Frances Melgarejo, M.A. is an emerging visual arts professional and Indigenous studies specialist of Quechua descent. Born and raised in Florida, she grew up in a multicultural household and developed a passion for arts and culture at an early age. In 2005 she graduated from Smith College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Portuguese Brazilian Studies. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Brazil where she began her studies of Indigenous arts and culture. Exposure to Indigenous rituals led her to a career in holistic wellness before returning to the U.S. to advance her academic career. A Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellow, she graduated from the University of Florida in the spring of 2021 with a master’s degree in Latin American studies, specializing in Indigenous studies. Her award-winning thesis focused on the cultural revival of the Yawanawa people of the Brazilian Amazon, highlighting the impact of visual arts and their first woman shaman. Through research, lectures, and curation, Frances seeks to support women, foster intercultural connections through the arts, and advance appreciation of Indigenous cultures.
Project: Frances will conduct research for the development and planning of a traveling exhibition on a history and genesis of the contemporary Native American community of New York and the New York Movement of Contemporary Native American Art.