Julie E. Phelps

Artistic Director

Julie Phelps has been with CounterPulse for over seven years. Phelps is a celebrated curator and engages the hybrid strategies of producer, artist, and community activist to advance the multi-faceted mission of CounterPulse. Phelps has led the design and implementation of transitioning from a rental venue to a curated and acclaimed program, launching community-based programming with low-income San Francisco residents, and cross-cultural exchange projects with Germany, the UK, Switzerland, and most recently The African Contemporary Arts Consortium. When not at work, Phelps is (literally) a mover and shaker in the field of contemporary dance, touring nationally and internationally as a speaker and dance artist.

Rick Darnell

Community Engagement Associate

I grew up in North Carolina and hold a BFA in Design for Theater, from UNC-G-Greensboro.  After MFA Studies at Bennington College, I moved to San Francisco and lived at two artists’ live / work spaces, Studio Four and 1800 Square Feet. Performer / choreographer with The High Risk Group, a men’s dance group. 1999 through 2009, worked as studio assistant, and later, program manager at Hospitality House’s Community Arts Program.  Since 2010 I have been the Project Coordinator for TALL, the Tenderloin Art Lending Library.  Currently I am the Community Engagement Fellow at CounterPulse.

Tomás Riley

Executive Director

Tomás Riley brings nearly twenty years of leadership work in community engagement and education throughout California and across the country. He has worked as a bilingual classroom teacher and developed literary programs for leading spoken word organization YouthSpeaks. As Executive Director of ArtsChange, Tomás in the East Bay city of Richmond to create arts engagement opportunities for teens. Most recently he served as the Director of Experience and Community Engagement at the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco. Additionally, Tomás is a founding member of the seminal Chicano spoken word collective The Taco Shop Poets and the author of two collections of poetry.

Jeanne Pfeffer

Development Director

As Development Director, Jeanne works to build and maintain the relationships and resources to further the CounterPulse mission. Prior to joining the CounterPulse staff in 2014, Jeanne honed her skills working with dance and performance artists in the San Francisco Bay Area, most notably with FACT/SF (Operations Manager, 2009-2014) and Jess Curtis/Gravity (Program Director, 2012-2014). She is a former Fellow with the Emerging ArtsProfessionals – San Francisco Bay Area, and a current member of the FACT/SF Board of Directors. As an artist, Jeanne is most interested in the continuous improvisation of life.

Zoë Klein

Producing Director

Zoë Klein is an international performer, teacher, acrobat, event planner, and lighting designer from Brooklyn, NY.  In NYC she has been Tech Director of Brooklyn Arts Exchange and Danspace Project Inc. and has toured as lighting designer or company manager for Eva Dean Dance, Wally Cardona, and Bebe Miller. Zoë has toured 28 countries over 6 continents co-directing acrobatic dance company Paradizo Dance, which has won multiple Cabaret competitions, was seen on So You Think You Can Dance, and was a top Finalist on America’s Got Talent.  Zoë currently dances for Epiphany Dance Productions and Ramon Alayo Company while booking circus acts for private events with her company ZoeKleinProductions.

Erica Dixon

Communications Director

Erica amplifies the story of CounterPulse and our artists by strategizing marketing campaigns, designing our website, and championing clean prose. Erica holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Technology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to working with CounterPulse, Erica served in marketing and creative roles for grassroots electronic art organizations. In her personal art practice Erica makes wearable sculptures and abstract paintings. Erica’s hobbies include mushroom foraging in forests around the Bay Area and playing backgammon.