Shelley Trott

Arts Strategy and Ventures, Kenneth Rainin Foundation


Shelley Trott is Director, Arts Strategy & Ventures, for the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. She has devoted her career to the arts, having worked as a dancer and choreographer, teacher, filmmaker, and funder. 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 leads the foundation’s strategic direction for the arts, supporting experimental and multidisciplinary performances, and creating programs to strengthen the capacity of arts organizations, foster a dynamic learning environment and assist with critical organizational transitions. Shelley 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. She regularly speaks about the important role the arts play in innovative place-based approaches to improving neighborhoods and 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 co-produces the annual Bay Area International Children’s Film Festival and co-chairs the Arts Loan Fund, a collaborative program of Northern California Grantmakers.