Thomas Cavanagh


With 30 years of experience in live production, film & activism, Thomas Cavanagh’s career scales the vast terrain of cultural leadership on a global scale. As a producer, instigator, negotiator and social facilitator for public art, Thomas has attained a reputation for situational awareness, cultural sensitivity and critical intuition. His firm belief in the value of art in the public easement accentuates passion and dedication at the intersection of art-action, social justice, place-keeping. Thomas is a Land Energy Analyst and certified in geomancy, empowering the harmonious interaction between person and place.

Working with BANDALOOP since 1998, Thomas is field-trained in producing, management and logistical roles and brings to BANDALOOP operational, technical and fiscal skills combined with his deeply-rooted belief in the power BANDALOOP's work can bring to the audience and communities it activates. He is a believer in the affirming collaboration between nature, space, and the human body. Combined with his extensive experience in technical production, wilderness medicine, urgent response and site reactive live-load rigging, Thomas nurtures a practical synergy of art and technique, of production and artistry, of expression and purpose. In his collaboration with BANDALOOP, the company has graced the walls of spaces both natural and human-made, urban and rural, commercial and historic, public and secluded. Past and current collaborators include: UNESCO Heritage Sites, BMW Group, St. Pauls Cathedral, The Transamerica Pyramid, The Lincoln Center, Lionsgate Entertainment, The Africa Cup, The NFL, College Football, Universal Studios, Walt Disney Entertainment, The American Express Foundation, The US State Department as Arts Envoy in multiple countries, The European Capital of Culture, The National Park Service, The National Endowment for the Arts, Toyota, Accor Group, IBM, Cisco, Oysho, Lycra, CBS, CNN, The American Music Awards, P!NK, TAIT, Harpers Bazaar, and MacGillivray Freeman IMAX Films.

In addition to his work with BANDALOOP, Thomas is the Past-Chair of the Board of Directors of Oil Change International - an organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the transition toward clean energy, and is an executive Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Visit Oakland. He is also a former tactical advisor and past financial director for Amazon Watch, a non-profit dedicated to protecting the environment and indigenous people of the Amazon Basin. Thomas resides in Oakland, CA on occupied Ohlone Chochenyo Land. 



Land, Culture, and Belonging: Place-based Community Advocacy
Public space is essential for building a culture of belonging, but creating and preserving spaces for equitable public use often requires powerful advocacy and elaborate partnerships between community coalitions, city leaders, and developers. As venues for gatherings, performances, and large events, the spaces can foster new connections, amplify voices, and share messages that advance a culture of belonging without othering. Like many similar centers, the Henry J Kaiser Center, the building that is housing our conference, struggled with insufficient funding and was closed for nearly 20 years...