The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of three new staff members. The Foundation welcomes Sarah Williams, Arts Program Officer; Nicole Kendrick, Education Program Officer; and Jazmyne Woffard-Jones, Administrative Coordinator. These new staff members will support our work to enhance quality of life by championing the arts, promoting early childhood literacy and supporting research to cure chronic disease.
Drawing on her expertise and experience in the arts, Sarah will partner with Ted Russell, Director of Arts Strategy & Ventures, in her role as Arts Program Officer. She will lead key grantmaking partnerships and initiatives, including the New and Experimental Works Program and the prestigious Rainin Arts Fellowship. Sarah has more than 15 years of experience working in the nonprofit arts, primarily in theater. She was most recently the Managing Director of California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes), where she oversaw the administration and operations of the organization, including navigating it through the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her work in the arts is grounded in the principles of equity and inclusion, a skillset she’ll bring to her position at the Foundation.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of helping support the Bay Area’s arts ecosystem at a time when our diverse artists, arts workers and arts organizations so critically need investment. I look forward to collaborating with the incredible local artists and arts workers who are shaping culture, shifting systems and pushing creative boundaries,” said Sarah.
As Education Program Officer, Nicole will support the program’s operational success, grantmaking strategies and evaluation efforts. “Nicole is a strong advocate for early childhood literacy as well as diversity, equity and inclusion. I’m excited for her contributions to the Rainin Foundation’s education work, direction, and learning and reflection,” said Dana Cilono, Director of Education Strategy & Ventures.
Nicole joins the team with over 11 years of experience in philanthropy and education. In her most recent role as Senior Grantmaking Manager at Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, she designed and oversaw grantmaking. She was also involved in early literacy program work, building trusting relationships with key partners in Oakland’s rich ecosystem and developing a deep understanding of early childhood education and school systems. Her experience as a systems designer, learning facilitator and project manager strongly aligns with the aspirations of our Education Program.
As Administrative Coordinator, Jazmyne will support our Administration Department by leading facilities and vendor management as well as coordinating special projects. These key functions sustain our operations, support our culture and create a welcoming environment. Jazmyne previously worked in First Republic Bank’s Internal Audit Department. There, she led team building activities, onboarded new staff and developed administrative procedures. She has also held administrative, art handling and assistant positions in the arts field. Jazmyne is an artist at heart and her passions are in photography and mixed media. “It is truly an honor to work at the Rainin Foundation and support a team of brilliant people who are eager to make positive impacts in the city I grew up in,” said Jazmyne.
The Rainin Foundation is excited to welcome these talented professionals to our team.