Artist Communities Alliance is thrilled to welcome three new board members in 2024:
Cultural Affairs Manager at City of Oakland
Roberto Bedoya is the Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Oakland, where he recently shepherded its Cultural Plan, Belonging in Oakland: a Cultural Development Plan. Throughout his career, Bedoya has consistently supported artist-centered cultural practices and advocated for expanded definitions of inclusion and belonging in the cultural sector. His essays, “U.S. Cultural Policy; Its Politics of Participation, Its Creative Potential;” “Creative Placemaking and the Politics of Belonging and Dis-Belonging;” and “Spatial Justice: Rasquachification, Race and the City,” have reframed the discussion on cultural policy to shed light on exclusionary practices in cultural policy decision making.
Prior to his work in Oakland, he was the Executive Director of the Tucson Pima Arts Council (Tucson, AZ) as well as the Executive Director of The National Association of Artists’ Organizations, (NAAO) in Washington, DC, a national arts service organization for individual artists and artist-centered organizations.
As a cultural policy researcher, he has worked on projects for the Ford Foundation and the Urban Institute regarding the support systems for artists. He is the author of The Ballad of Cholo Dandy, a poetry chapbook (Chax Press).
Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D.,
Executive Director of Threewalls
Jeﬀreen M. Hayes, Ph.D., an art historian and curator, merges administrative, curatorial and academic practices into her cultural practice of supporting artists and community development. As an advocate for racial inclusion, equity and access, Jeffreen has developed a curatorial and leadership approach that invites community participation, particularly those in historically excluded communities. Her curatorial projects include SILOS (2016-18), Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman (2018-2020), AFRICOBRA: Messages to the People (2018), Process (2019) and AFRICOBRA: Nation Time (2019).
Jeffreen also speaks and writes about art history, Black art, and arts activism. She participated in TEDX Jacksonville and spoke about “Arts Activism in Simple Steps” and “Small Great Conversations on Race.” Additionally, Jeffreen has spoken at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Norton Museum of Art; ArtPace; Rollins Museum of Art; and Columbia College among several other arts organizations and institutions. Her writing can be found in several independent online print art publications as well edited museum publications. Some of her books include Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman, AfriCOBRA: Messages to the People, and Etched in Collective History.
She currently serves as an advisory board member for CONDUIT: A Midwestern Black Visual Art Preservation and served as chair of the Art Events and steering committee member for 2023 The Soul of Philanthropy Chicago exhibition. Jeffreen is also included on General Services Administration’s Register of Peer Professionals, an appointment she has held since 2023. She was previously an advisory committee member of Light Switch Dance Theatre and Open Television, respectively.
As the Executive Director of Threewalls, a position she has held since 2015, Jeffreen provides strategic vision for the artistic direction and impact of the organization in Chicago. Under her leadership, Threewalls intentionally develops artistic platforms that encourages connections beyond traditional engagements with art. These engagements help manifest the organization’s vision of art connecting segregated communities, people and experiences together.
Jeffreen earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, a MA in Art History from Howard University, and a BA from Florida International University in Humanities.
Lastly, Jeffreen’s leadership practice is rooted in her matrilineal connections to her West Indian and Caribbean heritage and love of Blk people.
Artist + Co-Founder and Director of Meztli Projects
Joel Garcia (Huichol) is an Indigenous artist, cultural organizer, co-founder, and Director of Meztli Projects, an Indigenous-based arts & culture collaborative centering Indigeneity into the creative practice of Los Angeles. In various roles, he has worked with Indigenous communities across borders in support of issues of land, access, and self-determination. His work explores healing and reconciliation, as well as memory and place.
He’s a current Stanton Fellow and former fellow of Monument Lab, and co-facilitator of the Intercultural Leadership Institute which proposes to hold space for cultural production outside of white supremacist frameworks.