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Bio

Barbara Mumby was born and raised in California's rural Central Valley, where her family's Native American heritage and work as migrant farmers greatly influenced her passion for social justice. The youngest of five children raised by a single mother, the arts became an integral part of her life and worked as a coping mechanism for the poverty and instability surrounding her.
For the past 15 years, Barbara has worked in the philanthropic field designing equity-based grants programs supporting various sectors, including: arts and culture; early childhood education; workforce development; and social services. She is also a community organizer and has been instrumental in numerous grass-roots efforts, most recently the successful removal of the ‘Early Days’ statue in San Francisco in 2018.  As a recipient of an Open Society Racial Equality fellowship, she is developing a tool kit to support Indigenous and Communities of Color as they identify, assess, and dismantle white supremacy in public art.
Being the first in her family to graduate from college, Barbara completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California Berkeley with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Studio Arts and Native American Studies with minors in Ceramics and Latin American Studies. She went on to earn a Master of Arts in Museum Studies and a Master of Business Administration from the John F. Kennedy University.
Barbara is a practicing artist and consultant living on the West coast. She is of mixed heritage: her maternal line descends from the Powhatan Confederacy (Patawomeck, Mattaponi, Pamunkey) and the numerous tribes that intermarried with the Mantooth, Roberson and Newton families of Virginia and Tennessee, whereas her paternal line includes KonKow and Spanish heritage.

 

Curriculum Vitae

Writings & Publications

2016

Returning the Sacred: International Repatriation of Native North American Cultural Property
Master's Thesis

ABSTRACT: Using scholarship, case studies, and interviews with museum professionals and Native Americans/First Nations People, this Master’s Project explores the historical, cultural, and political issues related to the repatriation of cultural property located in United Kingdom museums. Asking the question, “How do tribal communities and museums work together to repatriate cultural property internationally,” findings reveal that the key to successful repatriations is through relationship building rather than relying upon ineffectual international accords. Recommendations include the development of universal repatriation policies, a comprehensive inventory of indigenous collections, and the amendment of key laws while providing for legal compulsion to follow international accords.

2014

The Adoption Museum Project: The Museum as a Vehicle for Social Change
California Association of Museums

ABSTRACT: The story of adoption touches the lives of over 60% of the U.S. population: transcending ethnicity, race, culture, religion, gender identity and socio-economic status while touching upon social issues such as racism, civil rights, immigration, and reproductive justice. Founded in 2013 by Laura Callen, the Adoption Museum Project strives to explore these social issues and the personal stories of adoption in a public space by using multiple forms of expression. With a mission to catalyze conversations about adoption that supports positive social change, the Adoption Museum Project is poised to support a shift in how society views all of the issues that encompass adoption as well as challenge the way we consider museums.

 

Curriculum Vitae

Presentations

November 2021

Wyoming Arts Council: Arts Summit

Resilience, Reclamation, and Relevance

Native sacred places, lifeways, and traditions have shaped this land since time immemorial-and Indigenous people continue to create, share, and inspire despite centuries of colonization. An essential component of justice for Native peoples is the value attributed to our arts and humanities. Lifting contemporary artistic expressions after generations of attempted erasure and reclaiming languages, cultures, and histories are necessary to advance equity for Native communities. In this presentation, participants will hear about recent efforts across the sector to shift power, increase access and prioritize Native representation in the arts. This will include a brief overview of the Native Arts and Culture: Resilience, Reclamation and Relevance recommendations born out of a national convening of Native artists and cultural workers in 2020 and vibrant examples of how these recommendations have been actualized

November 2021

National Guild for Community Arts Education: Groundwork Gathering

Hold a Light to the Arts Education Ecosystem

As we realign and redefine how we work within the unpredictable and all-encompassing pressures of Covid and make space for the world that emerges in its wake, it is imperative that we also come to terms with the illusions of what was once our "normal". How do we reckon with the inequitable systems upon which our field was built and has adapted, and how might we reshape it for our holistic well-being, as workers and as community members ourselves? This Real Talk Salon represents the experiences of multiple vantages and functions within the community arts education ecosystem: as independent artists & teaching artists, as arts administrators, city arts council staff members, and as foundation personnel.

Presenters: Jordan Medley (Medley of Moves Creative Consulting), Barbara Mumby-Huerta (Vice President, Programs and Partnerships, Native Arts & Cultures Foundation), Deonté Griffin-Quick (Actor and Arts Administrator)

October 2021

De Anza College: Dean's Momentum Series

We Are Still Here: How Indigenous Art and Activism is Challenging Colonial Narratives and Power

February 2021

The National Guild for Community Arts Education: Rootwork Learning Series

"The Arts as a Vehicle for Transformation: Moving from Trauma to Healing"

How do we begin to integrate a trauma informed lens into our work and everyday life? This session will provide a basic framework for incorporating trauma informed practices into arts programs as well as introduce a few successful examples of where the arts have been used as a catalyst for healing.

Presenters: Barbara Mumby-Huerta and Cynthia Tom

February 2021

Seeds of Reciprocity, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco, CA


“Art and the Racial Divide: Leveling the Playing Field in Racial Equity”

November 2019

ARCS Conference, Philadelphia, PA

"The Struggle of Dawning Intelligence: The Removal of San Francisco’s Early Days Monument"

 This session highlights the community advocacy that resulted in the removal of San Francisco's Early Days statue, explains the thoughtful process undertaken by the stewards of the city’s Civic Art Collection – balancing the requirements of best practices in collections management with public outcry, political protocol and the national spotlight, and illustrates the healing opportunities presented by a now empty pedestal at the heart of the city.

September 2019

Creative Cities Working Group, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

An introduction to the Continuous Thread Initiative and the impact that Public Art has on Communities of Color.

March 2019

Creative City Strategy Symposium, Vancouver, British Columbia

"Advancing Reconciliation, Equity, and Accessibility in Grantmaking"

Innovators in cultural grant-making from across Canada and the United States will share stories of reducing existing barriers to create more equitable grant-making and substantially increase support for equity-seeking groups. Participants will reflect on which of these practices have the potential to be adapted to Vancouver.

February 2019

California Association of Museums Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA

"Story Summit"

The Story Summit brings together expert storytellers and teachers for a day-long exploration of museum storymaking through presentations, discussions, and provocative stories. Listen to powerful narratives and analyze the elements of what makes a good story. 

November 2018

Shaping San Francisco, San Francisco, CA


"Public Art and Murals: Controversy, Neglect, Restoration"

Not always seen by all as a public benefit, public art faces sometimes quiet neglect, sometimes outrage and controversy. This panel included San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck, Megan Wilson of the Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) and Barbara Mumby.

                                                           

November 2018

San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, CA

"Contemplating Curtis: A conversation about Edward Curtis and his monumental project to document the North American Native peoples"

A panel discussion with San Francisco's Poet  Laurette Kim Shuck and Barbara Mumby about the controversies surrounding Curtis' imagery and work. 


October 2018

Grantmakers in the Arts Annual Conference, Oakland, CA

"A Step Beyond Capitalization: Trauma Informed Philanthropy"


How can funders effectively capitalize the most vulnerable organizations when historically marginalized communities are faced with and challenged by an overabundance of trauma? The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is looking beyond the traditional funder’s model of strengthening organizations to looking for ways to promote healing and resilience through trauma informed practices. The hypothesis behind an integrated approach that weaves together social service practices, non-profit management, and leadership development is that systems of oppression lead to historical trauma, organizational dysfunction, and individual distrust: these systems must be addressed and acknowledged before communities can build strong, healthy, collaborative organizations, and coalitions. 

September 2018

 Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian, San Francisco, CA

"Exploring the Politics of Memory"

A panel discussion with Kevin Gover, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Kim Shuck, San Francisco’s seventh poet laureate, and Barbara Mumby discussing  public art and controversial monuments.

May 2017

Kularts: 2017 Dialogue on Philippine Arts & Culture in the Diaspora

"Art Business and Civic Engagement"

What are the essential business tools for a successful arts practice? How are the arts/artists essential to civic engagement and community building? How is civic engagement and community building essential to civic engagement?

May 2017

Earth Week, Chabot College, Hayward, CA

"Standing Rock and Beyond"

Barbara & Huyana Mumby, of mixed Native American ancestry talk about their experience last November as they joined a caravan of youth activists and traveled to North Dakota to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux to protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. This is their story.

March 2017

Monterrey County Arts Council 3rd Annual Summit: Diversity and Equity in the Arts 

Provided the keynote address, presenting the work of the San Francisco Arts Commission in addressing equity within grant making programs.

October 2016

Western Museums Association Annual Conference, Phoenix, AZ

"Moving Forward: Reflecting on the Past to Better Understand Ways to Create Meaningful Relationships between Museums and Indigenous Communities"

Museums have an opportunity to acknowledge and address practices and issues that, in the past and present, have led to mistrust and hesitancy for indigenous groups to work with institutions. But, how do we get there? How does a museum build and repair relationships with indigenous communities to create meaningful and impactful partnerships, exhibitions and programs? In this session, three speakers present their thesis research on cultural competency, community engagement, and repatriation as well as offer suggestions for ways to build and repair relationships.

October 2015

Grantmakers in the Arts Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA

"Building Collective Capital: A Funders Collaborative Approach to Capitalization"


 What does capitalization look like for small and mid-size organizations? Funders in the San Francisco Bay Area have come together to build the sustainability of these vital sectors of the arts ecosystem. Along with sharing information regarding individual funder's strategies, which include targeting organizations of color, the session will present the benefits and challenges of this unified approach. Presenters will include program officers from family, corporate, and community foundations as well as a city arts commission. Session attendees will be able to learn about this still evolving collective process and interact with presenters regarding the viability as well as challenges of this model for supporting small and mid-size organizations, including organizations of color, in their portfolio.

April 2006

Children's Summit, Merced, CA

"Implementing Universal Preschool in Merced County" 

Provided an overview of Merced County's process to implement universal preschool in state, federal and private preschools. 

 

Curriculum Vitae

Art Exhibitions

2020

Pasion de Frida Annual Exhibition

San Francisco, CA 

2017

Night of Cultural Resistance

University of California, Berkeley, CA

2005

Native Life in Yosemite

Merced Multicultural Art Center, Merced, CA

2005

Art & Sole Exhibition and Fundraiser

Merced Multicultural Art Center, Merced, CA

2005

Dia de Los Muertos

Merced Multicultural Art Center, Merced, CA

2002

Senior Exhibition

Worth Ryder Gallery, Berkeley, CA

2002

Night of Cultural Resistance

University of California, Berkeley, CA

2001

Night of Cultural Resistance

University of California, Berkeley, CA

1990

Follow Your Heart Market Gallery

Santa Barbara, CA