Deborah Cullen-Morales. Photo: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Deborah Cullen-Morales Joins Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York City has appointed Deborah Cullen-Morales program officer for arts and cultural heritage. She will be responsible for helping to shape the visual art direction for a variety of grants and research initiatives supporting museums, cultural heritage preservation, and conservation and will take up her new post on May 1.

A scholar of Latinx, Caribbean, and African American contemporary art, Cullen-Morales joins the foundation from the University of California, Los Angeles’s Chicano Studies Research Center, where she worked as a research scholar. Previously, she served as executive director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts and as director and chief curator of the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University.

“Having led multiple arts institutions, including museums, university galleries, and artist-run spaces, Deborah brings to the position field-wide perspective, deep appreciation of the central role of artists in shaping arts organizations, and a vast network of relationships with artists, curators, scholars, and cultural leaders,” said Elizabeth Alexander, president of the foundation. “We are thrilled to welcome Deborah and look forward to working with her.”

Cullen-Morales also founded the contemporary art triennial “Uptown,” in 2017, and worked as the director of curatorial programs at El Museo del Barrio. She received her doctorate in art history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and is the recipient of the Emily Hall Tremaine exhibition award, a J. Paul Getty curatorial research fellowship, and a Faith Ringgold “Anyone Can Fly” foundation grant.

Commenting on her new role, Cullen-Morales said: “I am extremely excited in this most challenging of times to have the opportunity to support those communities I have long collaborated with, at the broadest range of visual arts partners possible. I am humbled to join the inspirational artists and leaders, and the entire exemplary team at Mellon.”