Our Team

The Arts Fund carries out its mission with the help of our talented staff, volunteers, and board of directors. 

Staff & Volunteers

Ceilidh Birkhahn, Executive Director

Ceilidh Birkhahn (BFA SAIC ’23) creates multimedia art and design work at the intersection of fantasy and technology, including music, writing, performance, HTML/CSS, and illustration. They co-run Procrastinating Writers United, and published anthologies Both False & True (2019) and Long-Winded (2024) through Lip Think Press. Their work has been exhibited and/or published many places, most recently the Electronic Literature Organization (un)linked 2024 Conference. They currently work alongside several arts organizations and educators, focusing on making the arts more accessible to a wider local and global audience.

Jamie Dufek, Staff

Jamie Dufek has been serving on the board of The Arts Fund since 2015. A native Minnesotan, she earned a BA in Studio Art and holds a MBA with a specific focus in nonprofit management and corporate social responsibility. Currently she works for TIGER 21, a membership organization for successful, high-net worth entrepreneurs, and has her own consulting business for non-profits focused on fundraising and board cultivation. Jamie’s passion is centered around service and community, and she currently serves as Communications Chair for The Women’s Fund, and also serves on the board of A Different Point of View. Jamie is a mixed media and print artist and teaches art classes on the West Side with students K-12.

Bella P, Gallery Manager

Bella currently works for the Arts Fund supporting administrative duties, curating guest experiences, and promoting MSME on various social media platforms. When Bella is off the clock, Bella loves listening to music, watching TV, and writing- both fiction and non-fiction. Bella is so honored and excited to be a part of the Arts Fund team.


Board of Directors

Jamie Dufek, President

Jamie Dufek has been serving on the board of The Arts Fund since 2015. A native Minnesotan, she earned a BA in Studio Art and holds a MBA with a specific focus in nonprofit management and corporate social responsibility. Currently she works for TIGER 21, a membership organization for successful, high-net worth entrepreneurs, and has her own consulting business for non-profits focused on fundraising and board cultivation. Jamie’s passion is centered around service and community, and she currently serves as Communications Chair for The Women’s Fund, and also serves on the board of A Different Point of View. Jamie is a mixed media and print artist and teaches art classes on the West Side with students K-12.

Ronnie Cox, Vice President

Ronnie Cox is the Director of Investments in the Santa Barbara headquarters of Pensionmark. Ronnie is responsible for the investment manager search process, quarterly client reporting and market reviews, developing analytical tools and reports, and other research projects. In addition, Ronnie chairs Pensionmark’s Investment Committee that sets the strategic policy and direction of a number of broad activities related to the investment services Pensionmark provides.

Ronnie is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Business Economics and a minor in Technology Management. Ronnie has earned the Certified Funds Specialist and Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist designations as well as holds his Series 7 and 66 registrations. Ronnie joined the Board of the Arts Fund after recognizing all of the important work the Arts Fund has been doing and wanting to contribute to the promotion of the arts in the Santa Barbara community.

Kayvon Salafian, Treasurer

Kayvon Salafian has an extensive background in sales, new business development, project management, finance, and recruiting. He has a passion to create and sustain new businesses and new business divisions, including the founding of the Business Development Division and Lead Generation Program at Pensionmark Financial Group. Mr. Salafian graduated from University of California Santa Barbara where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics with an Emphasis in Accounting and a Sports Management Minor. He also earned his certificate in Technology Management, an entrepreneurship program at UCSB. He completed his Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship at Pepperdine University and currently maintains his Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) designation as well as Life and Health Insurance licenses. With a strong background in insurance benefits, tax compliance, consulting, banking, and general accounting, Mr. Salafian joined The Arts Fund as Treasurer. Mr. Salafian currently lives in Carpinteria, California and has been a resident of the Santa Barbara region since 1995. He cares deeply for the local community, especially the younger generations, and continues to dedicate time with Partners in Education, The Unity Shoppe, and United Way of Santa Barbara. In his free time, he enjoys long walks on the beach with his adorable pug, Lilly, as well as staying active and enjoying all the restaurants our area has to offer.

John Hood, North County Liaison

John Hood was invited to start the first Teen Mentoring class in the North County in 2015. He was able accommodate 18 students from four area high schools who were all passionate about the arts. The group spent countless weeks creating a huge mural depicting imagery influenced from the Discovery Museum (which was one of the patrons). The Arts Fund and the Squire foundation were able to collaborate on this project to help raise awareness of arts and culture.

John was raised from an early age in Los Angeles where he began his lifelong fascination with the sea. He is considered a non-objective painter, best-known for his highly textured mixed-media surfaces with meditative forms. In the early 1990’s John held his first solo exhibition of painting and film at the Individual Artists of Oklahoma gallery in Oklahoma City. His works began to be viewed nationally and abroad with group exhibitions in New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Paris and Florence. By 1998 he was working both as an artist and educator, becoming a tenured faculty member at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California.

From that period to the present, John has worked with the Central Coast artistic community as exhibition organizer and juror for a variety of art shows. Over the last few years he has devoted much of his time and attention to both family (thirty years with my lovely wife Debra and two beautiful daughters) and academic issues, where he continues to be an advocate for emerging local artists in Santa Barbara County.

Kitty Balay, North County Liaison

Kitty Balay is an actor, director, and dialect coach. She has appeared in more than 80 productions at PCPA. Kitty has worked in several west coast theaters, including appearing as Patsy Cline at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. She teaches Voice and Speech in PCPA’s Professional Acting Conservatory. As Engagement Director, Kitty develops engagement events to deepen the audience experience and reach new audiences. Kitty is the creator and director of the company’s literacy program, PCPA READS. In its second year, the program sent 65 actors to local schools and, in a single morning, read to more than 8,500 children in their classrooms. The goal of PCPA READS is to bring language to life and to instill in students the magic of reading. Kitty is a member of Actor’s Equity League, VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers’ Association) and is a Registered Music Together®​ Teacher. She earned a BA from Brown University, and an MFA in Acting from UC-Irvine. Kitty has served twice as a mentor twice with The Arts Fund’s Teen Arts Mentorship Program. She taught “Acting the Song” and “Singing for Theatre.” The mentorships resulted in the following performances: “Journey to Home”​ – ​The Immigrant and Outsider Experience Expressed through Song, and “The Homecoming Court of Self-Expression​”​ – ​An Exploration of Identity Through Song.

Jordan Robinson

Jordan Robinson (MA, AMFT) has been a resident of Santa Barbara for over 20 years where he has worked within the business and non profit sectors throughout various industries. Whether it be in the field of real estate or working as a clinical mental health therapist, being relational while remaining client and goal or mission oriented has been a fundamental value of his. As a community volunteer, he has engaged in local projects through different Young Professional Networks, and served in leadership positions within committees or board director seats for various organizations. Using the arts as a form of creative expression has been a wonderful source of fulfillment for Jordan, ultimately participating in amateur art shows from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles. Serving on the Arts Fund board allows Jordan Robinson the opportunity to blend both business and creative identities while serving the residents of Santa Barbara.

Stephen Hiatt

Stephen Hiatt moved to Santa Barbara in 1982 as a student at UCSB. After graduating with degree in engineering he started an IT consulting company, TEK Computer Services. In 1993 he joined the docent program at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and is currently a Senior Active Docent with and emphasis on Latin Modernism. He served 4 years on the Docent Council board and in 2008 joined the board of The Arts Fund.

Angi Daus

Angi Daus has a passion for building community connection through service. The Arts is one avenue that is of great value to her, among others such at environmental conservation, public health and social justic. Angi has her MPA from Mentroplotain State University in St. Paul, MN and her BA from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. Angi has been grateful to be living in beautiful CA for 6 years and lucky to have made Santa Barbara her home for about 4 years and it serves her needs to be outside running, hiking, backpacking, walking her dog and wine tasting quite well.

Kim Collins

I have been aware of the The Arts Fund for years. It has been so impressive to see how the organization pivoted to an all virtual format allowing The Arts Fund programs and mentorships to continue and succeed virtually. Now, more than ever, the community needs these kinds of opportunities and creative outlets! I am thrilled to help continue the mission of the The Arts Fund and the incredible work being done.