Shelley Trott

Director of Arts Strategy & Ventures for the Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Shelley Trott is the Director of Arts Strategy & Ventures for the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. She has devoted her career to the arts, having worked as a dancer and choreographer, teacher, filmmaker, and funder. Shelley joined the Foundation in 2009 as one of its first employees and has played an integral role in the evolution of its three program areas. Shelley leads the foundation’s strategic direction for the arts, supporting experimental and multidisciplinary performances, and developing programs that creatively address root causes of structural disadvantages for artists.

Shelley was instrumental in establishing the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), an inventive nonprofit model founded on the belief that the arts promote strong, vibrant, diverse communities. CAST secures permanent affordable space for arts and cultural organizations to facilitate equitable urban transformation. She regularly speaks about the important role the arts play in innovative place-based approaches to uplifting neighborhoods and communities. In 2014, Shelley was awarded the Council on Foundation’s prestigious Robert Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking for her work with CAST.

Shelley earned a BA from Wesleyan University and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. She has produced the annual Bay Area International Children’s Film Festival on a volunteer basis for 10 years. 

Session: Innovation - Public Art at the Forefront: Community-driven, Place-based Strategies