Many creatives regularly choose between the life of an artist and the life of a pragmatist. Grains of Salt is a haven for those who decided—at some point—to sublimate their artistic passions for more worldly pursuits, and now want to strike a balance between realizing creative potential and contributing to societal development. We are part artist collective, part creative agency, part consulting firm, and wholly committed to solving societal challenges through rigor and innovative strategies.


Prentice Onayemi
Founding Partner

Prentice is a performer and social entrepreneur who most recently led ArtPlace America’s efforts to boost the efficacy of artist-driven community development across the US as its Director of Partnerships and Communications. Trained as an actor, his performing credits range from downtown NYC passion projects to Broadway mainstays and include over 100 audiobooks. He co-founded Asmi International, a nonprofit that trained NGOs to offer creative self-expression and literacy workshops in post-conflict zones, and co-founded JACK—a performing arts venue in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a BFA from NYU and an MBA from Columbia University. 


Catherine Chao
Founding Partner

Catherine is a RISD-trained architect with an engineering background in product design from Stanford University. She also recently received both an MBA and Masters in Urban Planning from Columbia University. Alongside being a perpetual student, she worked as an architect in New York, Berkeley, Taipei, and Tokyo; taught design studio and drawing representation at the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons the New School for Design; and worked in Land Use Review at the New York City Department of Transportation. She is a maker, a tinkerer, and a visual artist who carries a sketchbook with her wherever her feet take her.