NASAA 2022 Learning Series Speaker Bios

Meet the speakers and facilitators for the NASAA 2022 Learning Series! Additional  speakers will be listed as information becomes available.

The American Communities Project

June 28, 2022
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern

Dante Chinni

Project Director and Founder, American Communities Project

A journalist for more than two decades, Dante Chinni works with the Wall Street Journal and the NBC News Political Unit. He’s been studying the intersection of communities and data since 2008, when he founded Patchwork Nation. Chinni has won numerous awards for his work, including a 2009 Knight-Batten Award for Journalistic Innovation. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

Ari Pinkus

Senior Editor/Writer and Project Manager, American Communities Project

Ari Pinkus is a storyteller, editor and organizer. Previously, she was digital editor/producer at the National Association of Independent Schools. She has held writing and editing roles at ABC News and The Christian Science Monitor. Pinkus and Dante Chinni met at the Monitor on the Patchwork Nation venture. Pinkus has an M.P.A. from New York University and a B.A. from Penn State.

Diversifying and Empowering the Pipeline

May 26, 2022
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Anika Kwinana

Director of Social Responsibility and Inclusion, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF)

Anika Kwinana serves as WESTAF’s director of social responsibility and inclusion. In this role, she informs and develops a range of equity-centered learning experiences and grants programs that work to build a more inclusive arts and culture sector. Previously, she was a manager of national education initiatives at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where she ensured that arts professionals were equipped with relevant professional learning and support as they sought to provide equitable access to the arts among public school students. Kwinana has worked with a number of arts organizations as a music and arts director, stage manager, producer, gallery coordinator, and subscriptions sales associate. She is chair of the Arlington County (Virginia) Commission for the Arts, a member of the Arts at Mason Board for the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University, and immediate past chair/board member of the Arts Administrators of Color Network. An alum of artEquity’s inaugural BIPOC Leadership Circle, she worked with arts leaders from across the nation to develop social justice leadership models. Kwinana earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Howard University and a master’s degree in arts management from George Mason University, where her capstone focused on the need for diversity in arts organization leadership. She also holds a master’s degree in public anthropology from American University and a postgraduate degree in management from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.

Dana Payne

Director of DEI Initiatives, Diverse Cultures & Heritage, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

As director of DEI Initiatives, Diverse Cultures & Heritage for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), Dan Payne is responsible for the management of the Folk and Traditional Arts Infrastructure program, management of the agency’s nationally recognized Preserving Diverse Cultures Division, and the development and implementation of comprehensive agency DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiatives. Payne has more than 20 years of experience as an arts administrator/project manager with local, regional and national arts organizations in the areas of artist management, residency and production management. She has held professional positions in the finance, public relations/advertising and nonprofit sectors in New York City and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Payne holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a certificate in arts management from the Arts Extension Service at University of Massachusetts Amherst. As a grant maker, she is dedicated to providing artists and organizations large and small with the support, tools and resources necessary to achieve sustainability and to creating and fostering initiatives based on the principles of diversity, cultural equity and inclusion.

Joy Young

Vice President of Programs, South Arts

Joy Young, Ph.D., has more than 25 years of experience in the arts as an entrepreneurial performing artist, arts administrator and academic. Her work as a performing artist included owning a successful music studio and performing as a recitalist, sanctuary soloist, and studio and background vocalist. Young’s 14-year tenure with the South Carolina Arts Commission was highlighted by service on the executive leadership team as the agency director of administration, human resources and operations. She also implemented a variety of programs at the South Carolina Arts Commission, including arts/artist entrepreneurship, nonprofit leadership and organizational development, cultural tourism, statewide conferences and convening, and the AIR Institute. Young’s contribution to the arts at the national level include service as a grant reviewer for the National Endowment for the Arts, member of the Committee for Individual Artists with Grantmakers in the Arts, and a mentor for the NASAA DEI Mentorship Program. Most recently, she served as executive director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. Her work saw her committed to a team that worked together implementing innovative programs, developing and executing proactive and quantifiable arts and culture initiatives, and broadening relationships with new networks and stakeholders. Young holds a bachelor of arts degree in music, a master of arts degree in voice performance, and a Ph.D. in organizational leadership. Her research interests include arts leadership, program assessment and evaluation, and organization and leadership adaptations amid dynamic environmental paradigms.