Nick Brentley

Producing Manager

Nick Brentley joins the CounterPulse team as Producing and Facilities manager where he oversees facility operations and production logistics. He transitioned to CounterPulse from the Bay Area’s Embodiment Project street dance theater company where he was a company member and rehearsal & managing director.  He is also a board member for San Francisco’s World Dance Fusion. Nick’s diverse performing career includes dancing, singing, modeling, and acting anywhere from the concert stage to short films. Outside of CounterPulse he is a clothing stylist and works alongside master tailor and cobbler Al Ribaya of North Beach’s Al’s Attire. Nick is thrilled to be fusing his collective experience with this team.

Natalie Cone

Operations Manager

As Operations Manager of CounterPulse, Natalie employs creative strategies to support day-to-day operations of the organization. Natalie holds a B.A. in the History of Art from University of California, Berkeley, bolstered by Queer, and Feminist, and Ethnic studies minors. Natalie’s personal background as a first generation college student fuels the desire to focus her education, leadership experience, and labor on inspiring solidarity among the diverse Bay Area communities. Natalie spends her time attending performances and playing outdoors with her 6 year old son, Fela. She also jogs near Lake Merritt, paints, tends the garden, and practices Yoga with her longtime mentors at Oakland’s Barefoot Movement.

Rick Darnell

Community Engagement Associate

Rick came to CounterPulse through the Fellowship Program, and brings 30 years experience in dance, theater, social work, and activism to his role as the Community Engagement Associate. Rick has lived, worked and made art in the Tenderloin neighborhood since 1995. During this time, Rick has facilitated a number of social practice art based project with special populations in the Tenderloin and other communities Along with project partner Central City SRO Collaborative, Rick produces Block Fest, a monthly outdoor event which engages neighbors, visitors and passerbys through a shared arts experience.

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.

Justin Ebrahemi

Outreach Manager

Justin leverages the story of CounterPulse through creative content creation & strategic audience outreach, in addition to managing the growing Front of House program. He holds a B.A. in Journalism and M.A. in Environment & Community from CSU Monterey and Humboldt State University, respectively. Throughout his academic career, Justin advocated for food and environmental justice as an activist and spoken word artist. He brings his expertise in community outreach to deepen CounterPulse’s engagement with the Tenderloin, while his background in social science research spearheads the organization’s audience analytics. Whether working in a homeless shelter or an arts organization, Justin’s drive is to bring disparate communities together under a collective vision.

Nicky Martinez

Program Manager

Nicky’s role at CounterPulse is to provide space tours, help with the House Artist Program, and manage timelines for CounterPulse’s ARC programs. Before this position Nicky worked at the University of San Francisco (USF) as a Professor Assistant to Amie Dowling. They received a BA in Performing Arts and Social Justice from USF and has worked in theaters such as the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, San Francisco Shakespeare Company, and Crowded Fire. Apart from working at CounterPulse Nicky is a native bay area actor and playwright that received a Gender Justice award for their work tackling *Trans/LGBQ issues. They are very excited to work at CounterPulse to continue their drive for promoting social justice performative art in the community.

Julie E. Phelps

Artistic Director

Through CounterPulse, Phelps intersects grassroots community responsiveness with practices borrowed from tactical urbanism, placemaking and social innovation to co-create transformational experiences. Phelps recently spearheaded the process of acquiring and renovating a new building as the pilot project of the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST). In collaboration with Jensen Architects Phelps designed a facility that is acclaimed by the public, press and featured in architectural reviews. Phelps has led the enterprising team of CounterPulse in funding and launching an acclaimed program of performing arts events, community-based programming, and international exchange projects. Phelps tours nationally and internationally as a speaker, U.S. representative, and dance artist.

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.

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.