Jana K. Napoli
Founder and Board President
Jana Napoli is a lifelong New Orleans resident and a mixed-media artist and creative entrepreneur concerned with civic and community engagement. Her career began through her study of painting and she established herself as a professional artist in the 1970s with painting residencies and exhibits in Berlin, Guatemala City, Paris, Wroclaw, and London. Returning home in the early 1980s, Napoli opened her own gallery and B&B, joining an urban redevelopment movement that spawned what is now known as the New Orleans Arts District. In 1988, she founded YAYA and served as its Creative Director for 12 years. Napoli has exhibited worldwide and received numerous awards, among them, Oprah Winfrey “Use Your Life Award” (2002) and President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities award (1999).
After Hurricane Katrina, Jana created Floodwall, an installation of 710 drawers collected in the wake of the storm, bringing together themes of community and loss. Jana’s later creative endeavor, Death of the Wetlands, is an homage to the birds and deteriorating swamps and coastline of Louisiana. Jana’s work embodies her fascination with the unspoken and the unseen, as does palmistry, Napoli’s avocation for decades. Deeply knowledgeable about this practice and its uncanny power to lay bare the deeper patterns of individual lives, Jana also finds in palm reading a wonderful way to open channels of communication and build trust with strangers. Jana’s latest endeavor is The Hands of Iceland, documenting the unique palms of the people of this island nation.
Executive Director and
Ann Kaufman is the Executive Director of the Ana & Adeline Foundation. For more than 25 years, Ann has worked in the field of arts and culture – starting and returning to her work with the YAYA community. She designed and oversees the foundation’s grant, scholarship, and professional development programs. From 2007 to 2010, she was Program Director of the Visual Artists Network, an initiative of National Performance Network, seeded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, to provide nationwide funding for under-recognized artists and the creation of experimental work. From 2001 to 2006, she was YAYA’s Executive Director of Operations in partnership with Executive Creative Director Rondell Crier. During their tenure, YAYA created Urban Heroes, a youth mentoring program, and received recognition from OPRAH’s Use Your Life Award. From 1998 to 2001, Ms. Kaufman worked at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as the Cultural Programs Manager, producing exhibitions with regional and international culture bearers and artists from the Caribbean and southern Louisiana. Ann’s first job out of college was working as YAYA’s Outreach Coordinator.
Kaufman received a BA in studio art from Scripps College in Claremont, California, and was awarded two fellowships (1998 and 2000) from Durfee Foundation's American/Chinese Capital Adventure Program. Ann believes her native New Orleans is the zenith of all things beautiful and complex in the world.
Arts Leadership Fellow,
Rondell Crier (b. 1975, New Orleans) is based in Chattanooga Tennessee. His life revolves around creativity, not just in practicing visual art forms, but also by using creative energy as a means to support and inspire communities. He approaches artmaking completely open to working with various methods, processes, and materials, understanding that with more skills and knowledge he can better imagine, design, and fabricate works to engage upon the world. As important as it is for him to practice art, it is equally important to discover how to engage communities in the artmaking
process, and identify how his creativity can investigate solutions towards combatting social injustices. His hybrid-creative role includes art-making, arts advocacy, mentorship, community arts, and cultural leadership, all identified as a social art practice. Embracing his culture of weaving together practice and engagement for social change creates artwork that speaks its own language.
As a young artist, he traveled and exhibited in Japan, Germany, Italy, New York, Holland, and numerous cities across the States through YAYA, a New Orleans-based youth-arts organization. He worked with Paul Chan and Creative Time on Waiting for Gadot in New Orleans and was commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum's Works in Process to create artworks for its 2009 Peter and the Wolf production. In response to Katrina, Rondell created two installation artworks: “On the Street” Prospect 1 Biennial (2008) - New Orleans and at the Contemporary Arts Center (2010), “After Disaster” DiverseWorks in Houston, Tx and at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans (2014).
Julia Gene Taylor
Julia Gene Taylor (United States, b. 1992) studied Visual Art at the New Orleans Center for Creative Art from 2008-2010. She received a BFA in Visual Art and English Writing from Loyola University in New Orleans in 2015. She has exhibited in group shows in New Orleans at Antenna, Blue Plate Artist Lofts, 5 Press Gallery, Annunciation Hall, the Arts Council, Steve Martin Fine Art, Parse Gallery, UNO St. Claude Gallery, the Second Story Gallery at the Healing Center, Loyola University and the San Francisco Art Institute in California. She recently moved to Atlanta with the goal of rededicating herself to her arts and writing practices. She showed work in two exhibits at The Bakery gallery in Atlanta in Spring 2021 and will be co-curating a show there in Summer 2021.
Julia joined the Ana & Adeline Foundation in 2018 to create the YAYA archive - converting more than 10,000 print images and negatives to a digital archive. She now serves as Program Manager supporting the grants, scholarships and artist engagement.
She is passionate about women’s rights, environmental justice, mental health and social justice. She is navigating these issues through her art and poetry. She believes in the power of using her voice and hopes that her work inspires release and inhibition in all who view it.
College & Career Advisor
Darryl White is a visual creative driving design direction on multiple verticals. He has spearheaded projects in graphic design & production, consumer packaging, print collateral, logo and identity development, social media graphics, digital assets, and graphic apparel.
Whitelight Media is his creative space for showcasing his work and passions. Located in Metro Atlanta, and educated at The Savannah College of Art & Design and Xavier University, his life as a creative began in New Orleans as a member of a local arts organization named YAYA. His passion and zest for design is grounded with the heart, soul and flavor of New Orleans.
Social Media Designer
Némesis grew up in the DC-Metro area and received her BA from St. Mary's College of MD in Film Studies and Asian Studies. Shortly after graduation, she interned at Wolf Trap where she found an appreciation for arts management. She later received her MA in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans. During her time in NOLA, Némesis worked in youth programming and community engagement at the YAYA Arts Center. Upon returning to DC, Némesis continues her work as an Arts Administrator working locally at Pyramid Atlantic and remotely with the Ana & Adeline Foundation. Némesis is always inspired by the artists she works with and loves trying her hand at different mediums. Recently, her interests lie in painting, fabric arts, and book arts.
Lyndon J. Barrois, Sr.
An Oscars VFX Executive Branch member, Lyndon J. Barrois, Sr. boasts a long career in art and animation. He is an animation director and filmmaker based in Los Angeles with a thirty-plus year career marked by a practice in many corners of the field. His early stop-motion work won him accolades while still a master's student at the California Institute of the Arts. He went on to direct visual effects of The Matrix Trilogy, sequences in the Oscar-winning Happy Feet, and supervise the nuanced dinosaur performances in the Tree of Life. Other animation productions included Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Thing. He's also worked extensively in the field of Virtual Reality, having co-founded Blackthorn Media and exhibiting titles at Sundance and Tribeca international film festivals. Since 2018 Barrois exhibited FútBallet, a miniature sculpture and animation installation at the Pérez Art Museum Miami in The World’s Game: Fútbol and Contemporary Art, directed an animated profile on author TaNehisi Coates for topic.com, created a music video for blues phenom Kingfish Ingram, and is currently part of artist Glenn Kaino’s massive installation at Mass MOCA till fall 2022.
A native New Orleanian and graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, Barrois has served on boards and formed donor affiliations with the Santa Monica Museum of Art (now ICALA), the William H. Johnson Foundation, YA/YA, Inc., CAAM, LACMA, MOCA Los Angeles, LA Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), LAXART, Studio Museum Harlem, The Mistake Room, etc. He’s an official board member of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, CalArts Board of Trustees, and the Academy Museum’s Inclusion Advisory Task Force.
Valerie Cassel Oliver
Valerie Cassel Oliver is the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Prior to her position at the VMFA, she was Senior Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2000 –2017). She has served as director of the Visiting Artist Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1995-2000) and a program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts (1988-1995). In 2000, she served as one of six curators selected to organize the Biennial for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
During her tenure at the CAMH, Cassel Oliver organized numerous exhibitions including the acclaimed Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970 (2005); Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970 with Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee (2009); and Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (2012). She has also mounted significant survey exhibitions for Benjamin Patterson, Donald Moffett, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Jennie C. Jones, Angel Otero and Annabeth Rosen.
Her 2018 debut exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was the five-decade survey of work by Howardena Pindell entitled, Howardena Pindell: What Remains to be Seen. The exhibition, co-organized with Naomi Beckwith, was mounted for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and, named one of the most influential of the decade. At the VMFA, Cassel Oliver organized the exhibition, Cosmologies from the Tree of Life that featured over thirty newly acquired works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. Most recently, she opened the exhibition, The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture and the Sonic Impulse, to critical acclaim. The exhibition that opened in Richmond May 2021 and is currently touring through January, 2023.
Cassel Oliver is the recipient of a Getty Curatorial Research Fellowship (2007); a fellowship from the Center of Curatorial Leadership (2009); the High Museum of Art’s David C. Driskell Award (2011); the Arthur and Carol Kaufman Goldberg Foundation-to-Life Fellowship at Hunter College (2016) and the James A. Porter Book Award from Howard University (2018). From 2016-17, she was a Senior Fellow in Curatorial Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and, in Spring 2020, she served with Hamza
Walker as a Fellow for Viewpoints at the University of Texas at Austin.
Most recently, Cassel Oliver was named the recipient of the 2022 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence from The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and the awardee of the College Arts Association’s 2022 Excellence in Diversity Award. In March, 2022, she accepted the Alain Locke International Art Award from the Detroit Institute for the Arts.
Cassel Oliver holds an Executive MBA from Columbia University, New York; an M.A. in art history from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and, a B.S. in communications from the University of Texas at Austin.
Anne T. Dowling has a 33 yearlong career in strategic philanthropy services as a corporate executive and consultant. As President of the Texaco Foundation and the Texaco Global Fund from 1997 to 2002, Ms. Dowling developed innovative music and science education programs. The Foundation’s music education program, “Early Notes: The Sound of Children Learning,” was featured in Texaco’s global corporate advertising.
Beyond programs in the U.S., Ms. Dowling worked directly with Texaco’s business units around the world to develop and support capacity building and leadership training for NGOs in their countries.
Throughout her years as an independent consultant in strategic philanthropy, Ms. Dowling has been retained by Coca-Cola, Sears, Avon, American Express, Chevron, Rolex and United Air Lines. Following the sale of Texaco to Chevron, she was retained by Chevron from 2002 to 2006. During that period, she developed and implemented a program to address heightened discrimination in the United States against Arabs, Muslims and South Asians in the wake of the September 11th attacks. In 2013, she was retained by Rolex to assist the LA Philharmonic’s Maestro, Gustavo Dudamel, in creating a personal foundation devoted to the vital role that music can fill in making the world a better place for all. Ms. Dowling now serves as the Dudamel Foundation board president.
Earlier, as Director of Corporate Contributions at Altria, Ms. Dowling created and implemented a national program to address hate speech on college campuses. In 1991, Ms. Dowling visited YAYA and shortly thereafter Altria committed support to the fledgling youth studio program - YAYA's first corporate contribution.
Ms. Dowling’s experience in the nonprofit sector includes 10 years with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund as a development and communications executive, and as advisor in these areas to the Bank Street College of Education, the University of Michigan, the Urban Institute, and the Commission for Racial Justice of the United Church of Christ.
Paul Gangsei, J.D.
Paul Gangsei has recently retired from active practice as a real estate partner in the New York office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a leading national law firm. In his practice he developed particular expertise in representing not-for-profit educational, healthcare, social service and cultural institutions and public entities in real estate and development transactions. He continues to apply his experience to the projects and activities of The Design Trust. Paul holds a JD from New York University School of Law and studied urban planning at NYU's Wagner School. As a volunteer, Paul also serves on the Board of Trustees of The Design Trust for Public Space and is a past Chair of the Board of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
Tatiana Clay Jurzak is a Certified Public Accountant and the Assistant Director at Zemurray Foundation, a grant-making organization in New Orleans, LA. Prior to her four years of service in the assurance practice of Ernst & Young LLP, Tatiana was a consultant with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center where she was recognized nationally for her achievements in assisting entrepreneurs access capital to start and grow their companies. Passionate about helping creative people manage their business and finances, Tatiana has served as a member of the board of directors of the Ana & Adeline Foundation since 2015 and as Treasurer of the board of directors of Goat in the Road Productions, Inc. since 2012. She is a 2018 graduate of the Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum in New Orleans. Tatiana earned her Masters of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans and Bachelors of Arts from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. She lives in the French Quarter with her husband Jason.
Matthew Roger oversees operations of Roger & Associates, a 3rd generation, family-owned and operated, a boutique professional advisory firm headquartered in New Orleans with substantial business also in Houston and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Roger & Associates provides proactive tax, accounting, & management consulting solutions for businesses & their principals primarily in the real estate & construction, hospitality & tourism, professional service provider, manufacturing & wholesale distribution, and motion picture & entertainment industries. Matthew has served on the board of directors of Lighthouse Louisiana and is a founding board member and treasurer for the Ana & Adeline Foundation.