What We're Reading: Stephanie Ybarra, Veteran Theater Leader and Champion for Equity in Arts, Joins Mellon Foundation as Program Officer in Arts and Culture

"The Mellon Foundation today announced the appointment of theater veteran and advocate for equity and justice in the arts, Stephanie Ybarra as Program Officer in its Arts and Culture program area, effective April 3, 2023. As part of her role, she will help shape individual grantmaking and launch philanthropic initiatives in the performing arts, leveraging the grantmaking, convening, and research assets of the Foundation."

"Ybarra joins Mellon following her tenure as Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage, where she broke ground as the country’s first Latina artistic director of a League of Resident Theaters (LORT) member theater. Over four seasons, she was instrumental in leveraging powerful artistic works as a catalyst for conversation, reflection, and action."

“Over two decades, Stephanie has boldly charted a path in which the fight for equity and her roles as a creative force and leader in the arts are inextricably linked,” said Elizabeth Alexander, President of the Mellon Foundation. “A talented artist, strategist, and a passionate advocate for social justice, Stephanie embodies Mellon's core values, and we are excited to have her join our Arts and Culture program area.”

"With more than 20 years’ experience in nearly all aspects of the theater both on stage and behind the scenes, Ybarra has established herself as a leader in the field and a preeminent voice in the fight against racism and inequity in theater—having established the Artists’ Anti-Racism Coalition in 2016 to uproot the systemic racism in New York’s off-Broadway theater community. In addition to staging compelling works, she has been instrumental in closely examining demographic data on playwright commissions, director hiring patterns, fighting for change related to pay equity, tiered fee systems, and even reviews—all of which embody Mellon’s ongoing commitment to centering social justice in its work and grantmaking."

Read the full announcement here.