It’s time to say goodbye to a member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) staff who has been with us for a long time and is part of our ohana (family).
Reuben Roqueni, Director of Transformative Change Programs, is moving into a new phase of his life, and we cheer him forward with deep gratitude for all his contributions to helping make NACF the success that it is. At the same time, we acknowledge a feeling of nostalgia that often accompanies change.
Reuben will become the next Executive Director at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) and help steward PICA in its evolution. While I’m sad to see him move on, it also gives me great joy to witness the many examples of his growth over the years and know that he will bring his leadership skills and experience into his new work at PICA.
NACF began it’s grant-making program with Native Artist Fellowships and a desire to support artists and culture bearers to bring forth their creativity to forge new terrain and grow their arts practices. They are at the forefront of exploring new and exciting ways to uplift Native cultures and to address the most important issues of our time to progress social change and cultural equity. Our efforts continue with NACF’s SHIFT and LIFT programs and our expansion into presenting work at the new Center for Native Arts and Cultures. Through all of this, Reuben’s keen understanding and grasp of broad arts disciplines and practices along with his leadership has been instrumental in our programming. He has served many roles for our community of artists and organizations including advisor, facilitator, and friend. We will miss him and look forward to maintaining our special relationship. We are glad he won’t be far away.
There is a Native Hawaiian proverb that says, Mohala ka pua, ua wehe kaiao, which means,
The blossoms are opening, for dawn is breaking. This spring is bringing forth a new dawn for Reuben, so on behalf of the NACF board, staff, and National Leadership Council, we extend our best wishes for Reuben’s highest success and joy in his new endeavors.
Lulani Arquette, Native Hawaiian
President/CEO, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation