2020 Reflections

Kala’s staff members each took a moment to think about accomplishments we feel good about during this past year and challenges we look forward to addressing in the near future.

Mayumi Hamanaka, Artistic Director

I’m honored to take on a leadership role as Artistic and Co-Director with Ellen Lake, our new Executive Director. Despite the challenges we face with Covid and racial inequities in the world, I’m excited to work with Kala’s amazing staff to rise to these challenges, take risks, and continue to build Kala’s creative community.

I’m looking forward to working on equity and diversity challenges and deepening partnerships and expanding our network through community engagement projects.

Archana Horsting, Founding Director

I am thrilled that Kala continues despite covid-19 and is here for our artists, youth, and our community.

I will work to leave a legacy for Kala through fundraising and to find the best possible uses for our Kala art collection.

Gisela Insuaste, Education and Public Programs Manager

Working at Kala! It’s been a year since I started working at Kala. Seriously, it’s been connecting with teaching artists, parents, and students. Pivoting from in-person to online classes. Deepening our relationship with our schools, teachers, and teaching artists.

Continuing our work with schools despite the online platform. Finding creative ways to work with students, and continuing to work with youth in the East Bay. Finding different ways of talking and making art for myself.

Ellen Lake, Executive Director

It’s been a privilege and honor to work with Mayumi, Archana, the staff and board on a smooth leadership transition. As a team we’ve navigated a challenging year with passion and grit to make sure Kala survives the pandemic and remains a vital resource for artists and the community for many years to come.

In 2021, I’m looking forward to a new cycle of art projects including the launch of the Print Public municipal artist-in-residence with the City of Berkeley. I am ready to write grants and raise funds to sustain Kala and create additional opportunities for artists.

Claire McPherson, Art Sales Manager

I feel good about bringing a group of new artists and collectors into Kala for the first time to see all the amazing programs we offer.

I’m excited for our 2021 auction and fundraiser (opening March 11) which will be our best yet!

Meg Pohlod, Artist Residency & Social Media Manager

One of the best parts of my job is allowing artists to receive a residency space! One of the hardest parts of my job is a limited amount of residencies to allocate. This year in particular we faced major shifts operating a residency program. Not only for incoming artists, but also for current artists in residence and affiliate artists. I am extremely thankful for a strong staff that allowed me to express my concerns, ideas, and questions as the situation changes monthly – weekly – and sometimes daily. I also know that we all lost something this year, and all the artists I was in communication with were more than understanding. I am truly lucky to work with this amazing community.

Nick Shick, Print Studio Manager

Despite all the strange circumstances we all faced this year, I feel great about moving to the Bay Area and joining the community at Kala.

I am looking forward to getting back into a rhythm with my personal art practice in 2021. I am developing a series of letterpress printed books.

Gabriela Yoque, Studio Education & Digital Media Manager

I’m proud that we were able to launch two very successful online adult classes! And I am so grateful for the amazing teachers that worked with us to make this happen even as we were learning!

I look forward to continuing challenging Kala’s internal inequities.