ARTS welcome Mytoan Nguyen-Akbar as the new Impact and Assessment Manager

Mytoan Nguyen-Akbar recently joined the Office of Arts & Culture as a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow and Impact and Assessment Manager. She has most recently developed curriculum for the Seattle Community Colleges, taught sociology courses on race, immigration, inequality, and belonging at Seattle University and the University of Puget Sound, and published in scholarly journals including Sociological Perspectives, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, and the Journal of Vietnam Studies. Mytoan earned her PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was a Fulbright Scholar in Australia, and a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at UC Berkeley. In Seattle, Mytoan has been a volunteer with the Rainier Valley Corps and the Vietnamese Friendship Association. She and her spouse Arash have a 5-month infant and a 5-year old. A fun fact about the Akbars: they celebrate three New Years holidays at different times of the year.  


ARTS welcomes Kelly Davidson to the team

Kelly Davidson recently joined the Office of Arts & Culture as the new finance manager. Davidson has been working with the City of Seattle for 18 years and started as an intern with the Office of Arts & Culture. She has a degree in Fine Art from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she spent a lot of her time working with the Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery and as an intern working on the grand opening of the Bellagio Fine Art Gallery. Since working for the City of Seattle she has worked in four different departments; Office of Arts & Culture, Department of Neighborhoods, Parks and Recreation and most recently Seattle City Light. In her free time Kelly enjoys biking, skiing and gardening.


ARTS Welcomes Lizzy Melton and Amber Rose Jimenez on staff

As Panel Coordinator, Lizzy Melton provides support for the art selection panels for both the Public Art and Cultural Partnership programs. She works with the online application tools CaFÉ and CGO in all stages of the call process, compiles and readies the submitted application materials, and makes arrangements for selection panel technology requirements. Melton is a former professional dancer and later earned a BA in Art History from the American University of Paris. When not attending dance performances or enjoying museum and gallery exhibitions, she can be found indulging in her love of films, books, and French pastries.         


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Amber Rose Jimenez serves as the Racial Equity and Arts Commission Coordinator for the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Previously, she worked at Seattle Foundation, where she oversaw the strategy and project management of Community Programs initiatives and grantmaking. Throughout her career, Amber Rose has worked to activate investments in youth-driven democracy, mobilize voters for progressive political campaigns, and catalyze grassroots nonprofit development efforts. She is the current Chair of the KEXP Community Advisory Board and participates in a collective impact fund, Present Purpose Network. She is a former Seattle Arts Commissioner, Board Member at Capitol Hill Housing Foundation, and Chair of The Vera Project Board of Directors. She studied Political Science and Philosophy at Seattle Pacific University.


ARTS Welcomes Amanda Licorish

Amanda Licorish is the new Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute Rental Coordinator. Amanda comes to ARTS with a strong background in youth development, building and program management. She was most recently the assistant recreation coordinator at Seattle Parks and Recreation for the Delridge and Alki Community Centers.

Amanda has a Recreation Administration Degree from the University of Idaho and has served on many committees and boards providing enriching programs to the Seattle community including Homestead Community Land Trust, Festival Sundiata and United Way of King County. In addition, Amanda is a passionate advocate for teens, especially surrounding issues of access and equity. She volunteers on her Sorority’s youth committee and enjoys being a mentor for others in her field. Amanda is happiest when she has had an adventure, is surprised with treats or anytime she is playing with her son Lawford.


ARTS Welcomes Payton Bordley and Amanda Standley


Payton Bordley, Racial Equity Liaison

Payton Bordley supports a variety of Cultural Partnerships programs, specifically focused on the internal capacity building of the Office towards racial equity, and in collaboration with other community organizations. She manages the Seattle Arts Leadership Team, and coordinates the office’s Race & Social Justice Initiative Change Team. Payton first joined us in 2014 as the Communications intern, and loved getting exposure to the incredible work of everyone in the office before coming into her new role. She currently studies Creative Writing at the University of Washington—focusing specifically in poetry. Outside of work and school, Payton enjoys gathering traditional plants and medicines, and spending time with her family on the Skokomish reservation.

Amanda Standley, Operations Coordinator

Amanda Standley (previously Stoddard) joins the Office of Arts & Culture as the new Operations Coordinator. In addition to working with contracts, Amanda also serves the Cultural Partnerships Team, providing administrative and community support. Amanda is an activist, organizer, and collaborative theater artist. She is the Board Chair of the Satori Group, an ensemble of theatre makers generating new work with an eye toward audience experience. Previously, she worked for the Mayor’s Office in the Office of Policy and Innovation, working as liaison to the Office of Arts and Culture and the Office of Film+Music. Amanda loves old movies, thinks that protests are an act of love, and has not met a cheese she doesn’t like.

Photo: Amanda Standley (left) and Payton Bordley (right) image courtesy Jenny Crooks.