Chike C. Nwoffiah
Board President

Executive Director, Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF)
San Jose, CA

Chike Nwoffiah is an actor, theater director, educator, award-winning filmmaker, and consultant on theater, film, television and multimedia projects. After twelve successful years as a corporate strategist for a Silicon Valley bio-tech company, he transitioned into private enterprise and has vast investments in Media, Agribusiness and Real Estate in USA, Nigeria and South Africa. He is the president of Rhesus Media Group, a full-service media production and consulting firm with offices in Stockton, California, Cape Town, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria. He is also the founding director of the Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF), the only film festival in California that is exclusively focused on films by African filmmakers and provides a platform for Africa’s seasoned and emerging filmmakers to share their stories with a global audience. Listed as one of the “TopTen Most Influential African Americans” in the San Francisco Bay Area by CityFlight Magazine in 2000, Chike has served on several regional and national grant review panels including: the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Sacramento Arts Commission, San Francisco Arts Commission, Arts Council Silicon Valley, Walter and Elise Haas Fund and the Center for Cultural Innovation. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria and Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum – Silicon Valley.

Daniel Sheehy, Ph.D., Past President

Senior Advisor to the Smithsonian Under Secretary for Museums and Culture
Director & Curator Emeritus, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Former Director, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Former Director, Folk & Traditional Arts, National Endowment for the Arts
Washington, D.C.

A native of Bakersfield, California, and longtime resident of Virginia, Daniel Sheehy earned his PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Los Angeles before joining the National Endowment for the Arts in 1978. He was instrumental in developing and sustaining the infrastructure of the folk and traditional arts field and served as director of folk and traditional arts at the NEA from 1992 to 2000.

In 2000, Dan became director and curator of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution. Under his leadership, Smithsonian Folkways published more than 200 recordings and earned five Grammy awards, one Latin Grammy, and 21 nominations. He has also served as acting director of the Smithsonian Latino Center and director of the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

Dan served as co-editor (with Dale Olsen) of the 1,100-page South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean volume of the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music (1998). His book Mariachi Music in America: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture was published by Oxford University Press in 2006. Dan was awarded the Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts  in 2015 and the John David Guggenheim Fellowship in 2016. He has served on the boards of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, the National Council for the Traditional Arts, the American Folklore Society, the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the Association for Cultural Equity. Also a musician, in 1978 Dan co-founded Mariachi Los Amigos, the Washington, DC area’s longest existing mariachi ensemble.


Jennifer Bates (Central Sierra Mewuk)
Founding Board Member and Chairperson, California Indian Basketweavers’ Association (CIBA)
Traditional Mewuk Basket Weaver and California Native Culture Consultant
Tuolumne, CA

Jennifer Bates has been a basketmaker for over four decades. She began learning traditional Mewuk basketry at the age of 17, studying with family members and tribal elders, including Julia Parker, Mable McKay, Dorothy Stanley, and Craig Bates. She was a founding board member of the California Indian Basketweavers’ Association (CIBA) and was their chairperson for the first thirteen years. Jennifer is of Central Sierra Mewuk (Miwok) descent and resides on the Tuolumne Rancheria, where she continues to teach basketry, including traditional methods of gathering and processing raw materials, as well as weaving techniques. Additionally, Jennifer has also become well recognized for demonstrating acorn processing, specifically making traditional acorn soup, ‘nupa,’ and cooking in traditional baskets and using hot rocks.


Malcolm Margolin
Founder and Executive Director, California Institute for Community, Art, and Culture
Founder and Former Publisher, Heyday
Berkeley, CA

Malcolm Margolin is an author, publisher, and cultural activist. In 1974, he founded Heyday Books, a nonprofit publisher, and served as its executive director until 2016.  Through Heyday, he published hundreds of books and oversaw the creation of two magazines, News from Native California (1987) and Bay Nature(2001). He also co-founded The Alliance for California Traditional Arts and was helpful in the creation of several organizations devoted to California Indian cultural revival. He has written a half dozen books (including The Ohlone Way about Indian Life in the San Francisco Bay Area), and has won several prestigious awards.  After retiring from Heyday, he created the California Institute for Community, Art, and Nature (California I CAN) to expand upon his interest, including the re-indigenization of California. He lives in Berkeley with his wife, Rina. His three children are grown and leading creative and engaged lives. Malcolm and Rina have four grandchildren and another on the way.


Russell Rodríguez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, UC Santa Cruz Department of Music
Santa Cruz, CA

Russell C. Rodríguez has extensive experience as a cultural worker, academic, and accomplished artist. He is currently an assistant professor in the Music Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received his Ph.D. in 2006 from the department of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 2007, he became a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow. Rodríguez worked as a curator for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage annual festival, co-curating the Latino Music Program in 2004, and has contributed to a variety of productions by the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings as a researcher, producer, annotator and musician. From 2011 through 2017 he worked as a program manager for the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, managing the Apprenticeship Program and contributing to scale programming that served the California cultural communities practicing traditional arts. Rodríguez is an accomplished musician, composer, and dancer specializing in performance styles of various traditional forms of Mexico. In 2010, he completed work as the assistant producer and musical director for the documentary La Danza Escenica: El Sello de Rafael Zamarripa,and contributed original compositions to Ray Tellez’ documentary The Storm that Swept México.In 2013 Rodríguez composed an original score for the B. Traven’s novel Macarioand in 2018 the score for the original theater play La Departera, both for San Jose’s premiere Chicano theater ensemble Teatro Vision. Both scores have been recorded and produced as CDs, featuring some of the finest mexicano and Chicana/o musicians in the California Bay Area.


Josephine S. Talamantez, V.P. of Development
Board Chair, Chicano Park  Museum and Cultural Center
Former Chief of Programs, California Arts Council
San Diego and Sacramento, CA

Josephine Talamantez is an Arts Management consultant with experience in cultural resource management and governmental relations. She is the former Chief of Programs and Legislative Liaison at the California Arts Council and a specialist in Chicano/Mexican-American Civil Rights era. She documented and coordinated the nomination of San Diego, California’s Chicano Park and the Chicano Park Monumental Murals to the National Register. Her research projects include: oral history documentation of the Sacramento Greek community; a cultural resources study of the of the Poverty Ridge neighborhood of Sacramento; and visual and oral history documentation of the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF), also known as the Rebel Chicano Art Front, an internationally known artist collective based in Sacramento, and numerous exhibitions. Former Executive Director of La Raza Galeria Posada in Sacramento and of the Centro Cultural de la Raza in San Diego, she is a past Board Member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC); Capitol Area Indian Resources, Inc. (CAIR); a Co-founder of Chicano Park and member of the Chicano Park Steering Committee, and member of the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF). Josephine holds an M.A. in Public History from Sacramento State University, where her research focused on the history and historic sites associated with the Chicano civil rights era.


Carly Tex, Secretary
Executive Director, Advocates for Indigenous California Language 
Fresno, CA

A basketweaver, linguist, language instructor, community organizer and advocate, Carly has been creating a career in language and culture ever since she began weaving baskets at the age of ten. Carly is a member of North Fork Rancheria Band of Mono Indians on her father’s side and a descendant of Dunlap Band of Mono Indians on her mother’s side. She have been an apprentice through the Alliance for California Traditional Arts twice for basketweaving technologies under the guidance of her grandmother, Avis Punkin, and her sister, Mandy Marine. Carly co-founded a youth weavers’ circle through the Living Language Program and has presented on California Indian language and cultural revitalization to local area schools, museums, and libraries. She has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with emphasis in Linguistic Studies from CSU Sonoma, and a Master’s degree in Linguistics from University of Arizona through the Native American Languages Master’s Program (NAMA). Upon graduating, Carly made a point to attend as much language revitalization training as possible to gain teaching methods, resources, and professional connections to assist in sustaining her heritage language, Western Mono. Currently, Carly is the Executive Director for the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival (AICLS) and is responsible for the implementation of the Advocates’ programs, vision, and mission to support the revitalization of languages Indigenous to California. In her spare time, Carly facilitates online language courses and YouTube videos, and is developing a website of online Mono resources.

Emeritus Board Members

Paula “Pimm” Allen
Student Advisor, Indian Tribal Education & Personnel Program
Humboldt State University
Arcata, CA

Robert Arroyo
Retired Instructor of Political Science & Chicano/Latino Studies, Fresno City College
Retired Administrator, Fresno City College
Kingsburg, CA

Melanie Beene
Executive Director, Community Initiatives
San Francisco, CA

Natividad Cano (1933-2014)
Former Director, Los Camperos de Nati Cano
Los Angeles, CA

Emmett Castro
Certified Public Accountant, Castro Accountancy Corporation
Los Angeles, CA

Esailama Diouf, Ph.D.
Program Analyst, City of Oakland, Cultural Funding Program
Adjunct Faculty, Contra Costa Community College
Oakland, CA

Vicki Filgas
Director, Los Paisanos folklórico dance troupe
Retired Spanish language teacher, Selma High School
Selma, CA

Jo Farb Hernandez
Director, Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery, School of Art and Design, San Jose State University
Principal, Curatorial and Museum Management Services
Executive Director, SPACES Archives
Watsonville, California

Joel Jacinto, V.P. of Governance

Business Service Representative, West Adams WorkSource Center
Former Executive Director, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans
Los Angeles, CA

Maria Rosario Jackson, Ph.D.
Institute Professor, Arizona State University
Los Angeles, CA

Sojin Kim, Ph.D.
Curator, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Washington, D.C.

Prudy Kohler
Founder/Principal, Art for Lunch
San Francisco, California

Frank LaPena (1937-2019)
Professor Emeritus, American Indian Studies, CSU Sacramento
Traditional Maidu dance master
Visual artist
Sacramento, CA

Bess Lomax Hawes (1921-2009)
Former Director, Folk & Traditional Arts Program, National Endowment for the Arts
West Hills, CA

Nancy Marquez
Former Director, Arte Américas
Fresno, CA

Nikiko Masumoto
Farmer and Artist, Masumoto Family Farsms
Del Rey/Fowler, CA

Libby Maynard, V.P. of Finance & Administration
Co-founder and Executive Director, Ink People Center for the Arts
Eureka, CA

Hugo Morales
Executive Director, Radio Bilingüe
Fresno, CA

Prumsodun Ok
Associate Artistic Director, Khmer Arts
Long Beach, CA

Amy Rouillard
Former Senior Program Officer, California Council for the Humanities
San Diego, CA

Charlie Seemann
Former Executive Director, Western Folklife Center 
Elko, NV

Deborah Wong, Ph.D., Past Board President
Professor of Music, University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA

Photos of TARS LA event on December 1, 2018 at JACCC, shot by Timo Saarelma.

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