The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) is pleased to announce that Barbara Soulé (Diné) and Leah Altman (Oglala Lakota) have joined the NACF team. Barbara was hired as the Communications Specialist in January 2019 after consulting on special projects throughout 2018, and Leah was hired as the Development Manger in May 2019. Each of them bring a wealth of talent and experience to the organization. Please join us in welcoming Barbara and Leah to NACF.
Born in Southern California of mixed Navajo (Diné) and European American heritage, Barbara Soulé has a deep appreciation and love for the arts and her Diné traditions. She is Tó’aheedlíinii (The Water Flow Together clan) born for Bilagáana. Her maternal grandfather’s clan is Tódich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan). Raised by a traditional basket weaver, Barbara understands how art and cultural traditions act as a catalyst for change in Native communities. Her diverse cultural background, education and work experiences have led her to this role, and she is looking forward to carrying on a family tradition of engaging with Native artists and communities.
As the Communications Specialist, Barbara uses her expertise in graphic design, print production, web design, writing and editing. Additionally, she is the editor of the NACF blog and monthly newsletter. Barbara has over 15 years of experience working with non-profit organizations, and was part of the fundraising team who raised a record breaking $1 billion in less than two years during the Knight Cancer Challenge for the Oregon Health and Science University in 2015. Earlier in her career, she worked with Native high school students to meet challenging State academic standards through the Title VI Indian Education Program for the Portland Public School District. Barbara holds a bachelor’s degree in Native American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley; she enjoys playing futsal and lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two children.
Leah Altman grew up as a member of the Portland urban Indian community and comes from a background in Portland-area social service and environmental justice nonprofits, primarily in grant writing, donor development, and DEI. As the Development Manager, Leah will be building partnerships among individual donors, private philanthropic foundations, and community organizations to advance the work of NACF.
Leah is a Native American adoptee (Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge) and a second-generation immigrant (her birth mother was raised in Iran). Her adoptive father is Navajo and caucasian, and her adopted mother is mostly German. For these reasons, Leah’s upbringing was very multicultural, and she finds herself most often serving as a bridge between multiple perspectives — walking between worlds. She applies this lens to fundraising and sees herself as a communicator and facilitator between donors and participants and community members. She comes with an MA in writing and is an alum of the Portland Emerging Arts Leaders mentorship program and the Coalition of Communities of Color’s Bridges program. Her passions include beadwork, poetry, cooking, and playing pool; she has a husband and two daughters.