Anjali is currently serving in the role of Acting Executive Director at the Alliance. Prior to this, she was the Alliance's Development Manager for over three years, working closely with the staff on all strategic fundraising efforts. She also works as a development consultant for Project for Empty Space, a nonprofit visual arts organization dedicated to social engagement and change through creative placemaking, in Newark, NJ; and serves on the board of the South Asian Women's Creative Collective (SAWCC), a multidisciplinary arts nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and visibility of emerging and established South Asian women artists. Anjali was a participant of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) 2016 Emerging Leaders Program for Arts Administrators, as well as the Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP) 2016-17 Emerging Leaders Program. From 2003-2008, Anjali was the Programs Director at the Asian American Writers' Workshop, where she organized the reading series, panel discussions, writing workshops, anthology publications, and literary awards; and she has also worked in various capacities in book publishing and for individual authors and artists. Anjali studied in the Master of Library and Information Science program at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ) and completed a BA in English from Ohio University (Athens, OH).
(212) 941-9208 ext. 6
As Manager of Communications and Community Engagement, Ariel oversees all communications and marketing for the Alliance. Ariel is an actor, singer, producer, and founder and board secretary of Leviathan Lab, a creative studio for Asian American performing artists. As an actor and singer, Ariel has performed on television, film, commercials, industrials, new media, and on, Off, and Off-Off Broadway. As the immediate past Executive Director of Leviathan Lab, he has produced acting and writing salons, cabarets, fundraising events, staged readings, showcase productions, and short films, including its national award-winning film Two Weeks; and through his grant writing, has secured multiyear NYC grant awards and residencies in support of Leviathan’s work. He is a graduate of the Broadway League’s Commercial Theater Institute Emerging Producer Program, as well as a graduate of the MFA in Acting program from the University of Washington. Ariel is also an accomplished Fortune 500 and Inc. 5000 level communications designer. www.arielestrada.com
As the Programs and Communications Assistant, Trina assists in the coordination of the Alliance's bi-monthly Town Hall, Alliance Arts Exchange, and fellowships programs. A growing social media marketer, she is also responsible for maintaining the Alliance's social media presence and working with Alliance staff to create the bi-weekly newsletter. Born and raised in Yonkers, Trina holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Stony Brook University. Her nonprofit experience includes internships and leadership positions with Pilipino Unity for Progress (UnirPro), Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to empowering the Filipino American community; Kundiman, a nonprofit organization dedicated to APA literature; and Leviathan Lab, a creative studio for Asian American performing artists.
Board of Directors
Athena Robles (Board President) is a visual artist whose work involves drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and installation. Early in her career, she was included in the exhibition New American Talent at the Laguna Gloria Art Museum in Austin, TX, and she has since exhibited nationally, including at the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, the Soap Factory in Minneapolis, and in New York at the American Museum of Natural History. A Van Lier fellow in 1995, she has participated on panels for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Ford Foundation, and others. Robles has collaborated on projects for the artist collective Godzilla and the Asian American Arts Alliance, where she serves as a board member. Her experience in arts administration and communications includes positions at Creative Capital Foundation; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the Lower East Side Tenement Museum; Art in General; and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. In addition, she is a freelance writer, copy editor, and consultant on integrated media; publication projects include the Warhol Initiative, published by the Warhol Foundation. Robles holds an undergraduate degree in art and psychology from Drew University and a master’s in fine arts from Cornell University. Her collaborative project Counter Culture Cash with Anna Stein was featured on Artnet News and their joint work continues to receive support and recognition from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Front Room Gallery in Brooklyn, among others, and is being presented at symposiums and conferences across the country. She was born in New York City and is currently based in Washington, DC.
Amy Hau (Board Secretary) is the Director of Marketing & Operations at WXY architecture + urban design. Prior to joining the award-winning architecture and planning firm, she was the Director of Administration and External Affairs at the Noguchi Museum, where she was part of the senior management team that stewarded the legacy of the world-renowned Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. In her three-decade career at the museum, she played a significant role in the transition of the artist’s estate into a museum, including the overseeing of its multi-phase $23 million capital project and the development of its master plan. She has served on her local community board since 2012 and joined the board of the Asian American Arts Alliance in January 2016.
Leslie Kuo (Board Treasurer) joined the board of the Asian American Arts Alliance in 2017 to participate in enriching and fortifying the vibrant Asian and Asian American arts community. Her ten years of experience in the arts include gallery management, curatorial pursuits, and fundraising. As a gallery director between 2006 and 2012, Leslie guided the growth of contemporary art galleries in Shanghai, China. She has overseen exhibitions and special projects with the Hong Kong Art Centre, Aerochine Aviation, Shanghai World Financial Center (Mori Group), Wheelock/The Wharf (Holdings), Ritz-Carlton, and Langham Hotel, among others. She helped organize the China Art Prize by Yue-Sai Kan and has curated exhibitions for galleries and museums in Shanghai, Bangkok, Vancouver, and New York.
Leslie was the lead curator for Our Portraits, Our Families, an exhibition mounted by Asian Pride Project at the Museum of Chinese in America that used photography as a medium for advocacy and social engagement. The exhibition was featured on major mainstream and ethnic media outlets including the Wall Street Journal and Sinovision. Stonewall Community Foundation honored Asian Pride Project with a Vision Award in 2015 alongside actress and LGBTQ rights advocate Fran Drescher and artist Kehinde Wiley.
In her current role at the Jewish Museum, Leslie builds support from private donors, foundation partners, corporate sponsors, and government agencies that share the museum’s commitment to the interpretation of cultural identity and experience through visual art. Leslie successfully spearheaded the Jewish Museum’s first online funding campaign through Kickstarter to generate early global engagement with the contemporary group show Take Me (I’m Yours).
Aparna Balaraman, Director, is a member of BlackRock's Corporate Development team, partnering closely with internal business leaders to plan and execute the integration efforts related to the M&A transactions in support of the firm's strategic priorities. Aparna joined BlackRock in 2012 to lead the Financial Controls Reporting team within Finance, responsible for executing the Sarbanes-Oxley program globally and supporting Finance with firmwide and department specific strategic initiatives. Prior to joining BlackRock, Aparna worked at Morgan Stanley, GFI Group, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and in consulting, focusing on risk management, internal audit, and IT audit. She served on the board of the American Heart Association Young Professionals New York, and she joined the board of the Asian American Arts Alliance in April 2017. Aparna is a chartered accountant from Australia and completed her Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in Accounting and Finance) from Monash University, Australia.
Eveline Chang currently serves as Program Manager for the Education Department at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), America’s oldest performing arts center. She oversees a variety of programs for youth, schools, and artists, including in- and out-of-school residencies in dance, music, and choreography; professional development for individual artists and ensembles; and awards for college and travel study. During her tenure, she has collaborated on major projects with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, Creative Capital, DanceMotion USA, and NYC’s 70th anniversary of the book The Little Prince. Formerly, Eveline served as Education Director at Pentacle and Program/Marketing Manager at the Center for Architecture. Previous to moving to NYC, she was the graduate advisor for UCLA World Arts and Cultures and held positions at Harvard University, the Kennedy Center, and British Council. Eveline holds degrees in Dance and Art History from UC-Irvine and a Masters in Cultural and Creative Industries from King’s College London. In 2012, she was a speaker at the Dance/USA Annual Conference and selected to its Institute for Leadership Training. Most recently, she participated in the Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ Emerging Leadership Institute and the American Express Leadership Academy. Eveline has volunteered her time to the Dance/NYC Junior Committee, the Emergency Fund for Student Dancers Advisory Board, and the King’s College London New York Alumni Committee.
Anita Chiu is a first generation Chinese Australian who moved to Brooklyn, NY in 2011. Anita is a Senior Vice President and lawyer in the Commodities and Global Markets Group of Macquarie. She has been with Macquarie since 2002 and has previously lived and worked in Sydney, London, and Houston. Prior to Macquarie, she worked at the law firm Allen & Overy in London. Anita is passionate about travelling, the great outdoors, and experiencing different cultures. Some of her more recent trips include Yellowstone and Arches National Park and the Galapagos Islands. She is striving to promote diversity and inclusion through her board service with the Asian American Arts Alliance and her leadership position in the multicultural employee network group of Macquarie.
Tara Gupta joined the Alliance board in April 2017. She currently works in ad technology at Google. Tara is particularly interested in the intersection of art and technology. Previously, she studied at Wellesley College and MIT, where she completed a thesis in algorithmic design in relation to Indian mehndi art. She also worked on the Bengali Harlem interactive web documentary at the MIT Media Lab, which found the lost histories of Bengali migrant workers and their ancestors in Harlem. Outside of work, Tara is an enthusiastic consumer and producer of food, Bollywood dance, and virtual reality experiences. Tara is president and founder of Seva Football, a nonprofit that helps young women play soccer in underserved areas across the world.
Ronald D. Lee, a partner of Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, DC, is a national security, cybersecurity, privacy, and government contracts lawyer. He served as President and Secretary and as a Director of the Yale Law Journal Company Inc., and as Secretary and as a Director of the Yale Law Journal Fund Inc. He has participated in pro bono consulting projects for a regional arts and humanities funding organization and two theater organizations.
Lee served as General Counsel of the US National Security Agency from 1994 to 1998 and as Associate Deputy Attorney General, US Department of Justice, from 1998 to 2000. Lee graduated from Princeton University with highest honors. He received an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Oxford, where he attended Balliol College as a Rhodes Scholar, and a JD from Yale Law School. He served as a law clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens, United States Supreme Court, and as a law clerk to Judge Abner J. Mikva, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and regularly writes and speaks on cybersecurity, privacy, counterterrorism, national security, and government contracts.
Ravi S. Rajan is the newly appointed President of the California Institute of the Arts. Known as CalArts, the Institute seeks to help artists develop the skills and personal drive to reach their creative potential, question received ideas, and expand forms of knowledge and experience in the world. CalArts challenges artists to create work that matters globally to the state of culture today and in the future.
Before CalArts, Rajan worked at Purchase College, State University of New York (often known as SUNY Purchase) in a number of roles, including as Director of Art+Design and Dean of the School of the Arts. Prior to Purchase, he taught students from kindergarten through university at various institutions and worked with Nobel Prize-winning scientists on multimedia projects at Rockefeller University.
As a designer and producer, Rajan works on collaborative projects that focus on creating an immersive experience for the viewer/audience/participant, crossing many media including music, architecture, photography, film/video, drama, and performance, and working with artists, choreographers, directors, playwrights, theaters, museums, and galleries around the world. His recent collaborations have been seen at the Whitney Museum of Art, the São Paulo Biennial, and Venice Biennale, and have shown at major venues for art, dance, music, and theater in, among other cities, Basel, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Cochin, Chicago, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Helsinki, Johannesburg, Hobart, Lausanne, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Milan, Montreal, Moscow, New York, Paris, Santiago de Chile, Tokyo, and Warsaw. Originally trained as a musician, he has played and conducted for various productions including Broadway shows, regional theaters, concerts, recordings, and events; with orchestras, bands, and small groups; and has commissioned new collaborative works.
Rajan has degrees from Yale University and the University of Oklahoma and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (UK) in 2010. He is on the board of the Asian American Arts Alliance, and serves as a member of the Tony Awards Nominating Committee. He is involved in various service organizations for the arts, diversity, and higher education worldwide.
Mark Swicegood began studying music at the age of five. He soon took an interest in the organ and began formal instruction at age fifteen with Michael Rowland of Winston-Salem. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he studied the organ with Allen Harris, and a Master of Music degree from Yale University where he studied with Thomas Murray, Martin Jean, and Gerre Hancock. While at Yale he served as the University Chapel Organist at Battell Chapel. In 1997, Mark was a finalist in the Yale Biennial Organ Competition and in the Arthur Poister Competition in 1999. In 2002, he received an honorable mention in the City of Paris Fourth International Organ Competition, being the only American in the history of the competition to advance to the finals. The Diapason (France) reviewed him as a “symphoniste de grande classe.” Mark is a frequent recitalist in the Connecticut and New York metropolitan area. In 2008, he completed an MBA in finance from the Unviersity of Connecticut and is currently a Senior Business Partner at ANZ.
Helen Wan is an author, lawyer, and frequent speaker on Asian Americans in the workplace and diversity and inclusion in corporate America. Her debut novel The Partner Track (Macmillan/St. Martin's Press), about a young Chinese American woman climbing the corporate ladder, became the subject of a Washington Post Magazine cover story on “the bamboo ceiling” for Asian Americans. Her nonfiction work has appeared in the Washington Post, Daily Beast, Huffington Post, CNN.com, and elsewhere. She has also taught fiction writing at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Before becoming an author, she was a corporate and media lawyer for fifteen years in New York at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, P.C.; and as Associate General Counsel at Time Inc. A graduate of Amherst College and the University of Virginia School of Law, Helen also sits on the board of the New York Women’s Bar Association Foundation and is currently at work on a new novel about race, gender, and class in the context of ambition. www.helenwan.com