Felicia Shaw has a history of setting the stage for something unusual.
Years ago, she convinced her then-husband, Chargers football player Pete Shaw, to perform in a ballet production with a couple of his teammates. It was a nerve-wracking moment for the men on stage, but they survived and were thrilled to see the athleticism of the ballet artists at work, Felicia Shaw recalls.
Pete Shaw was so stunned that he pondered their power afterward: “With all they can do with their bodies, could you imagine what they could do on the field?”
Felicia Shaw has done more than just introduce a few brawny guys to tutus and pirouettes. She’s spent much of her career bringing the arts to the general public.
After a 17-year stint at San Diego’s city arts agency, she now oversees the San Diego Foundation’s art programs. Once again, Shaw is setting a new stage: she’s getting ready to hand out $250,000 to artists in an unusual collaboration with local art organizations.