• Advancing informed, imaginative and purposeful action in the cultural sector

advisarts associates

AdvisArts Associates

In order to respond to the unique needs of each client we assemble project teams to ensure a customized and dynamic approach for every project. We draw on a pool of individuals who bring extensive skills, depth of experience in a variety of disciplines, and shared enthusiasm for our work.

AdvisArts Associates expertise encompasses:

  • Cultural planning and policy development
  • Statistical research, mapping and data analysis
  • Qualitative research
  • Arts learning and engagement
  • Public art and exhibitions
  • Communications and fundraising campaigns
  • Operational and feasibility analysis
  • Economic development
  • Financial management
  • Media technologies and systems
  • Facilities and capital project development
  • Visual, literary and performing arts


Annette de Soto

Annette deSoto

After several years in academia at the University of Chicago, Annette joined the ranks of the non-profit sector where she has provided management, program evaluation and strategic planning counsel to a wide variety of arts, education, environmental, political advocacy and social service organizations. Her clients include the US Fund for UNICEF, the Children’s Defense Fund and the National Wildlife Federation, as well as grassroots and community based organizations. She has helped develop record-breaking major donor fundraising efforts for organizations including Meany Hall for the Performing Arts, PBS and a host of other worthy concerns. When not with clients, Annette splits her time between building an Outsider Art collection and hiking.


Marc Goldring

Marc Goldring

Marc Goldring has been engaged with community cultural planning for over three decades, working with communities from coast to coast and assisting public and private entities find mutual ground to strategically advance their community. Through his national consulting practice, Marc has worked with a myriad of clients, small and large, providing planning and research for projects including feasibility studies for program and institutional growth. A Fulbright Award-winning craftsperson, Marc’s work has been displayed in galleries and museums nationwide. He was Executive Director of the National Crafts Planning Board, and has curated exhibitions and organized international conferences. Marc has served on grants review panels for state and local arts agencies and is a presenter at national, regional and state conferences. In addition to his consulting work, Marc is an avid photographer, showing and selling his current images online and at galleries and shows in the Boston area, where he makes his home.


Susan Kunimatsu

Susan Kunimatsu

Susan Kunimatsu is a writer, artist, and project manager who has worked in Seattle’s arts and cultural communities for over twenty years. She regularly contributes artist profiles, exhibition and book reviews to the International Examiner, Seattle’s pan-Asian community newspaper. Her writing and photography have appeared in Fiberarts and Ornament magazines. She has organized exhibitions and symposia and held positions in arts grantmaking and historic preservation. She has a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan and has studied writing, metalworking, and art history at the University of Washington.


Vivian Phillips

Vivian Phillips

A veteran arts administrator and communications professional, Vivian is the co-founding managing director of The Hansberry Project at ACT Theatre. She has served as Executive Manager of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, worked for the Seattle Theatre Group (STG) and she continues to represent STG to the national African Contemporary Arts Consortium. Vivian has produced original work for Seattle stages and has performed in several productions and serves as producer and host for award-winning television programs. She has worked with numerous local and national organizations as a public relations and marketing consultant and served as Director of Communications for Seattle Mayor Paul Schell. Vivian is sought after as a vibrant speaker and as an insightful advisor to numerous arts, communications and civic boards.


Amanda Smart

Amanda Face

Amanda Smart is a researcher, information designer, and map-maker with a background in international development research, and urban planning. Amanda has provided project management, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, research, and design support to a variety of policy and arts and culture organizations, from Argentina to New York. Her work for AdvisArts includes survey design, management and analysis, GIS-based analysis and mapping, as well as design services. Amanda is passionate about the clear and attractive presentation of rigorous analysis in order to better help organizations and communities understand the challenges and opportunities facing them. She holds an MA from The New School, New York, and a B.A. from Barnard College.


Ellen Sollod

Ellen Sollod is an artist, arts planner and art facilitator with expertise that spans public art, art master planning, cultural facility development, long range planning and organizational development. Crossing disciplines, she builds relationships with public officials, design professionals, artists and citizens to foster art in civic engagement. As a public artist, she has collaborated in the creation of dynamic places in which art is fully integrated. As an arts planner she has conducted public visioning processes at the federal, state and local levels, formulated plans for arts facilities, developed art master plans for large scale infrastructure projects, and worked with dance companies, media, folk arts, visual arts and multidisciplinary arts organizations to advance their missions. She served as the Executive Director of the Seattle Arts Commission and the Colorado Council on the Arts and was Assistant Director of the Dance Program for the National Endowment for the Arts. Recent clients include 4Culture, Fort Worden State Park, and the City of San Jose. Her public artworks are included in cities through the northwest and California.


Shannon Stewart

Shannon Stewart

With degrees in urban planning, business administration, and a minor in dance, Shannon Stewart’s professional career has been dedicated to cultural organizing and creating, building capacity in, and sustaining organizations in the nonprofit arts sector. Shannon co-founded two successful nonprofit music organizations (Vera Project in Seattle, and All-ages Movement Project, nationally), wrote a book on how to start and run a successful youth music organization, and transitioned several organizations through leadership and facility changes. Her research and writing has been featured in American’s for the Arts trend papers, Publicola, Wiretap and the Nation. In addition to arts consulting and writing, Shannon makes her own contemporary dancetheater work and and has trained, taught and performed in Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, New York, Boston, Helena, San Francisco, Budapest, Amsterdam, Vienna and Berlin. She teaches contemporary technique, improvisation, is certified in Gyrokinesis®, and is a Teaching Artist with the Mark Morris Dance For Parkinson’s program. Her latest dance film The Third Floor premiered at the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival and her latest evening-length work An Inner Place That Has No Place will tour nationally in 2013.


Andrea Wagner

Andrea Wagner was the first hired employee and became Executive Director of Seattle’s internationally renowned contemporary performing arts center On the Boards. Her broad experience in nonprofit management has included serving as interim director of the Washington State Arts Alliance, and as Executive Director of Giant Magnet, formerly known as the Seattle International Children’s Festival, where she oversaw annual presentations of artists from around the globe to an audience of over 35,000 children, their teachers, and families and established a new works commissioning program, a satellite festival, forged international collaborations, and an expansion of state-wide teacher education and in-school residency programs. Her expertise includes financial management and fund-development, with a strong commitment to collaborations with community, culturally specific, and international organizations. Andrea has served on numerous funding panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, 4Culture and other granting agencies, and was a founding board member of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and the National Performance Network.