Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Announces Shyla Spicer as New President and CEO

The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) proudly welcomes Shyla Spicer (Yakama) as its new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), succeeding Lulani Arquette (Native Hawaiian) after her remarkable 15-year tenure.

This announcement follows an extensive search conducted by the NACF Board’s Search Committee led by Board Chair Joy Harjo (Mvskoke Nation) and Board Treasurer Raymond Foxworth (Navajo Nation), in collaboration with Koya Partners LLC, to identify an ideal candidate to lead the foundation into its next chapter.

I am honored to join the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, an organization that has been a beacon of support for Native artists. I look forward to building upon the incredible legacy left by Lulani Arquette and working collaboratively to amplify the impact of Native arts and cultures.”

—Shyla Spicer (Yakama), NACF President/CEO

Shyla, an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation grew up in Portland, Oregon, and returns to her hometown to take on this pivotal role. With over 15 years of dynamic leadership experience in building thriving organizations and fostering high-performing teams, Shyla brings a unique blend of strategic vision and operational expertise to NACF.

“I’m thrilled that Shyla has joined NACF as the new President/CEO. Her friendly, thoughtful approach and careful listening skills have already benefited staff, board, and colleagues in positive ways. I’m encouraged by Shyla’s professional background and leadership, and confident that what she brings to NACF and The Center will help move the organization into the next evolution of work and joyful success,” said outgoing President/CEO Lulani Arquette.

“I truly believe Shyla’s numerous talents and skills will greatly contribute to Native arts and cultures, Indigenous artists, and our communities in wonderfully new and impactful ways.”

Lulani’s impressive 30-year professional journey has been instrumental in steering NACF towards its highest potential. Under her leadership, the foundation has played a critical role in advancing artists’ careers, enhancing their national and international visibility, and fostering stronger connections between artists and their communities. Lulani’s dedication to transformative creativity and Native culture bearing has left an indelible mark on NACF.

Lulani remains committed to the success of NACF and will be available for support and counsel through April. Her guidance will ensure a seamless leadership transition as Shyla takes on her new role. After this period, Lulani plans to dedicate time to her own creative endeavors.

The NACF Board and staff extend their gratitude to Lulani Arquette for her steadfast leadership and welcome Shyla Spicer with enthusiasm, anticipating a continued trajectory of success in advancing NACF’s mission.