Categories: Meet the Team! Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 23 Comments

Leadership Team


SUSANNA PEREDO SWAP  has over twenty years of experience as an arts administrator, actor, jazz vocalist, arts advocate, and public relations specialist. While working for the San Diego International Airport Art Program she curated over eighty exhibitions with some of San Diego’s best museums, artists and galleries; as well as a fantastic roster of talent for its performing arts series. She has previously served on the board of the San Diego Art Institute, as Vice President of the Alliance Française de San Diego, Vice President of the San Diego REPertory Theatre, President of the National City Public Art Committee and Vice Chair on the Port of San Diego’s Public Art Committee. Susanna is a magna cum laude graduate of San Diego State University where she majored in Humanities and minored in French. She holds a Professional Certificate in The Cycle: Management of Successful Arts and Cultural Organizations from the Devos Institute of Arts Management, University of Maryland; a Professional Certificate in Business for Arts and Nonprofit Arts Organizations from University of San Diego; a Certificate in Photography: Images and Techniques from University of California, San Diego; studied Art History at the Université Paris Sorbonne (Paris IV); and History of Video Art at the École du Louvre in Paris, France. Her passion for the visual, performing, and culinary arts has taken her to over fifteen countries and inspired her to create an organization that aims to bring people together across different backgrounds, interests and creative professions.



CHI ESSARY (Board Member at Large) is an artist, writer and photographer who promotes and explores the intersection of art, science and the public.  She studied printmaking and photography at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon and has an active practice in oil painting and found objects. In 2017 she curated “Extra-Ordinary Collusion”, pairing almost 50 scientists and artists for a massive cross-disciplinary exhibition encouraging further exchange in San Diego’s rich artistic and scientific communities. A board member of Vanguard Culture since 2014, Chi has applied her talents as a photographer toward content management for Vanguard Culture’s Instagram and Facebook pages, in addition to being the lead contributor to the artist studio visit series: Poetic License.


ANTONIO IANNOTTA (Board Member at Large) is the Artistic Director of the San Diego Italian Film Festival. Antonio received his Ph.D. in Communication and Media Studies from University of Salerno (Italy). He has published essays on cinema, TV series, comics, theory of media, and a monograph about Samuel Beckett. A forthcoming book is Il cinema audiotattile – Suono e immagine nell’esperienza cinematografica. He has worked as Communications Director for several International Festivals. Antonio teaches Italian language and culture at the University of San Diego and encourages extra-curricular activities that deepen students’ understanding of Italian language and culture thanks to his collaborations in the Italian community, from the San Diego Italian Film Festival to the Italian Cultural Center.

KEITH MAUTNER (Board Member at Large) has loved, participated in, and supported the visual, performing, and culinary arts since he was a wee lad.  Live performance is his favorite medium and he has attended nearly 2,000 concerts, plays, musicals, and other shows. He enjoys curating his extensive music collection, much of which is composed of various genres of rock music. Keith is a forensic accountant (fraud investigator), a consulting expert and a testifying expert; and has investigated fraudulent financial statements by public companies for more than 20 years.  Before that, he was responsible for preparing corporate financial statements, or audited them.  Keith has lectured at universities for undergraduate and graduate students, and has spoken about accounting fraud at conferences, seminars and webinars.  He is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner, and is Certified in Management Accounting.  Keith is President of FAILSAFE CPA, which he founded in 2008.

MARK LOVETT (Board Member at Large) has over thirty years of experience in c-level executive positions in the high-tech computer industry. His love for creative innovation inspired him to become involved with TEDxSanDiego and in 2014 he became the license holder. The event now features Innovation Alley aimed at highlighting San Diego’s entrepreneurs by hosting 20 local startup companies. In April of 2015 Mark became the organizer for TEDxMonumento258, the world’s first cross-border TEDx event that featured speakers who alternated their talks between two stages located in Mexico and the United States, separated by the border fence. In 2017 Mark co-organized TEDxDonovanCorrectional, producing a TEDx event inside Donovan Correctional Facility. In 2016 Mark founded Storytelling with Impact, a speaker coaching practice. Mark previously served on the MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego Chapter board and was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with CONNECT’s Springboard program for five years.

MICHELE SACKS LOWENSTEIN (Board Member at Large) was trained in the dramatic arts; acting and winning an award at the Old Globe Theatre many years ago. Michele’s life took a sudden turn when she became an attorney; much to her surprise. The founder of Lowenstein Brown, A P.L.C., Michele has achieved honors for her work as a Certified Family Law Specialist. She is also a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Michele has a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with emphasis on theatre arts. While short on musical talent, Michele comes from a long line of musicians. (Her Grandfather played quartets with Albert Einstein; but that’s another story.) This background is evidenced by Michele’s support and interest in various forms of artistic expression. She is an avid theatre, concert, and opera goer. Michele has an eclectic taste in music with special appreciation for classic film scores and vintage Broadway Musicals. She and David, her husband, collect art, support a number of local arts organizations, enjoy the culinary arts and extensive travel with an emphasis on cultural attractions. Michele has many interests which include collecting paper ephemera and she is an expert on vintage copper jewelry from the 1940s and 1950s.


Tatiana SIzonenkoTATIANA SIZONENKO (Board Treasurer) is an art historian, curator, and professor. Sizonenko holds a Ph.D. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism in the Visual Arts Department at the University of California, San Diego, an M.A. in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University, Berkeley, CA, and a Diploma (MA equivalent) in Art History from Leningrad State University, St. Petersburg, Russia. She has curated exhibitions and worked for a variety of museums including The Timken Museum of Art, The Museum of Making Music, and The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Currently, she teaches Art History at the University of San Diego, San Diego State University San Marcos, San Diego State University, and University of California San Diego.


ERIC WONG (Board Member at Large) is an interdisciplinary artist, visual art and design portfolio consultant, academic advisor, and curator. He has over eighteen years experience working with artists, collectors, educators, non-profit organizations, businesses and community leaders, as an artistic director, independent curator, and artist. Working on large-scale contemporary art expositions and curatorial projects. In San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles from 1997-present. Wong was also an Art Advisor to private collectors and artists in Los Angeles from 2005-2015. He is now transitioning this practice into an educational advising program designed to advocate for and represent art students aspiring to go to art school. Providing prospective undergraduate and graduate students, as well as, educators, and counselors with valuable resources. Endowed from years of research, his past experiences at three California art schools, and a sincere passion for arts advocacy. Wong has had a number of successes, with little to no budget, bringing artists and communities together in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Mexico. Providing hundreds of artists with exciting alternative venues. He has established partnerships with businesses and organizations such as Sushi Performance and Visual Art, Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, LA Theater Works, InSite 2000, The World Beat Cultural Center, San Diego Art Institute, RIQ Gallery, Giorgio Santini Gallery, The New Bohemian, The 7th and Broadway Partnership, San Diego Children’s Museum, San Diego Center for the Moving and Performing Arts, Motel 6, Travelodge Motel, and various High Schools and universities in California. In addition to integrating his curatorial projects with social practice, he is also a working visual artist. Wong has developed a body of work in variety of media, and has exhibited in a number of alternative solo and group exhibitions. His visual art is included in a number of private collections both nationally and internationally.

Vanguard Culture

Vanguard Culture is an online media entity designed for culturally savvy, socially conscious individuals. We provide original interviews and reviews of the people, places, and events that make up San Diego’s thriving arts and culture community, as well as curated snapshots of the week’s best, most inspiring and unique cultural and culinary events. We believe in making a difference in the world, supporting San Diego’s vibrant visual and performing arts community and bringing awareness to important social and community causes.

Comments (23)

  1. This is fantastic Susanna… miss you 🙂

  2. […] art with us. The speakers share their insight in a Pecha Kucha format. The night was embraced with Susanna Peredo, editor/founder of Vanguard Culture.  She shared the story of Inocente, a young SD girl who grew […]

  3. Hello! Thank you for including San Diego Dance Theater’s show “Dances of Love, Laughter, and Loss” as part of your Weekly Ticket Tip. Feel free to contact me directly in the future. Would love to set up a special partnership with Vanguard. Keep up the good work!!

  4. Thanks Matt! Please send us q uick hello via email at We’d love to partner with you!

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