Biography

Devoted to building and supporting inclusive communities both in, and through, the arts.

Marian is the Founding Executive Director of Arts Connect International, (ACI) established in 2014. ACI partners with emerging arts leaders of color, and arts influencers who hold institutional power in the contemporary art world, to collectively build equity, access, and inclusion through transformational leadership development. Concurrently, Marian also serves as an Organizational Consultant (since 2017) to VSA Massachusetts, the state organization on art and disability, and as an Advisory Board member to ArtGlo (since 2015). She is a Doctoral Candidate at the School for Global Inclusion & Social Development, at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where her research focuses on examining cultural equity within arts leadership.  

Prior to founding ACI, Marian was the recipient of a Global Health Corps Fellowship, where she worked at ArtGlo in Malawi, Africa, promoting HIV/AIDS education and advocacy, as well as community-contextualized leadership development, through the arts. She also worked as the Associate Director for ARTZ: Artists for Alzheimer’s, part of the I'm Still Here Foundation, where she led and managed 100 days of programming in the Boston metropolitan community for people living with dementia and their care partners. She also worked for their for-profit arm as a Research Associate examining non-pharmacological approaches to Alzheimer's care.

Throughout her education and work experience, Marian has continued to work as an artist; her current studio investigation surrounds art as meditation for self relation, reflection and interrogation. She also engages in creating handmade paper out of recycled clothing for community building and catharsis, and is nurturing a burgeoning practice in performance arts. She completed artist residencies at the Colorado Center for Handmade Paper and the Genesee Center for Arts and Education.

Prior to pursuing her PhD, Marian earned her Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, and completed her B.A. in Studio Art, with a minor in Education, graduating with distinction in Studio Art from Colorado College. In her free time Marian is an avid skier, yogi, hiker, proud auntie and animal lover. She spends much of her free time in the mountains, with family and friends, and with her cat, Abby.

AWARDS

> awarded Social Science Research Center - Transdisciplinary Dissertation Development Fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Boston (2016 - 2017)
> nominated as Nexus Youth Delegate to the United Nations (2016)
> nominated for Forbes 30 Under 30 in Social Innovation (2016)
> awarded Global Health Corps Fellowship (2013 - 2014)
> graduated with distinction in Studio Art (2009)

PUBLICATIONS

> Examining Cultural Equity in the Arts (2018) 
Social Innovation Journal article (2017) 
> Seven Dresses for Health on Public Health Post (2016)  
> Photography work Published in: “Colorado Abstract, Painting and Sculpture” by Michale Paglia and Mary Voelz Chandler. Frisco Fine Arts Publication, 2009.

MEDIA MENTION

> Boston Voyager innovator spotlight (2018)
> Heart of the Matter Podcast (2018) with Transformative Culture Project
> Anchor Magazine article on Arts Connect International (2017)
> Boston Globe Article on ARTZ: Artist’s for Alzheimer’s (2012)
> Boston Globe “Editor’s Pick” for Family Tree (2012)

Photo: Kyle Klein Perler