The Common App: Simplifying Funding to Align Action with Values
David Blazevich is the Executive Director of the Fleishhacker Foundation in San Francisco. Founded in 1947 by prominent business leader and philanthropist Mortimer Fleishhacker Sr., the Fleishhacker Foundation supports small to mid-sized arts organizations, the Eureka Fellowship Program for visual artists, and K-5 literacy and social justice initiatives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Prior to his appointment in 2019, David was Senior Program Director at The Bernard Osher Foundation, where he oversaw its Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes grant program, which supports educational initiatives for older adults at more than 120 colleges and universities across the country, and managed a portfolio of local arts grantees. Before joining Osher, David was Director of Special Program Initiatives and Foundation Relations at KQED, San Francisco’s flagship public broadcasting affiliate.
David has taught composition and literature at San Quentin State Prison through Mount Tamalpais College (formerly Prison University Project) and is the former Board President of Access Institute for Psychological Services and New Conservatory Theatre Center. He has been an organizational consultant, volunteer, and board member for an array of community-based nonprofits and a guest lecturer at San Francisco State University.
David is a former theatre director and a native of the Chicago area. He received his B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago and Master of Liberal Arts degree from Stanford University.
Margot Melcon joined the Zellerbach Family Foundation in 2015 and manages the arts and culture grantmaking portfolio - including the Community Arts program - where she works to create an equitable, responsive, and accessible relationship in community with Bay Area artists. Prior to joining the foundation, she worked with nonprofit arts organizations for 20 years as a dramaturg, producer, and arts administrator. She is also a playwright of the Christmas at Pemberley trilogy, co-written with Lauren Gunderson. She lives in San Francisco with her family.
Shelley Trott is Chief Program Officer for the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, serving on the Foundation’s executive and leadership teams. In this role, she advances organizational strategy, supports a diverse grantmaking portfolio, and fosters collaboration, evaluation and learning, innovative program investment strategies, and impact.
Before holding this position, Shelley was Director, Arts Strategy & Ventures, leading the Foundation’s strategic direction for the arts. 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 has extensive nonprofit and philanthropy experience. Her past work as a dance and media artist has informed her entrepreneurial and collaborative approach.
Under Shelley’s leadership, the Rainin Foundation’s Arts program established a reputation for taking smart risks and gained national recognition for its visionary work. She 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. The model is being adapted to serve the broader nonprofit sector, exceeding expectations around scale and replication, with the potential for national impact. She regularly advocates for the important role the arts play in innovative place-based approaches to vibrant and inclusive 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 is Board President of Immersive Arts Alliance and the Community Arts Stabilization Trust.