CounterPulse’s Advisory Council is a select group of cultural, civic, and community leaders who contribute expertise and resources to support CounterPulse and the communities we serve. Council members are champions of the arts and true agents of change.

Our council members come from diverse industries and communities in safeguarding and growing CounterPulse’s important work. By supporting CounterPulse, the Council helps preserve and propel the legacies of the surrounding Tenderloin and Central Market neighborhoods, inclusive of our location within the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District. Our Advisory Council is part of stabilizing arts and culture to ensure that the creative spark of San Francisco cannot be extinguished. 

Anne Bluethenthal

In 1984, Anne Bluethenthal created ABD Productions, a multicultural, multi-ethnic, performing arts company committed to inspiring social change through the arts. Her choreographic language troubles the paradigm of western dance while crafting content driven choreographies that face difficult issues of the day with eloquence and passion. Bluethenthal’s work grows from the belief that relationship is the first site of social change. After 3 decades of building a repertoire of original works, in 2011 Bluethenthal initiated the Skywatchers program. Rooted in SF’s Tenderloin District, Skywatchers is a mixed-ability, community-based performing arts ensemble of Bay Area artists and Tenderloin neighbors committed to leveraging arts for justice and equity. our work emerges from the issues and urgent concerns that animate ensemble members’ lives, most of whom are subject to conditions of housing insecurity and disenfranchisement. These underrepresented stories are placed strategically within artistic and civic discourses. Her community engaged practice also produced ANDARES, an ongoing collaboration with survivors of the Salvadoran civil war to propel the historical memory movement of that country. Among the honors Bluethenthal has received are the Artist Legacy Award from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Award of Recognition from El Teatro Nacional de San Salvador, YBCA 100, SF Chronicle’s Best of 2001, SF Weekly’s Black Box, the SF Bay Guardian’s Goldie Award for Achievement in Dance, and the Rhinette Award for Choreography from Theatre Rhinoceros. 

Julie Chang

Julie Chang is a San Francisco based contemporary artist whose work investigates how identities are constructed and how (mis)understandings of both self and other might be resisted, subverted, and reimagined. Chang received her MFA from Stanford University in 2007, her BA in Sociology from Tufts University and her BFA in Studio Art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1999. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Jose Museum of Art, Stanford University, Transformer Gallery in Washington DC, Montserrat College of Art, Tulane University, Iowa State University and Yeditepe University in Istanbul. She was a recipient of the 2004 Murphy Cadogan Award, 2007 Headlands Center for the Arts MFA Studio Award and is represented by Hosfelt Gallery in San Francisco

Laura Elaine Ellis

Laura Elaine Ellis is co-founder and Director of the African & African American Performing Arts Coalition, co-presenters of the Black Choreographers Festival: Here & Now (BCF). Her work has been recognized by the State of California and the Alameda Arts Commission for preserving African American art and culture.  Laura performs and choreographers with Dimensions Dance Theater and Flyaway Productions; she is the community outreach coordinator and co-curator for the SF Dance Film Festival, Raising Voices program, and has served over 25 years on faculty for the Dance departments at the Athenian School and CSU Eastbay.  Laura served as a founding curator of Performing Diaspora; Board Secretary and Chair for CounterPulse.

Keith Hennessy

Keith Hennessy, MFA, PhD, is a dancer, writer, choreographer, activist, healer, and teacher. Raised in Atikameksheng Anishnawbek territory in Canada, he has lived in Yelamu/San Francisco since 1982 and tours internationally. Hennessy’s work is interdisciplinary and experimental, motivated by anti-racist, queer-feminist, and decolonial movements. With a focus on the poetics and politics of relationship, Keith’s recent collaborators include Ishmael Houston-Jones, Peiling Kao, Snowflake Towers, Brontez Purnell, Nathaniel Moore, Ryanaustin Dennis, Sarah Crowell, and Gerald Casel. Awards include Guggenheim, USArtist, NY Bessie, Sui Generis, and Isadora Duncan Awards. Hennessy directs Circo Zero and was a member of Contraband, 1985-1994. His writing is widely published in both artist and academic contexts. Additionally, Keith is an affordable housing advocate and Board member of the SF Community Land Trust, working to decommodify housing, one building at a time.

Jessica Robinson Love

Jessica Robinson Love was the founding executive and artistic director of CounterPulse. Over 14 years, she led the organization through a merger, relocation, and 10-fold expansion, establishing it as a national model in the field of arts for social justice. She designed and led a statewide initiative to build equity in the performing arts, and helped launch a major public-private partnership to preserve cultural spaces. She is now a managing director at Arabella Advisors, where she partners with foundations, corporations, families, and individuals to advance social change. Jessica helps donors, investors, and social entrepreneurs turn their philanthropic visions into reality by designing and implementing innovative donor collaboratives, campaigns, and grant-making initiatives.

Kate Patterson Murphy

Kate Patterson is the Director of Communications for San Francisco Public Library.  Prior to joining the Library, she led communications for the San Francisco Arts Commission for more than a decade. While at the Arts Commission, she oversaw all external communications and marketing. During her tenure, she was involved in publicizing high-profile civic projects including the world premiere of a 15-ton sculpture by renowned contemporary artist Zhang Huan, the bi-annual Mayor’s Art Award, the opening of three new terminals at San Francisco International Airport, the opening of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and the new Salesforce Transit Center. Kate co-founded the Arts PR Roundtable, a quarterly convening of communications professionals at a variety of arts institutions (large and small). She was also instrumental in the planning and hosting of the 2017 Americans for the Arts Conference and the 2018 World Cities Culture Summit. Kate oversaw all external communications related to Prop E, the restoration of the historic tax allocation for the arts, which passed by a 75% majority in 2018. Prior to the Arts Commission, Kate worked for our great partners and friends at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. She received her BA in Art History from Smith College. A native San Franciscan, Kate lives in the City with her husband and 7-year old daughter. 

Beth Schechter

Beth is a nonprofit consultant specializing in Executive Transitions. She has over 25 years of executive management experience as an executive director of four health and social service organizations in the Bay Area. She also served as Director of Business Development for WestEd and for United Behavioral Health. She has served as a consultant since 2010 providing interim leadership, planning, board governance, and program viability studies. While serving as an interim director she has tackled many staffing, fundraising, board and financial issues while preparing the organization for new leadership. Her interim work has spanned 16 health, social service and cultural organizations, including San Francisco Girls Chorus, Piedmont East Bay Children’s Chorus, East Bay Agency for Children and San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium. She has served on two local theater company boards: Z Space Studio and Counterpulse. She has served on the board of the Friends of Infant Parent Program of UCSF, the Alliance for Nonprofit Management and Kol Shofar in Tiburon. Beth holds a Masters of Public Health and an MBA in organizational leadership.