Bridgit Antoinette Evans


Bridgit Antoinette Evans is widely recognized as one of the foremost thought leaders in the culture change strategy field. A professional artist and strategist, she has dedicated her career to the relentless investigation of the potential of artists to drive cultural change in society. Fifteen years of work at the intersection of pop culture storytelling and social change has evolved into a vision for a new, hybrid culture change field in which creative and social justice leaders work together to create and popularize stories that shape the narratives, values, beliefs and behaviors that define American culture. In 2016, Bridgit was a Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, piloting Culture Changes Us, a coordinated learning system designed to accelerate the social justice sectors’ understanding and use of culture change strategy. For Unbound Philanthropy and Ford Foundation, she has led multi-year culture change research and strategy design projects aimed at unearthing breakthrough narrative and engagement strategies for the immigrant rights and gender justice movements.

In 2008, Bridgit founded Fuel | We Power Change, a culture change strategy studio in New York City, as the home for her collaborations with leading social change innovators. Through this work she designed long-term culture change strategies for social movements that used transportive story experiences, often in the pop culture realm, to shift the thoughts and feelings of mass audiences. Strategy design commissions include the NYCLU/ACLU Policing Project, Make It Work campaign, National Domestic Workers Alliance’s #BeTheHelp strategy featuring Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Cicely Tyson, Amy Poehler and other artists; Breakthrough’s #ImHere for Immigrant Women strategy; GEMS’ Girls Are Not for Sale strategy featuring Beyonce, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Sinead O’Connor, Mary J Blige and more; and Save Darfur’s “Live for Darfur” campaign chaired by Don Cheadle and Djimon Hounsou. Drawing insights from these commissions, Bridgit has traveled by invitation to the UK, France, Austria, Croatia, Brazil, South Africa and throughout the U.S. to present talks, lectures and workshops for some of the world’s most innovative movement leaders and artists. She often points to her roots as a professional Off Broadway actor and devised theater producer as the source of her deep passion for culture change strategy. She received her MFA from Columbia University and BA from Stanford University.

Fifteen years of work at the intersection of pop culture storytelling and social change has evolved into a vision for a new, hybrid culture change field in which creative and social justice leaders work together to create and popularize stories that shape the narratives, values, beliefs and behaviors that define American culture.

Tracy Van Slyke


Through her work at the intersection of media and movement building for the last 17 years, Tracy has worked with a cross-sector of content producers, social justice organizers and philanthropic leaders to help them develop the profound storytelling and audiences experiences that can catalyze mass audiences for social change.

Working with Executive Director Bridgit Antoinette Evans on the Collaborative’s leadership team, Tracy co-anchors the organizational strategy development and implementation. In addition, she leads in specific program areas including:

  • Grantmaking: Leads on artist-led pipelines, narrative infrastructure and power building, pop culture for social change field building, innovations in mass audience activation as well as specific narrative activation areas around racial justice, gender justice and for Muslim communities.
  • Communications, Learning and Evaluation: Oversees learning and community building for philanthropic peers and the broader pop culture for social change field via strategic communications, storytelling projects, and learning tools; as well as grantmaking and field evaluation programs and projects.

Previously, she was the director of the Culture Lab, which through rapid prototyping methodology, built programs and products to help social justice leaders quickly adopt and advance their ability to use pop culture strategies and storytelling to create a just and equitable world.

As a fellow at the Opportunity Agenda, she authored the groundbreaking 2014 report “Spoiler Alert: How Progressives Will Break Through With Pop Culture.” Before founding the Culture Lab, she was the co-director of the New Bottom Line, a national alignment of economic justice grassroots organizations; was director of The Media Consortium, a network of the leading independent media outlets in the country working to increase their collective impact; and publisher of In These Times, a national award winning political magazine. She is the co-author of the book Beyond The Echo Chamber (New Press, 2010) and her writing has appeared in Huffington Post, Politico, Medium and more. She has been on the boards of National People’s Action and served as president for Free Speech TV and Women, Action and the Media.

Rupa Balasubramanian

Rupa Balasubramanian 


Rupa has spent nearly twenty years working at the intersection of philanthropy, policy advocacy and social movements. She began her career in politics and crisis management, working in the Press Secretary’s office at the White House during the Clinton Administration and then, at Hill & Knowlton, Inc., a leading international communications firm. Recognizing that in order to change systems, private funding must invest in political leadership, policy advocacy, and movement infrastructure, Rupa joined a philanthropic and political consulting firm founded by progressive activist and strategist, Margery Tabankin. At Margery Tabankin & Associates, Rupa spent a decade developing and launching innovative strategies for social change for individuals, families and organizations looking to deploy resources to address structural inequality.

In the summer of 2013, Rupa helped launch Fundamental, a boutique philanthropic consultancy, where she helped individuals in the creative and entertainment community  deploy millions of dollars to support organizations focused on education, women’s health, the environment, civic engagement, and civil rights at the local, state, and national levels. She worked with Barbra Streisand and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to create the Women’s Heart Alliance, a national non-profit organization aimed at increasing the awareness of women’s heart disease, the number one killer of women in the United States. Since its inception in 2014, the Women’s Heart Alliance has advanced work to ensure women’s full representation in biomedical studies and clinical trials, in addition to continuing to educate policy makers and the public on the importance of sex-specific medical research.  

Rupa graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara and earned her Masters degree in Public Administration at the University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning and Development. She serves on the board of directors of, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, and Demos, a think tank of the progressive movement.

Marisol Ramos

GRANTS & Learning Manager

As the Grants & Learning Manager at the Pop Culture Collaborative, Marisol works directly with grantees of our grantmaking program. Marisol’s extensive experience in youth organizing, movement building, philanthropy and research in immigration and higher education policy helps inform several program areas of the Collaborative.

Previously, Marisol worked at the Community College Research Center conducting research on improving educational pathways for low income, first generation and undocumented students. Before joining CCRC, Ramos worked at the Michigan Department of Education and the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good. Marisol has also worked as a Program Associate at the New World Foundation in New York managing the Phoenix Fund for Workers and Communities, which provides organizational and philanthropic support to grantee immigrant rights organizations in the United States and Mexico. Ramos’s advocacy work includes co-founding the national United We Dream Network and New York State Youth Leadership Council.

Marisol has been featured in the New York Times, Latina Magazine, Los Angeles Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Magazine, New York Daily News, PBS, El Diario/LaPrensa for her work with undocumented youth. Marisol graduated from the dual masters program in public policy and higher education at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and at the School of Education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She also earned a BA in English literature and Women Studies with honors from Hunter College, City University of New York.

Katrina Olson

Director of Operations & Events

Katrina Olson joins the Collaborative team following a decade-long career as a theater stage manager working on Broadway, Off-Broadway, International & National Tours as well as Regional Theater productions.

The idea of changing the pop culture narrative to better represent unheard voices is at the heart of much of the work Katrina has collaborated on including the world premiere productions of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size and Wig Out!. Other favorite collaborations include the world premiere Soho Rep production of An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Ruined by Lynn Nottage, and Seed by Radha Blank (at the 10th Annual DC Hip-Hop Theater Festival and featuring Bridgit Antoinette Evans).

Katrina also worked on the PBS broadcast of From Mao to the Met. In this live one-man show, Metropolitan Opera basso Hao Jiang Tian weaves song and story into a compelling tale of his childhood in China, to surviving the Cultural Revolution, to finding his voice and building his life and career in the U.S.

In addition to her theater projects Katrina has worked for many years as the Ideas Program Manager for the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. The Festival’s mission is unique in that it works to bring together diverse and distinct communities through arts and ideas. The Ideas Series brings together a wide variety of speakers and thinkers that delve into pressing topics that explore the role art has in increasing diversity and examines the hot topics of America and beyond.

Katrina has a MFA in Stage Management from the Yale School of Drama and a BA from the University of North Texas. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.


Special Projects Coordinator

Daria is the Special Projects Coordinator at Pop Culture Collaborative, with an emphasis on external communications projects, productions, and publications, and serves as a weaver and connector across a diverse slate of Collaborative efforts. 

Her love of pop culture was born when she moved from Italy to the United States at age seven and learned English by watching TV and reading comic books (A Different World and Archie, anyone?).

The first steps of her career started in the publishing world, where she worked at houses like Artisan, an imprint of Workman Publishing and City & Company, an independent publisher focused on books about New York. 

After a brief stint in television production, Daria moved back to Italy merging her media skills at Minimum Fax. There, she co-hosted and co-produced WRITING/NY – an internationally broadcast series of documentaries on contemporary New York writers including Colson Whitehead, Gary Shteyngart and A.M. Homes.

From 2005, she managed the US bureau of Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Most recently she worked with British news publication, The Independent, setting up their US operations, managing their NY office and as an occasional contributor. 

2020 brought her to the Collaborative full-time and she is grateful for the opportunity to immerse herself in this work at this pivotal time.

Fabiola Feliciano-Batista

Fabiola Feliciano-Batista

Operations & Events Assistant

Fabiola Feliciano-Batista  joins the Pop Collaborative team as Operations & Events Assistant after working as a theatre stage manager. 

She’s worked for Regional Theatres on productions such as Will Eno’s The Plot, El HuracánDisaster!, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Previously, Fabiola worked as a Stage Manager in her hometown, working with Tantai Teatro in productions that explored storytelling (Construyendo a Verónica), grief (Wit), and the need to decolonize the Puerto Rican culture (Este país no existe). 

Fabiola co-founded the Colectivo Teatral Boal in Puerto Rico, where she served as co-director in designing and executing theatre of the oppressed workshops for marginalized communities in the island. 

Beyond her work in theatre, she has been a part of the Operations Team for the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, CT. 

Fabiola has an MFA in Stage Management from the Yale School of Drama and a BA from the University of Puerto Rico. 

Jessica Sykes

Network Weaver

Jessica was excited to join the Pop Culture Collaborative team, where her passions for pop culture and social change can finally meet. Despite her mother’s desperate attempts to limit her TV consumption, Jessica was raised on MTV and VH1. An early riser, she watched VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown every morning before school and dreamed of being a pop star. Jessica took her pop culture obsession to Yale, where she earned a BA majoring in American Studies with a focus on the intersections between pop culture and race, class and gender.

Jessica began her career in the music industry at Universal Music Group, where she managed the College Marketing department. After leaving UMG, she joined Flipagram, a social media startup known for music licensing deals. There, she worked as Music Partnerships Manager, collaborating closely with record labels, managers, and artists.

She then transitioned into the television industry, working at NBC in a Digital Product Marketing capacity. During her four years at NBC, she developed their digital streaming partnerships team, building strong relationships with tech companies like Amazon, Roku, and Apple. Jessica left NBC to pursue her interest in building worker power, joining Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), where she ran Communications for the immigrant worker center.

In her role as the Collaborative’s Network Weaver, Jessica seeds and strengthens relationships, networks, collaboration, and coordination among the many artists, organizers, strategists, researchers, and funders who comprise the Pop Culture Collaborative community.

Senior Advisors


Tanya Selvaratnam

Gender Justice Senior Advisor

Born in Sri Lanka and raised in Long Beach, CA, Selvaratnam is based in New York City and Portland, Oregon. With the artist Laurie Anderson and the producer Laura Michalchyshyn, she is a cofounder of The Federation: a coalition of artists, organizations, and allies committed to keeping cultural borders open and showing how art unites us. She has also been an advisor and producer for For Freedoms, which catalyzes public discourse and civic engagement through the arts; specifically, she worked on the organization’s 50 State Initiative as well as the For Freedoms Congress.

Most recently, she produced for The Vision & Justice Project, founded by Professor Sarah Lewis (Harvard University); Glamour Women of the Year; The MeteorJoy To The Polls; Invisible Hand;The Shed multi-arts center; and Planned Parenthood. Since 2007, she has been a producer with Aubin Pictures, founded by Catherine Gund; Aubin’s latest film is AGGIE about collector and philanthropist Agnes Gund who created the Art for Justice Fund to fight mass incarceration. For nine years, Selvaratnam was the Communications and Special Projects Officer for the Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Arts Foundation, based in Miami, FL. In 2020, she was a volunteer for the Biden-Harris Policy Committee and also served as Content Chair of Arts for Biden-Harris.

She is the author of numerous essays and two books: THE BIG LIE (Prometheus) and Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence (Harper). Assume Nothing has been optioned by ABC Signature/Disney Television Studios and is in development with Joanna Coles as executive producer. Her work has been published in the New York TimesVogueGlamourCNN, The Art Newspaper, SheKnows, and McSweeney’s.

Selvaratnam has spoken at conferences and festivals around the world and has been a commentator on subjects such as the rights and safety of women and children, and the interplay of art and democracy. She has been a fellow at Yaddo and Blue Mountain Center, and has received grants from the Ford Foundation, the Ettinger Foundation, MAP Fund, and Pop Culture Collaborative.

She has served on the boards of the Third Wave Fund, For Freedoms, BoomArts, The Wooster Group, Groundswell Community Mural Project, and Let It Ripple; and is an advisor to The DO School, a Germany-based and internationally focused organization that trains and empowers impact entrepreneurs to solve the big challenges of our time. Read more about Tanya here