Heather Shayne Blakeslee believes in empowering people and communities to create a thriving economy and a living future. She has over 20 years of experience as a sustainability, social justice, social entrepreneurship, and arts advocate/practitioner. She wants to make Philadelphia a world-class city.
Blakeslee is a seasoned and award-winning executive and musician, leader of the folk-noir band Sweetbriar Rose, a regional and national leader in the sustainability movement, and a cultural critic and artistic producer. In 2018, she founded Red Pen Arts, LLC, a consultancy that offers strategy, operations, event, and editorial support to artists, social entrepreneurs, sustainability advocates, and the arts and culture community. As part of that work, she is serving as a contracted executive director to Jazz Philadelphia.
Red Pen Arts is also the publisher of Root Quarterly, a Philadelphia-based journal of art and ideas that will launch in the fall of 2018.
Prior to founding Red Pen Arts, LLC, she served as the COO at Red Flag Media, an independent publisher of music and sustainability magazines, and the Editor-in-Chief for Grid, an urban sustainability and culture magazine in Philadelphia.
At the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (now Green Building United) she held various positions, including Deputy Executive Director, and also served in leadership positions with the U.S. Green Building Council and in Philadelphia's sustainability community.
Earlier in Philadelphia, she worked on the multimillion-dollar capital campaign for the LEED Platinum renovation of Friends Center, a historic Quaker complex and locus for peace and social justice, and at Bread & Roses Community Fund, a social justice grant-making organization.
Prior to moving to Philadelphia, she spent five years in New York City at Poets & Writers, a national nonprofit literary organization that believes literature is vital to sustaining a vibrant culture, and briefly in the advertising industry.