julia elizabeth neal

A specialist in modern and contemporary art in the United States, neal’s research focuses on conceptual and performance-based practices by Black artists engaging politics of identity and (trans)nationalism since the “post-war” era. Her dissertation project, “Who Taught You to Think (Like That): Benjamin Patterson’s Conceptual Aesthetic,” historicizes the artist’s persistent practice of deconstructing sociocultural perceptions and value systems. As a PHD candidate in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin, her dissertation is supported by its College of Fine Arts, the German-American Fulbright Commission, the Getty Research Institute, and the Terra Foundation for American Art. Neal has contributed to publications including Suzanne Jackson: Five Decades, Texte zur Kunst; Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, among others. She is also the consultant to the Estate of Benjamin Patterson and author of its first medium-specific volume of estate works to be published this fall in Hamburg. This fall, neal will join Spelman College as a visiting professor.

Waduda Muhammad

Waduda Muhammad is a visual Arts Administrator in Atlanta GA. She received her Master’s of Science degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University in Pennsylvania and received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Art History from Georgia State University. She is the former Interim Director of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design Gallery at Georgia State University (2008-2010). Since then, she has contracted with numerous arts organizations throughout Atlanta, GA such as Pearl Goose Creatives LLC, Georgia Arts Network, Creative Currents LLC, Spelman College Museum of Fine Arts on a variety of art exhibitions, community arts festivals, art beautification and mural projects to name a few. She completed her graduate internship at South Arts as Assistant to the Director of the Performing Arts Exchange. Some of her accomplishments include co-curating several international exhibitions, Disobedience Archives, Texts Marks and Meanings, brining artists from Spain, China and Japan to Atlanta and cataloging the lifetime works of artist Charles Nelson Jr. She curated several exhibitions, The Ageless Art of Fashion 2009, The Art of Noise 2011, Feast Your Eyes 2012, co-organized the Roots and More: African & African American Artistic Legacies Art History Symposium 2009, has written the introduction to I Remember an artist catalog 2008, CENCIA Center for Collaborative International Arts catalog 2010 and served as a juror (photography) at the Washington Post in DC for the Justice & Human Rights Expedition Presentations 2015. Her most notable accomplishment 2016 – 2018 is as the recipient of a $100,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente on an initiative with the Atlanta Beltline Inc. As part of a team, Muhammad spearheaded a walking tour of Public art under the auspice of her business Dennis Ayres Fine Arts LLC.

Nisa Floyd

Nisa Floyd is an arts administrator, educator, and program development manager from Brooklyn, New York. After receiving her BA in English from Georgia State University, Nisa went on to work in the education sector where she immersed herself in program development to create social emotional curriculum for elementary students. Nisa served as the Program Coordinator at Atlanta Contemporary, where she managed the Studio Artist Program; the public programming, internal events, and outreach initiatives. Currently, Nisa is the founder and CEO of Art Makes – an educational zine with a companion art kit that is distributed across metro Atlanta to individuals of all ages. Art Makes partners include: Meals on Wheels of Atlanta, Raising Expectations, Westside Future Fund and Paint Love. Nisa received the 30 Under 30 award from the Atlanta chapter of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network in 2020.

Suhaly Bautista-Carolina

Suhaly Bautista-Carolina is the Senior Managing Educator of Audience Development and Engagement at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Prior to her position at the Met, Suhaly held roles at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), Creative Time, and Brooklyn Museum and has worked in various capacities with organizations including The Laundromat Project, ArtBuilt, and ArtChangeUS. She has curated exhibitions and public programs in collaboration with Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, Art Connects New York (ACNY), FOKUS, and NYC Salt and is one of 50 field leaders profiled in Jasmin Hernandez’ 2021 book, “We Are Here: Visionaries of Color Transforming the Art World.”

Her herbalism practice, as Moon Mother Apothecary, has been featured in The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, and People en Español among others. Suhaly has presented her work as an arts educator and community organizer at conferences around the world including MuseumNext, ArtPrize, Open Engagement, Culture Push, The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable, and POW Arts (Professional Organization of Women in the Arts). She is a Weeksville Heritage Center Ambassador, a founding member of the arts collective, present futures, a member of Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter, and founder of BlackMagic Afrofuturism Book Club.

Suhaly was recently named a 2021 Women inPower Fellow with the 92Y Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact and is a member of the inaugural class of NYFA’s Incubator for Executive Leaders of Color. She earned her BA and MPA from New York University and lives in her native city of New York.

Danyelle Means

Executive Director | Center for Contemporary Arts | Santa Fe, NM

Danyelle Means is the newly appointed Executive Director of the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She will continue her successful philanthropic and non-profit leadership by advancing CCA’s mission to celebrate creativity across the arts, humanities, and sciences by generating transformative experiences designed to ignite minds and connect people.

Means has served as the Director of Advancement at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and the Executive Director of the IAIA Foundation. During her tenure at IAIA, like many in the philanthropic sector, Means and her staff shifted all efforts online during the pandemic, bringing IAIA one of the most successful fundraising years ever.

Means also draws from her museum experience at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) where she oversaw several exhibitions at the New York venue. Recently, she co-curated the 2019-2020 CUNY-QCC exhibition: Survivance and Sovereignty on Turtle Island at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center and will present, along with her co-curator, on Connecting Survivor Communities and Picturing Indigenous Survivance, at the USC Shoah Foundation’s fall conference. Means was named an advisory board member to the Gallery and Museum Studies Department at QCC.

Means was recently elected to the Board of Directors at ArtTable, an organization dedicated to advancing the leadership of women in the visual arts.

The newly formed Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy recognized her work in the philanthropic sector with the inaugural Shine Award for lighting a path for other women of color in the field.

Raised on the Rosebud Reservation and proud member of the Oglala Lakota tribe in South Dakota, Means hopes to inspire other BIPOC philanthropic and non-profit professionals to strive for greatness, remembering that she and so many others like her are their ancestors’ greatest hopes and dreams for the future.

Haili Francis

Haili Francis is an artist, scholar and Harvard trained cultural producer with specialties in African American and contemporary art. While pursuing her bachelor of fine arts at the University of Southern California, she completed a Getty Multicultural Internship at the California African American Museum and studied abroad in a fine arts program in Italy. She also received a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from USC and served on the Museum Services Council at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 2009-2011. Haili has worked extensively with the Kinsey Foundation for Arts and Education and their award-winning private African American art collection, The Kinsey African American Art and History Collection.

As a museum practitioner at the Smithsonian, Haili has worked in fundraising, board management, and creative projects such as the nationally touring exhibitions, Men of Change: Power. Triumph, Truth., Robert Blackburn & Modern Printmaking and Negro Motorist Green Book. Her dedication to arts leadership and public service led to an appointment to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Board in 2016 by Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC, in which Haili helped steward a $30M annual budget for arts funding in the nation’s capital. Her commitment to inclusive practices within the cultural sector led to an invitation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) to serve on the 2017 National Program Committee for the annual Museum Conference under the theme, “Gateways for Understanding: Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion.” Currently, Haili leads the Advancement department at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and writes about contemporary Black art and fashion in Folklife Magazine.

Haili taught the inaugural African American Art History I & II courses at Trinity Washington University and is an alumna of the Getty Leadership Institute and AAM/Getty Career Management Fellowship. She has a Masters in Museum Studies from Harvard where she was awarded the Derek Bok Public Service Prize at commencement and serves on the board of the Washington, DC chapter of the Harvard Black Alumni Society.

Makeba Clay

Makeba Clay, serves as the Horning Chair for Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion at The Phillips Collection. She is a global leader with a distinguished career serving federal, state, and international governments, non-profits, and educational institutions. She has received accolades from notable international organizations, and has been featured in national publications including – most recently – The Washington Post for her esteemed diversity and inclusion efforts as the first-ever endowed Chief Diversity Officer of an arts museum in the United States.

Clay is notably sought-out for group facilitation, executive coaching, training, and keynote speaking through her consulting practice based in Washington, DC. Ms. Clay is the former Chief Diversity Officer at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and the former national President of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education (ABWHE). She has held leadership positions at Princeton University, University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, and currently maintains the following board leadership and professional affiliations: The Maryland Humanities for the Arts; Museum Hue; DC Commission on Arts and Humanities; Art Table DC; Arts Administrators of Color; and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

Clay holds professional certificates in Diversity Management and EEO Compliance from Cornell University. She is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and the DiSC inventory. Makeba is a certified mediator, a chaplain, and the founding director of both the Diversity Institute the Community Mediation Center of Charles County.

Ms. Clay has lived, worked, and traveled to nearly 60 countries. She enjoys mentoring young girls and women, culinary arts, interior design, event planning, and reading on a wide range of topics.

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