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Arts Administrators Of Color Network Names Karla Estela Rivera As Executive Director

Arts Administrators of Color Network has selected writer, performer, activist, and arts advocate Karla Estela Rivera as its Executive Director following an extensive search process. Rivera began her tenure on September 19, 2022. She is preceded in the role by Quanice G. Floyd, Founder and former Director.

Rivera has leveraged her gift of storytelling to uplift and create opportunities for, with, and in divested communities. Prior to becoming the executive director of the Arts Administrators of Color Network, she had the honor of being the executive director of the historic Free Street Theater. She is a company member of 2nd Story in Chicago and the author/narrator of the first-ever commissioned young audiences piece for the Joffrey Ballet, Rita Finds Home (a co-production with the Miami City Ballet). For over a decade, Karla has balanced her artistic practice and serving in non-profit institutions, beginning as a teaching artist and youth worker, to making national history in systems-level leadership and policy as the co-chair of the Illinois Fine Arts Indicator work group.

Most recently, she served as an advisor for the National Guild for Community Arts Education's Rootwork cohort program and Groundwork Symposia, and is a co-host of the Creative Generation's Why Change? podcast. She is a native of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and holds a BA from Columbia College Chicago's Department of Film & Video, with graduate studies at New York University.

In celebration of Rivera's selection, Arts Administrators of Color Network Board Co-Chair Ariel Davis remarked "Karla has proven herself to be a force in the arts world, and the board at Arts Admin of Color is thrilled to have her lead the organization in its next chapter." Daniel Guzman, Board Co-Chair, also added "This is an exciting time in the growth of AAC. With Karla's experience and leadership, we are about to serve our community on a level like never before."

"I'm both over the moon and humbled to have been asked to lead AAC. Our founders and board have created necessary 'for us, by us' spaces of connectedness, support, and advocacy for artists and administrators of color in our sector for the last six years. I cannot wait to work with our communities across the country and support AAC's next evolutionary steps." shared Rivera.

Rivera's selection comes at a pivotal moment for Arts Administrators of Color Network. The organization began a strategic planning process in 2021 alongside ALJP Consulting, resulting in a new strategic plan that was subsequently adopted in January 2022. This followed a generous and transformative gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott in June 2021.

The organization will invite its community of artists and arts administrators of the global majority to meet Rivera at its first in-person convening since 2019. The 2022 Convening will happen on November 5, 2022 at Eaton DC in Washington, D.C. More information on the event can be found at

The Arts Administrators of Color Network is a national support network that harnesses the power of artists, arts administrators, and organizations of people of the global majority to connect and expand BIPOC leadership across the U. S. creative sector. Since its creation in 2016 in Washington D.C., the organization has held over 25 events, served over 1,000 arts leaders in DC/Maryland/Virginia, over 200 arts leaders nationally and maintains a network that reaches over 18,000 individuals.

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