UAA Board of Directors
Victoria (aka Vita) is the Chief Financial Officer for the I J & Jeanne Wagner Jewish Community Center and the Chief Executive Officer of Hammer Spring Distillers, both in Salt Lake City. Victoria earned a bachelors in accounting and an Executive MBA from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. She currently serves as the board treasurer for the Utah Arts Alliance and Youth Futures shelter home. Past work experience: Victoria spent nine years as the Chief Financial and Operations Officer for Discovery Gateway children’s museum, four years as partner with The C.P.A. Network, a local public accounting firm. Her early experience in the nonprofit sector was as the Controller for Planned Parenthood Association of Utah. Vita has a passion for outdoor adventures including hiking, camping and snowshoeing and worldwide travel.
A two time Enlightened 50 (E-50) recipient from the Community Foundation of Utah, Crystal is a certified Utah Change Leader, was named one of Utah Business Magazine’s 40 under 40 in 2013, received a 2020 Star Award from the SCERA, and has been featured as a Utah’s Educated Woman of the Week. Crystal is the Executive Director of Utah Cultural Alliance/Utahns for Culture/Nowplayingutah.com. Collectively, these three entities work together to advocate for and amplify Utah’s diverse arts, humanities, and cultural industries and the incredible contributions they make to Utah's economic, family, and community life. Crystal serves on the boards of SLC Planning Commission, Utah Arts Alliance, Americans for the Arts’ SAAN Council (State Arts Advocacy Network), Utah Women & Politics PAC, LDS Dems (emeritus chair), BYU Political Affairs Society - UT chapter (co-chair), Better Utah Institute, and UTOPIA Early Music. Past work experience: Crystal spent eight years as a marketing, campaign, and event planning consultant at Brand.Pink and was the Audience Development Manager at Utah Symphony | Utah Opera for eight years before that. Crystal is a composer and coloratura soprano. She earned her bachelors in music theory with minors in humanities, economics, and marketing as an undergrad at Brigham Young University and earned her masters in musicology and composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music (Queens College, City University of New York).
Vanessa is a Director of Financial Aid at Western Governors University (WGU), operating out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Vanessa’s career in financial aid began at Neumont College of Computer Science in 2013. She has developed a passion for expanding access to higher education and fostering responsible borrowing and financial wellness for students. Her professional association experience includes serving as the Professional Development/Training Committee Chair for the Utah Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (UASFAA), the Training Committee Chair for the Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (RMASFAA), and an Advisory Board member for the Salt Lake Emerging Arts Professionals (SLEAP).
Vanessa has taken on several roles with the Utah Arts Alliance since 2012 including Development Director, Urban Arts Festival Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Board Secretary, Board Vice Chair, and her current role as UAA Board Chair.
When she isn’t working, Vanessa loves to foster cats and kittens through Best Friends Animal Society.
Kent Rigby is a licensed architect, artist, musician and sound engineer. His notable awards, volunteer work, elected offices, and gallery affiliations include: Winner, Mayor’s Award for Visual Art, June 2000. // Public Relations Coordinator, Salt Lake Gallery Association, 1994 - 1995. // Vice President, Salt Lake Gallery Association, 1995 - 1996. // President, Salt Lake Gallery Association, 1996- 2004. // Member Left Bank Gallery artists co-op, 1994 - 2002. // Director of Public Relations, Left Bank Gallery, 1994 - 1998. // Managing Partner and Director, Left Bank Gallery, L.L.C., 1997 - 2002. // Curator, New Visions Gallery, 2003 – 2004. // Member, Advisory Board, Salt Lake Olympic Committee, Cultural Olympiad, 2002. // Member, Advisory Board, Down Town Alliance, First Night New Years Eve Celebration, 1998 - 1999. // Curator, Annual First Night New Years Eve Celebration, Visual Art Exhibition, 1997 – 1999. // Juror, Utah Arts Festival, Visual Arts, 1999, 2004. // Gallery Director, Utah Arts Alliance, 2006 – 2013. // Recording Arts Director Utah Arts Alliance Midnight Records Productions 2007 – Present. // Utah Arts Alliance Board of Directors, 2015 – Present.
Mauro Romualdo “Jamaika”
Mestre Jamaika (Mauro Romualdo) found his passion for capoeira at seven years old living in Teixeira de Freitas, Bahia, Brazil. He began training under Mestre Gil, of Capoeira Garras De Ouro. By age 15 he was traveling throughout Brazil to train and compete (under the direction of Mestre Loka of CapuraGinga), later winning three consecutive titles in the Brazilian Capoeira Confederation Championships, all before age 20./Certified to teach under the title of “Professor” in 1997, Mestre Jamaika’s exceptional skill and explosive acrobatic talent have since placed him among the most sought-after instructors within the capoeira community, teaching and performing at workshops and events throughout the world for the past 25 years. /In June of 2013, Jamaika was awarded the title of “Mestre” by Mestre Amen./Mestre Jamaika continues to give workshops all over the United States and the world for other capoeira schools as well as for arts and professional dance programs. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Amanda, and plans to continue sharing Afro-Brazilian culture and strengthen community through capoeira.
Andrew Barrett Watson
Andrew Barrett Watson moved to Utah in 2013 from Pittsburgh. He lives in Ogden, where he works for Onstage Ogden, bringing great classical music & dance performances to Northern Utah. Before joining the Board of the UAA, Andrew managed the Arts Hub and special events for the organization. While in Pittsburgh, he was with the Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and opened a Middle Eastern café & performance space that was voted Best Coffeehouse in Pittsburgh. Andrew has worked most of his life in and around the performing arts. He believes that great cities deserve great Art!
Michael S. Anderson
Michael’s practice involves complex commercial disputes regarding intellectual property,
insurance, securities, and constitutional, international, and comparative law. As a result of his
unique background, he also has developed expertise specific to media and entertainment law.
He has experience at all levels of litigation from the trial court to final appeal and especially
enjoys helping innovative startups find creative solutions to practical and legal dilemmas.
Derek Dyer is an artist, arts administrator, and advocate for the arts and social causes.
Derek is the founder and Executive Director of Utah Arts Alliance (UAA). Since 2003 Derek has guided the UAA and helped establish its five venues: The SLC Arts Hub, The Urban Arts Gallery, The Art Garden, Counterpoint Recording Studios, and the Dreamscapes – Salt Lake City’s Immersive Art Experience as well as its many programs and events including the Urban Arts Festival, which is the largest free art event in Utah, Illuminate – Utah’s Light Art and Creative Tech Fest and Mural Fest a public art festival. Derek is also the founder of KUAA 99.9FM Salt Lake City’s Multilingual and Multicultural community radio station.
Derek has been an active Board and Committee member for numerous organizations including: Visit Salt Lake, Utah Cultural Alliance, SLC Downtown Alliance, South Salt Lake Arts Council, The Grand Theater, Element 11 – Utah’s Regional Burning Man Event, and has served on advisory boards for Americans for the Arts, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Salt Lake City Corp, and Salt Lake City Arts Council. He has served as a featured juror for major exhibits by the Bountiful Davis Art Center, The Eccles Art Center, and the Woodbury Museum.
Derek is also an artist and has exhibited extensively at the local and national levels. His work has been published in several books and magazines internationally including the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records, for his World’s Largest Disco Ball art piece.
Awards: Derek received the Joe McQueen Lifetime Achievement Award by the Nurture the Creative Mind Foundation. The Community Foundation of Utah named Derek as one of the top Enlightened Entrepreneurs of Utah. Catalyst Magazine named Derek as one of the top “Change Agents” in the State of Utah that have created positive change in Utah. The City of South Salt Lake awarded Derek as the Top Local Arts Advocate in 2019. Last year Derek and Utah Arts Alliance received the prestigious Salt Lake City Mayor’s Artist Award for Service to the Arts.
I strive to inspire, educate and connect with people from all walks of life. Whether it's through writing grants, training employees or building up marginalized communities, I fundamentally believe all things are achievable through finding commonalities and breaking down systemic barriers which prohibit growth. I'm passionate about serving my community and have served on over seven diverse local and national boards over the years. My journey in life has allowed me to thrive both professionally and personally through lived opportunities and experiences which have shaped the person I am today.
I come from a large Puerto Rican- Cuban family on my father’s side, and a Deaf family on my mother’s side. Growing up between those two cultures meant there was no getting out of a conversation, no matter what! I credit my good communication skills and ability to read a room to my cultural upbringing. I am the proud mother of three growing children, and I’m married to someone who is as passionate about serving his community as I am!
Accepting the position as the Executive Manager for UAA is an honor! Finding an organization that allows me to be creative and authentic while utilizing my diverse skill set was hugely important for me when searching for my ideal profession, and I couldn't be more excited to begin my journey with the Utah Arts Alliance.
Jessica Bedingfield is a huge fan of art and nonprofit work. Jessica has worked for several arts organizations and actively volunteers for others across the country. A plant-lover, Jessica has over 50 houseplants in her apartment and is always looking for more to add to her collection. Jessica is thrilled to work at Utah Arts Alliance and looks forward to making relationship with arts groups and companies around the State.
A lover of the arts from a young age, Rio has been in, on, and around the stage for most of her life. Starting her performance career with belly dance, moving to hooping, on to fire, and full circle back to dance in other forms: twerk and burlesque, this little firecracker is at home on any stage, in front of any crowd. Performances include: Burning Man, Urban Arts Fest, Midway Ice Castles, Burly-picks, and more! She’s just as likely to build a stage as perform on it, dabbling in stage crew since 2009 working concerts, conventions, and fundraisers. Rio has been involved with producing events for years from fundraisers to competitions, producing her own since 2014. From planning, to building, then performing her life is a party, yet Rio somehow manages to keep everything organized around the office. This bookish bookkeeper joined the ranks of the Utah Arts Alliance in 2016 as office manager and tries to wear as many hats as needed. Her attention to detail has the office and events in tip top shape. to the Arts.
Amaris has a wide range of experience and skill sets she draws from to inform her work at the Utah Arts Alliance. In 2018, Amaris earned her BS in Integrated Studies with two emphases in Psychology and Community Health from Utah Valley University. Her Senior Thesis, “Mindfulness in Communities: An Exploration in Connection Using Meditative Practices'' explored how meditative practices can create more connected communities. Amaris has furthered her passion for community building by writing grants for the Utah Arts Alliance since 2018. She now oversees a variety of grants and fundraising projects as the Grants Manager.
Kat Aleman is an accomplished marketing professional with demonstrated success in developing and implementing strategic approaches to drive market growth and bottom-line profitability with experience in both grassroots and guerilla marketing. Not only is Kat an experienced marketing professional, she has worked in the entertainment industry over the last ten plus years. Her experience ranges from large scale festival booking and management, local artist bookings, artist management and PR/marketing consultations with local musicians and performers. In her 3 years with the UAA she has acted as a booking agent for both Urban Arts Festival and ILLUMINATE Festival working with in-state and out of state artists, negotiating contracts and building Festival schedules to ensure a successful entertainment lineup while offering performers opportunities they may not normally have access to.
Jonathan is a former medical social worker that has joined our team in the arts. With his arts and entertainment background in producing events, shows, and gatherings he has a passion for creating and fostering the Arts and all forms. Whether you have a small paint night or a Statewide Gathering, Jonathan is ready to help make your ideas a reality.
Kaycee Lane is a transplant from North Carolina and has lived in Salt Lake City for the past 11 years, with her husband, local artist Patrick Charles. She graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in History and Criminology with an emphasis in Diversity. Kaycee is a Jill of all trades, there’s not much she can’t do. Her rich professional and artistic background; this organization has welcomed her as the Volunteer Program Coordinator and an artist in residence at Dreamscapes.
Cultural Facilities & Venues
Jay is an award-winning actor and member of Actor’s Equity Association, having performed in numerous local professional theatre productions as well as in regional productions coast to coast and off-Broadway. He has originated dozens of roles in world and regional premieres with Plan-B theatre company, and has performed with Salt Lake Acting Company, Pioneer Theatre Company, The Grand Theatre, Salt Lake Shakespeare, Pygmalion Productions, The Utah Symphony, Intermezzo Chamber Orchestra, Nova Chamber Music, Paradigm Chamber Orchestra, The Salt Lake Symphony, as well as in numerous film and tv projects. Jay’s voice has been featured locally and nationally by Ballet West, Squatters, Hertz, The Utah Arts Festival, Chair Entertainment for Xbox Live, Reading Horizons, KUER’s Radio West, and many others.
Jay worked for seven years as Program Coordinator and theatre school faculty at the University of Utah Youth Theatre, where he gained valuable experience in arts administration with the largest and longest running theatre school for young people in the state of Utah. Jay has taught acting, improv, speech, movement, and also directed young artists at Utah Theatre Arts Conservatory, the Egyptian Youth Theatre in Park City, Spyhop Productions, and as a teaching artist in residence at The Leonardo.
Jay’s passion for creating new opportunities for artists in his community led him to his work as Co-Director for the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival, Utah’s largest annual independent theater festival, and to proudly represent the Utah Arts Alliance in his work with Alliance Theater.
When he’s not on a theatre stage or working behind the scenes, you can catch Jay performing with his family band, The Vitals.
Artist, Producer, Performer, Teacher, Monster Trainer
Urban Arts Gallery & Bizarre Bazaar
Kent Rigby is a licensed architect, artist, musician and sound engineer. His notable awards, volunteer work, elected offices, and gallery affiliations include:
Winner, Mayor’s Award for Visual Art, June 2000. // Public Relations Coordinator, Salt Lake Gallery Association, 1994 - 1995. // Vice President, Salt Lake Gallery Association, 1995 - 1996. // President, Salt Lake Gallery Association, 1996- 2004. // Member Left Bank Gallery artists co-op, 1994 - 2002. // Director of Public Relations, Left Bank Gallery, 1994 - 1998. // Managing Partner and Director, Left Bank Gallery, L.L.C., 1997 - 2002. // Curator, New Visions Gallery, 2003 – 2004. // Member, Advisory Board, Salt Lake Olympic Committee, Cultural Olympiad, 2002. // Member, Advisory Board, Down Town Alliance, First Night New Years Eve Celebration, 1998 - 1999. // Curator, Annual First Night New Years Eve Celebration, Visual Art Exhibition, 1997 – 1999. // Juror, Utah Arts Festival, Visual Arts, 1999, 2004. // Gallery Director, Utah Arts Alliance, 2006 – 2013. // Recording Arts Director Utah Arts Alliance Midnight Records Productions 2007 – Present. // Utah Arts Alliance Board of Directors, 2015 – Present.
Hi I’m Terrance. I’m a recording engineer and music producer at Counterpoint Studios. I’ve been helping others make records for over 30 years. I’m also a song writer and musician and have played to audiences throughout the US and Europe for the past 30 years. I’m also a proud Dad to two great kids.
Kristen Chester’s professional journey has found her heavily involved in the world of nonprofits for the last 15 years. “My motivation is to offer impactful support and creative opportunities to those of the community that are in need of a peer and champion.” - Kristen
Kristen loves the chance to empower fringe, emerging, and minority-focused groups and projects. Her work has seen her fundraising and building new community centers, growing art initiatives city wide, producing cabarets, running social activist art campaigns, and mentoring young generations as they set goals to change the world. Kristen joined the Utah Arts Alliance in the spring of 2022 after relocating from British Columbia, Canada where she held the role as Executive Director of a local arts organization, centre, and charity for the last 6 years.
As an artist, Kristen loves to surprise, engage, and push boundaries. For the last 12 years, she has created and shown work throughout the States and Canada. Kristen loves collaborating in artistic photoshoots and concepts, and you will usually always find elements of upcycling in her work. From an early age, she pursued an exploration of visual arts as well as a relationship between her vision and an audience. As Kristen became more confident as an artist, she found many of her installation concepts incorporating the human body as both a canvas and a vessel for her artistic statements. This led to a further desire and comfort in the performing arts. After some time and investments in learning different performing art disciplines, Kristen now finds herself often in front of an audience as both a performer, producer, and visual constructor.
Public Arts Program
Ashley "Zomby" Brown is a Utah local, born and bred right in Salt Lake City. She has studied arts throughout her professional and personal life, receiving recognition and degrees in Graphic Arts & Design, Photography, and Illustration. She has been a general lover of all things art, and has been inspired throughout her life by going to "Urban Arts Fest", "Illuminate" and "Connect" programs that the Utah Arts Alliance has put together throughout the years. She started working with the Utah Arts Alliance as Dreamer in 2019 and life has never been the same since!
Her main focus, as of late, has been as a SFX Makeup Artist at Utah's own Fear Factory, as a sculpture artist and fabricator at Dreamscapes, or as a freelance bodypainter.
When she isn't covered in paint, you can find her kayaking, getting into shenanigans with friends, or snuggled up at home with kitties and a video game.