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Art leaders in Miami & San Jose join Knight Foundation’s National Arts Advisory Committee

February 27, 2012
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Miami’s Silvia Karman Cubiñá and San Jose’s Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez have been named to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s National Arts Advisory Committee. The committee of recognized artists and art advocates guides Knight Foundation on the best ways to promote artistic excellence that engages, inspires and brings communities together.

Knight Foundation’s arts program invests in eight cities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers.  Its signature program, Random Acts of Culture, surprises residents in their everyday lives with engaging cultural experiences. Additionally, the Knight Arts Challenge in Miami and Philadelphia asks for – and funds – the communities’ best ideas for the arts.

“Both Silvia and Anjee are extraordinary arts advocates committed both to culture and to their communities,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts. “They each bring extensive knowledge of the arts, and have the experience and dedication to help identify the most engaging ways to bring art to communities.”

Helstrup-Alvarez is the executive director of MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, an inclusive contemporary arts space in San Jose grounded in the Chicano/Latino experience. While there, she has institutionalized the organization’s commitment to commissioning new works and played an integral role in its community engagement efforts. She has over 18 years of experience as a curator, writer and cultural worker in the Bay Area.

Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez, executive director of MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana

“Knight is a leader with their forward thinking by investing in the arts to generate cultural vibrancy,” said Helstrup-Alvarez.  “I look forward to working with my national peers and the foundation to help shape the direction of arts investments. The arts are a linchpin of healthy and engaged communities which allow people to connect to one another and learn about the multicultural and diverse society we live in.”

Cubiñá is the executive director and chief curator of the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach. Previously, she served as director and independent curator of The Moore Space in Miami. She has also lectured extensively and participated in numerous grant panels and award selection committees. “Knight Foundation has radically transformed the arts in numerous communities, and I am excited about being part of and learning from the brainstorming, conversations and ideas behind what make this foundation such a risk taker,” said Cubiñá.

Silvia Karman Cubiñá, executive director and chief curator Bass Museum of Art
Cubiñá and Helstrup-Alvarez fill positions vacated by Joel Slayton, executive director of ZERO1 in San Jose, and Michael Spring, director of Miami-Dade County’s Department of Cultural Affairs. “Michael and Joel helped shape Knight’s strategy when we relaunched our arts program, and their input will help us for years to come,” Scholl said.

For more about the Knight Arts program, visit www.KnightArts.org.

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