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S. Shafer Mazow

Stephen Shafer Mazow, Executive Director at Z Space, is a writer, theater artist, fundraiser, and activist living in San Francisco and working in program development and strategic initiatives at the intersection of art, science, and social justice.

Prior to joining Z Space as Managing Director in 2018, Shafer was Senior Grants Manager at the Exploratorium and Director of Institutional Giving and Strategy at American Conservatory Theater. He serves on the Boards of the National Queer Theater and Theatre Bay Area. He leads the trans and gender-non-conforming advocacy and empathy project I.P.Freely; and has helped to establish space-sharing initiatives, community-based theater programs, and research and action initiatives to address gender equity in the non-profit theater field. He was a founding member of the gender-bending sketch comedy troupe This Side of Butch. Most recently, he has partnered with exhibit designers and educators to develop and lead a series of temporal experiences in public restrooms that uses participatory practice, immersive theater, and inquiry-based learning to extend awareness and understanding of issues people face when they don’t “look” like they belong to a space or a group.

Shafer holds a B.A. in English from Wellesley College and a M.F.A. in English and Creative Writing from Mills College and has focused professional and creative efforts on deepening understanding of gender, its complex intersections with other aspects of identity, and the implications of oversimplified binary categories.

Eric Garcia

Eric Garcia (he/him) is a San Francisco-based devised dance-theater artist, drag queen, community organizer, and the Co-Director of Detour. He creates immersive and site-responsive performances that straddle nostalgia, radical futurism, collaborative ensembles, and queer maximalism. He has worked with men in detention, senior adults, trans and queer youth, drag performers, and self-identified non-dancers on various dance films and live performance projects. Eric is rooted in the queer nightlife and drag performance scene as Churro Nomi, and produces/hosts Clutch The Pearls, a drag cabaret on the first Sunday of every month at Make-Out Room in the Mission District. Since 2010, Eric proudly serves as Managing Director for both Fresh Meat Productions and the SF Transgender Film Festival. He is a guest lecturer and choreographer at the University of San Francisco’s Performing Arts and Social Justice Department, is on the board of directors for the Embodiment Project, and is a founding member of the Latinx/Hispanic Dancers United Caucus.

Photo credit: Melissa Lewis

Leigh Rondon-Davis

Leigh is a theatre performer, dramaturg, director, and producer who has worked widely both within the Bay Area and national industry. They attended Wellesley College and were a member of Oakland's Laney College Fusion Theatre Project. Leigh is on staff as Shotgun Players’ Associate Artistic Director and Crowded Fire Theater’s Director of Artistic Programming & Marketing, where they host a recurring Twitch Stream and are also a Resident Artist. They are also an Artistic Company Member at Shotgun and Oakland Theater Project, Casting Director with the Casting Collective, and Producing Director at The Forum Collective. Leigh has had the immense pleasure of working at dozens of local companies, including Aurora Theatre, Curran, Magic Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre Center, PlayGround, Playwrights Foundation, TheatreFIRST, and West Edge Opera. While Leigh wears many hats as a theatre-maker, much of their work and personal passion has been to shift the industry and its culture to be more equitable, inclusive, accessible, and sustainable. Outside of theater, Leigh enjoys swimming, reading, going to concerts, crafting cocktails, and cuddling their dog Langston.

Kimberley Acebo Arteche

Arteche received her BFA from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and MFA from San Francisco State University where she received the School of Art’s Distinguished Graduate award. She has been awarded the Murphy Cadogan Contemporary Art Award by the San Francisco Foundation, was Kearny Street Workshop’s Featured Visual Artist in the 2015 APAture Festival, and residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Growlery. She has shown at East Tennessee State University, SOMArts Cultural Center and at the Wailoa Arts & Cultural Center in Hilo, Hawaii.
Arteche has served on Southern Exposure’s Curatorial Council, SOMA Pilipinas’ Arts & Culture Committee, and was the Visual Arts curator for UNDISCOVRED SF. She co-founded Balay Kreative with Kultivate Labs, a future Filipinx American Cultural Center in the South of Market. She is currently an adjunct professor at San Francisco State University, teaching with social justice and community responsive lenses, and is the Co-Director at the Berkeley Art Center. Arteche is committed to collaboratively creating decolonial practices within arts institutions, while creating visibility and providing resources for emerging Black, Indigenous, and POC Artists.

Photo credit: Lara Kaur

Lisa Mezzacappa

Berkeley, CA-based composer, bassist, and producer Lisa Mezzacappa has been an active part of California’s vibrant music community for nearly 20 years. Her activities as a composer and ensemble leader include ethereal chamber music, electro-acoustic works, adventurous jazz, non-traditional opera, music for groups from duo to large ensemble, and collaborations with film, dance, and visual art. Recent projects include Cosmicomics, a suite for electro-acoustic jazz sextet based on Italo’s Calvino’s stories about the origins of the cosmos; Organelle, a chamber work for improvisers grounded in scientific processes on micro and cosmic scales; Glorious Ravage, an evening-length song cycle for large ensemble and films drawn from the writings of Victorian lady adventurers; and Touch Bass, a collaboration with choreographer Risa Jaroslow for three dancers and three bassists. She also co-leads the community improvisation ensemble, the duo B. Experimental Band, with drummer Jason Levis, as part of the Do-Over Music series in Oakland, CA, and is collaborating with writer Beth Lisick on the serial audio opera The Electronic Lover.

Photo credit: Tim Rowe

Nadhi Thekkek

Nadhi Thekkek is the Artistic Director of Nava Dance Theatre, a bharatanatyam dance company based in San Francisco. Nadhi uses the south Indian dance form to navigate place, identity, and politics through the lens of her lived experience as a child of immigrants and an unapologetic South Asian, diasporic woman.

Nadhi’s work has been supported through New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project Grant, Zellerbach Family Foundation Community Arts Grants, Dancers’ Group CA$H Grants, California Arts Council, CounterPulse, East Bay Community Foundation, CHIME by Margaret Jenkins Dance Company and others. Nadhi has performed at various venues; Scotiabank Dance Centre (Vancouver), La Mama Experimental Theatre Club (NYC), Dance Place (D.C.), and Southbank Center (London). She has also worked as a freelancer with Sujit Vaidya (Vancouver), Seeta Patel (London), Randee Paufve (Oakland).

She is currently touring Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies an exploration of the transnational paid and unpaid labor of South Asian women in the diaspora and Broken Seeds Still Grow, an exploration of ancestry and an examination of cultural othering during the 1947 Partition of British India, co-created by Nadhi and visual artist Rupy C. Tut. Other recent works include Unfiltered, a bharatanatyam work exploring the #metoo movement in collaboration with Rasika Kumar and Sahasra Sambamoorthi; Hamsa, a bharatanatyam and ballet collaboration with Graham Lustig, Artistic Director of the Oakland Ballet, and others.

Some of Nadhi’s artist initiatives include the Unrehearsed (Virtual) Artist Residency Program, where artists create art that challenges the status quo in South Asian dance and offer public events engaging the South Asian community in urgent social justice issues. She is one of the co-founders of Varnam Salon, a dance series highlighting traditional arts repertoire and local dance makers. Nadhi is on the board of the Western Arts Alliance (WAA) and serves as a co-chair of the WAA Hyphen + Asian affinity group.