When the Tenderloin Museum opened its doors in July 2015, Katie served as its Program Director, with a dynamic vision for neighborhood-centric, diverse programs that bring people together from all walks of life. Katie has also held positions at the California Academy of Sciences, the Exploratorium, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. In 2012, she helped fundraise to save Mission neighborhood gem Adobe Books, created its events department, supported the gallery's transition to nonprofit status, and served on the Board of Directors for three years. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology and American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.
Jean Blacksten's background is in art history. After receiving a BA in Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing from CSU Chico, she made the move to the Bay Area to study film and screenwriting. In more recent years, her interests turned to art history and museum studies. Her love of the arts and passion for history brought her to the Tenderloin Museum.
Laura Jaye Cramer
Laura Jaye Cramer is an arts writer and publicist. Originally from Denver, CO, she worked as a ballet dancer for several years before settling down in San Francisco, where, as a public relations professional, she’s placed clients in some of the nation's top news outlets. Her own writing on culture has been published in magazines and newspapers such as GOOD Magazine, PAPER Magazine, SF Art Enthusiast, Art Practical, The SF Examiner and SF Weekly. She’s also written copy for multiple fine art organizations, creative agencies, and startups. Laura is obsessed with merging media with the arts, and is excited to be able to tell the story of San Francisco’s Tenderloin.
Melinda Uno’s diverse body of work with nonprofits includes marketing with the Telegraph Business Improvement District in Berkeley, CA, teaching English for the Ministry of Education in the Republic of Georgia, and volunteering with various arts, educational, and philanthropic organizations along the California coast. Prior to transitioning into arts administration with the Tenderloin Museum, she was most recently dedicated to retail management and hospitality in the specialty coffee industry. An alumnae of the University of California, Berkeley, Ms. Uno has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in addition to an Associate of Arts degree in English Language and Literature from West Valley College in Saratoga, CA. She is concurrently a Youth Program Assistant for the Crucible and a YBCA Volunteer Usher.
Visitor Services Agent
Lavarius Gardiner is originally from the East Bay and has recently moved to the Tenderloin in San Francisco. He is currently attending the City College of San Francisco and will transfer over to San Francisco State University with the interest of majoring in Sociology. Lavarius has been working for the Tenderloin Museum since opening day and over the months has grown to appreciate the depth of character the Tenderloin neighborhood has to offer. His favorite part about working at the museum is discovering a new appreciation for jazz music and listening to the works of Miles Davis and Bobby Caldwell.