It all has to start somewhere. In our case, that is with Michael Forman and Jennifer Rice, founders of FAI. They live in Philadelphia, and are active participants in many civic, cultural, and education organizations around the city. A few years ago, they realized they wanted to do more and started dreaming about FAI.
Co-Founder, Forman Arts Initiative
Jennifer Rice is devoted to many charitable organizations with a focus on the arts, education, women’s rights and animal welfare. She serves on the boards of The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, Big Picture Philadelphia (Vaux and El Centro high schools) and ACCT Philly (animal care and control team of Philadelphia). She is a member of the Gender Wealth Institute Advisory Committee for Women’s Way, the Philadelphia Equity Alliance education committee and is former board chair and current honorary trustee for The Philadelphia School, an independent, progressive school in center city Philadelphia.
Chairman & CEO, FS Investments, and Co-Founder, Forman Arts Initiative
Michael Forman is the co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of FS Investments, an asset management firm headquartered in Philadelphia. He is also the co-founder of the Fitler Club, a private lifestyle club in Philadelphia with a social mission to support community residents and businesses. Forman serves on a number of corporate and civic boards including the boards of Drexel University, Center City District Foundation, and the corporate leadership board of the Barnes Foundation. He also serves as the Founding Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Equity Alliance.
Our panel of advisors includes experts from the education and arts communities as well as architects, artists, and other local and national innovators from as far away as South Africa. We convene with them to brainstorm on the future of cultural organizations, and, what role FAI could play. We continue to learn with this group today and benefit from their collective wisdom and diverse perspectives.
Adam Pendleton lives and works in New York. Working in a range of mediums including painting, collage, installation, and video, Pendleton uses language as a primary material, recontextualizing text and image to refigure contemporary and historical narratives.
April Gornik is a painter. Her works are found in numerous public collections and galleries, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and Fort Wayne Museum of Art, IN, among others. She has been honored with a retrospective at the Neuberger Museum of Art, NY and a commission from The Smithsonian Art Collector Program.
Principal-in-charge, WXY Studio
Claire Weisz FAIA is a founding principal of WXY. Her firm has received numerous awards from the Architectural League, American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the American Planning Association. She co-founded The Design Trust for Public Space and is a fellow of the National Academy of Design.
David van der Leer
David van der Leer, Principal of DVDL, advises cultural institutions and cities to think more about people and impact in their programs. He was the Executive Director of Van Alen Institute, curator for the Guggenheim Museum, and co-curator for the US Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennial.
Executive Director, Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY)
Donna Cooper is the Executive Director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY). Previously, Cooper was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and served as the Secretary of Policy and Planning for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She was also the City of Philadelphia’s Deputy Mayor of Policy and Planning.
Eric Fischl is an internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor. His works are represented in many museums and private collections around the world. Fischl has collaborated with E.L. Doctorow, Allen Ginsberg, Jamaica Kincaid, Jerry Saltz, and Frederic Tuten. He is a Fellow at both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Science.
Jaime Frankfurt is an art advisor based in New York. He has advised individuals, private collectors, and institutions, on both acquisitions and strategic de-accessioning of artworks. He has served on a number of boards, councils, and committees, at public and private institutions, helping to shape their holdings.
Executive Director, The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Jane Werner is the Executive Director of The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh serves 320,000 visitors a year with with a program built on joy, kindness, curiosity, and creativity. Program Spaces include New Hazlett Theater, Buhl Community Park and Museum Lab, an experimental space looking at the intersection of informal and formal educational spaces.
Jen Wink Hays
Jen Wink Hays is a painter/sculptor in Philadelphia and co-founder of New York City’s Blue School. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and her work is included in the permanent collection of the Zillman Museum of Art in Maine where she will undertake her first museum show in September 2021.
Public Sector Innovator and Executive
Jenn Gustetic is the Director of early-stage innovations and partnership at NASA, co-chair of the Partnership for Public Service’s Federal Innovation Council, Secretary of the board of trustees at the Van Alen Institute, and Secretary of the National Science Policy Network’s Advisory Council. She has also served as Assistant Director for Open Innovation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Obama Administration.
Director, Dia ArtFoundation
Jessica Morgan is Dia Art Foundation’s Director. Previously, she was The Daskalopoulos Curator of International Art at Tate Modern in London, Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Morgan was the artistic director of the 10thGwangju Biennale.
President, Drexel University
John Fry is the president of Drexel University. He serves on the boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, The Academy of Natural Sciences, the Kresge Foundation, and Lafayette College, among others. He also served as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.
Curator, Co-founder, A4 Institute
Josh Ginsburg is the director of A4 Arts Foundation, as well as curatorial advisor to Wendy Fisher. Prior to A4, he co-established two collaborative artist studio/project spaces, Research Art, and Atlantic House. He has a BSc in Electrical-Mechanical engineering (University of Cape Town) and a MPhil in Fine art (UCT).
Director, UC Irvine Institute and Museum of California Art (UCI IMCA)
Kim Kanatani was named the inaugural Museum Director of the UCI IMCA in August 2019. Previously, she was the first Deputy Director and Gail Engelberg Director of Education at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and prior to joining the Guggenheim, was the director of education at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
Marion Weiss is co-founder of WEISS/MANFREDI and Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. Marion was honored by Architectural Record as the Women in Architecture Design Leader Award in 2017 and her firm is winner of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, and the 2020 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture.
Author and Curator
Nato Thompson is an author, curator, and cultural infrastructure builder. In 2020, he founded The Alternative Art School, an online art school with instructors and artists around the world. He has worked as Artistic Director both at Philadelphia Contemporary and Creative Time, and as Curator at MASS MoCA. He has also written two books of cultural criticism.
Rashid Johnson is an American artist with recent solo exhibitions all over the world. His work employs a wide range of media to explore themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, materiality, and critical history.
Executive Director and President, Barnes Foundation
Thom Collins is the Neubauer Family Executive Director and President of the Barnes Foundation. With experience at many of the top arts institutions across America, including the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, Collins joined the Barnes in 2015, where he has led and curated several critically acclaimed exhibitions. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at Swarthmore College.
Principal & Owner, Olson Kundig
Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, is principal of Olson Kundig, where he designs residential, hospitality and commercial projects for clients globally. Known for his contextual approach inspired by each project’s surrounding built, cultural or natural landscape, Tom has received some of the industry’s highest design honors and been featured in thousands of publications worldwide.
Artist; Founder, BDDW
Tyler Hays is a painter/sculptor and founder of BDDW, a design and fabrication company dedicated to timeless design, expert craftsmanship, and forward-thinking manufacturing practices. Hays designs and fabricates all of BDDW’s pieces along with the company’s craftspeople in Philadelphia. He has worked creatively and professionally in a plethora of mediums, including music, ceramics, fashion, architecture, and furniture.
William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent, The School District of Philadelphia
With a focus on equity, innovation, and quality, Dr. William R. Hite serves as Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. He has served at every level—teacher, principal, central office administrator, and Superintendent. Dr. Hite has also taught at the University of Richmond School of Continuous Learning, Virginia State University, Bowie State University, and the University of Maryland.
Our NextGen advisors are local and young experts from various backgrounds and disciplines with unique perspectives and experiences. We meet with them to brainstorm on the future of cultural organizations, the potential of culture and creativity, and equitable, inclusive public spaces in Philadelphia.
Dwight Dunston (aka Sterling Duns) is a West Philly-based facilitator, artist, and activist. His passions/gifts include helping individuals tap into their super powers and supporting communities to develop the tools, skills, and techniques to reach for their highest hopes and visions, to stay connected across different identities, and to heal.
Impact Manager, City Year Philadelphia
Eli Prosper is an Impact Manager with City Year Philadelphia, an organization dedicated to lowering the school drop-out rate in the United States. Prior to that, Eli served as an AmeriCorps member, working in Title 1 schools throughout the city. He created the “How to Tie a Tie” event, sponsored by Comcast Black Employee Network and covered by NBC, connecting students with role models from the community. Eli has completed over 100 murals.
Health & Wellness Director and Project Lead for Community Arts and Literacies, Puentes de Salud
Leah Reisman is Health & Wellness Director and Project Lead for Community Arts and Literacies at Puentes de Salud in Philadelphia. She also consults on arts and community development work, both independently and as an Affiliate at Metris Arts Consulting. Leah sits on the Board of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University.
Artist and Operations & Development Editor, Philly Artblog
Morgan Nitz is a queer interdisciplinary artist and the Operations & Development Editor of Philly Artblog. They earned both a BFA and the Edith Weil Hecht Memorial Award in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art. They have exhibited at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Vox Populi, Pilot Projects, and Philly Improv Theatre, and completed a residency at Jasper Studios.
Zoë Rayn Evans
Community Engagement and Programming Consultant, Friends of the Rail Park
Zoë Rayn Evans is a graduate of Temple University. Most recently, she spearheaded the Collaborative Programs at the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. She serves as a Community Engagement and Programming Consultant for Friends of the Rail Park and is the Founder of Caldera Magazine. In 2021, Zoë joined the University City Arts League as Executive Director.