Leadership Council Application

Boston Creates Leadership Council application
Fri April 24 2015 5pm

  1. In the space below, please tell us why you are interested in serving on the Leadership Council for Boston Creates (3000 characters maximum)

I have been an arts lover since a small child in Chile, falling in love with ballet, staging puppet shows for neighborhood children in my yard, and growing up in Boston reciting poetry on stage and organizing art events that go deeper than just “showcasing culture.” My first career was as a middle school math teacher, and education and curriculum development deeply inform the way I engage the arts and build community through it. I am currently Executive Director of a local nonprofit (new name forthcoming) I co-founded with Somerville artist Pampi which enables us to formalize the arts and community work we have collaborated on since meeting as undergrads in the late 90s. I love and honor planning, setting goals, working to meet those goals, spreadsheets, and creating a culture where people’s voices are elevated and nuanced discussion is encouraged. I would look forward to serving as a community culture liaison to civic leaders. Art is a vehicle and essential component of social justice, and with the myriad of issues affecting Boston and the surrounding communities, we need a strong process that will truly empower and uplift community members. Through active working relationships with local artists, educators and community organizers, I could help bridge policy so that it is grounded on the needs of Boston’s diverse communities. I want to share my experience, passion, and commitment towards our city through this timely and necessary undertaking.

  1. In the space below, please provide an overview of your current relationship with Boston’s arts and cultural sector (if any).

My history with Boston’s arts and culture starts in my youth. I organized my first arts and culture event as a high schooler at Boston Latin, focusing on the expansive Latin American identities represented by the students, and continued through my college years at MIT with an expanded vision to connect to immigrant and diasporic experiences from around the world. Later, I worked in arts development at BalletRox, a local dance company with a youth focus. The organization Pampi and I co-founded works at the intersection of art, social justice and education with an aim to release creative potential and drive collective changemaking. This new venture is based on years of experience engaging and supporting community. An example of our work is a long-time series of over 15 curated and interactive art events that break down the artist-audience barriers and where we have micro-commissioned over 70 local artists of all disciplines to create original work around issues that are timely and relevant. Through this work, we have met and engaged with local leaders from across the arts and community organizing sectors, and I look forward to informing the Boston Creates process with these experiences and relationships. Pampi and I are also part of the founding committee of the new Mass Creative Workers, which is organizing artists from all creative sectors around the issue of a living wage and other needs so that cultural workers can remain in our local neighborhoods and maintain Boston’s reputation as a national cultural spot. We also co-authored the 70-page report for the May 2014 Greater Boston Cultural Convening organized by Dr. Barbara Lewis of the Trotter Institute. For this report we recorded and analyzed the two days of panels and discussion, distilled the themes that surfaced regarding the hopes and needs of Greater Boston’s arts and culture communities, and drafted recommendations as well as next steps. This guiding document and the experience of writing it would immensely inform the Boston Creates planning process because it comes from the voices of our local arts community.

  1. If you wish to share any sector-, discipline-, or issue-specific knowledge or specialization that you would like to contribute to Boston Creates, please describe in the space below.

As an arts administrator, community organizer, and teacher, I place great value on being organized, thoughtful, inclusive, making things happen, and stepping up and back as needed. With an acknowledgement that all our work must always look at the big picture and all systems are inter-related, I bring experience in and an emphasis on intersectional models manifested through community-oriented programming. I have specific experience in event planning, group facilitation, grant writing, board development, and dance arts administration (concept development to performance). I also spent years in the retail industry where I learned the art of customer service, which is a much needed skill when engaging diverse audiences and individuals that enables relationship and coalition building.

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