Life in the ACE (Arts, Community and Economics)
Joanna Castro ’98 – West Harlem Development Corporation
From an internship at the Picasso Foundation in Málaga to heading an arts service organization in NYC, Joanna will share how she found her passion and life’s purpose. In this session, she will explore how her personal and professional trajectory led her on a journey into community advocacy connecting the arts, community and economic development. Attendees will take away the importance of the arts in community revitalization in a post-pandemic world.
This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. This event is part of the Clarke Forum’s The Good Life Series.
Joanna E. Castro was born in NYC to a Venezuelan dad and an Irish-American mom, grew-up fully bilingual in Caracas (Venezuela) and Washington, D.C. She has a B.A. in Spanish (Málaga Study Abroad Program) & international studies cum laude from Dickinson College. She lived and worked in Spain for seven years receiving her M.A. in arts and cultural management from the Universidad Carlos III (Madrid). Castro has over ten years of nonprofit executive experience working and consulting with Northern Manhattan community stakeholders to fortify their organizations, community spaces, and access to public resources. Currently, Castro is the director of programs at the West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC). When she served as executive director of NoMAA (Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance), she expanded the reach, visibility, and funding to one of New York’s leading arts service organization by raising the profile of Uptown arts entities and artists, as well as local businesses by forging alliances, grants opportunities, and cultivating public engagement around issues affecting the Northern Manhattan community. She also developed and implemented innovative year-around technical assistance workshops and annual Institute addressing community-wide needs as well as produced the annual Uptown Arts Stroll/Paseo de las Artes. Castro has received fellowships from Coro/Neighborhood Leadership, Hispanic Federation, among others. She is an advisor for the Emerging Leaders Program at the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).
The Good Life Series
Our purpose is to engage many different perspectives that relate to how we might consider purpose, engagement, fulfillment, etc. as we advance through different periods of our life. We live in a time characterized by great anxiety. While learning about and understanding anxiety is a reasonable response, giving serious consideration to notions of the good life is another way to resist despair. In this series we aim to benefit from the insights of many disciplines and to think critically about our individual and collective goals and aspirations relating to the good life.