Ucross, WY — June 14, 2021 — Ucross today announced the establishment of a National Advisory Council.
The council, which officially launched in 2020, is a distinguished group of Ucross alumni; supporters; and business leaders who share a commitment to the organization’s mission, financial sustainability, and vision for the future. Ucross President and Executive Director Sharon Dynak and the Board of Trustees personally invited Advisory Council members, who serve as advisors to program staff and ambassadors in key geographic regions, including New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and the areas of the Mountain West.
"Serving on the council is a deeply meaningful honor for me,” said Gene Back, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and co-chair of the all-volunteer group. “Ucross transformed my artistic perspective when I was a resident. The council is one way for me to give back to an organization that nurtured my artistic journey with its unparalleled natural surroundings and supportive staff. There are few places on Earth that can match the magical atmosphere of Ucross, and that's something I want to share with the next generation of artists."
Among other duties, Ucross National Advisory Council members will help spread the word about the distinctive residency program, celebrate the significant achievements of alumni artists, and advise staff and board on trends in contemporary arts and letters. In addition, members will promote fellowship opportunities to artists across the country, with a particular emphasis on prospective applicants from underserved communities, including Indigenous artists who may apply to Ucross’s prestigious fellowships for Native American visual artists and writers.
“The continued success of our residency program is connected to the deep relationships we’ve created with our alumni artists, partners, and leaders in the field,” said Dynak. “Our National Advisory Council allows us to extend our reach to new disciplines, new geographic areas, and new audiences.”
The Advisory Council has 21 members, with two co-chairs who rotate on a biannual basis. They share a common devotion to supporting Ucross, as well as an understanding of the importance of residency programs to the artistic process.
“I am honored to serve on the National Advisory Council, as I am inspired by the extraordinary talent of the artists, writers, and performers the program supports,” said Christie Davis, Major Gift Officer of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. “Ucross provides a nurturing and vast environment where creative people flourish. It is a vital part of the arts ecosystem.”
2021 National Advisory Council members include:
• Martirene Alcántara, Visual Artist, Mexico City, Mexico; New York, NY
• Gene Back (Co-Chair), Composer, Multi-Instrumentalist, Los Angeles, CA
• Christine Castro, Consultant, Santa Fe, NM
• Christie Davis, Major Gifts Officer, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC
• Carolyn Eason, Former Ucross Trustee, Santa Fe, NM
• Judith Freeman, Writer, Fairfield, ID; Los Angeles, CA
• Mary Garland, Former Ucross Trustee and President of the John P. Ellbogen Foundation, Laramie, WY
• Andrea Hanley, Chief Curator at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Santa Fe, NM
• Anthony Hernandez, Visual Artist, Fairfield, ID; Los Angeles, CA
• Steve Jimenez (Co-Chair), Writer, Producer, Santa Fe, NM; New York, NY
• Rainey Knudson, Writer, Editor, Founder of Glasstire, Houston, TX
• Karen Kitchel, Visual Artist, Ventura, CA
• Josh Kun, Writer, Curator, Music Critic, Professor in Cross-Cultural Communication, USC Annenberg School for Communications, Pasadena, CA
• T. Allen (Tim) Lawson, Visual Artist, Sheridan, WY
• Gerald Peters, Gallerist, Santa Fe, NM; Jackson, WY; New York, NY
• John Ryan, Partner, Seward & Kissel LLP, New York, NY
• Elissa Schappell, Writer, Editor, Brooklyn, NY
• Lawrence Schiller, Photojournalist, Producer, Director, President of the Norman Mailer Center, Newtown, PA
• Louise Steinman, Writer, Artist, Literary Curator, Los Angeles, CA
• Josette Urso, Visual Artist, Brooklyn, NY
• Nina Wiener, Editor-in-Chief, Mayo Clinic Press, New York, NY
Ucross Foundation acknowledges with respect that it is situated on the aboriginal land of several Indigenous communities, including the Cheyenne, Crow, and Lakota nations. Indigenous people continue to live in this area and practice their teachings and lifeways. Today, this region remains an important place for many Indigenous peoples. As a Wyoming institution, we recognize and respect this historical context and are working to build reciprocal relationships with the Native nations on whose lands we are situated. In partial fulfillment of that commitment, Ucross established Fellowships for Native American Visual Artists in 2017 and Native American Writers in 2020.