Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson

2020 AAAE Board Nominee

Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, Institutional Member

Bio: Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson’s expertise is in comprehensive community revitalization, systems change, dynamics of race and ethnicity and roles of and arts and culture in communities. She is Institute Professor at Arizona State University with appointments in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. At ASU she is also director of the Studio for Creativity, Place and Equitable Communities. She also consults with national and regional foundations and government agencies on strategic planning, research and evaluation. In 2013, President Obama appointed Dr. Jackson to the National Council on the Arts. She advises national and regional initiatives on cultural equity and changing demographics, and work at the intersection of arts and other areas of policy and practice such as community planning, development and health. She is on the advisory boards of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and L.A. Commons and on the boards of directors of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and The Music Center of Los Angeles County. Dr. Jackson also co-chairs the Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative for Los Angeles County. Previously, for almost 20 years, she was based at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. where she led pioneering applied work on arts and culture in low-income and historically marginalized communities, support systems for artists and culture bearers, and indicators of cultural vitality. At Urban Institute, Dr. Jackson also contributed to initiatives on comprehensive development, public housing desegregation, urban parks, handgun violence prevention and teacher training in urban communities. Dr. Jackson earned a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in community development from the University of Southern California.

AAAE Postion Statement: I believe that arts administrators can and do play critical and often underestimated roles in shaping communities where all people can thrive. I am committed to equipping the next generations of arts administrators with the skills to:  

  • have a critical analysis of the places and communities where they can make impact, 
  • understand the range of ways in which arts, culture and design (artists, culture bearers and designers) intersect with and bolster efforts to create more just and equitable communities,
  • engage with other sectors of policy and practice as critical contributors to solutions for the most pressing issues of our times,
  • help advance our societal understanding of arts, culture and design as critical to our well-being and 
  • re-imagine the organizational and policy structures required to further develop and sustain a cultural sector that is engaged, relevant and ethical.

Over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to work from a range of perches, in organizations and initiatives at different scales and with different strategic positions, that allow me to understand how arts administrators can be crucial allies in change efforts. I am committed to bringing this experience and perspective to AAAE and am excited about the possibility of contributing to the critically important and formidable work of the organization. Thank you for considering my nomination to the AAAE board of directors.