Steering Committee

North County Arts Network is supported by a Steering Committee that defines the directions and goals of this organization.  Many of the steering committee members have specialized knowledge and together the group aims to fulfill the mission of NCAN: to ensure that the arts are recognized as vital in the lives of its people; develop an innovative vision, plan, and collaborative effort to strengthen the arts; serve, advance, and lead in the maintenance of a diverse network of institutions, businesses, and individuals who work in the arts; maintain a directory of arts resources and organizations in the region.

They do this staying true to the vision of NCAN: to invigorate the arts community, enhance quality of life, and encourage prosperity in our region.  By using the power of collective impact, we are leveraging the creative community in the North County San Diego region to maximize support for the arts.

Amanda Ecoff is the Executive Administrator of NCAN.

Current Steering Committee members:

OPEN, California Center for the Arts Escondido

With a mission of bringing people together to discover, create and celebrate both the visual and performing arts, the California Center for the Arts, Escondido is the cultural center of North San Diego County.The Center’s unique campus includes a 1,500-seat concert hall, a 400-seat theater, a contemporary art museum, art and dance studios, and a full-service conference center with meeting and banquet facilities ready to host corporate gatherings, weddings and other special life events.

Lynnette Tessitore,  Cultural Arts Manager,  City of Chula Vista

The City of Chula Vista encourages cultural arts, supports a creative community, and serves as a catalyst to establish a creative industry in Chula Vista. The Cultural Arts Master Plan outlines strategies and initiatives to accomplish those goals.

Naomi Nussbaum, Executive Director, Synergy Arts Foundation

Since its inception in 2003, Synergy Arts Foundation has played a vital role in supporting our local arts community as well as provided diverse arts educational programming to at-risk and under-served populations.   We are 100% volunteer based. Many of our projects aim to promote and nurture local artists of all disciplines and arts organizations, ​To date Synergy has issued over 100 EASL/SD-PWER grants to individual, professional artists and arts organizations  assisting them through a crisis.  To date, Synergy has funded over 35 community arts projects including several international arts projects.  Our objective is always to unite our local artists and arts organizations, collaborate whenever possible, and raise awareness about the value of arts and culture in our City.

Jim Gilliam, Arts Program Administrator, City of Encinitas

The City of Encinitas recognizes that arts and culture are essential elements in the character and quality of life in a vibrant community. The City’s commitment is evident by the many opportunities for residents, visitors, artists and arts organizations to share in our City’s cultural expression through the arts. Collectively, these efforts result in a broad range of artistic opportunities for the Encinitas community.

Richard Schultz, Manager, City of Carlsbad Cultural Arts

The arts have long been an essential component of Carlsbad life. Founded in 1986, the city’s Cultural Arts Office provides cultural services throughout the community and works with a host of partners to expand arts programming and arts appreciation. the city recognizes the value of a strong arts and culture community as an integral part of daily life, as well as and the strong growth of the arts and cultural economies within the region.

Carolyn Grant, Executive Director, Museum of Making Music

The Museum of Making Music explores the accomplishments and impact of the music products industry through exhibitions and programs, and directly connects visitors with live music and music making opportunities.  The Museum celebrates the music products industry’s rich history from 1900 to today. Through unique exhibitions, vibrant and varied live music performances, and innovative educational programs, the Museum shares the accomplishments and impact of the people who make, sell, and use musical instruments and products.

Alex Goodman, Managing Director, New Village Arts

The mission of New Village Arts is to create adventurous artistic experiences to awaken the human spirit. New Village Arts produces full seasons of mainstage productions, and has done so for the past 17 years in the City of Carlsbad with award-winning actors, designers and directors. To date, New Village has received over 20 Critics Circle Awards honoring the work done on NVA’s mainstage and regularly receives “Critic’s Choice” designation in the leading local paper.

Michael Rennie, President and CEO, Poway OnStage

Formed in 1990, the Poway Center for the Performing Arts Foundation has gone by many names: Arts Alive! The PCPA Foundation. The POW! Foundation. Now, with the arrival of our Silver Anniversary, we are proud to be recognized as Poway OnStage. Poway OnStage is the non-profit organization responsible for booking professional artists into the city-owned Poway Center for the Performing Arts. Each year, Poway OnStage assembles a line-up of marquee talent from the worlds of drama, dance, music, comedy and more. Poway OnStage Mission Statement is Entertaining, Educating and Enriching through Powerful Live Performances

Drew Cady Concert Manager, Mainly Mozart

Our mission is to enrich the lives of today’s and tomorrow’s passionate music lovers by connecting them to the genius and innovation of Mozart and the Masters, to world-class musicians and music-making, and to each other

Patricia Frischer, Coordinator and Founder, San Diego Visual Arts Network

San Diego Visual Arts Network ( SDVAN) is a database of information produced to improve the clarity, accuracy and sophistication of discourse about San Diego’s artistic and cultural life and is dedicated to the idea that the Visual arts are a vital part of the health of our city. SDVAN provides a resource-rich website and facilitates countless opportunities for inspiration and collaboration on visual arts projects. We believe in the transformational quality of the arts and its ability to wider our vision of the world around us. We hope to not only build the confidence of those involved in the arts, but disseminate information throughout San Diego thus raising the bar on the writing, production and appreciation of the visual arts in our region. This is the only site designed exclusively for Visual Arts in the San Diego region and gets 4-5000 unique visitors a month and approximately one million hits a year.

Maria Mingalone, Executive Director, Oceanside Museum of Art

OMA continues to grow as an accredited, sustainable, and nationally acclaimed gathering place to celebrate the inspiring and transformative power of arts and culture. Annual development of exhibitions, events, and educational programming are designed with this vision as a means of making deeper connections with the San Diego community and the greater Southern California region. The mission of Oceanside Museum of Art is to celebrate art through engagement, education, and innovation.

John Campbell, founder Smorgborg

Smorgborg is designed to be simple to use on your desktop, phone or tablet; all with one login to one account with tools all on one platform to handle sending newsletters, creating event invites, creating articles for social media, conducting surveys and collecting membership dues, donations and sponsorship. It scales as your organization grows. We are focused on helping your organization succeed.

Maggie Chiaro, artist/instructor
Brigid Parsons, founder Local Art Walk

The following steering committee members attended diverse public meeting to ascertain the needs and goals of the arts and culture community of North County San Diego.

Integrating the Arts into Education

OPEN, California Center for the Arts Escondido
Lynnette Tessitore,  Cultural Arts Manager,  City of Chula Vista

  • College/University Community Engagement Development
  • Strengthen K-12 Arts Education Program Development
  • Arts Professional Development via Education

Exploring the contributions of the Civic Arts of our cities and towns

Naomi Nussbaum, Executive Director, Synergy Arts Foundation
Jim Gilliam, Arts Program Administrator, City of Encinitas
Richard Schultz,   Manager, Carlsbad Cultural Arts

  • Local Municipal/City Arts Professionalization/Development
    • Formal Cultural/Public Art Planning & Development
    • Professional City Arts Administration Development
    • Sustainable Funding Methodologies for the Arts
    • Advocacy/Lobbying Campaign
    • Leadership Development
  • Goals with SD North Economic Development Council Partnership
  • Promotion of North County Public Art Collections/Opportunities
  • North County Cultural Districts Opportunities/Development
  • Caltrans Freeway Projects/Wayfinding

Marketing and cross-promoting  the Arts in North County

Carolyn Grant,  Executive Director, Museum of Making Music
Maggie Chiaro, artist/instructor
Brigid Parsons, founder Local Art Walk

  • Research/Data/Mapping and Dissemination
    • Mapping of Sector and Cross-Sector Partnerships
    • Research/Data/Best Practices
    • Case Statement/Stats on Value of Arts
  • Joint Marketing
    • Master Calendar
    • Website/Social Media/List Serve for NCAN and beyond
    • Shared Expenses on Marketing and Literature Distribution
    • Media Relations Dev.
  • Audience Development
    • Arts organizations collaborative cross-promotions
    • Business/Arts Reciprocal Discount Program

Partnerships with the Business community

Amelia Xann  non-profit consultant, Creative Launch Strategies
Jacque Kilpatrick, formerly of California State University San Marcos
Daniel Foster, former director Oceanside Museum of Art

  • Arts and Economic Summit
  • Cultural Tourism
  • Countywide collaborations
  • Goals of SD North Economic Development Council Partnership
  • American for the Arts’ Economic Prosperity Report Considerations
  • Building Advocacy Campaign & Partnerships with civic & corporate/business communities
  • Sustainable Funding Methodologies for the arts community (i.e., TOT, 1% fees; Pennies for the Arts, Round-Up)
  • Technical Assistance for Arts Organizational Fundraising (i.e., Legacy Society development., board development, successful fundraising strategies/planning)
  • Funding Strategies/Initiatives for North County arts community
    • Internal Regional Fundraising Opportunities
    • External Fundraising Opportunities (state, national)
  • Arts Funder Forums
  • Arts Re-grant Program Development

Performing Arts needs and enhancements

Alex Goodman, Managing Director, New Village Arts
Michael Rennie, President and CEA, Poway OnStage
Drew Cady Concert Manager, Mainly Mozart

  • Collaborations (i.e. more shared programming to share talent, expenses and audiences).
  • PR/Website for Shared Targeted Programming
  • Registry(s)/roster for info and a stronger engagement with talent/performers and organizations
  • Audience Building and Sales
  • San Diego Film Office Partnership Development


Visual Arts needs and enhancements

Patricia Frischer, Coordinator and Founder, San Diego Visual Arts Network
Maria Mingalone, Executive Director, Oceanside Museum of Art 

  • Collaborations (i.e. more shared programming to share talent, expenses and audiences).
  • PR/Website for Shared Targeted Programming – pop up galleries, printed guide, want ads, match making artist to commissions, finding open calls, videos about the area culture and artist
  • Registry(s)/roster for info and a stronger engagement with artists/performers and organizations
  • Audience Building and Sales
  • Artist Pay Equity


How you can be involved:

To see more details about the organizations that are working with NCAN, take a look at the Directory.

Our thanks go to the following for their past particpation:

Daniel Foster, former director Oceanside Museum of Art  and part of the committee with Naomi Nussbaum, Jim Gilliam and Patricia Frischer who founded the North County Arts Network.  Their vision was based on the strength of a collective voice with an ultimate aim to form a San Diego County Arts Council funded at the county level.
Joann Johnson who helped us attain the first grants to finance NCAN.
Elizabeth Castilla whose networking ideas have carried us through the process of enabling intersections in the creative community.
Kait Matthews for supplying a meeting place  and hosting the website in the first years of NCAN.
Marilyn Huerta along with Jacque Kilpatrick, formerly of California State University San Marcos for tireless contributions of ideas.
Amelia Xann  non-profit consultant, Creative Launch Strategies for her initial visioning for the Arts and Economic Summit.