Project Team
Students and advisors at the Applied Research Seminar final presentation, March 2018. Photo: Kevin Maifeld.


Claudia Bach is the founder and project director for the Arts Ecosystem Research Project and teaches the related Applied Research Seminar for Seattle University’s MFA in Arts Leadership. She has served on the faculty since 2010 and brings over 30 years of professional experience in the arts, heritage, and culture. Her work in senior management in the museum field has been complemented by her consulting practice, AdvisArts, which she founded in 1982, serving arts and culture organizations, museums, individual artists, foundations, governmental agencies, arts commissions, and community groups in Washington State and nationally. She has conducted research in the arts for numerous entities including Grantmakers in the Arts, Rasmuson Foundation, Artists Up, Artist Trust, and the National Performance Network/Visual Arts Network.

Felipe Anaya is a Research Services Librarian for the Lemieux Library & McGoldrick Learning Commons at Seattle University. He provides instruction, research services, and resource management support to the Albers School of Business and Economics as well as the Arts Leadership program. Previously, he served as the Business and Government Documents Librarian at New Mexico State University. Felipe earned his Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and his Master of Business Administration from New Mexico State University. He is the lead from the Library on developing a sustainable online platform for this research project, and in supporting the research work of students contributing to the project.

Kevin Maifeld is the Founding Director and Professor of the Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership program at Seattle University, and is engaged in the development and sustainability of this research project as an asset to students, Seattle University, and the larger community. He previously served as the Managing Director of the Seattle Children’s Theatre from 2001 to 2007. Before moving to Seattle, Kevin served, for seven years, as the Managing Director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and was Co-Chair of the Theatre Management/Master of Fine Arts Program at the University of Alabama.

Additional Seattle University Faculty and Staff providing support for the Arts Ecosystem Research Project includes:

  • Sarah Watstein, Dean, Lemieux Library & McGoldrick Learning Commons
  • Doug Ericksen, Director of Library Systems & Technology, Lemieux Library & McGoldrick Learning Commons
  • Jayme Jacobson, Instructional Designer, Center for Digital Learning & Innovation
  • Carlos Torres, Web Applications Developer, Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons
  • Annette de Soto, Adjunct Faculty, Arts Leadership Programs
  • Katie Oman, Adjunct Faculty, Arts Leadership Programs
  • Billie Boyd, Assistant Librarian, Lemieux Library & McGoldrick Learning Commons
  • Roxanne Hornbeck, Assistant Professor, Arts Leadership Programs


Community members with longstanding expertise in the Seattle area arts community serve as Advisors for the Arts Ecosystem Research Project, working directly with students and providing guidance. Three individuals are asked to serve for a minimum two-year cycle.

January 2018 – December 2019 Inaugural Advisors to the Project

Vivian Phillips has served as chair of the Seattle Arts Commission, and held numerous arts leadership roles in the region. At Seattle Theatre Group she oversaw the marketing, communications and social media engagement for three historic theatres in Seattle. She has served as an adjunct professor at Seattle University’s MFA Arts Leadership program and chaired the Seattle University College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Council. Vivian has executive produced for the stage and led marketing and outreach campaigns for large touring Broadway productions and served as director of communications for Mayor Paul Schell. She has served on numerous boards including Arts Corps, Washington State Building for the Arts Advisory Council, Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium, King County Civic Television Citizen Advisory Committee, and University of Washington Foundation, and is an award-winning producer and host of arts focused television programs.

Marcie Sillman has been covering Puget Sound-area artists and cultural organizations for more than 30 years. As the Arts and Culture reporter at KUOW public radio, Marcie focuses on the big question “who are we in the Puget Sound region?” through the lens of arts and heritage. In addition to her local coverage, Marcie is a regular contributor to NPR’s news magazines, as well as to national dance publications including Pointe and Dance Teacher magazines. Marcie’s reporting has won regional and national journalism awards. In 2009 she was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in dance criticism.

Mayumi Tsutakawa is an independent writer and editor and a native of Seattle. She is a presenter with the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau and lectures on the topic of Japanese American history and culture in Washington She has co-edited several multicultural literary anthologies, including The Forbidden Stitch: Asian American Women's Literary Anthology (Calyx Books, 1990) which received the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award. She was formerly the manager of grants for organizations at the Washington State Arts Commission, and brings extensive experience with arts and cultural organizations, working on cultural equity in Seattle and throughout the state.


    MFA in Arts Leadership Applied Research Seminar, Winter Quarter 2018
  • Maya Anderson
  • Elisabeth Astwood
  • Sarah Ball
  • Alma Davenport
  • Tyrah Hannibal
  • Dexter Henderson
  • Im Fan Hoi
  • Ellen McGivern
  • Qiang (Hester) Qiang
  • Ana Rusness-Petersen
  • Samantha Van Waardhuizen
  • Cass Walker
  • Kyra Williams
  • Tina Yu
  • Ning (Sharon) Zhou

  • MFA in Arts Leadership Practicum, Spring Quarter 2018
  • Tyrah Hannibal
  • Samantha Van Waardhuizen

  • MFA in Arts Leadership Practicum, Fall Quarter 2018
  • Alma Davenport