Roberto Bedoya has consistently supported art-based civic engagement projects and advocated for expanded definitions of inclusion and belonging throughout his career. As executive director of the Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC), he established the innovative P.L.A.C.E (People, Land, Arts, Culture and Engagement) Initiative to support artist initiatives in Tucson, Arizona. Bedoya’s tenure as executive director of the National Association of Artists’ Organizations (NAAO) from 1996 to 2001 included serving as co-plaintiff in the lawsuit Finley vs. NEA. His essays “U.S. Cultural Policy: Its Politics of Participation, Its Creative Potential” and “Creative Placemaking and the Politics of Belonging and Dis-Belonging” reframed the discussion on cultural policy to shed light on exclusionary practices in cultural policy decision making. Bedoya is also a poet, whose work has appeared in numerous publications, and an art consultant, with projects for Creative Capital Foundation, the Ford Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Urban Institute.
Why we love Roberto:
• Roberto put policy into practice by spearheading the innovative P.L.A.C.E (People, Land, Arts, Culture and Engagement) initiative, which helped to foster a thriving inclusive arts community in Tucson, Arizona
• He has redefined the parameters and expectations of creative placemaking, consistently advocating for an expanded definition of inclusion and belonging