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Sheila Siden is Northwest Folklife's development director. A Washington resident since 1998, attending the Northwest Folklife Festival made Siden’s first impression of the region as a rich cultural community. She believes that Northwest Folklife's work with communities is a recipe for world peace, bringing together artists and audiences of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities to create, share, and participate together. Sheila has developed support for regional cultural initiatives including Nikkei Heritage Association of Washington’s initiative to establish the Japanese Cultural and Community Center and the Northwest African American Museum. She is a graduate of the International Management program of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, an academic community committed to preparing innovative professionals to provide leadership in cross-cultural, multilingual environments.