The Urban Culture Institute Team
Dieta Sixt, Co-founder of the Urban Culture Institute, is a Berlin-based freelance curator, producer and cross-cultural consultant. She currently serves as producer of Berlin's Social Muscle Club, a group of international artists and performers. Her areas of expertise are new media, conceptual and video art, theatre, film and cultural studies. She is committed to excellence in the field of intercultural understanding.
Prior to launching the Urban Culture Institute, Dieta held positions and directorships with the Goethe-Institut, the cultural policy institute of the Federal Republic of Germany, mandated with the task of international dialog and exchange. Dieta held directorships at the branches in Amsterdam, Shanghai, Montréal, Washington D.C., San Francisco and New York during her tenure. She led the Goethe-Institut’s Media Initiative in Washington D.C., a regional network initiative.
Dieta has founded and directed several consulting firms and not-for-profit organizations in Germany, the United States and Canada. Managing director of The Bakery from 2007-2013, an international performance based initiative by American choreographer Richard Siegal, she organized cross-disciplinary productions in Europe, North America and Japan. In addition to her work for the Urban Culture Institute, she pursues international projects in the area of Performance, linked with Music, Dance and the Visual Arts. Recent speaking engagements were at Freies Museum Berlin, Kunsthaus Kule and Podbielski Contemporary.
Dieta has served on the board of directors of the Montreal International Video and Film Festival, the Corcoran Gallery, Washington Project for the Arts, and the Canadian sculpture magazine Espace. She is also affiliated with the New York and San Francisco offices of ArtTable, a leadership organization for professional women in the visual arts. Dieta is an accredited correspondent and active member of the Foreign Press Association New York. She has been a member of the International Who’s Who since 2002.
Ricardo D. Barreto is an affiliated Consultant of the Urban Culture Institute and the principal of Ricardo Barreto Cultural Consultants, which provides facilitation and project management skills to cultural non-profits with an emphasis on public art and the visual arts in general. Previously he was the Executive Director of UrbanArts, Inc. (dba The UrbanArts Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design) from 2000 through 2012. Before that he worked for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (1993-2000) where he was initially Program Coordinator for Individual Artists and then Program Officer for Organizations.
Cultural assessment and master planning with an emphasis on public art, the relationship of public art to the built environment and the well-being of neighborhoods and communities have consistently been a focus of Ricardo’s professional activities. This work has been facilitated through significant networks within cultural community and civic entities at all levels.
Ricardo holds a B.A. and M.A. in art history from Oberlin College. Barreto has managed art projects and curated exhibitions in the United States, Mexico, and Europe. He has written numerous exhibition catalogues and published essays on diverse arts topics. He has been a board member of the Public Art Network, a program of Americans for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Mass Humanities.
Stephanie Sherman, a Consultant with the Urban Culture Institute, is an art director, curator, organizer, writer and collaborator who develops public space and media platforms for social art and design. She has 15 years of experience initiating and producing projects at various scales, often focus on repurposing abandoned spaces, materials, media and immaterial surplus to build collaborative systems.
Stephanie is the co-founder of Elsewhere, a living museum and international artist residency set in a three-story surplus store in Greensboro, NC. Stephanie is currently the co-director of Common Field, a new visual arts organizing network with support from the Warhol Foundation. Common Field connects experimental, noncommercial arts organizations across the country to leverage the power of learning, exchange, and advocacy in this sector.
Among Stephanie's projects are several collaborative art and design initiatives, including with the DesignLab Creative of the the University of California San Diego, the Center for Design and Geopolitics, Parkeology, RadioEE.net, and Civic Imagination Studio.
Stephanie has served as Director of Research for Provisions Library in Washington D.C., and as curator for 5x5, D.C.’s public art biennale. She currently serves on the board of Elsewhere as well as Materials & Applications, a non-profit organization supporting experimental projects by Los Angeles artists and designers.
Stephanie is currently completing her Ph.D. in Art and Design at the University of California San Diego. Her research focuses on the connections between urban culture, media design and social aesthetics. Stephanie holds a Master of Arts in Critical Theory and Visual Studies from Duke University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in 20th Century Literature and Culture. Her writing has been published in Cabinet magazine, The EP, Field Journal, and Nyfa.org.