CounterPulse is growing our outstanding team of Board of Directors!
CounterPulse’s Board of Directors comprise a strong coalition of thinkers, makers and movers in the Bay Area who advocate for art for positive change. As a member of our Board, you become a pivotal part of CounterPulse’s artistic and social community as an ambassador of our steadfast, 30-year organization.
CounterPulse’s Board advocates on behalf of our organization and leverages key resources and cross-sector networks in our collaborative advancement strategies. Current Board Members bring their backgrounds in law consultation, urban planning and architecture, software engineering, and non-profit management to the table. We’re looking for additional members to join our Board who are prepared to lead CounterPulse as we take on the extraordinary opportunity to buy our building and make a legacy impact on the city of San Francisco!
Kush Amerasinghe is a curious human on an ongoing pursuit of understanding the world and humanity while being a multidisciplinary problem solver for a living – currently working on future creative software innovation initiatives at Adobe in San Francisco. Kush co-founded multiple cutting edge technology and digital media startups/projects in Sri Lanka, Italy, Philippines and Indonesia. Using the intersection of art, technology and business to empower people to make the world a better place is one of Kush’s recurring aspirations. CounterPulse’s mission to help artists question assumptions and rethink norms is well aligned with his approach to innovation by taking the path less travelled. As a person who beat the odds to overcome adversity during times of extreme turmoil, Kush appreciates the importance of giving more opportunities to more people and help them realize their full potential. When not experimenting with technology, Kush enjoys being an amateur of many things including drumming, theoretical physics, aviation, and life.
Lisa Beyer is a landscape architect and urban planner, passionate about cities, design and community. Her love of urban landscapes informs a long-standing commitment to the implementation of nature-based solutions. Hailing from sunny Tucson, Arizona, Lisa has twenty years of experience planning, designing and managing a number of acclaimed urban projects in New York City, St. Louis, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area. Dance and music have always been an integral part of her life. In high school and college, Lisa participated in modern dance programs where she choreographed work and performed regularly. This was formative for her future career in design. Lisa is inspired by and committed to CounterPulse’s mission to encourage and support risk taking in the arts, provide the resources and space to test ideas, connect with community, and help artists launch careers. She holds dual master’s degrees in landscape architecture and city planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree in architecture with a minor in dance from Washington University in St. Louis.
Carlos Brache was born and raised in Southern California where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the California Institute of the Arts. Currently, he works for a non-profit in the field of organ and tissue donation where he serves as the In-House Coordinator for a large San Francisco hospital where he provides education to hospital staff as well as providing grief support to families of donors. When not working, he maintains his passion for the arts through an active studio practice. His work has been shown locally and nationally, and is included in multiple private collections. Carlos believes that art has the ability to shake us out of our routines and transport us into a different mindset. It helps us to examine our lives and contributions to society, revealing the layers and patterns around us if we give ourselves time and space for it.
Victor Cordon is a social impact professional currently leading employee impact, community impact and philanthropy practices at Okta. He has over a decade of experience working in nonprofit fundraising, corporate partnerships and philanthropy roles for organizations including the American Red Cross and AAA. Victor is passionate about activating individuals and organizations to do their most strategic good, believing that a more just and equitable world requires thoughtful and intentional participation in community. A proud San Francisco native, Victor is committed to protecting and enriching the Bay Area’s artistic and cultural legacy, and believes in the need for spaces like CounterPulse to exist. He holds a BA from UCLA, where he studied dance, performance studies and globalization studies.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Joel has spent his career managing programs for community and emergent mental health in San Francisco. Most recently, Joel managed San Francisco’s suicide hotline, where he pioneered new techniques for suicide risk reduction and community engagement. Joel balances his career with what he finds life sustaining; the arts. In addition to his work with CounterPulse, Joel is a photographer and has a background in film and social arts practice. Joel attended UC San Diego where he earned a BA in Communication. His focus has always been on the intersection of storytelling and health.
Shannon Hong is a product manager at Scale AI, a company accelerating the development of AI applications across many industries. She focuses her time on technology, policy, and culture, and how they interweave to shape our communities and society at large. Shannon deeply admires the creative, justice-focused, and community-driven work of CounterPulse, and sits on the Strategic Planning and Development committees to support and shape CounterPulse’s theory of change. At the University of California, Berkeley, she studied Development Studies and Data Science, and she finds great joy in building community all around the world, having worked in Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, and New York. You can find her on the internet writing an irregular newsletter Shannonigans or making tea brewing videos.
Stephanie Kurteff is an Attorney, currently working for a nonprofit organization focused on women’s health. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area by parents who loved and frequented small community theater, she grew up with an appreciation of the arts and is inspired by CounterPulse’s vision to create community through art. Stephanie graduated college from UC Davis and Law School at the University of Oregon. She lived in Austin, Seattle and New York City, before settling back to the Bay Area. Outside of work, she is passionate about the outdoors, hiking and a continuing quest to keep discovering new trails in the local area. A lifelong animal lover, Stephanie has one dog at home and volunteers as a local foster for senior mutts.
Peter McCormack is a marketing and communications professional currently serving as Vice President of Highwire PR. He works with clients from established Fortune 500 companies to tech startups, and manufacturers to local arts organizations. For several years, he ran PR for Taste of Potrero, SF’s premier food gala which features servings from the city’s star chefs benefitting the Daniel Webster Elementary School. At CounterPulse, Peter serves on the Strategic Planning Committee. He graduated from Tufts University, where he collaborated and performed with Spirit of the Creative (formerly SOC) — a means of cultural expression through singing, acting and dancing. Peter strongly believes that art has an important impact on individuals, communities and cross-cultural exchange. He is committed to providing a safe space for artists and cultural innovators to work and flourish.
Diana K. Murphy (she/they) is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in San Francisco. She thrives on producing accessible and data-driven products and experiences for cultural organizations that are engaging and have long-term impact. She is a culturally sensitive and collaborative team player who loves to think creatively and holistically about how to reach diverse audiences. She holds an M.A. in Museum Studies from Marist College / Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici completed in Florence, Italy, and a B.A. in the History of Art and Visual Culture from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has presented her research on contemporary art, the digital humanities, and museology at universities and museums in the United States and abroad. She’s also a dancer and choreographer and competes in competitions, and is a strong believer in the power of art as a catalyst to inspire transformative change—no matter the medium.
Antoaneta (Toni) Petkova
Antoaneta (Toni) Petkova, Ph.D. is CounterPulse’s board treasurer. In her daily life, she is a professor of management at San Francisco State University where she teaches strategy and entrepreneurship. Her academic research focuses on technology and innovation management. She is passionate about arts and believes in the power of arts to bring social justice to our society. She was attracted to CounterPulse by its innovative and diverse programming. Over the years, this became her favorite art space in San Francisco where she regularly brings family and friends to enjoy its vibrant art community.
Julie E. Phelps
Julie E. Phelps has been with CounterPulse for over 10 years. Working at the intersection of the arts, activism, and community development, Phelps enacts intentional imprecision as a mode of advancing the multi-faceted mission of CounterPulse. As Artistic & Executive Director, Phelps intersects grassroots community responsiveness with practices borrowed from tactical urbanism, placemaking and social innovation to co-create transformational experiences on and off stage for CounterPulse artists and audiences. Recently named a YBCA 100 Honoree for her work leading the process of acquiring and renovating a new building in San Francisco to launch a new model for placing arts at the center of community development as the pilot project of the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST). Phelps collaborated with Jensen Architects to create a built environment that fosters risk-taking and innovation. The resulting facility has been acclaimed by the press and featured in architectural reviews, receiving the 2017 Inspiration Award from CONTRACT magazine. In addition to her work on the facility development, Phelps led the enterprising team of CounterPulse in funding and launching a curated and acclaimed program of performing arts events, community-based programming, and international cross-cultural exchange projects. Phelps tours nationally and internationally as a speaker, U.S. representative, and dance artist.
Frank Smigiel is a visual arts-based curator, educator, and writer. He currently serves as the Director of Arts Programming & Partnerships at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco, where he develops public art and community projects. The former Associate Curator of Performance & Film at SFMOMA, he has worked with artists including assume vivid astro focus, Desirée Holman, Joan Jonas, Sara Shelton Mann, Rashaad Newsome, Naomi Rincón-Gallardo, Jacolby Satterwhite, Sunny A. Smith, and Maya Stovall, among many others. His curatorial interests including the intersection of theater and time-based art, commerce by artists, and queer histories. He has worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Rosenbach Museum & Library, and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Until their closure, he was the Chair of Exhibition & Museum Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute. He holds a doctorate in English Literature from the University of Delaware.
Lucy Milligan Wahl
Lucy Milligan Wahl is the founder of LMW Edits, a San Francisco based professional organizing company. Previously, she earned an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, worked in fundraising at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, and graduated with an AB from Princeton University. A lifelong dancer and lover of performance, she was drawn to CounterPulse by the breadth and depth of the work presented. What she didn’t expect was to discover a thriving, vibrant community full of new friends that welcomed her with open arms. She’s dedicated to CounterPulse’s growth and development because she believes that its place in the San Francisco arts scene is both vitally important and irreplaceable. Lucy lives in San Francisco with her husband, Andrew, and rescue pitbull, Petunia.