We Believe in diversity, inclusivity, and community.

 

Community Engagement is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Southern California.  We were founded in late 2015 and have grown to serve communities in Phoenix, Portland, and Santa Ana.

Our mission is to stimulate positive social interaction in diverse communities through innovative and socially motivated art practice.  We seek togetherness by creatively exploring our shared spaces through the medium of socially engaged art.

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Credit: Lisa Mangum and Jason Levian, Independent Publishing Resource Center, Portland, OR

Credit: Lisa Mangum and Jason Levian, Independent Publishing Resource Center, Portland, OR

MEET OUR STAFF

Jessica Preboski - Executive Director

Jessica Preboski was raised in Orange County, California and earned both her BA and MA in Geography from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF).  Jessica's Master's Thesis analyzed the affordable housing policies and practices of four Orange County cities.  For the past nine years, Jessica has worked at Affordable Housing Access, Inc. (AHA), a non-profit corporation dedicated to creating and preserving affordable housing in California and throughout the West.  

During her time with AHA, Jessica developed a rental assistance program for tenants as well as furthering AHA’s philanthropic efforts.  In 2014, AHA and CSUF's Grand Central Art Center piloted a social practice initiative in two Santa Ana affordable housing communities.  After seeing the positive social interaction that came from these projects, Jessica co-founded Community Engagement to focus solely on providing opportunities for creativity and personal growth in underrepresented communities.

Board of Directors

 

Jonathan B. Webb - Chairman of the Board

Jonathan Webb, the President of Affordable Housing Access, has over 30 years experience in the development of residential real estate. He began his career with American Development Corporation (Los Angeles). During his tenure the firm developed over 30 projects totaling more than 6,000 units of low and moderate income apartments. Later, as a Development Manager with Forest City Enterprises, he produced low and moderate income senior housing financed or insured by HUD, as well as conventionally financed apartments. In addition, he has extensive experience in the development, acquisition and rehab of affordable for-sale housing throughout Southern California.

 

In 1999 Webb and other members of AHA’s board formed Project Access, Inc., a nonprofit whose mission is to provide on-site education and other social services to low-income residents of affordable rental communities. Webb continues to serve as Board Chair. Project Access’s services include school readiness, after school programs, ESL, computer literacy, and other programming.

In 2007 Webb received United Way’s Dan Donahue Award for his support of children and youth of Orange County. In 2011 he was a recipient of the Bank of America’s “Local Hero” award and an honored participant in the Orange County Community Foundation’s “On Purpose” project celebrating non-profit leaders.

He is a member and past Treasurer of the Grand Central Art Center Board of Directors and is also an advisory board member of the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, both located in Santa Ana, California.

Mr. Webb is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Golden Gate University School of Law.


John D. Spiak

John D. Spiak was appointed Director/Chief Curator of California State University Fullerton’s Grand Central Art Center (GCAC), Santa Ana in September of 2011. His curatorial emphasis is on contemporary art and society, with focus on works in socially engaged practices and video.  Through the GCAC Artist-in-Residence initiative, GCAC hosts national and international artists as they develop projects, most recently Paul Ramirez Jonas (New York) Adriana Salazar (Bogata), Carmen Papalia (Vancouver), Daniel Tucker (Chicago), Lisa Bielawa (New York), and Vincent Goudreau (Maui).

Prior to his appointment at GCAC, he was Curator at the Arizona State University Art Museum, joining that staff in 1994.  Spiak was acting curator in charge of the ASU Art Museum residency series Social Studies, originating project by Julianne Swartz and Ken Landuer (New York), Jillian McDonald (New York), Josh Green (San Francisco), Gregory Sale (Phoenix), Jennifer Nelson (Greece). In 1997, he founded and was acting director for fifteen years of the annual ASU Art Museum Short Film and Video Festival.  He has curated over 100 solo and group exhibitions, working directly with artists including Pipilotti Rist, Shirin Neshat, Brent Green, Tony de los Reyes, Jillian Mcdonald and Adam Chodzko.  His project have received support from such prestigious organizations as The British Council, Metabolic Studio, Polish Cultural Institute, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), CEC ArtsLink and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.  Spiak currently serves on the Editorial Board for the journal Museum and Social Issues, Advisory Board of SPArt (Social Practice Art - Los Angeles), and Board of Community Engagement.


Madeleine Spencer

Madeleine Spencer lives in Santa Ana, California.  She graduated with a BA in Philosophy & English from Chapman University in 2008. She received her Master’s Degree as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Depth Psychology in 2011.Madeleine has worked as a therapist doing group and individual therapy with children and adults as well as Incarcerated Youth ages 13-17.  Madeleine Is currently completing her Doctoral Dissertation in Community Psychology, Eco Psychology and Liberation Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Madeleine regularly acts as a Learning Facilitator for the Santiago Canyon College District's Humanities Department at Santiago Canyon College. 

Working within the Santa Ana Community she built the advocacy coalition known as Project Homelessness a group which has successfully advocated to open the emergency shelter known as the Courtyard, Pass SNAP EBT in Orange County and she continues to work on the right to rest and decriminalization of the homeless. In a group known as the Santa Ana Coalition for Responsible Development she worked to create and successfully legislated for the passage of Santa Ana’s Progressive Transparency Law in 2013, She continued this work fulfilling further implementation in the establishment of Santa Ana’s First City Wide Strategic Plan in 2014, and continued these efforts by beginning her work on Economic Development through a BHC Equity for All work-group where she worked with others to build the coalition that advocated for and won the 2015 Unanimous Passage of the City’s Wellness Resolution. Madeleine began her own consulting firm, Diamond Heart Enterprises in 2014 and began her first consultancy with The California Endowment where she created a Communications Plan for over 19 Nonprofit Organizations and 3 Work-groups in the Hub of Santa Ana’s Building Healthy Communities Initiative 2014.  Dedicated to economic development Madeleine has worked as a retained consultant for Santa Ana Business Council since 2014 where she has developed the first Santa Ana Media Summit, assisted with the successful community engagement event to revive of the Historic Street Breakfast, Developed a series of 8 Art Round Tables and The First OC Art & Literature Festival in Downtown Santa Ana and the work continues. Madeleine is also currently consulting with Arts OC on Santa Ana’s Imagination Celebration Event Dia Del Nino Event and sits on the Advisory Board of Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, SAUSD’s SANARTS Conservatory Advisory Board and acts as a dedicated  Board Member of Community Engagement.