Advisory Committee

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett has been working with museum collections and exhibitions logistics for over 25 years.  She currently serves as Head of Collections Management at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art where she oversees the collections management and installation teams contributing to the opening of this new museum.  She is the founder of Art Pro Net (APN), an online resource supporting the needs of the contract arts professional community in California. Kelly has a Bachelors in Fine Art Photography from the University of Houston, and a Masters of Art in Arts Management from the University at Buffalo. 

Class of 2022-2025

Dr. Jess Jones

Jess Jones currently serves as the Director of the Institute of Religion for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Berkeley. He holds a BA in political science and MA in religious education from Brigham Young University. He is presently pursuing a PhD from The Graduate Theological Union—specializing in sociology of religion and comparative theology. Whether through dinners, parties, board games, or movie nights, Jess loves to bring people together and create opportunities for them to learn from one another. Jess was born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT. He now lives in Walnut Creek with his wife Corinne, and their four sons—Calvin, Lincoln, Owen, and Miles. He is honored to be a part of the CARe community.

Class of 2023-2026

Shirin Khalatbari

Shirin Khalatbari is an Iranian artist and curator based in Oakland, California. She holds a BA and MA in Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Rome, La Sapienza. She received her MFA degree from San Francisco State University in 2019. Shirin has exhibited internationally in Tehran, Rome, and throughout the Bay Area including venues such as SOMArts, Embark Gallery, and the Doug Adams Gallery. In 2018, she received the Jack K. and Gertrude Murphy Award in recognition of an MA student of unusual caliber with great artistic promise.

In her practice, Shirin investigates the impact and legacy of colonialism, particularly in West Asia, regarding the visual traces of history. As a former archaeologist, she is interested in fragments of the past and how they live in the present. Her work confronts the entropy of memory and history, exploring how its gradual descent into disarray tends to produce new realities.

Class of 2023-2026

David W. McCauley, Jr.

David W. McCauley, Jr. holds a Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. David enjoyed fifteen years with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Foundation, as student, instructor, and performer. He has performed with the Pearl Primus Dance Company and was a member of Omega Liturgical Dance Company. After moving to San Francisco, David joined with Carla De Sola in forming and dancing with Omega West Dance Company. Concurrently, David performed with Wing It! Performance Ensemble. In 2001 David inaugurated and directed Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances at the University of California at Berkeley, where he led the program for nearly two decades. In 2020, David officially passed the torch to new leadership at AileyCamp. He is now stretching his creative wings over other fields of art including painting, book illustration and book design.

Class of 2023-2026

Maria Mortati

Maria Mortati is a museum exhibit designer and educator with expertise in public engagement and participation projects for all ages. With her background in Interaction Design, she designs and deploys projects at all manner of cultural and public sites. Her projects span formal exhibitions to short-term interventions, involving collaborations with other artists, communities, and staff. Maria is a frequent panelist and author on the subject of innovative exhibition design practices. She has twice served as a panelist on the Innovation Lab at the Center for the Future of Museums, AAM Program Review Panel and as a Program Advisor for the Presidio Parklands projects and the Institute at the Golden Gate. Prior to museums, she had a career in Interaction Design working with Xerox PARC, Salon. com, Speck Design, among others. Maria is an adjunct professor in the graduate Interaction Design program at California College of the Arts. She holds a B.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of Colorado, and an M.F.A. in Design from Stanford University.

Class of 2023-2026

Susan Thieme

Susan Thieme is the Managing Director of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, a professional performing ensemble exploring the intersection of contemporary and classical music. Her background spans business administration, marketing, and theatrical production; in addition to freelance assignments with West Edge Opera, Valley of the Moon Music Festival, Earplay, and others, Susan was the stage manager for Left Coast's chamber opera double-bill Death and a Knight and was the producer for their recent opera Dorothea and Artemisia. She holds music degrees from Cornish College of the Arts (B.M.) and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (M.M.).

Class of 2023-2026

Devin Zuber

Devin Zuber, is Associate Professor of American Studies, Religion, and Literature and Core Doctoral Faculty at the GTU (Center for Swedenborgian Studies), and Chair of the Department for Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion. Selected publications include, A Language of Things: Swedenborg and the American Environmental Imagination (University of Virginia Press, 2019), and Blake and Swedenborg: An Anthology of Critical Essays (Swedenborg Foundation, 2016).

Class of 2023-2026