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 has developed 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.