INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Ebony Arunga is an arts manager, advocate and entrepreneur. She was born in Kisumu, Kenya and raised in the historically Black Central District of Seattle, Washington. In 2008 she graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Theatre, emphasizing on Stage Management. As part of a multi-faceted artistic family Ebony has managed artists, projects and events both nationally and internationally.
Ebony’s presence in the Seattle arts scene grew prevalent through her work as an event producer at the legendary Faire Gallery Cafe. In 2020, she teamed up with Ijeoma Oluo, Gabriel Teodros and LANGSTON to manage the Seattle Artist Relief Fund (SARF), the largest COVID-19 relief effort geared towards directly supporting artists in Washington State. In 2022 she joined The Cultural Space Agency as the Interim Community Liaison. She recently served on the Seattle Arts Commission (SAC) co-chaired the Facilities and Equitable Development committee (FED). She served as the board chair at LANGSTON and in 2023 she transitioned to become the Interim Executive Director of LANGSTON.
Sadiqua Iman is the Programs Director at LANGSTON Seattle and the Arts and Culture Partner with Black & Tan Hall and co-founded Nile’s Edge Healing Arts. As an active artist, producer, and director, Sadiqua has created and produced Tail Feather, aboi-lesque ballet, at LANGSTON, Sovereign queer black woman festival, at 18th and Union, and directed August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean” at the Chattanooga Theatre Center. Her latest performance project is “Momentum of the Muse,” a multi-part dance film exploring and engaging with black art in Seattle, Washington, featuring performances in WaNaWaRi, Arte Noir, Frye Art Museum, and the Vivid Matters Art Collective Black Lives Matter Mural in Capitol Hill.
FILM PROGRAMS MANAGER
Isabella Price is LANGSTON’s Film Program Manager, as well as a local artist and activist who has made Seattle her home since 2015. She has worked as a programmer for organizations including the Northwest Film Forum, Seattle International Film Festival, and Blanket Fort Films, and has served for multiple years on the board of Women in Film Seattle and the Executive Film Advisory Board for Harbor Island Studios. She has long contributed to the success of the Seattle Black Film Festival as a community programmer and officially joined the LANGSTON staff team in 2021. Isabella will lead operations and management of the Seattle Black Film Festival.
For the past 20 years Arthur has held various roles in broadcasting , media, project management, talent management, marketing, social media management, community building, budget management and events production. His tenure, combined with education in Mass Communication from an established Institution Across the world, solid leadership skills, innovative foresight and tangible success makes him an exceptional Global Executive.
Jeffrey Cheatham II is a vibrant Seattle native whose passion for storytelling knows no bounds. From the gridiron of collegiate football at the College of San Mateo to the enchanting world of children’s literature, Jeffrey’s journey has been as diverse as it is inspiring. As the author of five captivating children’s books, Jeffrey weaves tales that spark imagination and curiosity in young minds. His creative prowess led him to be recognized by the prestigious Jack Straw Writers Center in 2020, an acknowledgment of his remarkable talent in the literary realm.
Beyond his own writing, Jeffrey is the visionary mind behind the Seattle Urban Book Exchange (S.U.B.E.), a dynamic platform dedicated to uplifting writers of color. Through consultations, vibrant events, immersive workshops, and strategic promotions, S.U.B.E. stands as a beacon, championing the voices that often go unheard in the mainstream literary landscape. His commitment to fostering a more inclusive literary world shines brightly through S.U.B.E., where he passionately works to expand the reach of these vibrant voices, making sure they’re heard and cherished by all
Peju Ogunyemi is a Seattle native who has a passion for cinema that spans decades. She is excited to curate dynamic and diverse programming that engages audiences with fresh perspectives and untold stories. While she is a patron of the arts as a whole, she has always been drawn to the power of cinema that connects us to the world around us. She believes that movies have the ability to inspire, challenge, and enlighten us in ways that no other medium can. She plans to continue pursuing her commitment to showcasing films that challenge our assumptions, broaden our horizons, and deepen our understanding of the human experience. All through the world of film.
Emma is one of the curators for the 2024 Seattle Black Film Festival. After graduation from the University of Washington’s Cinema and Media Studies Department in 2022, they have worked on both SBFF as the previous intern and the Seattle Queer Film Festival as Festival Coordinator in the past year. Seattle may be Emma’s forever home where she plans to continue working in the film sphere.
Taylor is a multidisciplinary artist currently living in Seattle. She likes all things black, queer, and folklorish. Taylor’s storytelling journey started with 6 pieces of paper covered in crayon wax to make her first comic book. Living in Texas, Taylor learned about the world through doing theatre. Now, Taylor is a 2023 Honors graduate from the University of Washington, with a degree in Drama: Performance and International Studies. Her research focuses on storytelling as a site of healing and space policy. She is a cofounder of The Sapphic Media Coalition, a media club that aims to center and celebrate black sapphic media and uphold the tradition of orally archiving our history. She is excited to be a part of the Seattle Black Film Festival community.
Anthony Tackett has worked 20+ years as a storyteller and filmmaker for a number of organizations locally and internationally. His company Abstract Media focuses on uplifting and empowering people to help them realize their vision and brand in media.
His work allowed him to fulfill his lifelong dream to travel the world; with his camera. A graduate of The Evergreen State Tacoma and now is studying as a Master Student at The Seattle Film Institute where he also served as Director of Operations and instructor. He has also taught in the community filmmaking fundamentals to students of all ages.
Anthony is now a Commissioner of the Seattle Film Commission, Founder of the Seattle Filmmakers of the African Diaspora (530+) strong) and Director of the Board at LANGSTON. His endeavors don’t stop there as he is constantly creating with other amazing creators, partners and organizations. Look out for more from this fellow by following his social media.
Naho is a mission-driven and value focused leader and consultant in Education, Arts & Culture, and Race and Social Justice. A strategic thinker through equity lens, she facilitates organizational transformation work in nonprofit, public, and private sectors. She is a thoughtful bridge builder with the aptitude to connect our culturally and socially diverse communities. She has the ability to engage people from all walks of life and inspire them through compassion and creativity. With over 20 years of experience, she is well versed in navigating non-profit management strategy, board relations, guiding organizational strategic plan development, designing and facilitating race and social justice workshops, and facilitating arts and arts-integration trainings. She is a member of Seattle Public Schools Visual and Performing Arts Department’s Anti-Racist and Culturally Responsive Arts Education framework – “Roots” team and Ethnic Studies/Theatre of the Oppressed project team.As an actor, she has worked internationally in Asia, Canada, Europe and the U.S. Locally she has appeared at Intiman Theatre, ArtsWest, Seattle Children’s Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre, and On the Boards, among others. As a director and teaching artist, she has worked with various organizations and schools in the greater Puget Sound area including Seattle Repertory Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Youth Theatre Northwest, Studio East, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Seattle Public Schools, and City of Seattle. She is a graduate of the University of Washington, School of Drama, Professional Actor Training (MFA) Program, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Education degree through University of Washington College of Education, Leadership for Learning (Ed.D) program.
Randy Engstrom has been a passionate advocate and organizer of cultural and community development for over 20 years. He is currently the owner and principal of Third Way Creative, a collaborative consulting studio focused on cultural policy, racial equity, and creative economy. He is also Adjunct Faculty at the Seattle University Arts Leadership Program where he teaches cultural policy and advocacy, and regular lecturer at the Evan’s School of Governance and Public Policy at the University of Washington. Most recently he served as Director of the Office of Arts and Culture for the City of Seattle where he expanded their investments in granting programs and Public Art, while establishing new programs and policies in arts education, cultural space affordability, and racial equity. At the City he also led several multi-department subcabinets, including Affordability and Livability, Youth Opportunity, The Future of Work, and COVID Recovery. He served as Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission in 2011 and was Chair of the Facilities and Economic Development Committee from 2006 to 2010. Before joining the City he owned Reflex Strategies, a cultural and community based consulting practice. From 2005-2010 Engstrom was the Founding Director of the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, a multimedia and multidisciplinary community space that offers youth and community member’s access to arts, technology, and cultural resources. Prior to Youngstown, Randy spent 3 years as the Founding CEO of Static Factory Media, an artist development organization that owned and operated a record label, bar/performance venue, graphic design house, recording studio, and web development business. In 2009 Randy received the Emerging Leader Award from Americans for the Arts and was one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. He is a graduate of the Evergreen State College in Olympia, and he received his Executive Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Governance and Public Policy.
Gilda Sheppard, PhD, is an award-winning filmmaker who has screened her documentaries throughout the United States, internationally in Canada, Ghana, West Africa, South Africa, the Festival Afrique Cannes Film Festival, and in Germany at the International Black Film Festival in Berlin. Sheppard is a 2017 Hedgebrook Fellow for documentary film and a 2019 recipient of an Artist Trust Fellowship. Sheppard is faculty Emerita of Sociology, Cultural and Media Literacy at Evergreen State College in Tacoma.
Marie T. Kidhe
Marie T. Kidhe is an effective and savvy community engagement leader, project manager and event curator. Marie employs her project management, outreach, and event development expertise to achieve the highest degree of success to all projects, large and small. Her leadership has resulted in successful outcomes in her consultancy work with 4Culture, Métier Brewing Company, Rainier Valley Corps (RVC), Communion Restaurant Bar & Grill, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, Seattle Chapter Black Panther 50th Anniversary Organizing Committee, Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, ARTE NOIR, and Historic Central Area Arts & Culture District (HCAACD). Marie’s warm and collaborative leadership and management style was a highly valued asset during her tenure at the Northwest African American Museum and her current community engagement leadership role for Friends of Waterfront Seattle. Having cultivated numerous contacts and partnerships across the Seattle community, Marie brings collaborative and skilled organizing, and strategic outreach approaches to all of her projects.
Marie is a first-generation born Ugandan-American and native Seattleite with more than 25 years of administrative and management skills — accompanied by a network of nonprofit, small business, corporate and grassroots affiliations and relationships. Her network and integrity of service allows her to garner input and involvement across multiple groups of people with versatile perspectives ensuring everyone involved truly feels vested in the project.