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Bio

Roya has been with PICA since 2012. Her dedicated position in community and public engagement was the first of its kind for the organization. In this role, she has grown PICA’s public programming into a robust curatorial platform for education, access, participation, contextualization and critical inquiry through an expanded TBA Festival Institute, Guest Scholars and Writers initiative, Field Guide to Dance audience engagement program, summer symposia series, socially engaged and participatory performance projects, and other initiatives that emphasize artist-audience connections and promote dialogue and exchange around contemporary art, culture, and politics. She has developed cross-cultural partnerships with local nonprofits, public schools, colleges and universities, and youth groups to broaden access to PICA’s programs and diversify the organization’s audienceship, leadership, civic role, community reach, and support for local artists, with particular attention to racial equity. Since 2013, she has co-directed PICA’s Precipice Fund, part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program, which makes microgrants to unincorporated, collaborative, visual art projects, programs, and spaces throughout Oregon. Alongside other programs staff, she was integral to launching PICA’s Creative Exchange Lab artist residency program.

Roya is a founding member of Arts Workers for Equity (AWE), which advocates for racial equity in Portland’s arts and culture sector through research, campaigns, and public programs. She has been a lecturer, panelist, and reader at several national and regional conferences and convenings, including Common Field; Dance/USA; National Performance Network/Visual Art Network; Alliance of Artist Communities; Society of Dance History Scholars/Congress on Research in Dance; and UCLA’s Thinking Gender. She has served on numerous artist grants and award selection panels, including MAP Fund; National Performance Network; ArtPlace America; Brink Award (Pacific NW); Kindling Fund (Portland, ME); Grit Fund (Baltimore); Platforms Fund (New Orleans); Oregon Arts Commission; and Performance Works NW.

Locally, she served on Metro’s inaugural Placemaking Grants Advisory Committee and the Jade & Midway Districts Arts Plan Steering Committee.

Roya is an Adjunct Asst. Professor in the Art & Social Practice MFA Program at Portland State University, recently named one of the top 15 art schools nationally.

Roya earned a B.A. in Contemporary Visual Culture & Gender Studies from the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies in California and a Master’s in Arts Management from the University of Oregon, concentrating in Community Arts with a thesis on planning for public participation and community engagement in contemporary feminist art programs.

Bio

Photo credit: Mia O'Connor

I joined the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) in 2012.  First as Community Engagement Manager, then as Director of Public Engagement, and now as Co-Artistic Director and Curator of Public Engagement, I co-curate contemporary and experimental performances and exhibitions, both year-round and for PICA’s annual Time-Based Art Festival (TBA), while also specializing in reimagined public programs and innovative community engagement strategies. Recent and current curatorial projects include Gordon Hall’s solo exhibition, THROUGH AND THROUGH AND THROUGH (co-curated with Kristan Kennedy) and accompanying publication, OVER-BELIEFS: Gordon Hall Collected Writing, 2011-2018 (2019); a forthcoming Fall 2019 exhibition, publication, and symposium on contemporary art, activism and publishing in sex work in partnership with STROLL PDX (Portland) and Rabbits Road Press/OOMK Zine (London); and The Dreamers (Working Title), a forthcoming (Fall 2020) solo exhibition and community project with Carlos Motta (co-curated with Kristan Kennedy). In my time with PICA, I have grown the organization’s public programming into a robust curatorial platform for education, access, participation, contextualization and critical inquiry, including an expanded TBA Festival Institute (featuring a Guest Scholars and Festival Writers arm); Field Guide audience engagement program; socially engaged and participatory performance projects; and other initiatives that emphasize artist-audience connections and promote dialogue and exchange around contemporary art, culture, and politics, including curated symposia that have explored such intersectional topics as bodies, identities, and alternative economies; intercultural and interdisciplinary communication and language; and art, gentrification, and the historicization and politicization of HIV/AIDS. I have helped PICA develop cross-cultural partnerships with local nonprofits, public schools, colleges and universities, and youth groups to broaden access and diversify the organization’s audienceship, leadership, civic role, community reach, and support for local artists, with particular attention to racial equity. I co-staff Crucial Bonding, PICA’s engagement and mentorship program for youth and young artists of color. I serve as co-director of PICA’s Precipice Fund, part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program, which makes grants to unincorporated, collaborative, visual art projects, programs, and spaces in the Portland, Astoria, and Eugene  areas of Oregon. With other PICA staff, I have been integral in launching and sustaining PICA’s Creative Exchange Lab artist residency program.

Prior to graduate school and PICA, I worked in galleries and freelance curatorial positions in San Francisco, Greater LA, and Phoenix, where I also served as Education Program Manager and Grant Writer for a women’s foundation.

I am a founding member of Arts Workers for Equity (AWE), which advocates for racial equity in Portland’s cultural sector through research, campaigns, and public programs.

I am an Adjunct Asst. Professor in the Art & Social Practice MFA Program at Portland State University, which was named one of the top 15 art schools nationally. I have taught courses in Critical Art Theory, Contemporary Art History, Art & Politics, and Directed Studies.

In 2019, I co-organized and facilitated with artist Phoebe Davies (London) a research, work, and dialogue convening for independent artists and arts works on the political role of art institutions, hosted by Somerset House in London, UK. I have delivered papers and presentations and served as a lecturer and panelist at national and regional conferences and convenings, including Common Field; Dance/USA; National Performance Network/Visual Art Network; Alliance of Artist Communities; Society of Dance History Scholars/Congress on Research in Dance; UCLA’s Thinking Gender; and University of Oregon’s Art & Equity Summit. I've served on numerous grant and award selection panels, including MAP Fund; National Performance Network; ArtPlace America; Brink Award (Pacific NW); NW New Works Festival (Pacific NW); Oregon Arts Commission; New Foundation (Seattle); Velocity Fund (Philadelphia); Kindling Fund (Portland, ME); Grit Fund (Baltimore); Platforms Fund (New Orleans); and Performance Works NW (Portland, OR). Locally, I served on Metro’s inaugural Placemaking Grants Advisory Committee and the Jade & Midway Districts' Art Plan Steering Committee.

I earned a B.A. in Contemporary Visual Culture & Gender Studies from the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies in California, and a Master’s in Arts Management from the University of Oregon, with a thesis on planning for public participation and community engagement in contemporary feminist art programs.

CV available upon request. 

 

Email Me

roya at pica dot org