#7 Who We Are Wednesdays
Who We Are Wednesdays: What does an Arts Council do anyway?
So, you’re starting to see what ACNV does, but doesn’t that make you wonder “who does it all?”
To work in an Arts Council, it’s essential that you’re an advocate of the arts to begin with. But, what is an arts advocate?
An advocate is someone who is dedicated to the success of the arts in their community. We at ACNV are solely interested in bringing the arts to our community and supporting our local artists. Therefore we do not compete with the artist of our community for funding. We want those resources to go to our community creatives, and are dedicated to making sure that happens. We are also dedicated to bringing more resources to our creative community.
We are here to support our Napa County creatives and arts in the community over anything else. We advocate not for ourselves, but for you and the Napa County community. We are your “Arts Cheerleaders,” so to speak.
Who is the Arts Council?
ACNV is a team of four “Arts Cheerleaders” working to expand access and influence of the arts in Napa County. This four-person team is made up of two pairs.
There is the core team, consisting of our President & CEO, Chris DeNatale, and our Programs & Administration Associate, Crysta Tim.
The second team is geared toward arts education and they lead ACNV’s education program, the ACNV Education Alliance. The Education Alliance team consists of the EA Coordinator, Coleen Schlelein, and the EA Co-Coordinator, Karen Provenza.
While it’s great to learn the names and titles of the people running the show, there’s so much more to know about these four people and what makes them so important to running ACNV.
Who are our Arts Cheerleaders?
Chris DeNatale: President & CEO
Christopher DeNatale has worked for 20 years in the areas of Event Production, PR, Media Marketing, Non-Profit Leadership, Fund Raising, Venue Management and Audience Development. He has worked for CBS, iHeartMedia, Granite Broadcasting, Entercom Communications, Cumulus Radio, and The SF Media Company where he rose to the position of Vice President of Integrated Marketing. He has also held the position of Marketing Director for City Winery Napa, a national music venue, ArtistWorks, an online music learning start-up, and at Lincoln Theater where he was promoted to the position of Foundation Director. He most recently served as the Marketing & Events Director at Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley. He has produced events with and for Live Nation, This Is My Brave, Symphony Napa Valley, the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco Giants, San Jose SaberCats and the Oakland Athletics. He is a graduate of Saint Mary’s College of California with a degree in English and Communication. He currently serves as Chair of the Napa County Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, is a former member of the City of Napa Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission and is a graduate of Leadership Napa Valley Class 30. He lives in Napa with his wife Julia and three children all of who are active participants in the performing arts in Napa County.
Crysta Tim: Programs & Administration Associate
Crysta Tim has been immersed in the arts since she was a child. She has taken classes for and personally explored many art mediums over the years. For most of her adolescent years, she was living in Napa, so she feels a strong personal connection to the community. She graduated with a BA in English from CSU, Sacramento in 2019 and is excited to be able to use her combined knowledge of arts and language to be able to benefit the artistic community of Napa Valley through her position as the Programs and Administration Associate.
Connie Schlelein: Education Alliance Coordinator
At an early age, Connie was destined to become a passionate advocate for arts education influenced by parents who were artists & educators. She received her Masters Degree in Art Education at the University of Hawaii and then for 30 years, taught Visual Art in high schools and colleges in Colorado. As her school district’s arts coordinator, she developed an award-winning K-12 arts curriculum. A leader in Colorado arts education, she helped develop the arts leadership organization ArtSource and was the President of the Colorado Art Education Association. Nationally, she was a writer for the national Standards for Visual Arts & also served as the Vice President of the National Art Education Association. Numerous local, state & national awards were awarded to her for her visionary arts education work. After her retirement, she became a world traveler for 10 years. She recently relocated to Sonoma, California intent on sharing her expertise with local arts organizations.
Karen Provenza: Education Alliance Co-Coordinator
Karen Provenza comes to the Arts Education Alliance uniquely qualified to guide our marketing efforts. Not only is she an experienced arts educator, she has over twenty years experience in television production and marketing. She was responsible for a multi-million branding campaign for Warner Bros. Television and, as creative director at KOFYTV20, oversaw the production of the San Francisco Pride Parade, Bay Area Music Awards as well as mayoral and gubernatorial debates. Prior to that, she anchored the news with Frank Somerville at KFTY-TV50 in Santa Rosa. Once her daughter was launched, Karen was free to follow her first love, teaching. For the past fourteen years, she’s worked for NVUSD, earning recognition for co-designing a fully integrated visual and performing arts freshmen language arts curriculum for New Technology High. She has also taught creative writing and photography courses. An accomplished short story writer, Karen has recently begun to explore the visual arts. Most afternoons you’ll find her in her garage experimenting with different mediums. Friends--many former students--often join her in what has become a neighborhood art space.
From ACNV to You
As your “Arts Cheerleaders” the four of us are so proud to be serving the Napa County creative community. We want to make the community a more welcoming and diverse space for Napa County community, and we want to extend our hands out to our creatives. All of your “Arts Cheerleaders” are more than happy to make this community a better one however we can, and your suggestions are invaluable to us.
If you have any questions about what we do, or suggestions on how we can better serve the arts community in Napa please contact any one of us about questions we can answer for you, or to set up an appointment with one of us!