Ayn was born on the island of Taiwan to a Chinese mother and a Mexican-American father. At the age of two, she moved to the United States. After studying at UCLA & Harvard, she worked in Los Angeles as a screenwriter and magazine writer. She lives on remote Orcas Island with her husband, novelist Samuel W. Gailey. She has helped individuals and brands with branding and content. She wrote "Pornology," a non-fiction book that became a film this summer entitled "A Nice Girl Like You," starring Lucy Hale. She enjoys helping and inspiring other artists. That includes editing and ghostwriting books that have been critically praised and earned spots on The New York Times bestseller list; helping launch a literary festival; working with music composers to inspire them to create symphonies, scores and operas and get their work nominated for Emmys, Pulitzers, and Grammys.
Betsy Henning is Founder and Managing Principal of AHA Inc., a creative services agency in Vancouver, Washington. Betsy is borderline obsessive when it comes to the arts and the role they play in building vibrant communities. Volunteer. Mentor. Patron. Fundraiser. Instigator. Anything that helps people find their voice and express themselves. Because few things are more powerful than a great story well told.
Charlie Robin serves as Board Chair for Whipsmart. Additionally, he is the CEO of the Capitol Theatre in Yakima and serves on the Board for the Washington State Arts Commission. Previously Charlie worked at Washington University in St. Louis as executive director of the Edison Theatre and 560 Music Center. While at the university he taught arts management at the graduate and undergraduate level. Charlie has served in leadership and programming positions with the St. Louis Professional Theatre Council, Circus Flora, Drive All Night Productions, and Laumeier Sculpture Park. Charlie is a professional singer and avid knitter.
Darryl Crews runs a big tent communication business called The January Group based out of Tacoma. They plan events, make videos, write speeches, promote new music, consult with brands, create space for culture (physically and digitally) and advocate for important causes. Some of January’s clients have included Alaska Airlines, Atlantic Records, Apple Music, ARRAY, Seattle Aquarium, City of Tacoma, Revolt TV, among numerous others.
Ginger Ewing is an arts educator, advocate and administrator living in Spokane. She began her career as the Curator for Cultural Literacy at the Northwest Museum of Arts& Culture (MAC) where she developed and administered many successful programs from scratch. This includes a professional development program for regional high-school students interested in becoming exhibit interpreters; aK-20 American Indian educational program; and a monthly after-hours program meant to draw in new museum goers. At the MAC she also helped to curate many exhibitions and was trained in Visual Thinking Strategies, a student-centered teaching methodology centered around art. Ginger is currently the ExecutiveDirector of the arts non-profit Terrain, which builds community and economic opportunity for artists in the Inland Northwest. In addition to putting on large-scale events, Terrain also runs a permanent gallery space, a performing arts space, a retail storefront, an arts-driven beautification program, and a professional development program for creative entrepreneurs. In addition to Whipsmart, Ginger sits on the Boards of Artist Trust, Keep Music Live, and theWashington State Arts Commission, as well as the Advisory Committee for All inWashington. She also loves dogs, especially pugs.
Juan Mas serves as Treasurer for Whipsmart. Juan A Mas has been entrenched in the indie film world for over 25 years. He has been a producer, director and writer. He enjoys the collaboration of working with other filmmakers and artist of different fields as he continues to hone his craft as a storyteller. A longtime resident of Spokane, Mas is actively involved with the city’s Film, Theater, Music, and Art. He’s a founding member of the Spokane Film Project and 50 Hour Slam Film Festival, and has served on the advisory board for the Spokane Falls Community College Photography/Video department. Mas is an avid advocate for the development of the arts in Spokane and Washington State.
Sarah Folden is an Olympia based artist and Cowlitz Indian Tribal member. After a long career working for the Treaty Tribes of the Pacific Northwest, she had the opportunity to follow her passion for creating and studied art from esteemed Coast Salish artists. Sarah’s work is inspired by ancient tradition in multiple mediums with public art spanning the Pacific Northwest. Sarah teaches Coast Salish art to native youth and is passionate about advocating for entrepreneurial success for self taught artists. She also volunteers for public art groups supporting climate and social causes. She can often be found on Tax’oma (Mt. Rainier) with her family, gathering inspiration from this beautiful place we call home.
Tori Karpenko (he/him) is the Director of Campus Operations at TwispWorks in Twisp, WA and has been involved since the inception of the project in 2009. In his project management and place-making role he has helped repurpose a 6.5 acre, seventeen-building former US Forest Service complex into a hub for creative enterprise. TwispWork’s unique model for rural economic revitalization includes key partnerships with the local school district for hands on learning opportunities and the Methow Valley Interpretive Center, who foster cultural awareness of the Indigenous people of the Methow Valley. From 2008-2013 he served as a regional ambassador for Artist Trust, serving North Central Washington. From 2001-2007 he was the Board Chairman for Confluence Gallery & Art Center in Twisp. He graduated from Drake University with a degree in painting and has been a practicing artist for 22 years. He is represented by Traver Gallery in Seattle and shows throughout the PNW. His paintings, sculptures and installations explore place-based healing and celebrate a deep connection to the landscape.