The 2021 Arts & Culture Leadership Incubator Faculty Team

Arts & Culture Leadership Incubator Faculty

Shin Yu Pai

Shin Yu Pai is the author of 10 books, including ENSO (Entre Rios Books, 2020), AUX ARCS (La Alameda, 2013), Adamantine (White Pine, 2010), Sightings (1913 Press, 2007), and Equivalence (La Alameda, 2003). Her work has been published in Taiwan, China, Japan, the U.K., Canada, and Romania. She has presented her work at The Dodge Poetry Festival, The Montreal Zen Poetry Festival, and at universities, museums, and libraries around the country. From 2015 to 2017, she served as the fourth Poet Laureate of The City of Redmond, Washington. She is also a former presenter for the Humanities Washington Speaker Bureau.

Shin Yu’s essays have appeared in The Rumpus, City Arts, Yes! Magazine, Tricycle, and The Stranger, among others. Her work has been exhibited at the Dallas Museum of Art, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, The Paterson Museum, American Jazz Museum, Three Arts Club of Chicago, The Center for Book Arts, International Print Center New York, and The Ferguson Center Art Gallery at the University of Alabama.

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Shin Yu worked for several years in grantmaking and philanthropy and has worked as a curator, fundraiser, communications director, event producer, consultant, freelance writer, and publicist. She holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA in Museology from The University of Washington. She is an alumna of the leadership program at the Intercultural Leadership Institute, Henry M. Jackson Foundation, and the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute and earned a certificate in Authentic Leadership from Naropa University.

Currently, Shin Yu serves as assistant director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She produces the podcast Lyric World: Conversations with Contemporary Poets for Town Hall Seattle and KUOW Public Radio.


Explore Shin Yu’s work at the following:


Twitter: @shinyupai

Julian Saporiti

Julian Saporiti is a musician and scholar who was trained at Berklee College of Music and earned his MA in American Studies from Wyoming and is finishing his PhD in American Studies at Brown University. His multimedia project No-No Boy which NPR has called "an act of revisionist subversion" has received national critical acclaim for its blend of scholarship and art and has been performed everywhere from rural  bars and churches to Lincoln Center. Recently, Saporiti began exploring the hidden histories of Oregon's Asian American communities in a work called ORIENT OREGON. The first installment of this ongoing work is a collaboration with Portland Taiko looking at Japanese American history and is available to view here.

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Explore Julian’s work at the following:

NoNoBoy Project

NoNoBoy Instagram

NoNoBoyMusic (twitter)

NoNoBoy Facebook


Kristin Solomon

Kristin Solomon has over 20 years of experience in administration, development, fundraising, marketing, communications, design, event planning, and project management in the field of arts and culture. She is a creative soul with a strategic mind that can generate ideas and cast vision, as well as break them down into achievable steps towards long-term goals. She is extremely outgoing, resourceful, dedicated, detail-oriented, and possesses a deep passion for mission-based work. Born and raised in New York, her passion for the arts led her to study at a special trade high school, where she received a certificate in Advertising, Art, and Design. Then she went on to earn a BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. After serving in the AmeriCorps and years of volunteer work for many non-profits, her desire grew to make an impact on society and give more meaning to her work. She continued her education at Pratt Institute, where she completed her Masters in Arts and Cultural Management.

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Throughout her career, she worked for many art businesses wearing many hats. Before becoming a consultant, she took on roles such as Executive Administrative Assistant, Studio Manager, Museum Educator, Program Director, Marketing Specialist, Art Journal Editor, Development Director, and Communications Director. In 2019, Kristin founded Arts and Cultural Management, an agency that serves creative businesses and non-profit organizations. She gives her clients guidance on how to develop unique attractive offerings and build sustainable business practices through coaching sessions, online courses, workshops, and retreats. In addition to running her own business, Kristin is the part-time Director of Blackfish Gallery, located in the heart of the Pearl Arts District of Portland and serves on the Boards of Directors of the Portland Art Dealers Association, Creative Arts Community, and Friends of Menucha Foundation.


Websites and Social Media

Erica Thomas

Erica Meryl Thomas is an artist, educator, and designer, and co-founder of Works Progress Agency, an interdisciplinary design consultancy based in Portland, OR. WPA’s mission is to bring creativity and equity to workplaces, and create opportunities for artists to make a living at their work. In 2020, WPA launched the Working Culture Toolkit, a facilitation guide for individuals and organizations to hone their values and put them into place within their work. 

From 2017–2020 WPA operated MATTER, a storefront artspace and residency program in Inner SE Portland focused on building opportunities for socially engaged artists to experiment, exhibit and sell their work. 

As an artist, she utilizes a multitude of media and forms to explore concepts like vulnerability, solidarity, and pleasure. Her projects aim to build relationships and community by creating opportunities for collaborative, public engagement. Her work manifests in the form of books, installations, printmaking, events, performance, and more.

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Since 2018, she has produced Art Talk Bus Stop, a youth education program and KBOO Community Radio show with a group of teens in the Portland suburb of Troutdale, OR. The program offers students experience with media production, journalistic storytelling, and builds relationships with regional arts workers through interviews about their career paths, life and work. 

She has recently been awarded residencies at Casa Tres Patios in Medellín, Colombia (2019) and PLAYA at Summer Lake, OR (2020) as well as a 2020 Metro Community Placemaking Grant for Art Talk Bus Stop

In addition to her art background, she has over 15 years’ experience as a producer, project manager, and art director, both through agencies and independent relationships with her clients. 

She holds an MFA in Contemporary Art and Social Practice from Portland State University where she is an instructor of Design Thinking. 

instagram: @worksprogressagency