Native Arts & Cultures Foundation’s Founding President & Chief Executive Officer Announces Transition

Blog, NACF

It is with mixed emotions that we announce the transition of our beloved Founding President & Chief Executive Officer, Lulani Arquette from her role as President/CEO of Native Arts & Cultures Foundation (NACF). Read the press release here.

Lulani has been an integral part of NACF for 14 years, and during that time, she has made an indelible impact on Native Artists all over turtle island and beyond. Under her leadership, NACF has provided more than $14 million in program support and services to Native organizations and nearly 400 American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native artists and culture bearers to help advance their careers and increase their national and international visibility.

Lulani has been an exceptional leader, mentor, and friend to many of us, and we are grateful for her unwavering dedication and contributions to the Native Art community. She has been an inspiration to us all and has led our organization with passion, vision, and integrity.

While we are sad to see Lulani go, we respect her decision to depart and wish her all the best in her future endeavors. We are confident that she has left behind a strong foundation that we will build upon and continue to grow and thrive.

As we embark on this new chapter, we are at an opportune time as we continue to develop our new home in Portland at the Center for Native Arts and Cultures (the Center).

The NACF Board of Directors has formed a CEO Search Committee, led by Board Chair Joy Harjo (Mvoske) and Board Treasurer Raymond Foxworth (Navajo Nation). They have engaged Koya Partners to support a national search. To ensure a seamless transition, Lulani will continue to guide NACF until a new leader is hired.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and we look forward to continued success under the guidance of our new CEO.

About Lulani

T. Lulani Arquette (Kanaka ‘Ōiwi [Native Hawaiian]) is the founding President and CEO of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF). Under Arquette’s tenure, NACF has awarded over $14M in total program support to almost 400 Native artists and organizations in 34 states; co-hosted in collaboration with NEA and NEH, the first ever national convening of Indigenous arts and cultures with public agencies in DC; and facilitated the “landback” transfer of a historic building in Portland, Ore., that is being transformed into the new headquarters, the Center for Native Arts and Cultures, a vibrant artist maker, exhibiting and presenting space.

Lulani received the 2021 Berresford Prize from United States Artists, an award that honors cultural leaders and practitioners who have contributed significantly to the advancement, wellbeing, and care of artists in society. In 2022, she was named one of 25 people by Willamette Week who are shaping the arts in Portland.

Arquette is a theatre performing artist herself with degrees in Drama & Theatre, and Political Science from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. She now has accumulated over 30 years of professional experience helping previous organizations reach their full potential, including the Hawaiian Sovereignty Advisory Commission, ALU LIKE, NaHHA, and most recently NACF. Her current interests are especially focused on personal writing and the arts, mālama ʻāina efforts, sound economic development initiatives, and philanthropy that helps build a more compassionate and just society.