About Participatory Culture Foundation

What We Do

Democracy and culture can only thrive when people are engaged in creating the world around them, not when they are passive recipients or alienated from the society they live in.

Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF), a 501c3 non-profit organization, is dedicated to supporting a democratic media by creating open and decentralized video tools and services. We work to eliminate gatekeepers and empower communities around the world.

Our software is used by millions of people each month; people often ask why we're setup as a non-profit rather than a for-profit. Quite simply: all of us at PCF are drawn to the organization because of our shared belief in the mission.

Being a non-profit is the only way we can ensure that the mission is built into the structure of the company. So many times we've seen for-profit companies lose their values as financial pressures mount, founders leave, or they get acquired. We want to make sure that can't happen.


Board of Directors

  • Dave Glassco, President
  • Tiffiniy Cheng, Secretary
  • Dean Jansen, Treasurer
  • Aleli Alcala
  • Rick Hess
  • Stefan Magdlinski
  • Nicholas Reville

Advisory Board

  • Joel Cohen
  • Cory Doctorow
  • Leszek Izdebski
  • John Lilly
  • Holmes Wilson

Major Funders

  • European Commission
  • Knight Foundation
  • MacArthur Foundation
  • Mellon Foundation
  • Mitch Kapor Foundation
  • Mozilla
  • Rappaport Family Foundation
  • Surdna Foundation
  • William Penn Foundation
  • Opencast
  • Open Society Institute
  • Ashoka
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • ...and many, many individual users


  • Tiffiniy Cheng
  • Nicholas Nassar
  • Nicholas Reville
  • Holmes Wilson

Our Staff

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Aleli Alcala

VP of Sustainability

Aleli lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has worked for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Speech Communications.


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Sylvain Chevalier

Senior Engineer

Sylvain moved back to his hometown Paris after eight years spent in Shanghai building speech technologies for educational software. He is now working on Amara.


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Valentina Cordero

Accounting Manager

Valentina was born in Chile and currently resides in New England. She has worked for various non-profit and for-profit companies, and complements her accounting work at PCF by running a soup kitchen in downtown Boston on Fridays. In her free time, Val enjoys hanging out with her cats.


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Marília Correia

On Demand Senior Project Manager

Marília grew up in Brazil and lives in her hometown of Recife. She has a degree in law and practiced for a time. Currently, she is a fulltime freelance translator, passionate about subtitling. Her interests include traveling, reading, watching and subtitling movies and TV series. Marília works closely with the Operations Manager to organize teams of translators and captioners, assign tasks, monitor workflows, and ensure that projects are completed on time, in compliance with the Amara Style Guide. She also helps subtitlers with questions and is in close contact with the On Demand team on a daily basis.

Contact: marilia@amara.org

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Ben Dean-Kawamura

Chief Architect

Ben has worked as a software developer with PCF since 2006. He has been involved in most of PCF's projects including Miro, Miro Community, and now Amara. Ben lives in Rochester, NY and is a member of Rochester Indymedia and the Flying Squirrel Community Space. He invites you to check them out if you're in town.


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Dean Jansen

Executive Director

Dean Jansen is the co-founder of Amara, a project focused on accessibility, inclusion, and modeling a different kind of on-demand economy. In addition to his work at Amara, Dean is a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center and an affiliate of the Data & Society Research Institute in New York.


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Jenny Lam-Chowdhury

On Demand Operations Manager

Jenny grew up in Venezuela and now lives in New York. She has a B.A. in International Studies and a Diploma in Translation and Communication. Her interests include learning new languages, reading, cooking and a recently discovered passion for subtitling, which she does in her spare time, volunteering actively for different organizations, like TED. Jenny works to ensure that all projects have a smooth workflow from intake to delivery, and is committed to the growth and continued improvement of the Amara On Demand team.

Contact: jenny@amara.org

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Fran Ontanaya

On Demand Technical Operations Manager

Fran takes care of supporting special subtitling requests, handling media encodings, and putting together workflows, guidelines and software to make sure On Demand operations run smoothly. You can address to him most questions about captioning guidelines and subtitle formats.

Contact: fran@amara.org

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Judit Piñol

Amara Enterprise Manager

Judit is from Catalonia, Spain, and found Amara during her travels when looking for a way to share video content with her family and friends. With a background in audiovisuals and translation, she now works as a Manager for Amara Enterprise, helping organisations and communities around the world make their content more accessible through subtitles. She also enjoys learning about regenerative agriculture and growing her own food.

Contact: judit@amara.org

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Kenzie Slottow

Product Manager

Kenzie lives in Austin, Texas USA, and considers Barcelona her second home. As product manager for Amara, she plots the trajectory toward easy and accessible collaboration, translation and sharing of video content in as many languages as possible! She speaks English and Spanish. Kenzie is an active professional flutist in Austin and loves to dance, travel, and work on small farms.


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Margarita Shamraeva

Quality Assurance

Margarita lives in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. She works on Amara and enjoys problem solving, making things work, learning new languages, and being physically active.


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Stevie Varin

On Demand Recruiting Manager

Stevie lives in California's beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. She is a recent graduate from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before coming to PCF, she worked on an innovative subtitling project at Netflix. When she's not recruiting dedicated translators from across the globe for Amara's On Demand team, she is pursuing her passion for history and art by studying everything from frescoes to tattooing.

Contact: stevie@amara.org

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Raul Villalobos

Art Director

Raul lives and works in Seattle, WA, and has called the Pacific Northwest home for the last 20 years. His previous experience includes Amazon, and Digital Kitchen, as well was working with various creative individuals in and out of the Seattle area. He enjoys working on various creative projects and loves to illustrate. Raul will play a critical role in helping Amara meet its mission to create an efficient and fun experience for teams and individuals across the globe.

Contact: raul@pculture.org