Ted Russell is Director, Arts Strategy & Ventures for the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. Ted leads the Foundation’s strategic direction for the arts, supporting diverse, visionary artists and collaborating with artists, partners and funders to foster an equitable ecosystem.
Before holding this position, Ted was Associate Director, Arts Strategy & Ventures. In that role, he developed new initiatives, managed elements of the Arts Program’s portfolio, and advanced learning and evaluation processes, including sharing knowledge about promising practices.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Ted was an organizational consultant who specialized in working with arts and cultural organizations and funders. He also served as the Senior Program Officer for the Arts Program at the James Irvine Foundation from 2005-2016. Earlier in his career, Ted was Director of Marketing at Montalvo Arts Center, Audience Development Manager for the San Francisco Symphony, Annual Fund Director at the La Jolla Playhouse, and Managing Director of Malashock Dance. In 2016, Ted was named a Faces of Theatre Bay Area 40@40 Celebration Honoree as one of 40 community members who have changed the face of theater in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2020, he received the AATAIN Award for Exceptional Merit and Commitment to Supporting the African American Arts Community from the African American Theater Alliance for Independence. In 2021, Ted was named a Nasher Haemisegger Fellow at SMU DataArts where he serves as an intellectual partner to SMU DataArts leadership on the critical issues prevalent in the arts and culture field.
Ted is a former chair of the board of Grantmakers in the Arts, the only national association that brings together public and private arts and culture funders. Ted is also a founding board member of 43rd & 44th Street Garden, a community garden in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood.
Ted has a BA in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University and an MBA in Arts Management from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.