Nick Brentley

Producing Manager

Nick Brentley joins the CounterPulse team as Producing and Facilities manager where he oversees facility operations and production logistics. He transitioned to CounterPulse from the Bay Area’s Embodiment Project street dance theater company where he was a company member and rehearsal & managing director.  He is also a board member for San Francisco’s World Dance Fusion. Nick’s diverse performing career includes dancing, singing, modeling, and acting anywhere from the concert stage to short films. Outside of CounterPulse he is a clothing stylist and works alongside master tailor and cobbler Al Ribaya of North Beach’s Al’s Attire. Nick is thrilled to be fusing his collective experience with this team.

Natalie Cone

Operations Manager

As Operations Manager of CounterPulse, Natalie employs creative strategies to support day-to-day operations of the organization. Natalie holds a B.A. in the History of Art from University of California, Berkeley, bolstered by Queer, and Feminist, and Ethnic studies minors. Natalie’s personal background as a first generation college student fuels the desire to focus her education, leadership experience, and labor on inspiring solidarity among the diverse Bay Area communities. Natalie spends her time attending performances and playing outdoors with her 6 year old son, Fela. She also jogs near Lake Merritt, paints, tends the garden, and practices Yoga with her longtime mentors at Oakland’s Barefoot Movement.

Rick Darnell

Community Engagement Associate

Rick came to CounterPulse through the Fellowship Program, and brings 30 years experience in dance, theater, social work, and activism to his role as the Community Engagement Associate. Rick has lived, worked and made art in the Tenderloin neighborhood since 1995. During this time, Rick has facilitated a number of social practice art based project with special populations in the Tenderloin and other communities Along with project partner Central City SRO Collaborative, Rick produces Block Fest, a monthly outdoor event which engages neighbors, visitors and passerbys through a shared arts experience.

Erica Dixon

Communications Director

Erica amplifies the story of CounterPulse and our artists by strategizing marketing campaigns, designing our website, and championing clean prose. Erica holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Technology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to working with CounterPulse, Erica served in marketing and creative roles for grassroots electronic art organizations. In her personal art practice Erica makes wearable sculptures and abstract paintings. Erica’s hobbies include mushroom foraging in forests around the Bay Area and playing backgammon.

Justin Ebrahemi

Outreach Manager

Justin leverages the story of CounterPulse through strategic audience cultivation and artist outreach efforts in addition to running Front of House programming. He holds a B.A. in Journalism and Media Studies and a M.A. in Environment & Community. Prior to CounterPulse, Justin was an active participant in Humboldt County’s Food Not Bombs and spoken word circles. While writing for The Sierra Club, Justin grew interested in the intersectionality of environmental degradation and oppression. He produced a short documentary on nitrate contamination on a Hispanic housing cooperative and facilitated know-your-rights workshops at Dorothy’s Place in Salinas, California. Justin’s hobbies include outdoor recreation, reading and writing creative prose, and propagating succulents.

Nicky Martinez

Program Manager

Nicky’s role at CounterPulse is to provide space tours, help with the House Artist Program, and manage timelines for CounterPulse’s ARC programs. Before this position Nicky worked at the University of San Francisco (USF) as a Professor Assistant to Amie Dowling. They received a BA in Performing Arts and Social Justice from USF and has worked in theaters such as the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, San Francisco Shakespeare Company, and Crowded Fire. Apart from working at CounterPulse Nicky is a native bay area actor and playwright that received a Gender Justice award for their work tackling *Trans/LGBQ issues. They are very excited to work at CounterPulse to continue their drive for promoting social justice performative art in the community.

Jeanne Pfeffer

Development Director

As Development Director, Jeanne works to build and maintain the relationships and resources to further the CounterPulse mission. Prior to joining the CounterPulse staff in 2014, Jeanne honed her skills working with dance and performance artists in the San Francisco Bay Area, most notably with FACT/SF (Operations Manager, 2009-2014) and Jess Curtis/Gravity (Program Director, 2012-2014). She is a former Fellow with the Emerging ArtsProfessionals – San Francisco Bay Area, and a current member of the FACT/SF Board of Directors. As an artist, Jeanne is most interested in the continuous improvisation of life.

Julie E. Phelps

Artistic Director

Julie Phelps is a celebrated curator and engages the hybrid strategies of producer, artist, and community activist to advance in her role as Artistic Director at the the interdisciplinary, experimental arts incubation space, CounterPulse. During her time at CounterPulse, Phelps has led the design and implementation of transitioning from a rental venue to a curated and acclaimed program, launching community-based programming with low-income San Francisco residents, and cross-cultural exchange projects with Germany, the UK, Switzerland, and most recently The African Contemporary Arts Consortium. When not at work, Phelps is (literally) a mover and shaker in the field of contemporary dance, touring nationally and internationally as a speaker and dance artist.

Tomás Riley

Executive Director

Tomás Riley brings nearly twenty years of leadership work in community engagement and education throughout California and across the country. He has worked as a bilingual classroom teacher and developed literary programs for leading spoken word organization YouthSpeaks. As Executive Director of ArtsChange, Tomás in the East Bay city of Richmond to create arts engagement opportunities for teens. Most recently he served as the Director of Experience and Community Engagement at the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco. Additionally, Tomás is a founding member of the seminal Chicano spoken word collective The Taco Shop Poets and the author of two collections of poetry.