Maria Cherry Rangel
María Cherry Rangel is the daughter of migrant agricultural workers and musicians who worked the land of many Southern states. A New Orleans based cultural organizer, philanthropy strategist, and curator with 13 years experience at the forefront of the arts and culture sector, her organizing and advocacy is focused on building spaces for the most marginalized to create work, and redirecting resources to communities of color as a matter of justice. As Co-Founder of Mangos with Chili (2006-16), she developed the work of over 150 queer and trans artists of color, initiated dialogue around bias in arts funding and practice, and ushered in a new era of possibility for QTPOC centered arts and culture. She has led several efforts to help arts funders move towards more equitable funding practices, including serving as the inaugural Equity Auditor for the 2017 MAP Fund grants panel, co-authoring Ford Foundation’s Arts and Culture Scan of the South report (forthcoming), and leading Foundation for Louisiana’s arts and culture strategy. She leads with her lifelong commitment to making a place at the table for everyone and ensuring that the work of underrepresented artists is lifted up, recognized, and always possible. She is a 2018 Intercultural Leadership Institute Fellow and serves on the boards of the Queer Cultural Center, the New Orleans Queer Youth Theater, and Peacock Rebellion.