STAFF

T. Lulani Arquette

President/CEO
Native Hawaiian

Under her leadership the foundation launched in 2009 and has been successfully operating since that time providing support to artists, organizations, and communities. Arquette brings over 30 years of professional experience leading organizations to their highest creativity and potential through strategic visioning and planning, innovative program development, building valuable relationships in community and developing funding partnerships across sectors.

Rupert Ayton

Vice President, Finance and Operations

Rupert joined NACF in 2011 and is responsible for all operating functions of the organization. He is a former financial executive with over 30 years of financial management experience as an officer or consultant to for-and non-profit organizations. He holds a BA in accounting from California State University-Northridge and an MBA from Golden Gate University. He comes from an artistic family and is a painter in his spare time.

Portland, Oregon
503-445-4848, 360-334-7266

Francene Blythe

Director of Programs
Diné/Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota/Eastern Band Cherokee

Francene joined NACF in 2015 as Director of Programs, overseeing the strategic development, implementation and evaluation of public programs, outreach and funding opportunities. She has a broad background in project management and arts and cultures, having worked for the National Geographic Society, the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. Francene received her MA in Theater Management at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and her BA in Theater from Doane College.

Vancouver, Washington
360-334-7271

Reuben Tomás Roqueñi

Director of National Artist Fellowships
Yaqui/Mayo/Chicanx Descent

Reuben started at NACF in 2010 as its first Program Director. He rejoined NACF in 2018 and now oversees the National Artist Fellowships Program. Reuben has been working in arts philanthropy for over 12 years. Previously, Reuben was Program Officer in the Performing Arts Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area; and served as Grants Program Director at Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona. Reuben received his BFA from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and is a multi-media visual artist.

Portland, Oregon
503-388-3720

Laura Cales

Program Coordinator
Chickasaw Nation

Laura coordinates the administration and logistics of NACF programs, with special emphasis on the Mentor Artist Fellowship. She earned her MA in Art History with a specialization in Modern Art and Critical Theory from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a BA in Art History from Wright State University. Prior to joining NACF in 2016, she worked for the Biennial of the Americas in Denver, Colorado.

Portland, Oregon
360-334-7285

Gabriella Tagliacozzo

Executive Project Manager and Board Liaison

Gabriella joined NACF in 2013. Her 20 years of experience in the non-profit world, a multicultural upbringing, and her journalism and music backgrounds, are well put to use in her role at the organization. She coordinates the activities of the Executive Office, oversees the logistics and implementation of several of the organization’s special events, and is editor of the quarterly newsletter.
Vancouver, Washington
360-334-7259

Barbara Soulé

Communications Specialist
Diné (Navajo)

Barbara is a communications generalist with expertise in graphic design, print production, web design, writing and editing. She oversees the design and upkeep of the website, digital media, social media and online marketing. Additionally, she is the editor of the NACF blog and monthly newsletter. Barbara received her BA in Native American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Portland, Oregon
360-334-7263

Leah Altman

Development Manager
Olglala Lakota/Persian

Leah 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 and donor development. 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 two daughters.

Portland, Oregon
360-334-7260
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