Michelle Dumas, Office Manager
Michelle Dumas has managed early-stage development and growth for several organizations and businesses across education, healthcare, technology, arts and professional service sectors. An experienced fundraiser, communications specialist and marketer across multiple channels, she has served in various advancement roles during multiple high-goal campaigns at universities, colleges and K-12 schools, including USC, UCLA, Cornell University, St. Cloud State University, City College of San Francisco and Chadwick School. She was corporate communications manager for online learning giant Lynda.com during the company’s raise of multiple investment rounds from high-tech investors, and through its eventual acquisition by LinkedIn. She also managed its community relations and corporate philanthropy programs. Additionally, she co-founded and headed content development for a boutique marketing agency that specialized in helping small business owners execute effective marketing strategies with limited resources. She has a bachelor’s degree in U.S. history from UCLA and lives in Ventura, California with her husband and two sons.
Craig Rosen, Development Director
Craig Rosen received a B.A. in English from George Washington University and an M.F.A. from Columbia University film school. Originally from Washington D.C., Rosen was lead singer in Static Disruptors, a band he formed at college. In 1982 he produced a single of a rap song he wrote and performed called, “D.C. Groove.” He has taught poetry writing in numerous settings, including to boys and girls at the Juvenile Facility, students in the Recovery Classroom at Gateway Community School, adults at Todd Road jail, Oak View High School students and members of the Tequio Youth, part of the Mixteco Indigenous Community Organizing Project. He has edited four chap books of poems by his students, published with support from the Ventura County Office of Education. Rosen manages JumpStArts for VCAC, a recipient of consecutive grant awards from the California Arts Council. JumpStArts brings arts to juvenile offenders. Rosen has produced documentaries, short films and one feature-length movie and written several original screenplays. He just finished his first novel, Broken Heartland, for the Young Adult audience. Craig’s passion is working with underserved communities and the arts, helping people to find their voice and work toward personal transformation.
Fernando Albert Salinas, Literary Arts Coordinator
Fernando Salinas is an Adjunct Professor of English at Ventura College. He is also the Ventura County Area Coordinator and a Master Poet-Teacher for California Poets in the Schools, a recitation coach for the California Arts Council’s Poetry Out Loud program and the Editor-In-Chief for Spit Shine Publishing. As Coordinator of Literary Arts programs for the Ventura County Arts Council, he focuses on enhancing the presence and appreciation of poetry and the literary arts, raising awareness of the power of literature, poetry, and the spoken word. In 2012, Salinas initiated the Groundswell Committee: a small collection of local poets, with the support of the Ventura County Arts Council, and created the County’s poet laureate program. Most recently, he has implemented a youth poet laureate program for the county. His written poetry has appeared in several publications, including Askew Poetry Journal, Solo Poetry Journal, Miramar, and Lummox Press. He has performed his spoken word internationally. This year, he has been nominated for California Poet Laureate and City of Ventura’s Mayor’s Arts Award.
Pete Ippel, the son of a dancer and a musician, was born in Oak Park, Illinois and has been surrounded by the arts since birth. He moved to Morris, Illinois in 1989 and started to participate in athletics rather than dance. After high school, Pete attended Cornell University where he received a BA in psychology and a BFA in photo / digital art making. He continued to follow his sporting dreams in the high jump, which culminated in a school record leap of 7 feet 1/2 inch in 2001. In May 2004 he attained an MFA degree in the New Genres department of the San Francisco Art Institute and in 2017 completed his Career Technical Education credential in Art Media and Entertainment as well as Information and Computer Technology.
Presently Pete resides in Working Artists Ventura, a sustainable artist community in southern California. As a conceptual artist, his focus is on performance, video and installation. His work is in numerous private collections and has been exhibited in New York, California, and internationally. As curator, Mr. Ippel mounts eight exhibitions annually with the Ventura County Arts Council Atrium Gallery forcing county-wide dialog about the role of art in public space. As a grant-reader and juror, Pete has collaborated with Rotary International and their Perspectives on Peace initiative. As educator, Mr. Ippel teaches in Spanish and English, has classroom experience in robotics, graphic production, art, and design. He focuses on preparing career-ready artists with emphasis on entrepreneurship, problem-solving, and critical thinking. He also coaches the high jump where multiple athletes have become state qualifiers under his tutelage.
In addition to his lectures and presentations, Mr. Ippel’s professional activities include organizing the Working Artists Ventura Artist Council, advising the ARTLIFE foundation, and helping Ventura Unified School District Arts Collaborative. Through these efforts more artists have a voice in the community, the art historical significance of Ventura’s creatives is being preserved, and in cooperation with the Ventura Education Partners and the Museum of Ventura County, the annual student art exhibition is a resounding success. Thus, insuring young artists will be recognized for the foreseeable future.
Pete Ippel’s honors include being the recipient of the Ventura Education Partners Grant, Center for Cultural Innovation NextGen Art Grant, the City of Ventura Mayor’s Arts Award and the Edith and Walter King Stone Memorial Prize for Promise in Art.