Meet The Team
Lily Johnson White
Lily Johnson White is a mother of three, a Philanthropist, and Public Art Producer working in the not-for-profit world. Her passion is public art, with a special interest in directing resources to amplify the voices of communities that have been overlooked or blocked from participating in traditional education and creative institutions. Her career has ranged from transforming artisans into stakeholders in the fashion world, documentary film education initiatives, and overseeing charitable trusts that redistribute resources to education, arts, and health initiatives.
Currently, Lily serves as the President of Board at The Children’s Trust (NYC, since 2014), President of the Board for Golden Children (Cambodia, since 2018), Board Member at Creative Time (NYC, since 2012), Board Member of Habits of Waste (LA, since 2020), and Co-Founder of COOLTURALIA, an events platform launching in Geneva Switzerland in the fall of 2023.
Tao Ruspoli is an Italian-American filmmaker, photographer, and musician. Born in Bangkok and raised between Rome and Los Angeles, Tao graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1998 with a degree in Philosophy. Moviemaker magazine singled out Ruspoli as one of the 10 Young Filmmakers To Watch. His feature narrative debut, “FIX,” screened in competition at the 2008 Slamdance Film Festival and then at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival where Ruspoli was awarded the Heineken Red Star Award for "most innovative and progressive filmmaker." His most well-known documentary is “Being in the World,” which explores the real world implications of the philosophy of Martin Heidegger.
In 2000, Tao founded LAFCO (The Los Angeles Filmmakers Cooperative,) a bohemian collective of filmmakers and musicians who worked out of a converted school bus. His latest documentary, “Monogamish,” starring Dan Savage, Christopher Ryan and Esther Perel, premiered at The Rome Film Festival in 2015. Since 2016, Tao has been primarily focused on his work in Bombay Beach.
Stefan Ashkenazy is a native Los Angeleno who, at the age of 17, escaped from a disciplinary academy to China. There, he received his BA from Fudan University in Shanghai. In 2004, when the clown-song called, he shifted his focus to Hospitality and Experiential Art, moving back to Los Angeles and buying an 80-room, rundown hotel in the middle of West Hollywood. The Petit Ermitage Hotel has since become a refuge for bon-vivantes, bohemians, and the occasional intergalactic space villain.
In 2009, Stefan founded the Cirque Gitane Member’s club, a private community of dreamers from all over the globe who create for a living and who support the creative arts. In 2014, Stefan developed a nomadic traveling circus for Cirque's Gypsy Royalty which premiered and flourished at Burning Man for several years before nesting in the otherworldly boulders of The Valley of the Moon, in Pioneertown, CA.
In 2019, he opened Elsewhere, a hideaway/retreat/event space at a working farm in Topanga, CA. Stefan is currently collaborating with veteran Biennale artists to break ground on The Last Resort, a “worst hotel in the world” concept, which is underway in Bombay Beach, CA.
Dulcinée DeGuere is a Filmmaker, Conceptual Artist, and Systems Architect who lives between the Mojave Desert and Los Angeles. She joined the Biennale Org Team in 2021 to revive the event post-COVID. She worked as the Lead Producer in 2021, and in the fall of 2022 transitioned into the position of Systems Architect. As a lover of critical and political theory, Dulcinée’s work as a Systems Architect is rooted in postcolonial, postmodern, and posthuman philosophies. She’s committed to facilitating in symbiosis with both the Biennale community and the residents of Bombay Beach to develop ecosystems of care, respect, accessibility, and creativity.
As a filmmaker, Dulcinée is an editor turned writer/director committed to warping and bending the rules of narrative cinema to create films that are queer not only in plot and character, but also in form and structure. Her film work has screened at festivals across the world, most notably Sundance, OUTFEST, Fantasia, Newfest, and Palm Springs. In 2021, she was chosen as one of Blackmagic Collective’s Directing Fellows for the “First Frame Initiative.” In 2019, she was a resident at SFSIA’s “States of Consciousness in Cognitive Capitalism” program. In 2018, she co-founded Voyeur Productions, a multi-platform storytelling hub that creates immersive experiences, narrative film, and TV.
Regina Victor (they/them/pharaoh) is a cultural designer, critic, dramaturg, and multidisciplinary storyteller. Their artistic projects lie at the intersection of queer joy, and the Black Radical Imagination. Victor has collaborated with Anna Deavere Smith (Notes From the Field…, Berkeley Rep, Stanford, HBO), Danai Gurira (Familiar, Steppenwolf Theatre), Qui Nguyen (Revenge Song, Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Tony Award Winner Christopher Ashley and Will Davis (As You Like It, La Jolla Playhouse) Beaufield Berry (In The Upper Room, DCPA) and many more.
Originally from Oakland, CA, Victor is currently based in Chicago, where they were nominated for the 2023 Newcity Magazine Hall of Fame of “People Who Really Perform for Chicago.” In 2017 they co-founded Rescripted, an online arts journalism platform, and have written for The Chicago Reader, American Theatre, Playbill, Howlround, and more.
Pharaoh’s recent Cultural Design projects include the National Advisory Council for Howlround Theatre Commons, the inaugural cohort of Bard at the Gate at McCarter Theatre created by Paula Vogel (Indecent). Victor served in the inaugural Artistic Caucus cohort from 2021-2022, providing cultural and programming consult to Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Baltimore Centerstage, St. Louis Rep and Long Wharf Theatre. Victor’s arts management experience spans over a decade, including Court Theatre (Inaugural Associate Producer), California Shakespeare Theatre (Artistic Fellow), The Hypocrites (Associate Artistic Director), Steppenwolf Theatre (Artistic Fellow) and most recently Artistic Director of Sideshow Theatre.
Meredith Winner is a California-based art curator and producer. She is the Co-Founder and COO of Building 180, a public art agency whose mission is to inspire change through impactful installations and to help artists maintain sustainable careers. In addition to producing public art installations and bespoke interiors across the globe, she is the Program Director for two Bay Area Artist-in-Residence Programs.
Meredith has spent the past 15 years dedicated to the arts working in a wide array of positions, deeply engrossed in her community. In 2020 she co-founded and was named Managing Director of Paint the Void, a public mural initiative fiscally sponsored by Intersection for the Arts. Through this initiative she has coordinated the painting of over 230 murals on boarded storefront left in the wake of COVID-19. Meredith is both an artist and arts facilitator; she holds BFA in sculpture and a minor in Art History from Cornell University.