Dandelion Arts Finance Training Program

Circular graphic in blue with headshots of the Dandelion Co-Creation team surrounding the image likes spokes on a wheel.

IAM is thrilled to launch the Dandelion Arts Finance Training Program, a skill-building program designed by, with, and for arts, media, and cultural workers.


In partnership with Bay Area artists & arts administrators Afia Thompson, Mason Smith, Sabereh Kashi, and Violet Vasquez, and consultants Crystal Mason and Jason Wyman/Queerly Complex, IAM and the Dandelion Co-Creation Working Group will develop four, peer-based trainings on topics including budgeting & bookkeeping, data analysis, values-based decision-making, and analyzing power. Expert financial advice is being provided by arts finance consultant Jericha Senyak. Once these four trainings are final, the Dandelion Arts Finance Training Program will offer them to Bay Area arts, media, and cultural workers as part of the inaugural Dandelion program. 

Join IAM and the Dandelion Co-Creation Team on October 25th from 1:00pm to 2:15pm on Zoom for a special presentation about the Dandelion Arts Finance Training Program. 

RSVP for this special event HERE!  

This event is perfect for leaders, artists, curators, funders, businesses, and anyone interested and invested in furthering arts, culture, finance, and education that truly addresses issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. 

At the core of the Dandelion Arts Finance Training Program is our belief that there is a lack of accessible, culturally-responsive and -relevant arts finance training in the San Francisco Bay Area. When launching this endeavor, IAM started with a basic landscape assessment of what is currently available to better understand the scope and scale of the needs we were hearing.

“I feel like I've learned most from peers, who have also some similar background, because they understand that it's not just organizational, but there's also familial things that also blend into the structure, the stress and the trauma of trying to resource your time and also to advocate for what you're worth, what your work is worth.” - Focus Group Participant: Latinx, Female, Artist & Arts Administrator

Additional methodologies (i.e. focus group and one-on-ones) were added to ensure engagement with and inclusion of populations and communities most impacted by a lack of culturally-responsive and -relevant arts finance training, specifically Indigenous, Black, disabled, trans, queer, immigrant, low income, and POC artists, mediamakers, and arts administrators.

“Make art life finance accessible. What do I mean by accessible in this case? It goes back to, ‘I think I can do this. And I don't need to have a finance degree. I don't need to read the 15 books my money-smart friends have recommended me to read that's still sitting in the corner of my bookshelf.” - Midori, International Artist based in Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco

At the conclusion of this research and development phase, IAM released a final report on its findings. The Dandelion Arts Finance Training Program Final Report is now fueling our efforts to launch a comprehensive training program designed by, with, and for arts, media, and cultural workers.

IAM's R&D and the Dandelion Arts Finance Training Program Final Report were generously supported by the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

Next, the Dandelion co-creation team will work over six months to develop four trainings beyond what is currently being offered in the Bay Area, seeking to offer culturally-specific lesson plans to ease the stress and anxieties our peers feel when trying to figure out the intersection of their values, their finances, and their art-making. All Dandelion Arts Finance Training Program lesson plans will be made available for free using a Creative Commons 4.0 license to ensure anyone can use it.

Dandelion believes there is power in a network of peers co-creating accessible, relevant materials that anyone can use. In fact, we believe that is the legacy and value of community arts, media, and culture.



Meet the Dandelion Co-Creation Working Group:

Afia Thompson is a Black queer woman. She is wearing a white and orange blouse, and her hair is pulled up in a head wrap.

Afia Thompson

Afia “Beautiful One” Thompson received her acclaim 20 years ago in West African dance. She has performed nationally and internationally in genres including jazz, hip-hop, lindy hop, freestyle, and modern dance. Her company Bahiya Movement has participated in SF Juneteenth, Black Choreographers, and Mbongui Square. Recently their piece iNdigo Skin: In Fear of Black Fruit, placed 2nd at Luna Dance Studio ChoreoFund 7 in Berkeley. She has graced the stages of The Palace of Fine Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Oakland’s Art and Soul Festivals. She continues to teach classes in the Oakland community to professional dancers and dance enthusiast of all ages.

Mason Smith is dark skinned with short black hair. He is wearing a yellow shirt, denim jeans, and face mask.

Mason Smith

Mason J. (they/he/him/them) is a Blaxican-Indigenous historian, visual/performing artist, educator, and cultural worker born, raised, and residing in Ramaytush-Ohlone territory/San Francisco, CA. They are coeditor of Still Here SF (Foglifter Press, 2019) and author of the poetry chapbook Crossbones on My Life (Nomadic Press, 2021). In addition to receiving fellowships from VONA Voices and the SFPL James C. Hormel LGBTQ Center, Mason sits on the GLBT Historical Society Board and was a past board member of the world's first Transgender Cultural District based in San Francisco. Mason currently serves as interim Executive Director at RADAR Productions.

Sabereh Kashi is an Iranian woman with short, curly dark hair. She is wearing a blue tank top.

Sabereh Kashi

Sabereh Kashi (she/her) is an immigrant documentary filmmaker and cultural strategist. Her most recent work, I’m Oakland (2022), created in collaboration with the City, is a short documentary about an African American woman homeowner facing gentrification. She is a concept and social media developer for Shahrazad Squad, a MENASA women community space. Kashi’s debut, the 35mm documentary Lalezar Street (2000) premiered at Fadjr International Film Festival, Iran. She directed a web series about Iranian immigrant artists in North America (2008-2016). Her editorial work has premiered at Hot Docs and IDFA. She edited and co-wrote the ITVS documentary Our Summer in Tehran (2011), and the award-winning short Surviving International Boulevard: Domestic Sex Trafficking in Oakland (2016). Her current film, and long time passion project, Home Yet Far Away, depicts her personal journey of searching for "home" between Iran and America. She has won a Center for Cultural Innovation’s Investing in Artists award, a Berkeley Film Foundation grant, and a student Emmy Award. She was a resident artist at SFFilm and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She co-founded Re-Present Media, a nonprofit that advocates for personal stories of under-represented communities in nonfiction media. When not working, she practices Capoeira and organizes home-ownership for intentional communities.

Violet is female presenting with long dark, curly hair. She is wearing a red and white striped top and brown sweater.

Violet Vasquez

Violeta Vasquez (comrade/homie) is a youth leader and spoken word artist from the Lakeview and Bayview communities, with deep roots across San Francisco. For nearly a decade, she has gained experience in a variety of social justice programs. She is dedicated to cultivating leadership and skills among her peers, which have evolved her understanding of systemic injustice and resilience. While pursuing higher education at City College of San Francisco, she contributed to developing a youth-centered approach to our program mentorship model. She facilitates programs and creates curricula to encourage self-expression and solidarity with asset-based approaches to invoke healing and empowerment, at both the individual and community level. Violeta is the result of many contributions made by family including community members, nonprofit organizations, and Ethnic Studies.

Crystal Mason is a Black queer person. They are wearing a dark purple top, red suspenders and shaved head.

Crystal Mason

Crystal Mason (they/them) is an activist, artist, cultural worker and consultant who works to create space for imagining, conjuring and sharing our dreams. Crystal has been dreaming and making possible a world that puts the talents, stories, and art made by and for intergenerational QTBIPOC artists in the limelight for decades. They are a co-founder, along with Queerly Complex, of Queering Dreams, a new art, care and community-expanding network that’s collectively dreaming & creating our liberation from all oppressive systems and systems of domination. They have over 25 years experience in Arts Administration and programming. They were formerly Co-Director of Queer Rebels an intergenerational QTBIPOC performing arts organization and a board member since 2012. Crystal was also a co-founder and Artistic Director of Luna Sea Women’s Performance Project. They spent time as the Executive Director of the Jon Sims Center for the Arts. Until recently they lived and worked for 8 years in an intergenerational, multiracial mixed gender queer and trans centered low-income housing project.

Jericha Senyak is a caucasian female with dark hair.

Jericha Senyak

Jericha Senyak (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist and financial consultant who still can't quite figure out how she ended up in the weird world of accounting. As a consultant, she works with artists and arts organizations across Northern California to help them expand their financial empowerment and leverage financial tools and skills on their own terms. As an artist, she likes to build strange immersive spaces out of cardboard and papier mâché. She lives in the woods of Siskiyou County, traditional homeland of the Winnemem Wintu people, where you can usually find her dancing tango, cooking with dangerous amounts of butter, and trying not to kill her vast bevy of houseplants. She is grateful to be part of a widening network of artists working together to fight pervasive myths about finance and the arts.

Jason Wyman is caucasian, male presenting queer person. They are wearing a black wide brimmed hat and has a long dark beard.

Jason Wyman

I am Queerly Complex, an anti-binary social practice artist living & creating on Yelamu, unceded Ramaytush Ohlone land, or what colonizers named San Francisco, and I’ve been Queerly Complex my whole life. I’m the one that stood out and apart from everyone else was hella teased because of it. I even got my tailbone broken in a game of “Smear the Queer” in the sixth grade and had to sit on a shit-brown, donut-shaped pillow for six months.

On August 28, 2007, I launched a blog called Queerly Complex. I shared deeply intimate portraits, from my “Piss Trigger” to “The Fight with the Knife,” of my queer life. It was radical honesty as artistic expression. It was also a call for me to create my home.

Now, I create virtual & physical spaces for comrades to explore & discover who they be individually & collectively. My materials are dreams, value(s), structures, & access, and I use them to conjure renewed forms of being and belonging free from shame, conformity, and punishment. My practice centers the messy, intangible, emotive, & esoteric bits that help us understand and make-meaning of the chaos within which we exist. And it’s resulted in a large-scale, participatory sticker mural with artists Celi Tamayo-Lee & Mary-Claire Amable for the Asian Art Museum, a national Youth Media Network co-produced with Myah Overstreet, and Queering Dreams, an intergenerational, cross-territorial non-profit network of artists, neighbors, & comrades dreaming & co-creating our liberation from oppressive systems, with Crystal Mason.