Reese (Marissa) Tanimura as Northwest Folklife’s Managing Director!
Reese Tanimura has served as the Program Director for the Rain City Rock Camp for Girls for the past three years and as a volunteer Teaching Artist starting in 2011. With a small-but-mighty team and a steadily growing community, Rain City Rock Camp for Girls empowers girls, women, and gender non-conforming individuals to engage their creative potential through music, champion equity and thrive in a community of allies and activists. Reese is extremely passionate about equity in education and has over a decade of experience teaching music in public schools in Hawaii, and in Washington’s Federal Way Public School District. From 2010 to 2014, she managed education and work-training programs for YouthCare, serving Seattle and South King County youth neglected by traditional school systems and impacted by homelessness and the juvenile justice system.
In her spare time, Reese directs the MoodSwings, an all-female jazz ‘big’ band (that has appeared at past Northwest Folklife Festivals!), teaches private music lessons and performs with her queer, urban bluegrass band Lavender Lucy. Reese graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Music Education and received a certificate in Non-Profit Management from the University of Washington. Appointed by City Council in 2015, Reese currently serves as the Chair for the Seattle Music Commission—an 18-person council, which advocates for and cultivates opportunities for Seattle’s creative community. She strongly believes that musicians, artists, music business and the creative industries are an integral and irreplaceable part of the social and economic fabric of Seattle. Reese is dedicated to ensuring that the people, places and organizations that compose our City of Music have a thriving future.
Northwest Folklife’s Board of Directors recently restructured the professional management of the organization to include a dual leadership model. This change reflects the organization’s vision and mission as an arts and cultural organization that is community-powered and committed to operating at the highest levels of administrative and financial stability and sustainability.
“With the implementation of our dual leadership structure—having the programmatic, artistic and cultural leader and the administrative and resource development leader working in partnership with one another—in conjunction with our growing staff and Board, we will be able to move forward with interacting and engaging with our communities,” says Rafael Maslan, President of Northwest Folklife’s Board of Directors. “We believe this will create an even stronger foundation for Northwest Folklife as we move into the next phase of fulfilling our mission.”
Recently, the Board appointed long-time programmatic leader Kelli Faryar as the first Executive Artistic Director. Kelli was part of the search team that ultimately recommended Reese as the first Managing Director.
“We are excited to welcome Reese to the team at Northwest Folklife,” says Kelli Faryar, Executive Artistic Director. “Reese’s strong background in management and resource development paired with her enthusiasm for Northwest Folklife’s commitment of cultural inclusion bears a bright future. I look forward to working in partnership with Reese, to serve the artistic and cultural communities of the Pacific Northwest.”
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to champion spaces where our communities’ creatives, and most marginalized voices have a platform to remind us all of our deep cultural roots and of the brilliance that thriving diversity brings to our society,” says Reese Tanimura. “I am deeply committed to the stewardship of this organization and will be focused on making sure we can sustainably support the NWFL mission for years to come.”