Congratulations to our President/CEO, Lulani Arquette, for being awarded the United States Artists 2021 Berresford Prize!
The Berresford Prize was introduced in 2019 and is an annual award that honors cultural practitioners who have contributed significantly to the advancement, wellbeing, and care of artists in society. The award is named after US Artists’ co-founder Susan V. Berresford and was conceived by several USA Fellows in response to the lack of acknowledgment for leaders, activists and producers who have dedicated their careers to the betterment of artists.
“I am overflowing with gratitude to receive the completely unexpected Berresford Prize award. It is especially meaningful because it is a tribute to the value of artists, arts, and cultures in our world, and is named for a woman who is held in high regard and honor herself. All of the abiding relationships and help from family, community, and colleagues has allowed my work to thrive. It feels immensely rewarding to be recognized for working with arts creatives and cultural changemakers. Mahalo nui loa (Great Thanks).” Lulani Arquette
We extend our congratulations to Roberto Bedoya, who was also awarded the 2021 Berresford Prize. Bedoya is currently the Cultural Affairs Manager of the City of Oakland and is a valued and old-time NACF partner and friend.
Lulani Arquette is in her 12th year as the President and CEO of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF). She has led the organization from its inception back in 2009 to where it is today – a dedicated 12-person team committed to serving NACF’s 332 awardees and the Native arts and cultures field and community as a whole.
Arquette has over 25 years of professional experience steering organizations to their highest ability and potential. Through NACF’s work centered on transformative creativity and Native resilience, artists have advanced their careers, increased their national and international visibility, and strengthened relationships with their communities and stakeholders.
In 2020, under Arquette’s leadership, NACF accepted the historic transfer of ownership of a building in Portland, Oregon, that will become its new headquarters and the unique Center for Native Arts and Cultures that will provide artist maker space and exhibiting and presenting opportunities.
Arquette is a theatre performing artist herself, and holds a BA in Theatre Arts and an MA in Political Science. She has performed in stage productions and executive-produced film projects. Her past work includes leading the largest multi-service organization for Native Hawaiians in Hawai`i and developing its first for-profit subsidiary. Arquette created the Hawaii Leadership Center, a distinctive multi-sector leadership program for executives and managers that based its curriculum on Native Hawaiian, Asian, and contemporary western approaches. She has served on many boards, including Grantmakers In the Arts, and is currently a board member of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals.
We are proud of Lulani and this very well deserved award. NACF would not be where it is today if it weren’t for Lulani’s vision and leadership. She has dedicated the past 12 years helping secure a place and space for Native artists and we celebrate her passion and commitment.
– Joy Harjo (Mvskoke) NACF Board Chair