NACF Board Meets in Oklahoma City Welcomes Two New Board Members



The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) is pleased to announce that America Meredith (Cherokee Nation) and Betsy Richards (Cherokee Nation) have joined the NACF Board of Directors. The current NACF Board welcomed America and Betsy at the most recent board meeting September 15th held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Betsy Richards

Executive Director & Senior Partner with Wabanaki Nations, Abbe Museum
Cherokee Nation

For over 25 years, Betsy has been dedicated to building cultural and narrative power for Indigenous peoples and other BIPOC communities. A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, she brings to her role a wealth of experience in museums, philanthropy, social justice, and the performing arts. During her seven years as a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, she led a $30 million grant-making effort for Native American and place-based cultural communities, initiated the creation of the unprecedented Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and served as the global chair of its Committee on Indigenous Peoples. Prior to Ford, she spent five years as the inaugural Director of Public Programs at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, the country’s largest tribal museum and research center, leading the development of their educational programs, interpretation, and public events.

For the last decade, Betsy has led The Opportunity Agenda’s national cultural strategy initiatives with artists, influencers, and advocates to shift narrative, culture, and policy towards greater economic and racial justice. Among her accomplishments were the leadership of its annual Creative Change retreats at Sundance and social impact campaigns for the Broadway and Netflix presentations of Kerry Washington’s production American Son. In addition, she has run two theater companies, served as a Fellow at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater and has developed and directed plays by Native playwrights on stages in New York, Los Angeles, and Canada. Betsy holds degrees from NYU and Yale University and serves on the Maine Arts Commission.

NACF has been close to my heart since I was involved in it’s early development and funding while I was at the Ford Foundation. I’m delighted to be joining the Board at this important moment: helping to forge pathways to an even more vibrant and impactful future.”   —Betsy Richards (Cherokee Nation), NACF Board Member

America Meredith

Publishing Editor of First American Art Magazine
Cherokee Nation

America Meredith (Cherokee Nation) is the publishing editor of First American Art Magazine and an art writer, critic, visual artist, and independent curator, whose community-based curatorial practice spans 30 years. She earned her MFA degree from the San Francisco Art Institute and taught Native American art history at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe Community College, and Cherokee Humanities Course. Northeastern State University named Meredith its 2018 Sequoyah Fellow. Based in Norman, Oklahoma, Meredith serves on the Cherokee Arts and Humanities Council board and the collections and acquisitions committee of the American Indian Cultural Center Foundation.

I’m excited and honored to serve on the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation board. I look forward to learning from the talented NACF board and staff and share my contacts throughout Indian County.” —America Meredith (Cherokee Nation), NACF Board Member

During the break for lunch, members of the Board of Directors honored NACF CEO and President Lulani Arquette for her years of work with NACF, as this was Lulani’s last board meeting as CEO and President of NACF. We are so grateful for Lulani’s leadership and wish her the best as she turns her focus to more personal and creative endeavors.

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