Levitt's national team is a group of passionate individuals committed to ensuring Levitt partners and grantees receive guidance, support and resources to successfully launch and carry out either the permanent Levitt venue program or the Levitt AMP Music Series in their communities.

Sharon Yazowski
Executive Director
As Executive Director, Sharon provides visionary leadership in fulfilling the Levitt Foundation’s mission. She is the chief spokesperson for the organization, traveling across the country to share the impact of Levitt programs and creative placemaking. Her passionate commitment to the arts >> Read More

As Executive Director, Sharon provides visionary leadership in fulfilling the Levitt Foundation’s mission. She is the chief spokesperson for the organization, traveling across the country to share the impact of Levitt programs and creative placemaking. Her passionate commitment to the arts as a vehicle for positive change in communities has guided the strategic growth of Levitt programs nationwide, including the development of innovative public/private partnerships that are the bedrock of permanent Levitt venues. Sharon collaborates with Friends of Levitt partners in developing sustainability strategies, ensuring the long-term success of each permanent Levitt venue. Sharon also serves as a board member of the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation.

Prior to her position with the Levitt Foundation, Sharon was the founding Executive Director of Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles at MacArthur Park. Her work there and the venue’s impact in the community earned her the recognition of “Los Angeles Park Hero” by the City of Los Angeles. Sharon’s career began working with arts nonprofits in metropolitan Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University with a concentration in arts and business management.

Sharon is often an invited speaker at regional and national conferences, including the National Main Street Conference; Grantmakers in the Arts; National Brownfields Training Conference; National Consortium for Creative Placemaking; Association for Performing Arts Presenters; National Recreation and Parks Association Conference; Art of Placemaking Conference; Growing Sustainable Communities Conference; and NADO (National Association of Development Organizations), amongst others.

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Ana Cuellar Aguilar
Programs Associate
As Programs Associate, Ana provides administrative support for Levitt Pavilions’ grants programs and coordinate various program activities for the national network of Levitt music venues and Friends of Levitt Pavilion nonprofit organizations. She also provides daily >> Read More

As Programs Associate, Ana provides administrative support for Levitt Pavilions’ grants programs and coordinate various program activities for the national network of Levitt music venues and Friends of Levitt Pavilion nonprofit organizations. She also provides daily support to the Director of Programs in the development and management of resources, knowledge sharing platforms, and capacity building tools.

Prior to working at the Levitt Foundation, Ana served two years as State and VISTA AmeriCorps member at education non-profits providing services to empower economically disadvantaged students and their families. During her first year, she served as in-class and after-class Math tutor for ninth graders at a Los Angeles Promise Zone’s high school. The following year, she served as the Arts Education Program Coordinator of the Getty Foundation’s initiative “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA”. Passionate about promoting equal access to the arts in every community, she is excited to be part of the Levitt team.

Ana graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in International Relations and a minor in Economics.

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Victoria Bridenstine
Programs Manager
As Programs Manager, Victoria administers Levitt’s grants management process and plays a key role in the various network activities related to Levitt’s mission-driven work. Working closely with existing and prospective grantees, she is responsible for identifying resources >> Read More

As Programs Manager, Victoria administers Levitt’s grants management process and plays a key role in the various network activities related to Levitt’s mission-driven work. Working closely with existing and prospective grantees, she is responsible for identifying resources and initiatives that provide meaningful support to the Levitt’s growing national network. 

Victoria has over nine years of experience in grantmaking and community engagement. Prior to working at the Levitt Foundation, she worked at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC) where she developed operational standards, increased brand awareness through community relationships and secured major donations. Prior to OIC, she served as the Community Engagement Associate at the Lymphoma Research Foundation where she implemented an overall communications strategy and local grassroots marketing efforts to increase awareness of available resources, services and fundraising events. In addition to her community engagement experience, Victoria has worked in grantmaking with verve. At the W. M. Keck Foundation, she supported grantmaking activities for high-impact research, undergraduate education, and programs that enrich lives of local children and families. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Occidental College.

Victoria is very excited to utilize her experiences to support the grant programs at the Levitt Foundation which strive to help ignite economic growth, drive community engagement and enhance overall quality of life.

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Nicole McGaffey
Communications Manager
As Communications Manager, Nicole plays a key role in implementing Levitt’s communications strategies for both internal and external audiences. The Communications Manager supports the Senior Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives in the creation, implementation and >> Read More

As Communications Manager, Nicole plays a key role in implementing Levitt’s communications strategies for both internal and external audiences. The Communications Manager supports the Senior Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives in the creation, implementation and oversight of print pieces, e-newsletters, eblasts, and website content.

Before joining the Levitt Foundation, Nicole contributed to various nonprofit arts organizations including the Guggenheim Foundation, Whitney Museum of American Art, and MoMA PS1. Nicole earned her B.F.A. from the University of Denver and M.A. in Arts Administration from Columbia University. Passionate about building community through the arts, Nicole is thrilled to be part of the Levitt team.

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Arianna Ousley
Operations Associate
As Operations Associate, Arianne is responsible for providing administrative support to the foundation, including providing daily support to the Executive Director and Director of Operations. She also plays an important role in maintaining the organization’s financial, HR, and donor >> Read More

As Operations Associate, Arianne is responsible for providing administrative support to the foundation, including providing daily support to the Executive Director and Director of Operations. She also plays an important role in maintaining the organization’s financial, HR, and donor records, and provides general support for Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles.

Arianne has a background in performing arts and is passionate about live entertainment and serving the community. She graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a B.A. in Theatre Arts, and recently earned a M.A in Theatre Arts, with a focus on audience and community engagement, from California State University, Northridge. Her community engagement experience includes developing and moderating multiple pre-show theatre panels on the California State University, Northridge campus, and working as an Audience Engagement Fellow in the Education, Engagement, and Community Partnerships Department at Center Theatre Group in downtown Los Angeles.

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Benjamin Salkind
Digital Communications Associate
As Digital Communications Associate, Benj provides support to the Senior Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives and plays an important role in implementing the Levitt Foundation and Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles' online presence. He helps build the Foundation's social >> Read More

As Digital Communications Associate, Benj provides support to the Senior Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives and plays an important role in implementing the Levitt Foundation and Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles' online presence. He helps build the Foundation's social media, multimedia content and blog. In 2018, Benj graduated from Occidental College, Los Angeles, with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Before joining the Levitt Foundation, Benj took on several roles within the field of journalism, including writing for several well-known music publications and serving as an Editor on The Occidental Weekly for four years.

 

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Patti Sanchez
Senior Director of Programs
As Senior Director of Programs, Patti oversees the strategic effectiveness of the Foundation’s grant-making activities. She is responsible for developing and managing resources that support collaboration and alignment across the Levitt network, while championing the local strategies of >> Read More

As Senior Director of Programs, Patti oversees the strategic effectiveness of the Foundation’s grant-making activities. She is responsible for developing and managing resources that support collaboration and alignment across the Levitt network, while championing the local strategies of each Levitt venue and Levitt concert sites.

Patti’s career in the social impact space began after graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in American Studies. She has worked in some of the highest socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles, managing program operations, turnarounds, and consulting on various projects in the nonprofit and public sectors. She graduated with an MBA from USC Marshall where she learned to incorporate business principles to facilitate scalable social change. She is actively engaged with USC Marshall’s diversity efforts, serves as a mentor with Girls Today, Women Tomorrow, and sits on the PBS SoCal Latino Community Council. Patti began dance and theater at a young age and soon became fascinated with the arts as a vehicle of cultural expression. She is thrilled to be a part of the Levitt Foundation because of its commitment to revitalize underused public spaces through the arts, thereby creating places where all are welcome to participate in a shared sense of community life. 

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Vanessa Silberman
Senior Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives
As Senior Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives, Vanessa oversees a vast portfolio to share the inspiring impact of the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, its nonprofit partners and grantees, and the field of creative placemaking at large. Vanessa also spearheads new >> Read More

As Senior Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives, Vanessa oversees a vast portfolio to share the inspiring impact of the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, its nonprofit partners and grantees, and the field of creative placemaking at large. Vanessa also spearheads new projects and initiatives that support the strategic growth of Levitt programs nationwide.

An award-winning writer, editor and content strategist, Vanessa has built her career working in the arts & culture sector. Her previous roles include: Editorial Director at Art Center College of Design, where she led the strategy of all print and online communications including Dot magazine; Arts Specialist for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, where she represented the Commissioner on the boards of major cultural institutions like the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Public Theater and P.S.1/MoMA and advocated for city funds; and various editorial/communications positions with The Museum of Modern Art, Columbia University's Research Center for Arts & Culture, Art Business News and The Philadelphia Museum of Art. Vanessa has been an invited speaker at a variety of national conferences including Main Street Now, ComNet18, Grantmakers in the Arts, the National Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit and the CASE Conference of Publications Professionals. Vanessa earned her bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and received a master’s degree in Arts Administration from Columbia University. Her position with Levitt combines her lifelong passions for the performing arts, storytelling and social impact.

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Heidi Snyder
Director of Operations
As Director of Operations, Heidi manages the daily operations of the national Levitt office, including human resources and finances, and provides overall administrative and events support. Heidi plays a key role in the creation of organizational systems and procedures. Heidi’s career >> Read More

As Director of Operations, Heidi manages the daily operations of the national Levitt office, including human resources and finances, and provides overall administrative and events support. Heidi plays a key role in the creation of organizational systems and procedures.

Heidi’s career began at The Stevenson Group, a boutique event marketing firm where she produced awards dinners, client appreciation days and corporate parties. She then joined the AEG/STAPLES Center where she worked on some of the most prestigious and widely-viewed events in the world such as the Lakers championships, GRAMMY Awards shows, and record-breaking concerts. After rediscovering her passion for music, Heidi moved to Warner Music Group where she provided support to their many labels, artists and vendors. Heidi believes her role with Levitt Pavilions is the perfect alignment of her personal and professional goals. Heidi is a graduate of University of Oregon where she majored in Sports Marketing and minored in Communication Studies.

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