Seaman to Receive Award on June 17 at Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Francisco

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Americans for the Arts announced today that it is presenting the 2017 American Express Emerging Leader Award to Kevin Seaman, artist, curator and consultant of Bring Your Own Queer (BYOQ), a San Francisco-based community arts organization that fosters greater understanding between disparate segments of the LGBTQ community and its allies by hosting free and low-cost community events that promote accessibility, diversity, and inclusion. The annual award recognizes an exceptional new and/or young arts professional for their exemplary leadership, deep engagement with community, and strong commitment to advancing the arts. 
Seaman has 12 years of experience working with Bay Area arts communities. He was named one of SF Weekly’s “16 Artists to Watch in 2016” and is currently an Association for Performing Arts Presenters’ Leadership Fellow. Seaman has been commissioned by RADAR Productions and THEOFFCENTER, been in residence with SAFEhouse Arts and the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and has received grants from the Endeavor Foundation for the Arts and San Francisco Arts Commission. He has performed and exhibited at artistic venues including Brava, CounterPULSE, de Young Museum, The LAB, Intersection for the Arts and Victoria Theater (Frameline35); as well as nightlife venues like The Oasis, The Stud, El Rio, and The Edge. 
Seaman formerly worked with San Francisco Foundation’s Art & Culture program and has reviewed applications for San Francisco Arts Commission, City of Berkeley, and Endeavor Foundation for the Arts. He has led artist-focused workshops for the National Queer Arts Festival, Intersection for the Arts, Center for Cultural Innovation, and San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, and brought Bay Area queer arts to the attention of national funders by co-facilitating Queering the Arts: Aesthetics and Economies at the Grantmakers in the Arts annual conference in 2012.
“With boundless energy and dedication, Kevin Seaman has established himself as an excellent asset in community arts leadership. Americans for the Arts has been a strong proponent for the advancement of new arts leadership, and Kevin exemplifies the strong work and promise of that next generation,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. 
“For the past decade, American Express has advocated for the development of emerging leaders across the nonprofit and social purpose space,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. “Through his commitment to both the arts and his community, Kevin Seaman exemplifies the vital impact talented leaders can have on the sector. We congratulate him on this incredible achievement.”  
American Express, Americans for the Arts, and the Emerging Leaders Network will present the award at Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention on Saturday, June 17, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Through its Emerging Leaders Network, Americans for the Arts works to identify and cultivate the next generation of leaders in the arts and arts education. Currently, Americans for the Arts serves a network of approximately 6,000 members in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at
One of American Express' three philanthropic platforms is Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow. Under this giving initiative, which recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit and social purpose sectors, American Express makes grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century. More than 30,000 emerging nonprofit and social sector leaders worldwide have benefitted from American Express leadership programs, including the American Express Leadership Academy among others. Launched in 2008, the American Express Leadership Academy addresses the growing deficit of leadership talent in the nonprofit sector by bringing together emerging leaders from a diverse set of nonprofit, social sector, and non-governmental organizations.  For leadership journey stories and additional resources, visit
Inga Vitols