Promoting Culutral Diversity Through the Arts

overview/biographies

The California Institute
of Contemporary Arts


Founded May 10, 1989 by Dr. Fritz Klein
A California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation
EIN: 33-0094053   CA 501(c)3
Category: Arts, Culture, and Humanities A05 (Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis)

A California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation

All board members are volunteers, and are respected members of the arts and activist communities. We prefer you do not solicit board members individually, but follow procedures under the APPLY FOR GRANT tab above.

founder

Dr. Fritz Klein, CICA Founder

Dr. Fritz Klein

(December 27, 1932 - May 24, 2006)

Dr. Fritz Klein was born in Vienna, Austria in 1932. While still a small boy, he fled with his family to New York City to escape anti-Semitism and the impending war. Dr. Klein was a board-certified psychiatrist for 30 years in New York and San Diego until his retirement. Early in his career, he realized that there was a void in knowledge about sexual orientation, specifically in the area of bisexuality. He wrote The Bisexual Option and co-authored: Man, His Body, His Sex (Doubleday & Co.) in 1978.

Dr. Fritz Klein is best known for his pioneering sex research and the development of the multi-dimensional Klein Sexual Orientation Grid, which measures the complexity and fluidity of sexual orientation.

Dr. Klein founded the American Institute of Bisexuality, a public benefit charity, in 1998 to encourage, support and assist research and education about bisexuality, and served as Chairman of the Board up until his death. He was known for being outspoken, controversial and compassionate, and for his love and support of theater and the arts.

board members

Tom Reis, President of CICA

Tom Reise

President

Originally from Chicago, Tom moved to Los Angeles in 1987 and then to San Diego in 1995. With a background in Food and Beverage Management, he and his partner, Fritz Klein, opened Indulgence, a sugar-free bakery and cafe in early 2004. Indulgence catered to people with diabetes and those interested in healthy cuisine.

A co-trustee of Fritz's estate, Tom is also on the board of both Fritz's charitable foundations, American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB) and California Institute of Contemporary Arts (CICA). His involvement with greyhound rescue has resulted in the adoption or fostering of six greyhounds over the past decade.

On December 13, 2008, Lambda Archives’ first Lifetime Family Membership Award was given to Tom and posthumously to Fritz in appreciation of their contributions to Lambda Archives as well as the community. The couple has been activists and patrons of the LGBT community, as well as the San Diego arts, through their various foundations.

Currently involved in real estate investment, Tom is particularly interested in green solutions to our home energy requirements.

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Jason Dean, CICA Treasurer

Jason Dean

Treasurer

Jason is originally from Jackson, Tennessee and moved to San Diego in 1996. He has been an entrepreneur and business owner for the last 10 years and he is currently involved as a partner in Evolution Dog Treats, a grain-free dog treat business based in San Diego, CA. (www.evolutiondogtreats.com)

Jason previously managed the PRADO Restaurant in Balboa Park for 5 years until he left to open his own restaurant in 2005.

He was the owner of J. Dean Events after he sold his restaurant; when he coordinated and planned a 10 day Indian wedding in downtown San Diego. He was granted permission from the City of San Diego to have an 8 ton elephant loose on the city streets for the groom to ride in on to meet his bride.

Jason has been the Treasurer of the Board for California Institute of Contemporary Arts (www.cica.org) for the last 8 years and when he’s not working loves to travel, scuba dive and spend time with his three dogs dog’s; Indi, Sophie and Diego.

 


Mike Szymanski, CICA Secretary

Mike Szymanski

Secretary

Mike is an award-winning journalist, longtime activist and perpetual artist, who has worked in many health, homeless and equality causes.

An author of more than a dozen books, he won the Lambda Literary Award for a humorous take on sexuality—The Bisexuals Guide to the Universe. He worked for the Atlanta Constitution, Miami Herald, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Weekly. His work as appeared in US Weekly, New York Newsday, SciFi.com, The Advocate and dozens of other publications. He worked as editor for Studio City Patch and the innovative hyper-local community journalism program from AOL with Arianna Huffington.

An entertainment writer and film critic, as well as an investigative journalist and fiction author, Mike is also a tireless activist who has raised more than half a million for AIDS charities, and has served on boards and committees for school and education causes, religion and spirituality, homelessness, free speech, animal rights, LGBT equality, education, Multiple Sclerosis and other causes.

He teaches journalism at the University of California, Los Angeles in the extension program, graduated from the University of Florida and is based in Hollywood, California, where he lives with his family and Dachshunds.

Helpful Links:


Leah Cooper, CICA Board Member

Leah Cooper

Board member

Leah Cooper has been passionately devoted to making theater for over 25 years. She is currently Executive Director of the Minnesota Theater Alliance, a nonprofit service organization serving over 400 theaters across the state. She is also Artistic Director of Footprints Collective, a freelance stage director, an arts administration consultant, and a co-founder and partner at MinnesotaPlaylist.com, Minnesota’s online trade journal for the performing arts. Leah is board chair for Live Action Set theater company and served four years on the Minneapolis Arts Commission. From 2001-2006, she was the Executive Director of the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Prior to that, Leah worked by day in the corporate sector as a software engineer and business consultant.


Donna Davis, CICA Board Member

Donna Davis

Board member

Donna Davis is an author, host, and master storyteller. Having spent nearly two decades as a television news anchor and reporter, she loves to tell an intriguing tale.

In addition to her television experience, Donna’s  most recent work is the hilariously funny, yet incredibly provocative book, Confessions Of A Peppermint Pattie:Why I Really Am Black Enough Already, Yall.
It’s a collection of anecdotes and commentary inspired by her insanely funny family, fascinating time as a journalist, and distinctly Southern upbringing.  It is a book about race in America, individuality, and unity, as she attempts to simply be a well rounded, successful human being. Though controversial, it is a book with something to offer everyone.


Under the umbrella of her company PhoenixGirl Entertainment, Donna is also in the process of developing a wickedly dark television series, writing a book about spirituality, and penning a third book about her favorite subject… Dogs.
Donna lives with her husband, her  teenage son, her two dogs, and her mother’s two dogs as often as she can kidnap them.


She hopes to entertain, inspire and always… enlighten.