Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Jean Marie Durant
Board President
Lauren Fernandez
Vice President
Tom Neff
Treasurer
Sharon Shrank
Board Member
Headshot of Joshua Bane
Joshua Bane
Secretary
Shirin Richens
Shirin Richens
Board Member
Tayleur Crenshaw
Tayleur Crenshaw
Board Member
Mario Hernandez
Mario Hernandez
Board Member
Valerie Huaco
Valerie Huaco
Board Member
Alyssa Stone
Alyssa Stone
Board Member

Board Advisory Committee

Howard Flax – President, Flax Art and Design
Danielle Fox – Owner; Slate Contemporary Gallery and Art Consulting
Moss Kardener – Chief Brand Advisor, OnStrategy Consultants
Zoa TownVice President, Property and Asset Management at TMG Partners.

Pam Versaw – Business Development and Operations Consultant, Venture Capital and Biochemistry

Arts Venue Committee

Jean Marie Durant – Board President
Chandra Cerrito – Owner, Chandra Cerrito Art Advisors
Meghan Faulkner – Principal, Local Language
Christine Ferrouge – Artist, Werkshack
Danielle Fox – Owner – Slate Contemporary Gallery and Art Consulting and Committee Chair
Johanna Poethig – Artist, Mercury 20 Gallery
Ginny Van Dine – Administrative Support, Slate Contemporary Gallery and Art Consulting
Jan Watten – Owner, Gray Loft Gallery

Programming and Events Committee

Jean Marie Durant – Committee Chair and Board Member

Carolann Merchant – Volunteer

Marketing and Communications Committee

Tayleur Crenshaw – Committee Chair and Board Member

Carolyn Smith – Social Media and Marketing Contractor

LFK Media – Video and Livestream Support

Kyra Cyphers – Public Relations Volunteer, Vice President at DKC

Development and Fundraising Committee

Jean Durant – Committee Chair and Board President

Tom Neff – Co-Chair and Board Treasurer

Shirin Richens – Board Member

Celine Piser – Grant Writer, Researcher, Editor

Community Engagement and Outreach Committee

Lauren Fernandez – Committee Chair and Board Vice President

Joshua Bane – Board Member

Natalie Williamson – Artist Liason Volunteer

Technology Support

Queen Shabazz – Full Stack Engineer & Designer, OAM Webmaster

Board President

City of Oakland Economic Recovery Council 2020

Jean Marie Durant

A curious thinker, change agent and leader of creative teams for retail organizations such as Old Navy, Gap, Gymboree, Blockbuster and most recently Banana Republic. Jean is passionate about growing Oakland’s diverse and electric visual arts communities by connecting the public to the arts and creative spaces that make the Town so special. You’ll see Jean around Oakland riding her Public bike, walking Lake Merritt or searching out new street murals and pop-up art spaces.

Pronouns – she/her

Vice President

Lauren Fernandez

Lauren has a deep appreciation for the arts and the City of Oakland. Originally from Miami, she worked with Miami Light Project to help it survive and thrive in the artsy and gentrifying Wynwood area. Since moving to Oakland, she has been wowed by the amazing and inspiring art she sees being created from East to West Oakland and from traditional galleries to murals to repurposed factories. As a first-generation Cuban-American and an HR professional at the Berkeley Lab, she is deeply committed to promoting equity in the arts in Oakland and using art as a mechanism for social justice.

Pronouns – she/her

Treasurer

Tom Neff

Managing Partner / Tax Stockholder / International Tax Co-Chair

Tom Neff, CPA, is RINA’s Managing Partner, Co-Chair of the International Tax Practice Group, and manager of the firm’s Wealth Management division. Tom advises businesses and individuals investing abroad and foreigners investing in the US on tax structuring and multinational tax planning.Prior to moving to the Bay Area, Tom spent 5 years with a CPA firm located in the US Virgin Islands. He is passionate about the local Performing Arts scene and can be seen monthly performing at the All-Out Comedy Theater in Oakland with his improv troupe.

Board Member

Sharon Shrank

Senior marketing executive with twenty years of experience building global omni-channel retail brands in both mature and emerging markets. Specialties: E-commerce, direct marketing, catalog circulation and segmentation, retail marketing, campaign development, brand positioning, brand development, consumer research studies, store events, social media, email marketing, search engine marketing, integrated marketing planning. Sharon leads marketing strategy for the organization. Board member since 2018.

Secretary

Joshua Bane

Joshua Bane leads companies andcommunities to create the experience, culture, and support needed to show up as we are: diverse individuals in an ever changing world. He currently works for Galileo Learning and will be helping to lead the organizations Community Outreach and Engagement work. Board member since January 2020.

He/Him/His

Board Member

Shirin Richens

Shirin Richens, IIDA MBE is the owner of Nomadika Design Studio, a published and award winning design firm focusing on Commercial Interior Design and Interior Architecture since 1999.The Visual Arts layer is vital to our projects and in turn our community.Often our favorite phase of a project is meeting our local Oakland artists and makers in their studios and collaborating to create that unique piece that brings it all together or visiting Oakland Gallerists to curate an interior just-so.It’s these personal and meaningful experiences in our Oakland Art Community that inspired me to join Art Murmur and its mission to help the Arts thrive.Shirin will be supporting the organization in Fundraising and Development as a Board Member since January 2020.

Board Member

Tayleur Crenshaw

Art is every part of our reaction to the universe both actioned and imagined. Our release of it is what syncs us to everyone and everything. My impact will come via my response to all the things that I know, share and learn through the syncing process that is art.

Tayleur is a creator, a spoken word artist, a black woman. Tayleur’s ultimate goal is to love on black people and to encourage their wildest dreams.

As a New York native and Howard University grad, Tayleur was born and raised in culture in its most raw and passionate form.

In 2018 Tayleur moved to Oakland, California and co-founded Gold Beams (Instagram / Website), a brand that curates spaces for the black community with special highlights on black creatives.Her brand’s signature event, Second Mondays, has grown to host over 150 people monthly (with a recent all time attendee high of 400) and is a space where the community can share and engage with art, enjoy free food and wine, and commune over dope BBQ / family reunion vibes.Gold beams also curates, and is contracted to curate, socials, talk series, workshops, panel discussions, creative sessions and more.

She/Her/Hers

Board Member

Mario Hernandez

I joined Oakland Art Murmur in order to support the vital role of the arts and artists in fostering such communities through creativity and expression at the local level. I am excited about being back in the Bay Area and passionate about promoting artists in Oakland. 

Mario is a professor of sociology at Mills college in Oakland.  As an urban sociologist, he is passionate about cities and dedicated to working towards creating more equitable and sustainable cities through community engagement and empowerment. Mario joined Oakland Art Murmur in order to support the vital role of the arts and artists in fostering such communities through creativity and expression at the local level. His forthcoming book, Bushwick Bohemia: Art and Revitalization in Gentrifying Brooklyn investigates the development of Bushwick’s well-established art scene against the backdrop of the neighborhood’s history and contemporary gentrification. A Bay Area native, Mario has spent the last decade living on the east coast and doing research in New York City. He is excited about being back in the Bay Area and passionate about promoting artists in Oakland.

He/Him/His

Board Member

Valerie Huaco

I'm excited to roll up my sleeves in support of artists and galleries in this amazingly fertile, creative town! Making connections, getting to know more of the makers, and hearing what the community needs will be great to plunge into.

Valerie Huaco is Deputy Director and Chief Content Officer at the Oakland Museum of California where she leads curation, design, collections, evaluation, production and experience development. She builds community in Oakland through partnerships with historic, civic, and artist groups. A Bay Area resident for three decades and an alumna of CCA, Valerie has also worked in collections care and conservation, art sales, preservation policy, non profit membership, and communications.

She/Her/Hers

Board Member

Alyssa Stone

I am so excited to join the dedicated and creative Board members of Oakland Art Murmur! I'm the ultimate fan of artists and makers. It has never been more vital to ensure that artists and the arts flourish, and that all in our community have access to life-changing creativity.

Alyssa has dedicated her life to making the arts accessible, equitable, and inclusive for all. Alyssa joined The Crucible as the Director of Programs in October 2018. In her role (and with an awesome team!), Alyssa guides and supports all programming for The Crucible including adult classes and workshops, youth classes and workshops, private events, internal and external community engagement, rentals, the CREATE artist program, partnerships, and professional development. Prior to joining The Crucible, Alyssa was the Community Programs and Department Manager with San Francisco Opera, where she began in 2008, and continues as a Teaching Artist for the Diversity, Equity, and Community Department. Alyssa has worked with Stern Grove Festival as the Education and Outreach Manager; Seattle Opera as Curriculum Specialist and founding Teaching Artist; Seattle Symphony as Curriculum Specialist and Teaching Artist piloting the Link Up Program; Presidio Graduate School as Events and Special Programs Manager; San Francisco Arts Commission as Arts Education Program Assistant; San Francisco Arts Education Project as an Artist in Residence; and as the Operations Manager and Executive Producer for the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco and the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band. Alyssa served as the Vice President of the Board of the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco for many years, as well. Alyssa also holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University, a Master of Music in Voice Performance from New England Conservatory of Music, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Voice Performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Performing since she was 8 years old, Alyssa maintains an active cabaret and theatre career. Alyssa has extensive experience curating and producing live performances and community-centered events including over 10 years with San Francisco Opera producing countless performance events, 5 years with Stern Grove Festival producing main stage and traveling concerts, 6 years with LGCSF and SFLGFB producing the Annual Pride Concerts and Dance-Along Nutcracker, and myriad community events.

 

She/Her/Hers

Board President

City of Oakland Economic Recovery Council 2020

Jean Marie Durant

A curious thinker, change agent and leader of creative teams for retail organizations such as Old Navy, Gap, Gymboree, Blockbuster and most recently Banana Republic. Jean is passionate about growing Oakland’s diverse and electric visual arts communities by connecting the public to the arts and creative spaces that make the Town so special. You’ll see Jean around Oakland riding her Public bike, walking Lake Merritt or searching out new street murals and pop-up art spaces.

Pronouns – she/her

Vice President

Lauren Fernandez

Lauren has a deep appreciation for the arts and the City of Oakland. Originally from Miami, she worked with Miami Light Project to help it survive and thrive in the artsy and gentrifying Wynwood area. Since moving to Oakland, she has been wowed by the amazing and inspiring art she sees being created from East to West Oakland and from traditional galleries to murals to repurposed factories. As a first-generation Cuban-American and an HR professional at the Berkeley Lab, she is deeply committed to promoting equity in the arts in Oakland and using art as a mechanism for social justice.

Pronouns – she/her

Treasurer

Tom Neff

Managing Partner / Tax Stockholder / International Tax Co-Chair

Tom Neff, CPA, is RINA’s Managing Partner, Co-Chair of the International Tax Practice Group, and manager of the firm’s Wealth Management division. Tom advises businesses and individuals investing abroad and foreigners investing in the US on tax structuring and multinational tax planning.Prior to moving to the Bay Area, Tom spent 5 years with a CPA firm located in the US Virgin Islands. He is passionate about the local Performing Arts scene and can be seen monthly performing at the All-Out Comedy Theater in Oakland with his improv troupe.

Board Member

Sharon Shrank

Senior marketing executive with twenty years of experience building global omni-channel retail brands in both mature and emerging markets. Specialties: E-commerce, direct marketing, catalog circulation and segmentation, retail marketing, campaign development, brand positioning, brand development, consumer research studies, store events, social media, email marketing, search engine marketing, integrated marketing planning. Sharon leads marketing strategy for the organization. Board member since 2018.

Secretary

Joshua Bane

Joshua Bane leads companies andcommunities to create the experience, culture, and support needed to show up as we are: diverse individuals in an ever changing world. He currently works for Galileo Learning and will be helping to lead the organizations Community Outreach and Engagement work. Board member since January 2020.

He/Him/His

Board Member

Shirin Richens

Shirin Richens, IIDA MBE is the owner of Nomadika Design Studio, a published and award winning design firm focusing on Commercial Interior Design and Interior Architecture since 1999.The Visual Arts layer is vital to our projects and in turn our community.Often our favorite phase of a project is meeting our local Oakland artists and makers in their studios and collaborating to create that unique piece that brings it all together or visiting Oakland Gallerists to curate an interior just-so.It’s these personal and meaningful experiences in our Oakland Art Community that inspired me to join Art Murmur and its mission to help the Arts thrive.Shirin will be supporting the organization in Fundraising and Development as a Board Member since January 2020.

Board Member

Tayleur Crenshaw

Art is every part of our reaction to the universe both actioned and imagined. Our release of it is what syncs us to everyone and everything. My impact will come via my response to all the things that I know, share and learn through the syncing process that is art.

Tayleur is a creator, a spoken word artist, a black woman. Tayleur’s ultimate goal is to love on black people and to encourage their wildest dreams.

As a New York native and Howard University grad, Tayleur was born and raised in culture in its most raw and passionate form.

In 2018 Tayleur moved to Oakland, California and co-founded Gold Beams (Instagram / Website), a brand that curates spaces for the black community with special highlights on black creatives.Her brand’s signature event, Second Mondays, has grown to host over 150 people monthly (with a recent all time attendee high of 400) and is a space where the community can share and engage with art, enjoy free food and wine, and commune over dope BBQ / family reunion vibes.Gold beams also curates, and is contracted to curate, socials, talk series, workshops, panel discussions, creative sessions and more.

She/Her/Hers

Board Member

Mario Hernandez

I joined Oakland Art Murmur in order to support the vital role of the arts and artists in fostering such communities through creativity and expression at the local level. I am excited about being back in the Bay Area and passionate about promoting artists in Oakland. 

Mario is a professor of sociology at Mills college in Oakland.  As an urban sociologist, he is passionate about cities and dedicated to working towards creating more equitable and sustainable cities through community engagement and empowerment. Mario joined Oakland Art Murmur in order to support the vital role of the arts and artists in fostering such communities through creativity and expression at the local level. His forthcoming book, Bushwick Bohemia: Art and Revitalization in Gentrifying Brooklyn investigates the development of Bushwick’s well-established art scene against the backdrop of the neighborhood’s history and contemporary gentrification. A Bay Area native, Mario has spent the last decade living on the east coast and doing research in New York City. He is excited about being back in the Bay Area and passionate about promoting artists in Oakland.

He/Him/His

Board Member

Valerie Huaco

I'm excited to roll up my sleeves in support of artists and galleries in this amazingly fertile, creative town! Making connections, getting to know more of the makers, and hearing what the community needs will be great to plunge into.

Valerie Huaco is Deputy Director and Chief Content Officer at the Oakland Museum of California where she leads curation, design, collections, evaluation, production and experience development. She builds community in Oakland through partnerships with historic, civic, and artist groups. A Bay Area resident for three decades and an alumna of CCA, Valerie has also worked in collections care and conservation, art sales, preservation policy, non profit membership, and communications.

She/Her/Hers

Board Member

Alyssa Stone

I am so excited to join the dedicated and creative Board members of Oakland Art Murmur! I'm the ultimate fan of artists and makers. It has never been more vital to ensure that artists and the arts flourish, and that all in our community have access to life-changing creativity.

Alyssa has dedicated her life to making the arts accessible, equitable, and inclusive for all. Alyssa joined The Crucible as the Director of Programs in October 2018. In her role (and with an awesome team!), Alyssa guides and supports all programming for The Crucible including adult classes and workshops, youth classes and workshops, private events, internal and external community engagement, rentals, the CREATE artist program, partnerships, and professional development. Prior to joining The Crucible, Alyssa was the Community Programs and Department Manager with San Francisco Opera, where she began in 2008, and continues as a Teaching Artist for the Diversity, Equity, and Community Department. Alyssa has worked with Stern Grove Festival as the Education and Outreach Manager; Seattle Opera as Curriculum Specialist and founding Teaching Artist; Seattle Symphony as Curriculum Specialist and Teaching Artist piloting the Link Up Program; Presidio Graduate School as Events and Special Programs Manager; San Francisco Arts Commission as Arts Education Program Assistant; San Francisco Arts Education Project as an Artist in Residence; and as the Operations Manager and Executive Producer for the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco and the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band. Alyssa served as the Vice President of the Board of the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco for many years, as well. Alyssa also holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University, a Master of Music in Voice Performance from New England Conservatory of Music, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Voice Performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Performing since she was 8 years old, Alyssa maintains an active cabaret and theatre career. Alyssa has extensive experience curating and producing live performances and community-centered events including over 10 years with San Francisco Opera producing countless performance events, 5 years with Stern Grove Festival producing main stage and traveling concerts, 6 years with LGCSF and SFLGFB producing the Annual Pride Concerts and Dance-Along Nutcracker, and myriad community events.

 

She/Her/Hers