On Friday, Mach 3, 2017, as part of its AZ ArtWorker program, the Arizona Commission on the Arts convened a virtual panel of arts professionals from around the country for a roundtable conversation moderated by Adriana Gallego, artist and Deputy Director of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. A live audience convened at Raices Taller in Tucson to participate in the conversation.
Arts and cultural expression are critical forms of individual, social, and political transformation. During the creative process, artists and cultural workers encounter very practical considerations that range from being discipline-specific, personal, conceptual, institutional and systemic. As a result, a balanced understanding of these elements is necessary to thrive in a chosen practice. Through discussion/interviews with artists and cultural practitioners, we will explore the current issues, trends, and responsibilities found at the intersection between contemporary arts and our shared society. The goal is to explore how the arts alter the given coordinates between aesthetics, politics, institutional and community-based practices in an effort to generate new models for creative thinking. Quite simply, in what ways do the arts reflect, respond to and inform social discourse?
Adriana Gallego is the first Chief Operating Officer of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. As an artist at the service of other artists, she is motivated by social justice, and seeks to connect people with meaningful resources that grow personal and organizational capacity, build community, foster collaboration, and bridge cultural understanding. Previously she was Director of Strategic Initiatives with the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Educational Assistant at the Norton Simon Museum, and an arts educator. She is on the board of The Association of American Cultures. Gallego graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arizona College of Fine Arts.
Stanlyn Brevé is the Director of National Programs at the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network. For over a decade, she has worked towards creating and increasing opportunities for artists of color and the elevation of multicultural leadership. She has made her career as a visual artist, media producer, educator and arts administrator. Brevé has served on the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Council, national grants panels, and was a speaker at SphinxCon 2014. She is a community mediator, a participant in the 2017 James P. Shannon Leadership cohort, and a board member of The Association of American Cultures (TAAC). Working with people is her passion, specifically learning from and advocating for those with different backgrounds–which has driven her past volunteer work.
Ashley Walden Davis is the Managing Director at Alternate ROOTS and oversees the day-to-day activities of the staff, and operations, while working to achieve the long range goals and objectives of the organizational strategic plan, grounded in the ROOTS mission. Davis, a North Carolina native, is an arts administrator, theater manager, mom and wife with an affinity for working with community. Currently, she is an Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) Leadership Fellow. Davis is a founding leader of the Next Generation National Arts Network, a coalition of artists and administrators from all over the United States who have set out to chart the course for being the future leaders of the arts field.
Jason Tseng is the Community Engagement Specialist with Fractured Atlas. Tseng has devoted his professional and personal life to empowering ordinary people to make extraordinary change. Splitting his time between serving the arts and queer communities of color, he has worked for organizations like Theatre Communications Group, Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and currently serves as chair of GAPIMNY, the second oldest queer Asian community organization in the nation. Before moving to New York, he grew up outside Washington, D.C. in Maryland and graduated from the University of Richmond studying Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Theatre. He now lives in Long Island City with his cat and his boyfriend’s hamster, Sedgwick and Remy.
Gibran Villalobos is an administrator and art historian. He is currently a Program Assistant for the Department of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago and a Cultural Liaison for the Chicago Park District. Previously he was the Exhibitions and Collection Coordinator for the City of Glendale, Arizona. He has served on the Arizona-Sonora Administrators exchange, the National Association for Latino Arts, and Americans for the Arts. His current work focuses on working with communities and networks outside of mainstream sets. Currently, Gibran is working on a transdisiciplinary project with communities in partnerships with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Chicago Park District. He will be presenting part of his research investigating new media in Cuba at the Art Present conference in Havana and for the 12th Havana Biennial.