The Surdna Foundation is pleased to announce its recent hire of F. Javier Torres as Program Director of the Thriving Cultures program. Javier will lead a $9 million grantmaking portfolio, sharpen existing strategies, develop new initiatives, and deepen institutional knowledge to ensure maximum impact of the Foundation’s dollars. Working closely with senior program leadership across the organization, he will seek out opportunities to connect the Thriving Cultures program to areas of focus within the Foundation’s Sustainable Environments and Strong Local Economies programs. Javier will begin on March 5, 2018.
“I have long admired Surdna’s social justice mission and their now 100-year legacy,” Javier said. “I’m thrilled to be joining the dynamic Thriving Cultures team and working to advance Surdna’s goal of building just and equitable communities.”
Javier has served as the Director of National Grantmaking at ArtPlace America since 2014. In his role, he has been responsible for building a comprehensive set of demonstration projects that illustrate the many ways in which arts and culture can strengthen the processes and outcomes of the planning and development field across the United States. Under his leadership, the National Creative Placemaking Fund at ArtPlace supported 279 creative placemaking projects totaling $86.4 million across 46 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Prior to ArtPlace, Javier was Senior Program Officer for Arts and Culture at the Boston Foundation where he led an exploration of the role of culture as a tool for transformation, sustainability, and as central to the development of vibrant communities. Javier spent six years as the Director of Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, a program of IBA, a community based multi-disciplinary arts complex that operates as a regional presenter and local programmer for Latino arts.
“Javier brings a wealth of experience to his new role as Director of Thriving Cultures, with deep experience as a creative placemaking field builder, grantmaker, on-the-ground arts manager, and a personal and professional commitment to social justice,” said Phillip Henderson, President, Surdna Foundation.
Javier is a board member for Grantmakers in the Arts and an advisory board member for the Design Studio for Social Intervention. He has previously served as a board member for the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, MASSCreative, was a member of the MA Governor’s Creative Economy Council and Chair for the Boston Cultural Council.
Javier received a B.S. in Business and Marketing from Framingham State University in Massachusetts.