“The arts drive vibrant and diverse communities and are critical to neighborhood health and well-being, yet artists and cultural organizations are increasingly vulnerable to instability and displacement.”
— Kenneth Rainin Foundation


We are following a path created by San Francisco’s Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST). CAST recognizes that when arts organizations have stable homes, protected from a volatile real estate market, they are free to be trail blazers, hubs of innovation and creativity within their cities. Also, in economically diverse neighborhoods, they are a connecting point for people of different economic and cultural backgrounds to understand and bridge their differences through participation in the arts. CAST is supported by several Bay Area foundations and works closely with NCCLF. However, there is no CAST this far north yet so the Imaginists are also trailblazing (once again!) by initiating the conversation of artist owned/artist occupied here in the North Bay.

We have received invaluable guidance and help from the following individuals and organizations: 

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation: For the past seven years the Imaginists have been fortunate to be in the performing arts grant portfolio of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. In June 2017 we were invited to apply for a capital grant for the acquisition of our building and capital campaign related costs. We were awarded a $235,000 capital grant in early July 2017. As Hewlett grantees we were eligible for financial and real estate consultation from the Northern California Community Loan Fund. 

Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF): As grantees of the Hewlett Foundation, we've been fortunate to receive real estate and financial consulting form NCCLF from the beginning of this process. In addition we have been approved for two loans through NCCLF; a bridge loan to secure the purchase of the building and an acquisition loan. 

Jerry Yoshitomi (Artist Owned Capital Campaign Advisor): Throughout his career, Jerry has contributed to modest initiatives that have resulted in innovation and change in thousands of arts organizations in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Spain, Chile and beyond. His work has been supported by an array of national and regional foundations. He chaired three funding panels at the NEA, was a Mayoral appointee to the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission and a Governor's appointee to the California Arts Council. He served as Executive Director of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles. Believing deeply in the power of theater to encourage personal, community and political transformation, he has chosen to work with the Imaginists because of the impact we have already had on important issues of the day and the audiences, actors, and communities who have been transformed by our work. 


Kate Eilertsen (Committee Chair): Kate has worked in the art world for many years as an arts advocate, curator and educator. She began her museum work at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, moved to Boston where she opened a new museum for the Harvard University Art Museums and then to San Francisco where she was the Director of Intersection for the Arts, Museum of Craft and Folk Art and Acting Director of Visual Arts for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.  She has taught at the California College of Arts, San Francisco Art Institute and recently at Sonoma State University. She is currently a guest curator and art consultant in Sonoma County. 

Vicky Kumpfer: Vicky Kumpfer's interests are art, creative endeavors, and intriguing places and spaces. She has worked for over thirty years in the arts here in Sonoma County and in Utah. She has worked in various capacities including Executive Director of an art center, public art coordinator, exhibition curator, event coordinator, docent and volunteer. Her widespread involvement includes institutions such as the Utah Museum of Art, the City of Santa Rosa, Arts Council of Sonoma County, Petaluma Arts Center, Healdsburg Center for the Arts, Fulton X Gallery and Oliver Ranch. She serves on the County's Art in Public Places Committee and is thrilled to assist with the Capital Campaign for the Imaginists. 

Lisa Maldonado: (Imaginists Board Chair) Lisa is a Labor Representative, California Nurses Association. Formerly she was Field Director for SEIU and Executive Director of the North Bay Labor Council AFL-CIO. Lisa is on the steering committee of the Accountable Development Coalition and the Blue / Green Alliance as well as on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for a Better Sonoma County. She has a degree in political science from San Francisco State University and a JD from the U. of San Francisco Law School. She is excited to keep theater for the people & arte es medicina here in Santa Rosa. 

Spring Maxfield: Spring Maxfield is an independent arts professional. She works to create space to provide relevant, community driven arts and cultural programming. Her engagement activities and curatorial work have been utilized by the city of Santa Rosa's Economic Development Department and multiple arts organizations over the years that look for a unique perspective for what constitutes cultural vibrancy and how to achieve it. 

Gabe Maxson: Gabe Maxson is a designer and production artist whose lighting designs have been seen locally at A.C.T., The Magic, CalShakes, MTC, Shotgun, YBCA/Berkeley Rep, ODC, and ZSpace, and in NYC/internationally with The Wooster Group, where he was artistic associate and designer from 2002-2010. In his other lives, Gabe is an actor, director, musician and producer, whose recent work includes the locally cast and filmed Burn Country (aka The Fixer, Samuel Goldwyn Films, 2016) starring Oscar winner Melissa Leo, Oscar nominee James Franco, and the Imaginists’ own Brent Lindsay, Amy Pinto, and Michelle Maxson. Gabe is an assistant professor of design and production at the University of San Francisco. 

Alejandro Salazar: Alejandro Salazar’s expressive artwork is energetic and thought provoking with an intensity not often seen in San Francisco’s North Bay cities. Salazar’s artistic voice is expressed in colors, shapes, and abstract figures that come from a deep emotional place. Born in Colima, Mexico in 1978, Salazar is primarily a self-taught artist. Salazar’s fine art career has taken shape over the last eight years as he moved from digital illustration to more traditional forms of art including drawing, painting and collage. Still, one must be cautious in applying the word “traditional” to any of Salazar’s processes, as the work is fresh, visceral and immediate with a direct connection to emotion. His work has attracted the attention of collectors, curators and non-profit institutions throughout the United States including New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Paris.

If you are interested in serving on our committee or volunteering your time for the "Artist Owned Campaign" please let us know! Email info@theimaginists.org