Advisory Council

Kymberly Pinder is the Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico. Previously, she served as a department chair, graduate program head, and professor of art history at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1996 to 2012. Before and during her teaching career she worked in the education and curatorial departments in museums and galleries, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters in New York and The Art Institute of Chicago. Dean Pinder graduated with a B.A. from Middlebury College and M.Phil, M.A. and Ph.D from Yale University, all in Art History. She writes, lectures and teaches in the U.S, and abroad on representations of race and religion in American Art including in the work of Romare Bearden, Dox Thrash and Kara Walker.

Elsa Menendez is a writer, director, producer and performer with Tricklock Company and the Director of Education at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC). She has spent the last 35 years working in theatre around the world. In 1992 she co-founded BOOM!theatre, a theatre company within a men’s medium security prison comprised of individuals serving the longest sentences.  Elsa served first as Associate Artistic Director then Artistic Director of Tricklock from 2004-2009. She is also the founder and director of the Circo Latino and Circo Radical summer youth institutes at NHCC. In 2014, Elsa joined the facilitation faculty of the Bioneers program Cultivating Women’s Leadership program.

Sherri Brueggemann is the Public Art Urban Enhancement Program Manager for the City of Albuquerque’s Cultural Services Department, and has been directing art programs and public art projects in New Mexico for 20 years. Sherri holds a Masters from UNM’s School of Public Administration with an emphasis in cultural policy evaluation. Her professional background includes: founding member of the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network, professor of practice at UNM’s College of Fine Arts from 2008-2016, serving on boards for the New Mexico Route 66 Association, the New Mexico Winegrowers Association, the Albuquerque Arts Alliance and 516 Arts, and spearheading research teams for the Albuquerque/ Bernalillo County Arts & Cultural Industries Economic Impact Study, the ABQ Cultural Count Task Force, and ACVB Cultural Directors’ Tourism Steering Committees.

Hakim Bellamy is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque (from 2012-2014), a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion, and holds three consecutive collegiate poetry slam titles at the University of New Mexico. In 2014, Bellamy was named a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow and was awarded the Food Justice Residency at Santa Fe Art Institute.  He is also the co-creator of the multimedia hip-hop theater production Urban Verbs: Hip-Hop Conservatory & Theater that has been staged throughout the country. He facilitates youth writing workshops for schools, jails, churches, prisons and community organizations in New Mexico. He is also founding president of Beyond Poetry LLC., the on-air television host for New Mexico PBS’s ¡COLORES! Program, and holds an M.A. in Communications from the University of New Mexico.

Julia Youngs is the Program Manager for Creative Startups, the world’s leading accelerator for creative entrepreneurs based out of Albuquerque, NM and Winston-Salem, NC, USA. She currently directs the Albuquerque program as well as a global expansion into Europe. Julia has a deep backbround in stage management and community arts organizing. She holds an MA in Latin American Studies, as well as an MA in Community + Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico, and speaks Spanish fluently and Portuguese conversationally. She is committed to combining a passion for community engagement and urban development to help grow more creative cities and creative industries. 

Nancy Zastudil is an art curator, writer, editor, and administrator dedicated to making positive change through philanthropy and entrepreneurship in the arts. She is owner/director of Central Features Contemporary Art, Administrative Director of the Frederick Hammersley Foundation, and is on the organizing committee of MiABQ. She has project-managed and edited several books including How Color Works: Color Theory for the 21st Century (Oxford Press, 2017), is a contributor to The Hustle Economy: Transforming Your Creativity Into a Career (April 2016), and contributes visual art content to various magazines such as Arts + Culture Texas and edible Santa Fe, both of which she has guest edited.  Nancy holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from The Ohio State University and a Master of Arts in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts.

Dennis Gromelski is co-founder and executive director of FUSION Theatre Company / The Cell Theatre. FUSION is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, founded in 2001. It remains New Mexico’s only Actors’ Equity theatre.

Chris Chavez is economic development planner at the City of Albuquerque.

Damian Lopez-Gaston is director of event services at SMG managed Albuquerque Convention Center / Civic Plaza Presents.

Tom Neale is director of the UNM Real Estate Department.