Sinéad López is the Program Associate for Thriving Cultures at the Surdna Foundation. In this role, she powers the internal and external programmatic activity of the Thriving Cultures team by providing key logistical support and operational oversight, and by actively contributing to strategic thinking within the Foundation. As a member of the Thriving Cultures team, she is thrilled to be in a position where she can translate her background and education in the arts into meaningful strategies for achieving systems-level change in the U.S.—particularly with respect to living artists, designers, and culture bearers, and to historically disinvested communities and marginalized groups.
Sinéad’s engagement with the field of arts and culture spans many years of dedicated collaboration with artists, curators, and cultural institutions. Prior to joining Surdna, Sinéad served as the Development Assistant at Ballet Hispánico, a New York–based Latinx nonprofit organization that emerged in the civil rights era to advance cultural equity in the dance world. Previously, she actively built community through the arts on Northwestern University’s campus as the Co-director of the Dittmar Memorial Gallery. At the Gallery, she led efforts to present work by underrepresented artists from the Midwest and to build creative partnerships with student groups and academic departments at the University. Her experience in the cultural sector also includes curatorial work and research at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art; exhibition research with the Smithsonian Institution (National Museum of American History) through the Katzenberger Art History Internship Program; a studio internship with contemporary painter and sculptor Tim Bavington; and private art instruction for young children and teens in her hometown, Las Vegas, NV.
Sinéad received a B.A. with honors in Art History from Northwestern University in 2015, receiving numerous awards within her major for the rigor and creativity of her research and writing on American and global contemporary art. She was also a member of the poetry cohort within the Creative Writing Program and is an alumna of the interdisciplinary Kaplan Humanities Scholar Program.