Staff Bios

Meet the MoAD team!

Linda Harrison

Executive Director

Linda Harrison was appointed as the Executive Director of MoAD in November 2013. She has over 20 years of leadership experience in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Ms. Harrison’s professional experience in corporate management and high value real estate provided her with an outstanding background in executive leadership for MoAD; she is especially skilled in sales, marketing/outreach, and strategic planning.

Prior to joining MoAD, Linda founded two San Francisco businesses, worked as a Vice President for Eastman Kodak, a Fortune 500 company, and served on multiple Bay Area nonprofit Boards of Directors. Among her board roles, she served as President of Frameline, presenters of the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, one of the country’s largest film festivals.

Linda also served on the Board of EARN, a San Francisco nonprofit that helps low-income American families achieve financial stability. She is President of the Emeritus Board of Frameline and serves on the Advisory Board of Horizons Foundation, a San Francisco nonprofit that actively secures the LGBT community’s future by promoting planned giving and building the LGBT Community Endowment Fund.

Linda enjoys living in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood with her wife, Ellen. They love attending film festivals and traveling on ships with funny names to far away places.

Michael Warr

Deputy Director

Before joining MoAD, Warr ran his own consulting practice focusing on planning, managing and implementing projects for a wide range of non­‐profit organizations, including: San Francisco Pride, Cave Canem (“A Place for Black Writers”), Red Poppy Art House, Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, and Macarthur Foundation, among others. Previous to these duties, he served as executive director of DanceAfrica Chicago and several other nonprofits, and as a consultant at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services. He also worked as an Africa correspondent for the BBC, The Guardian, African Confidential and other media outlets.

Warr is also a widely published author and poet. He is the Poetry Editor of the upcoming Of Poetry & Protest – From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin. Among his most notable achievements: recipient of the 2014 Creative Work Fund award for his multimedia project, Tracing Poetic Memory in Bayview Hunters Point; recipient of the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature; recipient of the 2012 Poetry Honor Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA); and recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Significant Illinois Poets Award, a National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. His major works include The Armageddon of Funk (2011), Power Lines: A Decade of Poetry From Chicago’s Guild Complex (1999) as a co-­‐editor and We Are All The Black Boy (1991).

Linda Spain de Bruin

Chief Financial Officer

Linda joined MoAD in March 2013. Her financial career began as a cost accounting instructor at the University of Texas in Austin. Since then she has logged over 25 years as an accomplished financial and operational manager in the private and non-profit sector. As CFO, Linda successfully organized and grew a consumer product company to a multi-million business catering to Fortune 500 retailers.

She has also managed a cross-cultural exchange program and an international economic policy program. Linda’s expertise includes annual budgeting, financial modeling, cash flow forecasting, lending and legal negotiations, and audit management. Linda is also adept at creating order out of chaos and streamlining processes, making her an ideal member of FENG, the Financial Executives Networking Group. Before diving into the world of finance, Linda studied the German, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Japanese languages.

Neal Hatten

Senior Development Director

Neal Hatten assumed the role of Senior Development Director at the beginning of 2016. Prior to joining MoAD, he worked with the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA for 8 years in the roles of Director of Resource Development, Associate Executive Director, and Director of Financial Development.

A San Francisco native, Neal has over 35 years of leadership experience with various non-profit organizations that primarily serve San Francisco’s own African Diaspora. He has worked as an executive director on three different occasions. His work in development has resulted in securing millions of dollars in support for programs focused on education, youth development, workforce development, health equity, homeless services, and a variety of arts related initiatives.

Neal’s professional experience includes several years of private sector work as an organizational consultant, a magazine publisher, and a freelance journalist. Throughout the years he’s explored and nurtured interests in music, poetry, and photography. By joining the MoAD team, Neal is able to combine his extensive non-profit development experience with a lifelong passion for the creative arts.

Emily A. Kuhlmann

Director of Exhibitions

Emily has been employed at MoAD since 2011. She has worked on past exhibitions such as Choose Paint! Choose Abstraction! Celebrating Bay Area Abstract Artists (2012) and Crosscurrents: Africa and Black Diasporas in Dialogue, 1960-1980 (2013).

Emily received her B.A. from the University of California, Irvine in Art History with a minor in Women’s Studies. After falling in love with art history, she immediately continued her education back in Northern California, where she graduated with an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from the California College of the Arts. Her research interests include performance studies and critical race art history. Concerned with accepted norms of race, class, and gender, Emily explored the work of William Pope.L, Wu Tsang, and Adrian Piper in her thesis Making Visible Bodies: Artistic Interventions of Recognition and Responsibility. 

Mark Sabb

Director of Marketing & Communications

Mark Sabb is a digital strategist, artist, and designer dedicated to the intersection of arts and community. Through independent collaborations Mark has cemented himself as a cutting edge digital artist in San Francisco, and in 2014, along with Michael Warr, Mark was granted the Creative Work Fund award as a part of the multimedia project, Tracing Poetic Memory in Bayview Hunters Point.

Demetri Broxton

Director of Education

Demetri Broxton joined MoAD in January 2016 as the Director of Education. An Oakland-native, Broxton has over 16 years of experience working in the field of education and the arts. At MoAD, he leads the educational programs that enhance the visitor experience at the Museum. His department helps to connect youth, educators, and the public to the historical, cultural, and intellectual contributions of the worldwide African Diaspora.

This appointment marks Broxton’s second tenure with MoAD. He previously served as Education Program Manager for MoAD from 2007 through 2010. Outside of his role at MoAD, Demetri is an independent curator and educator. In 2012, Broxton founded Demetri Broxton Studio, an independent curatorial service and has served as curator for the City of Berkeley’s Civic Arts galleries since 2013. Demetri’s largest projects include Decoding Identity, which he co-curated at MoAD in 2009 and Past Forward, at the African American Art and Culture Complex (SF) in 2010.

Demetri graduated from San Francisco State University with an M.A. in Museum Studies with a dual emphasis on Education and Curatorial Practice. He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts from UC Berkeley in Art Practice and Education.

Elizabeth Gessel, Ph.D.

Associate Director of Public Programs

Elizabeth leads MoAD’s Public Programs department; and she is a critical thinker with excellent research, writing and communication skills. She has been developing and running public programs at MoAD since 2010. She has launched new program series on spiritual practices, folktales, sacred music, and dance. With a Ph.D in history from the University of California at Berkeley, Elizabeth is experienced in the educational and community organizing field, having worked with educational reform organizations and public school volunteers.

Elizabeth participated in a Museum Studies program at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Since then, she has worked with museums developing and producing educational curriculum, leading school tours, and working with community non-profit organizations. She brings a level of leadership and experience to MoAD, having worked with educational institutions and community groups managing projects and programs.

Elizabeth likes almost any activity she does with her family who include her two sons, Milo and Henry, and her dog, Lucy.

Irina Contreras

School and Community Programs Manager

Irina is an LA born and bred interdisciplinary artist, educator and writer. She has been in involved in the arts and arts education for the last 15 years, getting her start in LA Cultural Affairs Department and various nonprofits and collectives, muraling and eventually working with the LACMA education team for several years. She is honored to contribute her time MoAD’s School and Community Program Manager, where she works on organizing and implementing everything from workshops to trainings and school tours with the focus on building and highlighting connection to cultural and artistic contributions of the African Diaspora. Irina manages School and Group tours, develops Education workshops and materials and last but not least works with a group of magnificent Docents.

She has performed, screened film and video-work and participated in artist residencies both internationally and nationally. Her writing has appeared in the anthology Beyond Walls and Cages, Nobody Passes as well as being a regular contributor to make/shift Magazine. Irina completed her Dual Degree program at CCA in Visual and Critical Studies and Social Practice where she has focused on the history of the Freedom of Information Act including the narratives of informants and issues of public safety, surveillance and policing on college campuses. Her scholarship has focused on the song “La Bamba’s” history and changing authorship as a way to paint a picture of how racialization of Mexico has occurred, affecting people living throughout the Americas.

She is passionate about creating new pathways for low-cost educational consulting, facilitation and mediation for low-income people. Near future bucket list goals include continuing to trace research she has begun on her family’s history and the song La Bamba, race car driving and starting an arts grant for people outside academia.

Shennel Fuller

General Merchandise Manager

Shennel Fuller has over 10 years of experience working in corporate retail with companies such as Converse, Levis, and 7 for all Mankind. At MoAD, she manages the communication and drives seasonal business strategies which includes (but not limited to) buying, inventory management, and financial planning. Her efforts helps to revitalizes the museum store and maximize the opportunities to enrich the community with the beautiful culture and history that came out of the dispersal of Africans throughout the world.

Shennel graduated from Bridgewater State University where she was the President of the nationwide Phi Alpha Honor’s society and a two time recipient of the Dr. Robert A. Daniel African American Scholarship.

Outside of work, Shennel enjoys spending time with her family, running, exploring the San Francisco food scene, art history, and of course all things related to retail!

Indiia Wilmott

Facility Rentals & Special Events Coordinator

Relatively new to the Bay Area, Indiia is thrilled to have the privilege of working in this beautiful museum! Everyday is chance to learn more about the world of visual arts and for that Indiia is eternally grateful. Indiia is the go-to person for all things facility rentals and she is the internal lead for opening receptions and other MoAD special projects.

Prior to MoAD, Indiia spent two years as the co-founder and teacher for a program called Yes To The Arts—based in Phoenix, Arizona– providing free arts programs for students in low-income neighborhoods. When she’s not at MoAD, Indiia is either acting at various theaters in the Bay Area or teaching theatre to high school students in San Francisco.

Jasmine Brown

Executive Assistant and Operations Manager

Jasmine Brown began her journey at the Museum of the African Diaspora as an Education Intern, and now works in Development at MoAD. She has an educational background steeped in history and fine art, work experience in program administration, and a sincere commitment to public service.

Jasmine obtained a Bachelors of Art in African American Studies and Film from the University of California Los Angeles. Over the course of four years, she worked in programing: managing interdepartmental and public relations for a number of organizations, providing logistical and clerical support in: multi-disciplinary research, publications, and event planning. She gained substantial experience in program development, implementation and evaluation. She has worked with organizations dedicated to serving diverse demographics, thus developing a love for programs that provide socio-cultural access to underrepresented persons.

Paul T Plale

Marketing Associate

Paul T. Plale joined MoAD in April 2014 as a graphic design intern. He studied at Academy of Art University in San Francisco pursuing Web Design & New Media with a focus on brand design, where his work was featured in the AAU Spring Show. Prior to working at MoAD, he designed for African American Shakespeare Company and served as President of SpeakOut! Slam Poetry.

Born in Albuquerque, raised in central Pennsylvania and educated in San Francisco, Paul interprets life and art from many angles at once. He enjoys exploring the conflux of subcultures as they interrelate and spark new ideas. These ideas find their way into his art, writing and design.

When he’s not in museums & galleries, Paul can be found browsing comic shops or record stores, and volunteering at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society.

Eric Brizee

Facilities Director

Eric joined the MoAD staff in January 2016. He graduated Ohio University in 1979 with a B.S. in Journalism / Theater Criticism, but has spent a majority of his career in museum services. He managed offices and operations for the Western Association of Art Museums, the Art Museum Association of America and the American Federation of Arts, and served as Operations Manager for the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum (now Museum of Performance & Design) for ten years. Other positions included Executive Officer to two advisory boards for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and four years as Operations Manager at Rising Sun Energy Center, an energy efficiency jobs training and workforce development non-profit based in Berkeley. Eric continues to be active in the arts as a producer (Keep Your Day Job Productions)and as a playwright and performer. His credits include shows at The Hypnodrome, the New Conservatory Theater, the Cable Car Theater, Theater Rhinoceros, and the American Conservatory Theater Studio.

Angelica Ekeke

MoAD Stories Coordinator

Angelica joined MoAD in April 2015. Previous to joining MoAD as MoAD Stories Coordinator, she served the San Francisco Bay Area as an award-winning freelance reporter and photojournalist. Her work has been exhibited and featured internationally as well as several local publications including the San Francisco Chronicle.

A Los Angeles Native, Angelica moved to the Bay Area to complete her discipline in Photojournalism, Women and Gender Studies, and Spanish from San Francisco State University. Her love for art, texture, and authentic storytelling plays a significant part in her work. Her vision is to integrate documentary style film and fictional practices into graceful visual art.

Angelica is dedicated to engaging the community through service and the arts. As a result, she has earned Congressional Legislative, County, and State Senate Awards. She desires for her work to be a fertile ground to bring about change.

For leisure, Angelica enjoys composing music and spending quality time with family.

Joycelyn McKay Crumpton, MSW

MoAD in the Classroom Coordinator

Ms. Joycelyn McKay Crumpton, MSW, is a retired Social Worker and Field Faculty from the University of California at Los Angeles. Formerly a Training Coordinator and Lead Trainer for the Bay Area Academy, she also served as Child Welfare Ombudsman for the Human Services Agency of the City and County of San Francisco. With over 35 years of experience in the profession of social work, she has been involved in curriculum development and training implementation in Child Abuse and Neglect over the past 20 years. She was also a Clinical Therapist for children, youth, families and adults for El Nido Services and served as Director of Social Services for Trinity Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Joy Crumpton is founder and director of the Family Tree. She is an inspirational speaker and lecturer and has made presentations to a variety of audiences including children and youth, parents, graduate students, social workers, Probation Officers, Public Health Nurses, Judges, Court Officers, community advocates, clergy persons, and university faculty and staff.

Prior to her retirement she worked as the Project Coordinator for the CalSWEC Title IV-E Stipend Program for MSW students in the UCLA Department of Social Welfare, Luskin School of Public Affairs. Professor Crumpton taught graduate courses in Cross Cultural Awareness, International Social Work, Advanced Child Welfare Practice and the Child Welfare Seminar.  She also collaborated with the University of Ghana to develop a cultural immersion and fieldwork internship for MSW students working in key social service agencies in Accra, Ghana, West Africa.