Michael Sturtz

About Michael

Michael’s Resume

City of Residence: Alameda

Role on Project: Lead Catalyst

Professional Experience: Previous Founder and Executive Director of The Crucible; Founder and Executive Director of Stanford Creative Ignition Lab; Director, Redesigning Theater; Lecturer, Stanford’s Mechanical Engineering Design Group; and currently International Speaker.

Notable Accomplishment/s: Founded The Crucible with a $1,750 grant, led the organization to become the largest nonprofit industrial arts education facility in the country. Stanford lecturer and International Keynote Speaker.

Professional Passion: I love helping others transform dreams into reality by creating opportunities for them to explore their creativity and launch their ideas into the world. I’m passionate about fostering creativity, working collaboratively and collectively, and transforming lives.

Why I’m excited to lead this project: I’ve lived in Alameda for over a decade, and on my daily walks past the Carnegie Library building, I’ve dreamed about what could happen inside. I deeply enjoy Alameda and this project is a great way to give back to my community. I’m also a fan of Andrew Carnegie and his mission to create opportunity for others, so re-envisioning his legacy for Alameda is very exciting.

Christopher Bently

About Christopher

City of Residence: San Francisco

Role on Project: Historic Preservation Advisor

Professional Experience: President of the Bently Foundation; CEO of Bently Enterprises; Manager, Bently Holdings, historic San Francisco venue Bently Reserve luxury apartments, Bently Nob Hill, sustainable farm Bently Ranch, and estate distillery Bently Heritage.

Notable Accomplishment/s: Renovation of historic art deco building on Union Square (awarded LEED Gold Certification) and renovation of San Francisco’s former Federal Reserve Bank Building (awarded LEED Silver Certification), among others.

Professional Passion: I see no sense in building new structures when we have beautiful historic properties left abandoned. We need a sense of tradition and worth brought back to our culture. A disposable world just won’t do.

Why I’m excited to lead this project: I’m excited to work with Michael and this amazing team to reinvigorate this historic locale. I’ve always loved Alameda and look forward to doing great things in the community.

Latest Project:

Charles Olson

About Charles

City of Residence: Oakland

Role on project: Land Use Attorney and Historic Preservation Advisor

Professional experience: Managing Partner at Lubin Olson’s Land Use and Real Estate Practice Groups, where he specializes in land use and land use litigation, and real estate transactions, including affordable housing; Past President and Board member at San Francisco Heritage; Board President at The Crucible from 2013-2018.
Notable Accomplishments: Honored by Thompson Reuters as a Northern California Super Lawyer from 2008-2012, and 2016-2018. Received The Crucible Clarian Award 2018 for extraordinary board service.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: As an East Bay resident, I would genuinely enjoy another high-quality East Bay destination for dinner and theater. Having worked with Michael at The Crucible, I know without a doubt he will bring something spectacular and unique to Alameda.

Richard Andrews

About Richard

Center for New Music and Audio Technologies

City of Residence: Healdsburg

Role on Project: Entrepreneurship Education Advisor

Professional Experience: Lecturer, Arts Entrepreneurship; Executive Director, Eco Ensemble; Associate Director, Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) UC Berkeley

Notable Accomplishment/s: Creator and Instructor for courses and workshops that explore the intersections between art and business. Collaboratively design, launch and evaluate programs in education, research and public presentation at CNMAT/UC Berkeley. Plan, execute and assess a wide range of activities for the Eco Ensemble, a professional performing group dedicated to new music by established and emerging composers.

Professional Passion: My ongoing research and teaching focuses on arts entrepreneurship, business development and cultural policy. As Executive Director of the Eco Ensemble, I have nurtured the development of a complex, multi-disciplinary arts organization that brings together high caliber artists, scholars and the general public.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: Having taught alongside MIchael for many years, I’m looking forward to working with him on this project. If allowed to move forward, it will be one of very few such centers in the world, where arts, innovation, entrepreneurship, and education will combine with theatrical experiences and a sustainable business model.

Hopi Breton

About Hopi

City of Residence: Alameda

Role on Project: Education Curriculum Advisor

Professional Experience: Professor of Art since 1998

Notable Accomplishment/s: Tenured Professor of Art at Diablo Valley College. Professional Passion: Sculpture and teaching Art.

Why I’m excited to be part of this project: This is an exciting proposal that I believe fulfills an important need in Alameda and our wider community. I also trust that Michael can develop a vision and follow through with its implementation, and he will be able to create something that will thrive.

Reina Cabezas

About Reina

City of Residence: Alameda

Role on project: Education and Community Outreach Advisor

Professional experience: As an Oakland educator for the last 11 years I’ve taught in elementary, middle, and now high school classrooms. I also co-created an opportunity for educators of color called Radical STEMM with other women of color STEMM educators that provides a space to develop curriculum and instructional practice grounded in liberatory pedagogy.

Notable accomplishment/s: Mother of two teenage boys, Educator, School Designer

Professional passion: Uncovering indigenous STEMM practices make them visible to the world, reclaim them from white, toxic patriarchal cultural appropriators and explicitly pass that knowledge on to students so they understand that STEMM practices go back at least seven generations, prior to Hidden Figures and/or their teacher of color (if they are lucky to have had one in a STEMM classroom).

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: I am excited to build relationships that challenge me to step outside of my comfort zone. As an engineering and design educator I’m so curious to observe and see how our curriculum passes on knowledge and how skills play out in the real world. I’m also excited to do this in the community where I live.  

David Clifford

About David

Design School X

City of Residence: Oakland

Role on Project: Educational Programs Advisor

Professional Experience: Educator (design, making, equity/social justice practitioner, teacher, administration) for 21 years.

Notable Accomplishment/s: Co-founded a middle school. Developed a full high school shop program. Co-created service learning, social justice, making and creative programs throughout the Bay Area, U.S. and Senegal.

Professional Passion: Equity Design in education and community collaboration

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: We need more opportunities to equip communities with the creative and equity-centered skills to solve their own problems and have the courage to tackle complex issues facing our world. I trust the vision of Michael Sturtz and want to be a part of making that happen.

Patricia Dedekian

About Patricia

City of Residence: Oakland

Role on project: Community Support and Venue Design/Use Advisor

Professional experience: Prior experience as a residential real estate agent/property manager and an executive recruiter. Currently a project manager for a music venue and bar/restaurant/event space.

Notable accomplishment/s: Project Manager for the Chapel Music Venue & Restaurant. Past president of the Friends of the Fox, (a not-for-profit organization that raised the funds to reactivate the Fox Oakland Theater.)

Professional passion: I am passionate about historic preservation and creative re-use of interesting properties, and have been drawn to creating live entertainment venues.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: This project combines my interests in historic preservation and creating community space. I understand the importance of gaining support and community involvement to help a project succeed.

Bob Dubow

About Bob

City of Residence: Alameda

Role on Project: Accounting/business management Advisor

Professional Experience: MBA with 30 years of business management and financial consulting experience for creative enterprises. Former Board Treasurer of The Crucible. Professional Passion: Supporting creative enterprises

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: I’m a longtime Alameda resident who would love to see this wonderful building put to good use, especially for another great idea from the mind of Michael Sturtz.

Leslie Frierman Grunditz

About Leslie

Fine Design Carving

City of Residence: Alameda

Role on project: Architectural ornamentation and restoration advisor

Professional experience: Visual artist since 1979.

Notable accomplishments: Member of Oakland art collective Five Ton Crane.

Professional passion: I enjoy working on creative collaborative projects.

Why I’m excited to be on this project: There are so many reasons why working on this project would be rewarding for me. Collaborating with the amazing group of talented and committed people who are involved with this Carnegie project is truly inspiring. It would also be rewarding to be part of developing a creative home and resource for the whole community of Alameda and the surrounding East Bay area. I have lived in Alameda since 1990, and am very excited to help make this island city a center for innovations in arts and culture.

F. Clay Fry

About Clay

City of Residence: Lafayette

Role on project: Architect

Professional experience: Architect and Educator, specializing in adaptive reuse and restoration.

Notable accomplishments:  Awarded two Gold Nuggets for best adaptive reuse/historic renovation project, Embarcadero Lofts, while at MBH Architects

Professional passion: Adaptive reuse and historic renovation projects.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: It is an interesting historic renovation and adaptive reuse project.


City of Residence: Richmond

Role on Project: Artist, Designer, Builder, Teacher, Facilitator

Professional Experience: Sole proprietor Furniture, Design and Build, Worker owned Co-Op  in Carpentry/Cabinetry, Acting, Teacher in Acting and Improv, Instructor in welding and metal furniture fabrication.

Notable Accomplishment/s: Family, raised my 13-year-old son. Integral part of Bay Area arts community working with The Crucible, Five Ton Crane, and professional actor and teacher in theatre, movies, and television over the last decade.

Professional Passion: My passion is developing community through art and creativity. I love blending all forms of art through improv, theatre and music. I love experimenting with non-traditional forms of theatre using base notes of music, movement, and language.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: I am excited to establish a backdrop or canvas for the greater community to be inspired. I am also excited to offer experiences for the community that will be impactful and life changing.

Åke Grunditz

About Ake

Fine Design Carving

City of Residence: Alameda

Role on project: Architectural ornamentation and restoration advisor

Professional experience: Sculptor of architectural ornamentation since 1991.

Notable accomplishment/s: Member of Oakland art collective Five Ton Crane.

Professional passion: I love historical ornamentation.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: It is a wonderful opportunity to restore a beautiful, historic building and to provide a community-based innovative space for the whole city of Alameda!

Doruk Gurel

About Doruk

City of Residence: San Francisco

Role on Project: Design Thinking Education Advisor

Professional Experience: Designer (Design Thinking, Design Research) since 2014.

Notable Accomplishment/s: Created an international co-living startup.

Professional Passion: Design research (ethnography), prototyping and testing new office ideas/ventures, teaching design and design strategy.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: Bring a design/business mix to this highly interesting project.

Joaquin Haskell

About Joaquin

City of Residence: San Francisco

Role on Project: Business Strategy Advisor

Prof Experience: Joaquin started his career in technology by leveraging degrees in Astrophysics and Molecular/Cellular Biology from UC Berkeley into a job as a staff scientist for the world’s largest supplier of DNA and synthetic genetics, eventually rising to Vice President of Operations. He then went into Aggregate Project Management and Business Process Management for large life sciences, healthcare and financial institutions. He currently works as a program manager implementing big data, including cloud-based Compliance and Records Management systems for large financial institutions.

Notable Accomplishments: Founded NewNet Technologies whose mission was to provide underserved communities access to the internet. Helped found The Crucible; as President of the Board and later Board Secretary, oversaw its growth to become the nation’s largest nonprofit industrial arts education facility.

Professional Passion: For the last 30 years Joaquin Haskell has been a technologist specializing in Program/Consulting Management and Technical Sales leadership focusing on Financial Services, Healthcare and Life Sciences.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: I have a passion for getting involved in local community services. I especially enjoy helping youth and underserved communities gain access to arts and technology education to help foster more creative and diverse thinking.

Kim Hayes

About Kim

City of Residence: Oakland

Role on project: Development and promotional writing advisor

Professional experience: Marketing and development writer since 2005.

Notable accomplishments: Work on corporate sustainability reports helped place my client on Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Professional passion: I love using writing to help founders, entrepreneurs, and individuals reach for and exceed their most ambitious dreams.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: Having something so wildly creative as this project promises to be, right here in Alameda, is something my entire family is looking forward to.

Dan Kolodny

City of Residence: Alameda

Role on Project: Operations Advisor

Professional Experience: Management Consultant for Slalom, LLC.  Previous experience: Director of Professional Development and Manager of Conservatory Operations at the American Conservatory Theater, Management Consultant for Accenture, HR Generalist for New York University, and Professional Musical Theater performer in varying stage shows.

Notable Accomplishment/s: Created the Professional Development Training program at A.C.T., offering acting skills-based workshops to develop interpersonal skills including Public Speaking, Improv, Leadership Authenticity, etc.  Graduated with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Syracuse and M.B.A. in Entertainment, Media, and Technology from NYU Stern.

Professional Passion: I love to be changed by amazing storytelling and art, and I love to share that experience with others. I’m passionate about connecting and collaborating with people to solve problems while bringing out the humor, love, and humanity in our progress.

Why I’m excited to lead this project: I am passionate about the performing arts and I feel a great satisfaction when I can bring my operations and project management skill sets to help.  I have always dreamed of a place like this in my home town of Alameda, and I’m excited to help launch the Carnegie Innovation Hall and weave it into our community for the future.

Jay Kravitz

About Jay

City of Residence: Oakland

Role on project: Producer

Professional Experience: Curator, Content Producer & Logistics Manager: Maker Faire since 2013, Minister of Propaganda / Event Producer / Stage Manager / Special Ops: The Crucible since 1999, Install Technician: Obscura Digital since 2012, On Call Producer: Public Programs: The Exploratorium since 2013, Freelance Designer: rsneight Design since 1991, Artist/Fabricator/Instigator: Five Ton Crane.

Notable accomplishment/s: Producer of Maker Faire Bay Area & World Maker Faire New York since 2015. Integral in design, creation and fabrication on many large-scale artworks with our arts collective Five Ton Crane, with shows at SF MOMA, The Hermitage Museum in Norfolk, VA, the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, and more. Created The Crucible’s design identity and managed, produced, and stage-managed fundraising events from 1999-2010, including Fire Operas, Fire Ballets, and the much-acclaimed Fire Arts Festivals.

Professional passion: Building community has always been the driving force and focus of my life.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: The Carnegie is a unique opportunity to tie together so many of my skills and passions under one umbrella. I have also worked side by side with Michael Sturtz since the physical inception of The Crucible (circa 1999) and share his vision of creating a bright, imaginative, and vibrant community.

Ron Limoges, Ph.D.

City of Residence: Alameda

Role on project:  Strategic Planning Advisor

Professional experience:  Retired from a career of providing guidance on the effective development, management and distribution of philanthropic investments in the U.S. and abroad.

Notable accomplishment:  Helped shape successful charitable transfers for educational, cultural and community organizations as well as for individual entrepreneurs and their families.

Professional passion:  Helping to craft innovative and effective community projects through sound financial planning, funds management, and operations.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project:  A process of thoughtful development, programming and funding will enable us to repurpose an unused Carnegie Library building, re-opening its doors to exciting new growth opportunities for the citizens of Alameda and the East Bay area.

Sue Miller Buske

About Sue

City of Residence: Sacramento

Role on project: Community Access Television Advisor

Professional experience: President at The Buske Group and Executive Director, National Federation of Local Cable Programmers.

Notable accomplishments: Widely recognized as one of the leading experts in the United States on cable policy and local cable programming issues. Helped to establish hundreds of PEG Access/Community Media Centers. Received numerous national awards, including the George Stoney Award for Humanistic Communications.

Professional passion: Helping cities and individuals launch public access stations.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: I worked hard to help Alameda High School lay the groundwork for a student-run community access television station, so I was disappointed when they lost the opportunity due to space issues. I’m excited that Michael’s Team can revive this opportunity for the students by creating an appropriate space to launch the station as planned.

Rosemary Muller

About Rosemary

City of Residence: Berkeley

Role on Project: Historic Preservation Advisor

Professional Experience: Historic Preservation Architect

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: I have been working on restoring this building for over a decade. My dream is to live to see it returned to its former glory and made available for the community to enjoy once again.

Mallory Penney

About Mallory

City of Residence: Oakland

Role on Project: Educational Team-building Advisor

Professional Experience: Directing theater since 2014 and Facilitating team building workshops since 2017.

Notable Accomplishment/s: I am Board President of an Alameda based theater companya company I grew up doing theater withand I am excited to bring my ideas to the company. We will be launching classes in January 2019.

Professional Passion: I am passionate about using Applied Improvisation across many fields. I specifically coach individuals and facilitate workshops with teams to create a better working environment using Applied Improvisation.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: I’m excited about the possibilities! I’m also excited this will be happening in my hometownAlameda. I can’t wait to see what we are able to create as a team.

Jean-Francois Revon

About Jean-Francois

City of Residence: Alameda

Role on project: Educational Development Advisor

Professional experience: Union Set Designer Local 829 for 28 years, Technical Director for 26 years, Educator for 11 years at the Oakland School for the Arts, Tech Director at West Bay Opera for 22 years, Tech Director at Livermore Valley Opera for 18 years, CTE certified teacher.

Notable accomplishment/s: As a Union Set Designer, I have designed three World Premieres and over 300 productions including ballet, plays, musicals and opera. Collaborate with Stagehand Union local 107 and the California Department of Education to give my High School students apprenticeships directly into the entertainment industry through our Career Technical Education program. Asked by California Department of Education to create Production Design curriculum that will be made available to all High Schools in California.

Professional passion: I am passionate about arts educationteaching Middle School, Production Design classes, and my High School classes.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: I am enthusiastic about the creative minds of the team working together, their intention to ignite a technology-driven art platform for youth and adults through innovation, entrepreneurialism, and entertainment.

Gina Rudan

About Gina

City of Residence: Redwood City

Role on project: Cultural Diversity Advisor

Professional experience: Cultural Alchemist and Diversity at X, The Moonshot Factory. I am a producer of experiences, diversity programs, and cutting-edge learning and development experiences.

Notable accomplishment/s: Best-Selling Author of Practical Genius.

Professional passion: Writing, curating one-of-a-kind experiences and public speaking on issues of diversity and social justice.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: I trust Michael’s vision on all things and want to help his team establish an organization that is as diverse as it is magical.

J. Marlow Schmauder

About Marlow

City of Residence: Alameda

Role on Project: Fundraising Advisor

Professional Experience: Principal, Schmauder Consulting; Chief Development Officer, Museum of Science Fiction; Advisor, Outschool (YC W16); Founder and CEO, Asynchronous Scholars’ Fund. Selected previous experience: Fundraising Consultant to the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; Founder and CEO, VeriFolio; Executive Director, Wilhelm & Karl Maybach Foundation.

Notable Accomplishment/s: Fundraised over $7m in institutional and individual gifts for multiple nonprofits, and three angel rounds for two startups. Guided dozens of organizations and startups through strategic change; designed new programs and evaluated existing ones; assessed fundraising database effectiveness, recommended improvements and managed data migrations; designed and implemented new grantwriting and fundraising programs, and refined existing efforts to increase income. Stanford GSM Executive Education Certificate in Strategy for Nonprofits.

Professional Passion: Helping startups, nonprofits and professionals reach their goals, especially through effective strategy, fundraising, data analysis and communications. I’m particularly passionate about welcoming underserved communities and fostering the creative use of technology.

Why I’m excited to lead this project: This project fills an unmet need in Alameda and the East Bay, and the adaptive reuse of the Carnegie Library is perfect for this kind of community-based innovation, technology and the arts.

Amos White

About Amos

City of Residence: Alameda

Role on project: Community Engagement Advisor

Professional experience: Marketing and campaign strategist since 1986.

Notable accomplishments: Award-winning American haiku poet and author, producer/director and civil rights activist; Founder and Host of the Heart of the Muse creative’s salon; the AUSD Black Achievers Alliance Roundtable; and, Community Organizer with ACLU People Power – Alameda, CA.

Professional passion: I believe we need a radical increase in public arts-based educational institutions and opportunities to ensure a healthy, vibrant, and more informed citizenry.

Why I’m excited to be a part of this project: The opportunity to again work with Michael on the intersection of this historic architectural building with future-oriented arts programs is exciting. I had the opportunity to be on the original Board of The Crucible with Michael and would relish the opportunity to build another next gen community institution.

2019 Inaugural Community Advisory Board:
Cindy Acker
Ingrid Ballmann
Puja Dasari
Nanette Deetz
Bronwyn Emery
Amanda “Pigeon” Fisher
Jessica Xiomara García
Margaret Lee
Kendra Meuser
Alice Ray
Marie T Riccobene
Patrick Simms
Jennifer Tacheff
Austin Tam
Alex Thompson
Amos White, Chair
Kathleen C. Woulfe