Who We are
The Common Acre came together when artists and urban farmers decided in 2012 to work together on a shared mission of maximum social impact.
Since our inception, our team has grown to encompass doctors of medicine and science, city planners, educators, and strategists, and a great crew of multi-talented volunteers.
A first-generation Ethiopian born in Moses Lake, WA, Nat graduated with a B.A. in the University of Washington’s eclectic Comparative History of Ideas program in 2015, pursuing a Master’s in Education Policy the next year. Then, as a children’s garden coordinator, he spearheaded the first racial equity team at Seattle Tilth while simultaneously running a monthly youth leadership program at the Ethiopian Community in Seattle.
Since joining the board as Vice President in the Spring of 2017, Nat has been practicing with herbs and researching plant consciousness. Deeply inspired by the mission of The Common Acre, Nat brings together backgrounds in food systems education, social justice facilitation, and nonprofit leadership in his new role as Board President.
Nat dreams of farming and philosophizing with friends, and seeks future opportunities in both doctoral and consultative work that cultivate equitable, community-based, and land-conscious partnerships. He loves flowers, books, and dancing!
Founder of The Common Acre, Bob has had careers in social service, media, arts, and agriculture. After working intensively with the homeless and mentally ill, Bob moved into the arts via Real Change street newspaper (as editor) and community radio station KBCS 91.3 FM (as Music Director). An early host of the Seattle Poetry Slam, Bob co-founded the Seattle Poetry Festival and its non-profit parent Eleventh Hour Productions, and did production management at Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project. Founding Program Director of the Capitol Hill Arts Center, Bob subsequently curated arts programs for the Bumbershoot Festival from 2004 – 2010, and served as Program Director of Town Hall Seattle in 2011-12. As an artist, Bob produced the theatre project “Fringe the Puyallup!”, was a writer-in-residence for the Richard Hugo House, and produced the guerilla haiku project SLUG. Besides work with The Common Acre, Bob runs the beekeeping adventure Urban Bee Company.
As a husband and father Kyle enjoys spending time surrounded by his family and friends. Cultural and community involvement is an important part of his social life, he is the Chair of the Native Family Advisory Committee at Highline School District. An enrolled member of Standing Rock, and growing up in the He Sapa of South Dakota he grew up surrounded by the Lakota culture. A strong understanding of the importance of Unci Maka and the role we play in the world has heavily influencing his life. We are but a part of the world we live in. Career wise he is in the construction industry as a principle at Holaday Parks a mechanical contracting company involved in the high rise residential, student housing, medical, office and manufacturing sectors. He specializes in contract negotiations and client relations. Considered an expert in his field, he has mentored many successful Project Managers, foreman, and estimators, as well as being invited to speak at WSU. Having completed a 5-year apprenticeship in Local 66 Sheetmetal workers, and attended University of Washington contract Law and negotiations has provided a well-rounded insight into labor and management strategy. There is much in the world to do, many beautiful people to meet, and it is a pleasure to wake up each day to smell the fresh air, see the sun, hear the birds, hear the waves, hear the sound of laughter, and see smiles on people’s faces.
Sheila Brown believes in personal and societal transformation, sustainability and simple living, and the arts as a way to celebrate, build and heal communities. In her work life (currently as Education Program Supervisor at Camp Long), Sheila’s passions include environmental restoration, cross-cultural and multi-cultural understanding, outdoor recreation and science. Sheila has also developed and managed programs and facilities, and promoted public-private partnerships. In her personal life, her interests include choral and acoustic music, Buddhism and other spiritual traditions, exploring awareness through the body, history and new developments in science, and spending time with friends and her border terrier. Sheila is tri-lingual and has lived and traveled throughout Latin America and Europe.
Jennifer is a Seattle-based Theatre-Maker. Since 2004, she has designed for Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Empty Space (Louis Slotin Sonata), Benaroya Hall (Brundibar), The Village Theatre (Little Shop of Horrors), Washington Ensemble Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and numerous others.
A founder and Co-Artistic Director (2004-2008) of Washington Ensemble Theatre (The Ensemble), Jennifer serves on the Board of Directors of the National Network of Ensemble Theatres (NET) and the Committee of the Whole at Smoke Farm, an interdisciplinary artist’s residency facility. The recipient of 2006 Stranger Genius Award in Theatre, Jennifer was named “Best Scenic Designer in Seattle” by Seattle Weekly in 2005 and received two 2006 Seattle Times Footlight Awards for her designs of Winter’s Tale at Seattle Shakespeare Company and Swimming in the Shallows for The Ensemble. Jennifer holds a MFA in scenery design from the University of Washington and a BFA in theatre design and directing from the University of Rhode Island.
Christian believes that words are powerful, and often thrown about with little respect for their worth. He looks through a lens that sees personal transformation as a key to building healthy communities. Christian has spent a majority of his career in retail, marketing, sales, and education. Most recently, he worked for Amazon where he assisted in launching their first offline retail Pop-Up shops. Christian is a certified yoga instructor, a Big Brother, and in his free time enjoys going to the park with Gabriel (pug), dancing, studying himself, and hypothesizing ways to create bridges between nature and industry. Christian believes that with the right combination of strategy, and grit, you can achieve anything you set out to do.