The Arts Council for Long Beach is pleased to announce the appointment of our board president and three new members to our board of directors.

Board President Tasha W. Hunter, who started her term in October, welcomes Duke Givens, Victor Ladd and Sharon L. Weissman. She said in a statement, “With a range of diverse backgrounds in photography, film and social justice, to name a few, the new members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Arts Council. My new colleagues and those who have been with the Arts Council for several years are committed to help Long Beach have a thriving arts and culture sector throughout the city. I am excited to be serving at this time and I look forward to working with our board and director because we are strong arts supporters that can truly make an impact.”

Tasha W. Hunter

Tasha Hunter is a California-born and based filmmaker, event planner, educator and writer. Over the past two decades, she has worked in a variety of professional capacities centered around the community, arts and education, in both the private and public sectors. She is one of the original members of Project Blowed Open Mic Workshop that launched in Los Angeles’ Leimert Park Village in 1995, and was implemental in launching the Leimert Park Artwalk in 2010. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Film/Television Producing from Chapman University, Bachelor of Arts from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television and her Associates Degree in Journalism from Long Beach City College. She currently serves as the director of the Uptown Business Improvement District.

Sharon L. Weissman

Sharon L. Weissman previously served as board liaison to the Long Beach Mayor’s Office (2014–2016) and now joins the Arts Council board. She is the senior advisor and transportation deputy to Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. Weissman has a background in public policy having served as chief of staff to Dr. Garcia when he was vice mayor of Long Beach and chief of staff to former California State Senator Jenny Oropeza and California State Assemblymember Tony Mendoza. The elected officials Weissman worked for in the past chaired the Assembly Committees on Budget and Transportation and the Senate Committee on Revenue and Taxation, which has given her extensive knowledge in these areas.

Prior to working for elected officials, Weissman was the director of the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), the station manager of KLON-FM (now KKJZ) a jazz radio station and an instructor in the field of radio, TV and film at CSULB.

Weissman is a member of the Board of Directors of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, the Long Beach Public Library Foundation and is the former chair of the Long Beach Fair Housing Foundation Board of Directors.

Duke Givens

With over 22 years of experience as a photographer and four years in film, Givens is a creative, passionate leader, committed to serving the community at large, from diverse ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, to overcome barriers that hinder personal and professional growth through photography and film documentation.

Some of his photographic work includes world-renowned artist Snoop Dogg. He has exhibited work in several art galleries in the city of Long Beach, Hawthorne and at the African American Museum at the University of Southern California. He released his first documentary film in 2013, which dealt with issues of gang violence in the city of Long Beach, it was entered into the Wilmore 9 film festival, also hosted in Long Beach.  In 2015, he launched a photography campaign on fatherhood entitled, “Power of Choice” that features many prominent dignitaries throughout Long Beach.

Victor Ladd

Victor Ladd is a nine-year Staff Sergeant and veteran of the United States Air Force and a 30-year retired Los Angeles Police Department Metro Jail supervisor, photographer and artist. He is currently the vice president and treasurer of the Cultural Alliance of Long Beach (CALB) – a nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to support working artist of all ages, ethnicity, abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds. He has participated in two group shows in Los Angeles, and actively exhibits his artwork in local spaces such as CALB, WE Labs and Greenly Art Space.