Isabel has been at the forefront of cultural arts programming in the USA for over three decades and has been instrumental in developing and cultivating its global music scene. She is co-founder and co-director of globalFEST; co-founder of The Generators, an arts and entertainment company and founder of the cultural arts programming firm Live Sounds - all of whose work catalyze creative and artistic networks to foster sustainable ecosystems for the arts and to provide the public with outstanding events. Isabel has produced four Grammy nominated recordings, collaborates with cultural institutions worldwide and travels to music markets, expos and festivals around the world and participates in cultural forums, panel discussions and workshops. Her work is founded on the belief that art has the power to catalyze change and that a healthy society must have social, racial and economic equality and must include the free flow of cultural exchange, ideas and information.
Shanta Thake is the Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Previously she was the Associate Artistic Director/ Director of Artistic Programs at The Public Theater, overseeing the growth and development of Public Works, Mobile Unit, Under the Radar, Joe’s Pub, The Shakespeare Initiative and Public Forum. She spent 10 years as the Director of Joe’s Pub, the intimate cabaret venue which hosts over 700 shows annually and is consistently hailed as one of the country's most prestigious venues for both emerging and established artists. In addition, Ms. Thake is the co-director of globalFEST, North America’s world music festival and non-profit organization whose mission is to foster cultural exchange and to increase the presence of world music in diverse communities nationwide. Ms. Thake received a BA in theater as well as a degree in management from Indiana University and currently lives in Brooklyn.
Bill Bragin is a co-founding director of the not-for-profit world music festival and service organization globalFEST. He is the founding executive artistic director of The Arts Center at New York University Abu Dhabi. Previously, as the director of public programming of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, he attracted hundreds of thousands of audience members to the popular Midsummer Night Swing and Lincoln Center Out of Doors festivals, and commissioned and premiered numerous new works in a variety of disciplines. He also helped set the artistic vision for the free programs at the David Rubenstein Atrium. Previously, as Director of Joe's Pub at the Public Theater, he commissioned and helped develop what became the Tony Award-winning musical Passing Strange. He is a former member of the board of trustees of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP). As “Acidophilus,” he has toured internationally as part of GlobeSonic Sound System.
Ian Thake is the Admin Manager and Producer for globalFEST, which he joined in 2020. In his current role, he oversees day-to-day operations, communications, and artist coordination. Previously, he spent 9 years with the New York Television Festival, eventually becoming the Director of Programming as well as working as the main artist liaison. In addition to his work with globalFEST and as an event producer, he is a television/audio producer and writer, currently working with Audible Originals.
Meera Dugal is a super helpful fan. As a curator, producer, and strategist for in-person and virtual events, she works relentlessly and passionately to connect people for ecstatic experiences with the performing arts. Meera is the Co-Founder and Art Director of New York City's Habibi Festival, a multi-day celebration of ancient and contemporary music from South West Asia and North Africa. Previously, Meera has worked with leading arts organizations in New York City and beyond ranging from globalFEST, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Arts Brookfield, and the Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi. In addition to her work as a curator, Meera is a visual artist, a member of Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA), and a communications and strategy consultant for musicians’ collective Brooklyn Raga Massive. www.meeradugal.com | www.habibi-festival.com
Gabrielle Davenport is an Oakland-raised, Brooklyn-based curator & creative producer whose work centers on forging community through music and food. She is also the co-founder of BEM | books & more, a new home for food literature of the African diaspora. Gabrielle has programmed music, dance, and performance for tiny clubs and large-scale venues alike since 2015. She is on the curatorial team at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, where she is proud to help introduce early-career and local artists to 200,000+ fans every summer alongside living legends across genres. Her earliest producing jobs with globalFEST and BRIC JazzFest ignited her drive to work in live arts that inspire, delight, and provoke.
Viviana Benitez's work over the past decade within the performing arts and music industry has included managing, touring, curating and producing, namely as the manager and agent of globalFEST alumni MAKU Soundsystem and as Associate Producer at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. At LCPA she helped develop and produce the very popular monthly Latin Dance series ¡VAYA! 63, the 60th Anniversary Block Party, and over 500 weekly public and free events at the David Rubenstein Atrium. As an activist and social justice advocate, Viviana worked with immigrant artists navigating various hurdles including bureaucratic red tape for international travel; was a founding member on the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council at Lincoln Center; and is an active member of Women of Color in the Arts and the Folk Alliance International.
Stephanie Orentas is a manager, curator and cultural producer. She is a multifaceted forward thinker that centers her work in showcasing Latinx music, performing arts and beyond.