Board of Directors
Robert Berzok (Chair)
Crisis Communication Specialist (retired)
Bryan Falcon (Vice-Chair)
Vice President Product Strategy, PowerSchool, LLC
Regina Kelly (Treasurer)
Pima County Office of Economic Development
Dr. Lydia Breunig (Secretary)
University of Arizona/ College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Jim Griffith (Founder)
Banner Health, Phoenix
Economic Development Planner/ Pascua Yaqui Tribe
Director, UA Social & Behavioral Sciences Research Institute
Maribel Alvarez, Ph.D.
Dr. Alvarez is a nationally respected anthropologist, folklorist, curator, and community arts expert. She holds a dual appointment as Associate Research Professor in the School of Anthropology and Public Folklorist at the Southwest Center, University of Arizona. As UA Folklorist, she also serves as the Executive Director of the Southwest Folklife Alliance, an affiliate nonprofit unit of the University of Arizona/College of Social & Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Alvarez is a Trustee of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in Mexico in 2009. Her work has documented the practice of more than a dozen of the country’s leading emerging and alternative artistic organizations from Maine to Hawaii to El Paso and Los Angeles. At the University of Arizona she teaches courses on methods of cultural analysis with particular emphasis on food, objects, oral narratives and visual cultures of the US-Mexico border. She has written and lectured widely about poetry and food, intangible heritage, nonprofits and cultural policy, the theory of arts participation, artisans and patrimony in Mexico, and popular culture and stereotypes. Maribel is also widely known as the co-founder and Executive Director for seven years of MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, a contemporary, alternative urban arts center in San Jose, California once described during her tenure as a “lab for intelligent cultural interventions.” For ten years, she has served as core faculty in the annual Leadership Institute presented by National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC).
Program Manager for Folklife Initiatives (College of Social & Behavioral Sciences)
Leia Maahs is an arts administrator with over 17 years of non-profit arts and cultural project development and management expertise. Leia comes to SFA with a background in public policy, grantmaking, and creative placemaking. She has contributed nationally to evaluation initiatives associated with the social impacts of arts and cultural expression with organizations such as Americans for the Arts and Animating Democracy. Her vital work has focused on topics associated with “sense of place” in urban and rural communities, as well as cultural support mechanisms for artists in communities throughout the Western United States. Originally from the Central Coast of California, Maahs arrived, to Tucson, Arizona from S.F. California where she had previously run children’s and youth Mural Arts programs for Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center. With 16 years residency in Tucson, she considers the Sonoran Desert her home and has worked with local and national artists, grass-roots cultural organizers, community organizations and major cultural institutions to support the cultural vitality of the southwest region.