Categories: About, Meet the Team! 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 currently serves on the San Diego Museum Council; the Board of Women in Tourism & Hospitality International; the Advisory Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Community Advisory Council for Diversionary Theatre, and Community Advisory Committee for the Burnham Center for Community Advancement. She has previously served on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Art Institute; as Board Vice President of the Alliance Française de San Diego; Board Vice President of the San Diego REPertory Theatre; President of the National City Public Art Committee and Vice Chair of 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.



LINDA CABALLERO SOTELO (Board Member at Large) is Executive Director & Chief Curator of New Americans Museum & Immigrant Learning Center [NAM] a visual arts & oral histories museum and non profit institution in San Diego, California, whose mission is to celebrate & educate about the important contributions of multigenerational immigrants into the American narrative. Linda believes in the power of civic engagement & storytelling/oral histories as tools for social change through the participation and exposure to arts & culture practices as catalysts for building understanding & tolerance among Americans and in the advancement of social justice. She is a naturalized US citizen who was born in Tijuana, Mexico. She is a binational, bicultural, multilingual Mexican American whose childhood was spent crossing the San Diego/Tijuana international border daily for educational opportunities. An experience which has positively shaped and informed her inclusive world view believing in the power of our democracy and of the promise of the American Dream for all Americans of different backgrounds and origins.

Linda has over 25 years of professional experience as a senior level executive for organizations, national & international projects and initiatives. She has led teams and initiatives in a variety of corporate, public & nonprofit settings heading a strategic public affairs consulting business. Other professional appointments include serving as president & CEO of San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; as director of marketing & corporate communications of San Diego Workforce Partnership [workforce investment board], and as US director of projects for the internationally acclaimed US/Mexico educational public art initiative INSITE ‘97 & again for inSite2000 where she was instrumental in the development of over 80 original public art installations & educational exhibitionrelated artistic commissions, curatorial, residencies & production teams in the execution of original world class artistic works along the US/Mexico border.

Linda is a contributing writer & speaker on race, inclusion, diversity, immigration at the intersection of arts & social justice movements. She has curated, organized & produced largescale initiatives, events & educational programming throughout her career. She serves as a volunteer on a variety of non profit boards & commissions including as a mayoral appointee library Commissioner for the City of San Diego; Trustee of Sharp Metropolitan Healthcare Board of Directors; chair of Latinas in Business Foundation, Commission for Arts & Culture Public Art Committee and others; she holds a BA, Int. Relations & History [United States International UniversityUSIU/Alliant, San Diego, CA], & an MA in International Relations & Business [Webster UniversityRegents College, UK]. Linda has been recognized with various awards and recognitions for her advocacy efforts on behalf of women, youth, minority owned businesses, immigrants/refugees and BIPOC/communities of color. Linda is
married to Fred and they have four beautiful children calling San Diego home.

CLARA CARTER (Board Member at Large) is an award winning and seasoned meeting and event professional with over 20 years experience. Ms. Carter, President and Founder of the Multi
Cultural Convention Services Network (MCCSN), Inc., provides global meeting, event management and hotel sourcing services to associations, corporations and leisure travel clients. Ms. Carter is an instructor at San Diego State University for Extended Studies MEP, Advisory Board member for Rady Childrens Hospital (SECU chapter), executive advisory board member for Mount Miguel High School’s Matador Business Academy and Trustee board member at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. Ms. Carter is the creator of several City tourism and hospitality programs and events, generating millions of tourism dollars, to include most recent producer of Women in Tourism and Hospitality (WITH) National Conference and Awards Luncheon. Ms. Carters recent recognitions include, 2021 nominated as Black Pioneer on Exhibition at San Diego History Museum; 2020 Meetings Trendsetter by Meetings Today, 2019 Gender Equity Champion California NOW; 2018; 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry by Successful Meetings Magazine; 2017 MeetingsNet Changemaker; three days named in her honor from the Mayor and City of San Diego and serves as advisory board member to several community organizations and is a dedicated community leader, volunteer, wife, mother and proud grandmother of her four heartbeats.

SHAUN CASSIDY holds 20+ years of experience in the fields of sales and marketing, e-commerce, social media technologies with special knowledge in finance as a tool for social justice. He is an honored alumni of the School of Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Illinois Chicago.  He is the founder of Cassidy Creative Solutions – a speaking, training, and consulting firm that helps professionals, non-profit organizations and corporations leverage social media, internet sales, marketing and finance strategies through custom business development strategy . He has been a keynote speaker on business development for over 150 different professional groups and organizations. Cassidy Creative Solutions clients and partners have been featured in the following global sites: The New York Times, Forbes, WGBH Boston, Univision, ABC News, CNN, CBS News, NBC Latino, WGN, The Huffington Post, Le Monde, Drudge, the front page of Yahoo!, San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego Reader, KPBS San Diego, iHeart, Fox 5 San Diego, Los Angeles Times, Daily Mail UK, BBC Ireland and UK.

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. She curates cross-disciplinary exhibitions that bring artists together with other fields of creative inquiry such as contemporary literature and science, as she is a firm believer that “the best gift to humanity is bringing people together.” 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. She also curated several lofts for an immersive art take-over called SENSORIUM which was featured on the NatGeo Channel. 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. Her curating and writing has given her a unique perspective that she applies towards her mission to help build programs that support world class art in San Diego. In 2019 she was selected to reorganize and curate the San Diego Art Prize for the 2020 season.


HEATH FOX is an arts and culture professional and retired museum director. He is the former Executive Director of the La Jolla Historical Society, where he developed a trans-historical, interdisciplinary, collaborative practice across arts, humanities, and science fields. He organized diverse exhibitions and educational programs that ranged cultural heritage, diversity awareness, architectural history, urbanism, and environmental issues. His career assignments include Assistant Dean of Arts and Humanities at UC San Diego; and Director of Administration at the San Diego Museum of Art and the Museum of Photographic Arts. He served on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Museum Council and the Balboa Art Conservation Center, and on the Arts Commission of the city of Carlsbad. He holds an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester, a BS in Business Finance from Virginia Tech, and is a graduate of executive education programs at the Getty Leadership Institute and Harvard Business School.

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.

DIEM JONES is a thought leader, poet/musician, multi-disciplinary producer and program designer. He is currently the Executive Director of Murray Grove Association in Lanoka Harbor, NJ as well as CEO of All One Consulting. He is co-founder and past Executive Director of Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA). Additionally, he has served as Deputy Director of Arts Council Silicon Valley, program officer at the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities as well as Director of Grants at the Houston Arts Alliance and Administrative Director of East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. Jones was Art Director for George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic. Additionally, he has managed health and wellness practices in California, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Diem Jones has also completed advanced courses in Mind, Body Medicine protocols from the Center for Mind, Body Medicine in Washington, DC. His most recent book, A Big Day: Thawing the Soul, was published in the summer of 2018. Diem’s most recent musical spoken-word CD, “A Spirit of Oui” and his previous CD’s “Equanimity” and “Black Fish Jazz” have been performed with the Equanimity Band at venues throughout the US including the San Jose Jazz Festival. In addition, his photo biography of George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, “#1 Bimini Road”, continues to be a best seller in the ever-expanding fan base of the group.

DAVID MALMUTH (Board Member at Large) Throughout his career in real estate, David has demonstrated the ability to conceptualize and implement unique solutions for each site he has encountered. No two projects are the same. Each place, whether it be primarily retail, entertainment, office, or multi-family, draws its inspiration from the site’s context and history, and is therefore fully integrated into its surroundings. This approach has resulted in places that produce long-term value for the community as well as ownership.  Some of his most notable endeavors include the formation of I.D.E.A. Partners along with Pete Garcia to lead the development of the I.D.E.A. District ( — Innovation + Design + Education + Arts — in downtown San Diego. This transformative initiative, located on 35 city blocks in the Upper East Village, aims to create a vibrant, sustainable mixed-use neighborhood that will generate thousands of high-paying design and technology jobs in the next 10 years. In November 2017, I.D.E.A. Partners and Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group completed the $91 million IDEA1 project, the first new mixed-use development in the District, containing 295 residential units, 8,000 square feet of creative office, and 5,000 square feet of restaurants.

David was Vice President/General Manager at Disney Development Company-West. During his nine years at The Walt Disney Company, he managed the development of over $200 million in entertainment and corporate projects including The Feature Animation Building in Burbank, designed by Robert A.M. Stern, and Disney Ice in Anaheim with architect and hockey player Frank Gehry. From 1993-1996 he spearheaded Disney’s restoration of the award-winning New Amsterdam Theater in New York with architect Hugh Hardy, and the highly acclaimed development of additional retail/entertainment business on New York’s famed 42nd Street. Over the past several years, David has focused on the revitalization of Costa Verde Center in UTC on behalf of Regency Centers. He has also partnered with London Moeder Advisors in the creation of a development consulting practice focused on unlocking value in well-located mall properties.

ADRIANA MARTINEZ (Board Member at Large) is an independent curator, editor, writer and cultural activist. She has an M.A. in Women’s Studies at San Diego State University, a special degree in Art Policies and Art Management at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, and a B.A. in Art History at Universidad Iberoamericana. She is currently chief curator at La Caja Galería in Tijuana, B.C., member of the Laboratorio Curatorial Feminista and co-editor of ANTiDOGMA, the signature arts and culture magazine for the Universidad de la Comunicación. She worked for the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Museo Nacional de Arte—both in Mexico City—for almost 5 years. Her main areas of interest are performance art, the representation of women’s bodies and sexuality, and liminal spaces/categories. Born and raised in Mexico City, her scholarly and creative work is deeply informed by her own border experience, since having lived in the San Diego/Tijuana region for more than 5 years. She has published several art related articles, both in English and Spanish, and has curated over 15 exhibitions applying feminist and decolonial methodologies, both in USA and Mexico.

KEITH MAUTNER (Board Treasurer) 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.

MICHELE SACKS LOWENSTEIN (Board Secretary) was trained in the dramatic arts; acting and winning awards 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 and is now of counsel to the firm of Cage & Miles, LLP. 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 a 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 travel extensively 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.

HERBERT SIGUENZA (Board Member at Large) is an accomplished playwright and producer. He is currently the Playwright in Residence for the San Diego Repertory Theatre thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Herbert is also a founding member of the performance group CULTURE CLASH. Along with Richard Montoya and Ric Salinas, Culture Clash is the most produced Latino theatre troupe in the United States. Founded in San Francisco in 1984, Culture Clash has performed on the stages of America’s top regional theatres including the Mark Taper Forum, The Kennedy Center, The Arena Stage, The Alley Theatre, The Berkeley Repertory, Yale Repertory, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Rep, and Syracuse Stage, The Huntington Stage and countless universities and colleges. Mr. Siguenza has co-written, and or performed in dozens of original Culture Clash plays including: Bordertown Now, American Night, Water and Power, Peace, Zorro in Hell!, Bordertown, Radio Mambo, The Mission and others. As a solo writer and performer Mr. Siguenza has produced Cantinflas!, A Weekend with Pablo Picasso, Steal Heaven , El Henry (Best new play San Diego Critics Circle Award 2014),  Manifest Destinitis and Beachtown. Mr. Siguenza is also an accomplished visual artist and has exhibited both nationally and internationally. He has a BFA in printmaking from the California College of Arts, Oakland, California.  TV and Film credits: Ben Ten Alien Swarm for the Cartoon Network, Larry Crowne feature film directed by Tom Hanks. His voice was prominently featured in Pixar’s 2017 Oscar winning animation feature, Coco.


Tatiana SIzonenkoTATIANA SIZONENKO (Board Member at Large) is a University Professor, art historian, and curator. She received her Ph.D. in Renaissance art history, with a specialization in Venice and the Mediterranean world, from the Visual Arts Department at University of California, San Diego. Ms. Sizonenko teaches courses on Western art, from ancient to contemporary, with a strong focus on the intended function of art objects in their respective historical settings and cultural contexts. Ms. Sizonenko’s research and teaching has been informed by her wide-ranging curatorial practice.

Ms. Sizonenko held positions as curator for the University Art Gallery at UC San Diego; curatorial fellow at the Timken Museum of Art; curatorial fellow for the dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities at UC San Diego; curator of collections and special exhibitions at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, CA; and guest curator at the La Jolla Historical Society in San Diego and at the Barrington Center for the Arts at Gordon College, MA. She received her 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. Before coming to the United States, she was assistant curator in the Department of Medieval Art at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. She has been the recipient of several fellowships including the Getty Foundation’s “Connecting Art Histories” Fellowship, the Timken Museum of Art Fellowship, the Dean of Art and Humanities Dissertation Research Fellowship from UC San Diego, the UC San Diego Visual Arts Department’s Funded Semester at Harvard University and Russia’s National Fellowship for Distinguished Scholarship in Art History.


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 […]

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  6. 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!!

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

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