Simnasho woman named to Oregon Arts Commission
Governor John Kitzhaber has appointed Alyssa Dawamana Macy of Simnasho, Christopher Acebo of Ashland; and reappointed Julie Vigeland from Portland to the Oregon Arts Commission board.
Alyssa Dawamana Macy is of Wasco, Navajo, and Hopi descent and a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon. She currently resides in her tribal community and works for the Vancouver, Washington based Native Arts and Cultures Foundation as a development specialist. She brings a wealth of experience to the Commission as an astute writer, policy maker, advocate and communications and public relations professional. An avid photographer and aspiring writer, Macy believes that media - its content, form, and expression - has an impact on all who consume it. She has worked with many artists and nonprofits over the years to combine media and art with social change campaigns.
Macy is a graduate of Madras High School and received a Bachelor of Arts from Arizona State University. She attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota but believes that the most important education she has ever received has been from the elders in her community of Warm Springs.
Macy is pleased to join the Commission. She believes that "art not only has the power to entertain and educate, it can spark conversation and create change. Creative communities also play an important role in healthy economies and it is great to join the Oregon Arts Commission and support the work being done to ensure a healthy and viable arts community in Oregon."
Christopher Acebo of Ashland is the associate artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). His work at OSF includes collaborating on season planning, creative team selection, casting, strategic planning and producing the festival productions.
Mr. Acebo is a set and costume designer who designed the world premiere production of "All the Way" by Robert Shenkkhan, including its upcoming Broadway production, "Equivocation" by Bill Cain, "The Body of an American" by Dan O'Brien, "Throne of Blood" by Ping Chong, "The Clean House" by Sarah Ruhl, "The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler" by Jeff Whitty, "The Beard of Avon" by Amy Freed, "Living Out" by Lisa Loomer, "Electricidad" by Luis Alfaro and "Chavez Ravine" by Culture Clash, among many others. For seven years, he was an ensemble member of the nationally acclaimed Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles.
As a teacher, he has been an assistant professor in the Theatre and Dance Department at Cal State University, Los Angeles (2002-2007) and has also taught a Master Class in Design at UC San Diego.
Acebo is a recipient of an NEA/TCG fellowship and several awards and has served on selection panels for the NEA, Playwrights Center and the Steering Committee for the Latino/a Theatre Commons Convening, 2013.
He received his MFA from the University of California, San Diego and his BA in Political Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Acebo notes, "I am thrilled to be appointed by Governor Kitzhaber to the Oregon Arts Commission and to play a greater role in supporting the arts. I deeply believe in the positive impact the arts can have in building an inclusive community, fueling the economic engine of our state and adding to the quality of life for all Oregonians."
Additionally, Julie Vigeland, chair of the Oregon Arts Commission, has been reappointed by Governor Kitzhaber for another term. Vigeland has wide-ranging volunteer experience with arts and cultural nonprofits as well as foundations. She is a member of the Giving in Oregon Council, Oregon's think-tank on philanthropy and giving. She has been a member of the board of Portland Center Stage since 1995, serving as chair for five years and chairing the Capital Campaign for the Gerding Theater at the Armory. Vigeland is one of three trustees of the Jackson Foundation and a trustee of the Wessinger Foundation.
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The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (Oregon Business Development Department) in 1993 in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission's expertise in grant-making, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.
The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature, federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.