Executive Director - Vinay Patel (he/him)

Patel has over a decade as an arts administrator and has been a critical factor in the growth of Asian Improv aRts’ as an arts advocate (as a co-founder and a coordinator of the California Asian American and Pacific Islander Arts Network), producer (from local to international concerts, festivals, tours, recordings) and organizational development consultant as well. Patel has been the Executive Director of Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center since 2009.

Artistic Director - Melanie Elvena (she/her)

An arts organizer, activist, and independent curator living and working in the SF Bay Area, she received her B.A. in Art History from the University of California Irvine with an emphasis in Modern and Contemporary Art. Melanie currently serves as Artistic Director at Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center where she is committed to the community impact and growth of its programs. Melanie also serves as Programs Manager at Asian American Women Artists Association and was the APAture Festival Coordinator for Kearny Street Workshop in the multidisciplinary arts festival’s return in 2013. She concurrently worked as co-curator for the festival’s Visual Arts and Performing Arts committees from 2013-2014, showcasing the works of local emerging Asian Pacific American artists. Melanie has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, specifically working in community arts and actively supports art that is engaging, socially conscious, and brings awareness to the community.

Office & Communications Manager - TJ Basa (she/her)

TJ Basa is a seasoned nonprofit administrator with 18 years of experience under her belt working for various grassroots and mid-sized organizations in San Francisco. She previously served as Program Manager– and subsequently Executive Director– for Kearny Street Workshop, the oldest Asian American arts organization in the country. She is a community organizer and volunteer, having deep involvement with the San Francisco Filipino American community. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of Bindlestiff Studio, where she has been a resident artist since the mid-2000s. She holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Programs Assistant - Christopher Quines (he/him)

For the last 12 years, Chris (AKA Burd) has been a contributor to the Bay Area's music scene. He has played in numerous bands and has helped make music videos for local artists around the area. He has volunteered at the world-famous punk zine, Maximum Rock And Roll, helping organize and process their submissions and mail. He has a B.S. in Film from the Academy of Arts and has worked as a videographer for the California College of the Arts. He helped record and edit the Larry Sultan Lecture Series as well as other talks and events for the school. From 2016 - 2018, Burd worked at investment and law firms as an Office Specialist where he learned high-level administration and communications skills. Burd has used these skills to help organize shows and music festivals like Aklasan Fest. In 2019, Burd went back to being a music video editor and continues to form music projects with several musicians around San Francisco and Oakland.


President - Janey Madamba

Secretary - Yukiya Jerry Waki

Pamela Wu Kochiyama