Ambassador Team 2

The second Ambassador team at On the Boards featuring Mariane Ibrahim Lenhardt, Jim Kent and Kia Pierce. Get to know them as they dig into OtB's performance world. Find them in the lobby at shows, attend their events, and read what they have to say on the blog throughout the next two months.

Mariane Ibrahim Lenhardt was born in New Caledonia, raised in Somalia and France, and studied and graduated in London. Her journey has been enriched and influenced by different cultures. It all began when she returned to Somalia after the war and found a new mission: use culture to change perceptions.  She started an NGO that aimed at protecting and revealing Rock Art paintings in the North part of Somalia. Through hard work and determination, Mariane managed to have one of the sites recognized as one of the top 100 World Heritage sites in danger. Much later, when she created M.I.A gallery, Mariane was driven by similar goals to create new atmospheres around Arts and trends. She applied project management skills, focusing on artists involved with social change, coming from specific locations such as Africa, the Middle East and Asia. During the time when she managed cultural sites, Mariane interacted with ambassadors, journalists, scientists, scholars, and cultural institutions such as UNESCO. Mariane adapted appropriate strategies to all the various stakeholders. Every aspects of the project included deep research, and the ability to work with different personalities. Collaboration and synergy has always been my imperative.

“My strength is to be involved a run a project from start to finish, use my international network and knowledge, and connect and collaborate with artists. I tend not to replicate ideas but push forward new ideas, explore the unexplored. My network is international, and includes artists, curators, performers, designers and journalists who believe art and culture can change the world.”

Do you have a favorite Artist, who?
Yes, Dave Chappelle, the humorist.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Finding excitement and pleasure in what I am doing.

What is your most treasured possession?
A gold ring my father purchased for me when I was 16.

What  album everyone should listen to before they die?
Cesária Evora, Sodade.

How do you know the night is over?
When people talk nonsense.

Jim Kent is a working dancer and musician with a flowering interest in creation and connectivity. He has spent the last several years, through performance and collaboration, cultivating an interest in activating his senses as part of a community practicing the same. The privileges and pitfalls of being socially and artistically immersed with other artists within this community have enriched Jim with a perspective he would love to expose and share. Much of his experience as performer, collaborator, and enabler has brought Jim to his current self and interest in the Ambassador program at OtB. He has been able to bear witness, act as player and an audience member in a community of hungry expression, through dance companies, film projects and music. Jim has begun a practice of writing about work, even when not asked or required to present. Writings, blogs and video are areas he would be most interested in exploring. Social media is incredibly comfortable territory for Jim. Specifically, he has a growing interest in film making, and is working towards cultivating this skill.

“Supporting myself as an artist has had serious hurdles. I have found myself unemployed, in debt beyond belief and have battled the ensuing bitterness towards art. Embedding myself in restaurants, especially those that choose to change the philosophy of food, as a way to support and sustain my interest in the arts has gifted me with presence, a love of work and rigor, an eagerness to convey a message to strangers, and a ripening of all of the senses required for the care and art of feeding ourselves. I submit that these worlds of creation and sustenance are a particular augmentation towards becoming our ideal selves—we need both and each other to survive, and my involvement in both worlds have saved me.”

Do you have a favorite artist?
If I had to pick, out of many favorite artists, it would be Dayna Hanson. I love her sense of humor and subtlety. I dove into work with her in 2010, without really knowing the contextual history of 33 Fainting Spells or her work in dance film. Working with her was confusing, captivating, exciting, and hilarious. She really explores the concept of possibility in art-making, what it means to be resourceful as a multi-genre'ed artist and utilize what's already there.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sometimes I wake up laughing and I can't stop. That's pretty much it. Also, a clear schedule, a sunny day and T-dock. #lavienrose

What is your most treasured possession?
Piano. It's also my heaviest possession.

What album should everyone listen to before they die?
The Roar of Love. My father read books 1-7 of the Chronicles of Narnia to my brother and I when we were young. The album is based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the harmonies rival Queen's at certain points. I mean, it's definitely not super 'relevant' or whatever, but it's kind of novel and to think about its historical and cultural exploits for religious purposes. It sort of makes me laugh, so I play it when I want to weird out.

How do you know the night is over?
Purple Rain starts playing.


Kia Pierce is an entrepreneurial performing artist and has been acting, singing, and dancing from the moment she emerged from the womb. Her first acting job was playing the baby Jesus in a church Christmas play. Out of that old dusty manger she has went on to blaze stages across America and has been featured in local commercials, plays, and independent films.  Some of her other skills include: directing, stage management, hosting, producing, public speaking, styling, burlesque, figure modeling, and face/ body painting. During the day, Kia works as a director and teacher of Drama to youth and adults. In the evenings and on weekends, she is a background vocalist in the Freddy Pink Band and the Reyshard Elsemaj Group.  As if she wasn’t busy enough, when this Superwoman is not turning up the heat on stage she is certainly turning it up in her local LGBTQIA community.  Her “Highness” (Leo baby) is the producer/host of 2 monthly events: Seattle Spit: a Queer Open Mic Showcase and FIRE: a dance night catering to Queer and Trans* folks of color in the Seattle and Tacoma areas. Through her art and productions Ms. Pierce hopes to create space for folks to celebrate and honor themselves and their differences as well as give the silent and marginalized a voice, stage, and a loud speaker. As a survivor of sexual and physical abuse, body ownership and celebration, taking up space, sharing and receiving copious amounts of healthy affection, and showing others how to do the same, are not only her pathway to healing, but her calling in life. If you would like to know more about Kia Pierce, her events, and her work, you may email her at or friend her on Facebook under the names FireNights Seattle or Kia Pierce.

Favorite Artist?
You mean besides Briq House? India Arie. Militant Child is pretty awesome too, and I'm not just saying that because she's my partner ;)

My idea of perfect happiness?
Me, a blanket, someone to cuddle with, a sunny beach, a cool drink, and warm water.

What is your most treasured possession?
My Vagina. With every danger she has seen she has come out victorious! My Vagina is a Beautiful Concurring Warrior Queen :) 

What album should everyone listen to before they die?
India Arie- Acoustic Soul. While listening to this album at the sweet age of 16 I heard a song called "Get it together". This song encouraged me to get free and coached me through coming out to my parents about the molestation I had experienced as a child. In facing my own abuse I gave my mother and grandmother the courage to share their own stories of abuse and get free from the dark secrets of their past.

How do you know the night is over?
When the Spanks come off :) I can actually breath!

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Join us for an immersive evening of sound art, featuring sonic works by a diverse selection of Northwest-based artists.


OtB is for Lovers! Join us for a special Valentine's style Studio Supper by Brothers&Co. for the opening night of Nicola Gunn's Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster ! INFO