct, and governance structures. Gail and her husband Jim have two daughters: one a theatrical director in Los Angeles and the other a sommelier.