Equity in the Panel Room

Friday, June 14, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Based off of "RE-Tool: Racial Equity in the Panel Process" toolkit, this session is designed to help you interrupt racial bias in grant adjudication processes and practices.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Talk through the "RE-Tool" toolkit, and get examples of excellent practice in action.
  2. Explore how to deal with challenging behaviors, including from panelists with different levels of competency/interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  3. Hear about the importance of guiding documents, specific instructions, and facilitation to keep equity centered in grant adjudication.


Eleanor Savage
Program Director
Jerome Foundation
Saint Paul, Minnesota

Eleanor Savage has been at the Jerome Foundation for 10 years and is currently the Program Director. Savage has focused much of her work in the field of arts philanthropy as an advocate for racial equity and undoing racism. She is a founding member of the Racial Equity Funder Collaborative, a MN-based learning and action cohort focused on furthering equity and justice.She recently authored the collaboratively developed RE-Tool: Racial Equity in the Panel Process. Savage is on the board of GIA and is co-chair for GIA’s Support for Individual Artists Committee. Previously, she was the Associate Director of Events and Media Production at Walker Art Center for 16 years. As a queer, civic-minded, anti-racist producer, Savage instigated many community-focused, artist-centered programs in the Twin Cities. Savage received an MFA in Arts Management from Virginia Tech and a BFA in Psychology and Theater from Mercer University.

Kathy Hsieh
Cultural Partnerships & Grants Manager
Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
Seattle, Washington

Kathy Hsieh is the Cultural Partnerships & Grants Manager for the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. A change agent in transforming the Office’s community engagement and arts funding practices through a racial equity lens, she helped the agency earn Seattle Management Association’s first Race & Social Justice Management Award. She has served on advisory committees, boards, or panels for many community groups including Fred Hutchinson Research Center's Chinese Women's Cancer Project, People of Color in Philanthropy and Theatre Puget Sound. She received The Seattle Theater Writers Gypsy Award for Excellence in Playwriting and Verizon’s Asian Pacific American Bash’s Innovator Award in 2012, was the International Examiner Community Voice Awardee in the Arts and received a Seattle Times Footlight Award and a Gypsy Award for acting in 2015, and was the recipient of the Gregory A. Falls Sustained Achievement Award in 2017.

Pam Breaux
President & CEO
National Assembly of State Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Pam Breaux joined the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) in 2015. As president and CEO, she works with the association’s board of directors and staff to advance NASAA’s policy and programmatic mission to strengthen America’s state and jurisdictional arts agencies. A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Breaux has held leadership positions at the local, state and national levels. While in Louisiana state government, she was secretary of the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism (CRT), assistant secretary of CRT (overseeing its cultural development portfolio), and executive director of its state arts agency (the Louisiana Division of the Arts). During her time at CRT, Breaux developed and led Louisiana’s cultural economy initiative and spearheaded the successful UNESCO inscription of Poverty Point State Historic Site (an ancient Indian site) as a World Heritage site. Before working in state government, Breaux was executive director of the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana and managed southwest Louisiana’s Decentralized Arts Funding Program. She has served on the boards of the U.S. Travel Association, NASAA, South Arts and the Louisiana Board of International Commerce. Breaux is currently a member of the U.S. National Commission on UNESCO.

Tariana Navas-Nieves
Director, Cultural Affairs
Denver Arts & Venues
Denver, Colorado

Director of Cultural Affairs for Arts & Venues(A&V), the local art agency for the City of Denver. She has 25 years of experience in management, curatorial work, grantmaking, and television. Prior to 2012, she worked as Public Information Manager for the nation’s largest transportation project. She served as Curator of Hispanic and Native American Art at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center during their 25-million-dollar expansion project, and Curator of Collections for the Museo de las Americas. Navas-Nieves worked for Telemundo as a reporter; worked for the Federal Court of Immigration, Children’s Hospital, and museums and cities throughout the US as a translator and interpreter; and provided curatorial services to art collectors and museums. Currently, she oversees the City departments of Public Art, Cultural Programs, Create Denver (creative industries), Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) Tier III tax district funding, Arts Education, and the agency’s numerous grant programs. She leads the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiative for A&V, and is the Co-Lead on the City-wide Race & Social Justice initiative. Navas-Nieves serves on boards and advisory groups including: Grantmakers in the Arts, Colorado Association of Funders, Denver Latino Commission, Mayor’s International Advisory Council, and Americans for the Arts Equitable Investment Advisory Group. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico.