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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Aurora Anaya-Cerda
Director of Community Relations & Outreach - Levitt LA
As Director of Community Relations & Outreach, Aurora Anaya-Cerda plays a lead role in the Levitt Foundation’s effort to build strategic partnerships for Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles. Her previous work has been as an educator in East Los Angeles, curator at Casa 0101 in >> Read More

As Director of Community Relations & Outreach, Aurora Anaya-Cerda plays a lead role in the Levitt Foundation’s effort to build strategic partnerships for Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles. Her previous work has been as an educator in East Los Angeles, curator at Casa 0101 in Boyle Heights, and program manager at El Museo del Barrio in New York City. In 2008, Aurora founded La Casa Azul Bookstore, a platform to feature writers and artists of color. She brings more than 15 years of experience in outreach, audience engagement and programming, with an emphasis on creating and supporting spaces that foster the visual, literary and performing arts in underserved neighborhoods. Aurora is passionate about the arts and their ability to activate public spaces to develop stronger communities.

Aurora graduated from UCLA with a BA in History and Chicana/o Studies and a minor in Education. She is currently a graduate student at the Marshall School of Business and is a member of the USC Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship Student Association as VP of External Relations.

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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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Alina Borja
Programs Associate
As Programs Associate, Alina provides administrative support to the Levitt Foundation’s national grants programs, managing grantee information and assisting with program initiatives. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Stanford University and has spent the past >> Read More

As Programs Associate, Alina provides administrative support to the Levitt Foundation’s national grants programs, managing grantee information and assisting with program initiatives. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Stanford University and has spent the past couple of years involved in the Los Angeles cultural landscape. Before joining the Levitt Foundation, Alina supported arts education as a Development Associate at the Arts High Foundation and explored cultural policy through the ACTIVATE fellowship at Arts for LA. Alina is passionate about using arts and culture to nurture thriving and engaged communities.

 

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Rounak Maiti
Digital Communications Associate
As Digital Communications Associate, Rounak 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, Rounak 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 2016, Rounak graduated from Occidental College, Los Angeles, with a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science. Before joining the Levitt Foundation, Rounak was a digital intern at Marketplace Business News. He was also station manager at KOXY, Occidental College's student-run radio station and events platform. He takes part in several community-centered ethnography and audio research projects, such as LA Listens, and is interested in using sound and music to facilitate urban change and explore identity. Rounak is a self-taught musician, singer-songwriter and audio producer.

 

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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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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 comprehensive communications and marketing portfolio and directs media strategies to enhance national visibility for the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, the national Levitt network, and Levitt Pavilion >> Read More

As Senior Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives, Vanessa oversees a comprehensive communications and marketing portfolio and directs media strategies to enhance national visibility for the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, the national Levitt network, and Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles. Vanessa also spearheads new projects and initiatives that support the strategic growth of the Levitt program.

An award-winning writer and editor, 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 invited to speak at national conferences including Grantmakers in the Arts 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 music, communications 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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Amy Tat
Operations Associate
As Operations Associate, Amy supports the Director of Operations in the daily management of the national Levitt Foundation. Amy graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Environmental Science and minors in Environmental Systems and Society and Political Science. She previously worked with the >> Read More

As Operations Associate, Amy supports the Director of Operations in the daily management of the national Levitt Foundation. Amy graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Environmental Science and minors in Environmental Systems and Society and Political Science. She previously worked with the environmental nonprofit, As You Sow, as a Research Associate on the Toxic Enforcement team. Through participation in various nonprofit organizations (UCLA UniCamp, California State Parks Foundation, Conscious Capitalism Los Angeles), she discovered a passion for service and is in constant pursuit of knowledge and experience to figure out how to serve most effectively. As a native Angeleno with an artistic soul, she values green space and community and is excited to contribute to Levitt’s mission.
 

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