Alice Gray Stites is Museum Director and Chief Curator at 21c Museum Hotels, a multi-venue museum now located in nine cities across the U.S. Stites curates exhibitions, site-specific commissions, and a range of cultural programming at all 21c Museum Hotels. Under Stites’s leadership, 21c has collaborated with artists and other cultural organizations worldwide, including Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, North Carolina Museum of Art, Speed Art Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Creative Capital Foundation, FotoFocus, Creative Time, ArtPrize, Pen & Brush, For Freedoms, EXPO Chicago, Warhol Museum, and others. Since opening in Louisville in 2006, 21c has presented over 100 exhibitions. Recently, Stites has curated Seeing Now; Albano Alfonso: Self-Portrait As Light; Labor&Materials, Fallen Fruit: The Practices of Everyday Life; The Future is Female; Truth or Dare: A Reality Show; Dress Up, Speak Up: Regalia and Resistance; The SuperNatural; Refuge; This We Believe, and others.
For more than 20 years, Nicole has worked with artists and art spaces to present exhibitions and develop public engagement initiatives. Her work examines race, place, food, and health and how all these aspects of life intersect. Her exhibitions include The Grace Jones Project; Burning Down the House: Building a Feminist Art Collection; Fallen Fruit: Power of People, Power of Place; Derrick Adams: Crossroad—A Social Sculpture; and Build Better Tables. She’s held posts at Art21, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, and the Brooklyn Museum. She was a recipient of the 2017 Diversity + Leadership Fellowship with the Alliance of Artists Communities, and a 2019 Arts Writers Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital.
Lisa Dent is an advocate for living artists and cultural workers. Her background includes work in film, theater and the visual arts as a curator, gallerist, writer, production designer and creative producer. She is the Executive Director of Artspace New Haven, a nonprofit for contemporary art. Previously, Dent was the director of resources & award programs at Creative Capital leading the financial and advisory services programs, advising artists on the full realization of their projects. Dent was a Helena Rubenstein Fellow at the MoMA and held curatorial staff positions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. From 2004-08, Lisa owned Lisa Dent Gallery in San Francisco where she presented the work of emerging and mid-career international artists. Dent received her BFA from Howard University, her MFA from NYU, and completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in curatorial studies.
Hasan Elahi is an artist whose work examines issues of surveillance, citizenship, migration, transport, and the challenges of borders and frontiers. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions at venues such as SITE Santa Fe, Centre Georges Pompidou, the Sundance Film Festival, the Gwangju Biennale, and the Venice Biennale. His work is frequently in the media and has been covered by The New York Times, Forbes, Wired, and has appeared on Al Jazeera, Fox News, and The Colbert Report. Elahi has spoken about his work to a broad range of audiences such as Tate Modern, Einstein Forum, the American Association of Artificial Intelligence, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, TED, and the World Economic Forum. His recent awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship, grants from Creative Capital, Art Matters Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, and he is a recipient of a Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award. He is currently Professor and Director of the School of Art at George Mason University.
Ryan has worked with BLT since 2016 and is UCLA’s Sinai Manuscripts Digital Library Data/Metadata Coordinator. He came to UCLA from the University of Pittsburgh where he served as Research Associate in the World History Center. There, his work focused on developing open data standards to describe and model historical artifacts, geography, and events in order to visualize and inform our understanding of the social, political, and economic networks at play. Prior to this position, Ryan served as Director of the Ancient World Mapping Center at UNC-Chapel Hill and he currently serves as an Associate Editor of the Pleiades gazetteer of ancient places, an authoritative source for data on over 35,000 ancient locations in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Ryan received his Ph.D. in Ancient History from UNC-Chapel Hill.
In 2020, Sarah Workneh will mark 10 years as Co-Director at Skowhegan. Prior to her tenure, Sarah was the Associate Director of Ox-Bow, School of Art & Artists’ Residency for 9 years. Primarily focused on the educational program, and off-season programming with Alumni, Sarah leads all efforts to support artists in the expansion of their practices. Understanding the holistic nature of the program, Sarah oversees the admissions process, facilities usage and expansion under Skowhegan’s Master Plan, as well as the educational daily life on campus. Sarah has published a variety of texts — most recently an essay on participatory education and a catalog essay on radical education published by the New Museum. She serves on the boards of Colby College Museum of Art, RAIR in Philadelphia, and the Somerset County Cultural Planning Commission. She has just joined the Black Lunch Table as a member of the Founding Board of Directors and is currently partnering with Linda Goode Bryant & Project Eats to convert an urban farm to a food pantry in Brownsville, NYC.