Jill Kearney is a writer, visual artist, and a former journalist and film executive. She is the daughter of artists who founded The Contemporary Art Workshop, an art center housed in a rambling former dairy factory in Chicago, Illinois. As a child, she spent many formative summers in Provincetown, Mass, where local arts institutions anchored a diverse community of artists, writers, and fishermen. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in English and Creative Writing, worked in Hollywood as a creative executive at Francis Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios, served as west coast editor of American Film and Premiere Magazine, and later ran the Tribeca Film Center-based offices of Los Angeles film producer Art Linson. She married Stephen McDonnell, founder of Applegate Farms Organic and Natural Meats, moved to Bucks County PA, worked briefly on the sausage line wearing a white cap, raised three strong and capable children, and sat on the board of Applegate Farms. Before launching ArtYard she produced theater, dance, and literary events in a cavernous unheated barn in Bucks County PA, where she developed a deep appreciation for the practice of art as a collaborative enterprise.
Founder and former CEO of Applegate Farms Organic and Natural Meats. Stephen’s experience as a leader as well as his wisdom and consistent support, have been crucial for ArtYard. He is the finest mentor that we could ask for. Learn more about Stephen here.
Christopher J. Daggett
Chris Daggett is the former President and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, in Morristown, New Jersey.
Mr. Daggett has been a leader for more than 35 years in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Thomas Kean, Regional Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, he was a managing director of William E. Simon & Sons, a private investment firm, and operated a brownfields development company. He was also a Principal with JM Sorge, Inc., an environmental consulting and management firm. Immediately prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Daggett ran as an independent candidate for governor of New Jersey.
Mr. Daggett has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including Hudson River Foundation, Schumann Fund for New Jersey, New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, Regional Plan Association, Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Somerset Hills YMCA, and NJ Advisory Committee of the Trust for Public Land.
Mr. Daggett holds a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Trained as an architect at The Cooper Union, Ulla Warchol worked in the field while developing a multidisciplinary approach to structure. She leans toward an open-ended exploration of materials and techniques in both large-scale works—interiors, buildings, and set design—and small-scale works—books, fabrication, and collaborations with artists. Ulla was the cofounder, with Claire Weisz, of Weisz + Warchol, an architectural firm located in New York City. She has been a guest lecturer at Pratt Institute, the Parsons School of Design, the City College of New York, and the University of California, Davis. Her work has been featured in Interior Design Magazine, Zettel III, Insite Magazine, and O at Home. With her husband, Paul, she manages an architectural photography business and archive, and they are the 2015 recipients of the 20/20 Public Space Champion Award by The Design Trust for Public Space, a non-profit organization committed to creating inclusive, equitable space across New York City.
Ulla is the coauthor, with her mother, Hedi Kyle, of The Art of the Fold (Laurence King Publishing 2018), a step-by-step guide to making a broad selection of Kyle’s original book structures.
She currently resides in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where her studio practice enables her, on a daily basis, never to do the same thing twice.
Jill Hartz served as executive director of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, Eugene, from 2008 to 2018. She was director of the University of Virginia Art Museum in Charlottesville from 1997 to 2008 and previously worked in various capacities at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University as well as in the publishing field. She has organized numerous exhibitions, primarily in the contemporary art field, and is the editor of five books, including Rick Bartow: Things We Know But Cannot Explain (co-edited with Danielle Knapp, 2015) and Hindsight-Fore-Site: Art for the New Millennium (University of Virginia Press, 2003). Knapp and Hartz co-curated the Bartow traveling exhibition of the same name. Ms. Hartz is currently president emerita of the National Association of Academic Museums and Galleries and a reviewer for professional museum programs, including accreditation. She received her MA with Honors in English Language and Literature from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland in 1973 and pursued undergraduate studies at Oberlin College in Ohio.
Sharnita C. Johnson is the Program Director for the Foundation’s Arts Program, which fosters a diverse and vibrant arts ecosystem, creates broad-based public support of the arts, and supports communities engaged in creative placekeeping in New Jersey. Sharnita helped catalyze the Foundation’s movement toward equity and social justice in the arts and nonprofit sector, designed and implemented the Prudential Loan Fund a zero-interest bridge loan program for arts nonprofits, and launched the DataArts platform in New Jersey.
Prior to joining Dodge, Sharnita co-directed a $25 million grantmaking portfolio in civic engagement, racial equity, education, health, and entrepreneurship at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation in Michigan. Her arts career began in development at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the historic Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Detroit. Johnson later joined the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, then co-founding the Council of Michigan Foundations Arts Affinity Group, and later joining the staff as the first Program Officer at the Flint-based, Ruth Mott Foundation and establishing Detroit’s first community public art program, community+public art Detroit, as a Senior Program Officer at the Skillman Foundation.
She is a Council on Foundations Career Pathways Fellow, ABFE Connecting Leaders Fellow and Marygrove College Distinguished Alumni and gave the TEDx talk “Connected Fates” in 2014. Johnson earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a bachelor of arts from Marygrove College in Detroit.