Board of Directors
Richmond Art Center is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Board, which is elected by our members, is responsible for the organization’s financial health and achievement of its mission.
You can read Board minutes here.
Carlos Privat, President
Carlos Privat attended high school at the College Preparatory School in Oakland and received his B.S. degree in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley. He earned his law degree from the McGeorge School of Law and practiced law in San Francisco before joining the Richmond City Attorney’s Office in 2006. As a Senior Assistant City Attorney, Mr. Privat’s duties included the handling of complex transactional matters for the City, Port of Richmond and Successor Agency to the Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency. As a component of this work, Carlos assisted in implementing public art programs, with representative programs including Civic Center, Moody Underpass, Downtown BART Parking Garage, and Ferry Building art. Carlos retired from the City at the end of 2020 and now lives in Park City, Utah with his wife and two school-age boys (11 and 15).
Catherine Waller, Vice President
Catherine Waller is a working ceramic artist. Her most recent show was at the Fourth Wall Gallery – Oakland, where she exhibited her hand built “vessels” in 2019. Her studio is on the edge of Wildcat Canyon in Richmond. She is indebted to the fabulous Richmond Art Center! A hub of the arts! A gathering place for learning, making and seeing art. Catherine grew up in Palo Alto, earned a BA in Art at Mount Holyoke College, and MFA in Art at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She taught Painting, Drawing and Design at Miami University in Ohio and Cameron University in Oklahoma. She returned to the Bay, worked various jobs, met her husband, moved to Berkeley and began investing in real estate. She joined Richmond Art Center’s Board in 2020 because she wanted to attempt to give back to the creative mecca that is Richmond Art Center.
Paul Collins, Treasurer
Paul Collins is an East Bay Area native and former Richmond resident. He lives with his partner and children (aged 10 and 13) in Lafayette, CA. Paul has a B.A. in business management from San Diego State University and works with Homeowners’ Associations in and around Richmond, as CEO of Collins Management (recently of Richmond, now in Hercules) and founder and CFO of Unlimited Property Services, Inc. in Richmond. He also founded and is CEO of Collins Management Foundation, a nonprofit that benefits communities served by Collins Management and especially workers in the HOA services sector. He believes in community and, as a businessman, he feels one of the most important things he does is invest in communities. He believes that Richmond Art Center enhances community life in Richmond and contiguous communities with art and art-making opportunities and he is honored to support that work as a board member.
Donna Brorby, Secretary
Donna Brorby is grateful to have grown up in Richmond and considers Richmond to be at the core of who she is. She learned about social, economic and racial injustice and her white middle class privilege while going to Grant Elementary, Granada Junior High and John F. Kennedy High schools. She is a retired civil rights lawyer who spent most of her work life trying to improve conditions and services for prisoners in Texas and California, having graduated from Harvard University in 1973 and from Berkeley Law in 1977. Donna, her siblings and her mother all participated in art-making at Richmond Art Center in the 1950s and ‘60s. Her parents covered their walls with art they purchased from the rental gallery Richmond Art Center once operated. Donna has served on Richmond Art Center’s board for 8 of the past 9 years with the goal of preserving the precious civic resource that Richmond Art Center is and increasing its inclusivity.
Marguerite Thompson Browne
Marguerite Thompson Browne holds a B.A. in Painting from Fisk University, where she studied with Professor Aaron Douglas, and an M.A. in Ceramics with a minor in silversmithing from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. She taught high school art in Chicago, New York and San Francisco before creating a children’s shoe business that grew to 28 stores. She has worked in the clothing industry in San Francisco for several years and produces promotional products for large companies. Marguerite’s studio is at the Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco.
Michael Dear is Professor Emeritus in the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley. He joined Richmond Art Center’s Exhibitions Committee in the fall of 2107. He was co-curator of the Center’s major fall exhibition (CALIFAS: Art of the US-Mexico Borderlands, 2018), a student in drawing classes, and supporter of RAC programs. Michael has advised many cultural organizations, including The Getty Research Institute and the LA County Museum of Art. His essays were the foundation for ‘Sweet Land,’ a 2020 work by The Industry, LA’s premier experimental opera company. Professionally, Michael helped prepare amicus briefs before the US Supreme Court relating to US-Mexico border disputes, on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union; and his work provided the impetus for a decision by Europe’s largest cement manufacturer to refuse supplying cement for purposes of constructing border walls between the US and Mexico. His focus at Richmond Art Center is on increasing representation of Mexican, Chicano and Latinx artists at the Center.
Helen Duhé graduated from Mills College in 2019 with Master of Management, has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Northwestern University and a Project Management certificate from the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently a Senior Administrative Analyst in the Contract Administration Bureau at the San Francisco Public Utility Commission (SFPUC), where she administers and procures contracts by advising on the planning, development, and implementation of contractor selection processes. Prior to her work at the SFPUC, Helen spent 13 years at the California Health Care Foundation. Her work involved delivering the Board of Directors’ Book, managing the Project Review processes as well as the development, administration, and monitoring of grants. Helen’s true passion is to serve her community and she hopes to use her deep knowledge of nonprofit organizations and philanthropy to serve the RAC. Helen has lived in Richmond since 2012 with her husband and children Olympia (6) and Blaise (4).
Stephen Nomura has been a credit to Richmond Art Center for several years as a studio art student and volunteer. He is a sculptor and is a retired licensed contractor and carpenter. He has a long history of volunteer work, including serving on several committees for the American Friends Service Committee (Community Resources and Finance). He lives in Berkeley and is a graduate of Humboldt State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Botany. In addition, he attended New York University’s Film School and School of Arts and Science.
Lina Velasco is the Community Development Director for the City of Richmond. She has worked for the City of Richmond since 2005. During her tenure at the City, Lina has led various community-driven planning efforts, including mobility plans, specific plans, streetscape plans, and the comprehensive Zoning Update. Her work includes obtaining grants for planning activities, as well as built-environment improvements, such as parks rehabilitations and streetscape projects. Lina believes that the arts are an important component of celebrating culture, diversity, and an integral part of community revitalization efforts. She has a B.A. in History and Chicana/o Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and Masters in Regional Planning Candidate from Cornell University. Lina lives in Pinole with her husband and two children (ages 7 and 11).
Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne
Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne retired from public service after 33 years in public libraries and last, as an assistant city manager in Palo Alto. Her work in that role focused on city operations and supporting the departments in their work, including budget and workforce development, legal support, and community engagement. Previously she served as public library director in Richmond (2004-2010) and in Benicia (1999-2004). In all three cities, she worked with elected officials, commissions, and boards, as well as directly supervising public art, art centers, galleries, and collaborative arts partnerships and education. Dr. Ziesenhenne has served on other nonprofit boards, including Rotary, and continues to be involved in national professional activities with the Public Library Association and National Arts Strategies. She has lived in Richmond for the past 10 years and has attended many events at the RAC, along with her husband and adult children.