Danyelle Means

Executive Director and Head Curator

Danyelle Means is the newly appointed Executive Director and Head Curator of the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She will continue her successful philanthropic and non-profit leadership by advancing CCA’s mission to celebrate creativity across the arts, humanities, and sciences by generating transformative experiences designed to ignite minds and connect people.

Means has served as the Director of Advancement at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and the Executive Director of the IAIA Foundation. During her tenure at IAIA, like many in the philanthropic sector, Means and her staff shifted all efforts online during the pandemic, bringing IAIA one of the most successful fundraising years ever.

Means also draws from her museum experience at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) where she oversaw several exhibitions at the New York venue. Recently, she co-curated the 2019-2020 CUNY-QCC exhibition: Survivance and Sovereignty on Turtle Island at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center and will present, along with her co-curator, on Connecting Survivor Communities and Picturing Indigenous Survivance, at the USC Shoah Foundation’s fall conference. Means was named an advisory board member to the Gallery and Museum Studies Department at QCC.

Means was recently elected to the Board of Directors at ArtTable, an organization dedicated to advancing the leadership of women in the visual arts.

The newly formed Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy recognized her work in the philanthropic sector with the inaugural Shine Award for lighting a path for other women of color in the field.

Raised on the Rosebud Reservation and proud member of the Oglala Lakota tribe in South Dakota, Means hopes to inspire other BIPOC philanthropic and non-profit professionals to strive for greatness, remembering that she and so many others like her are their ancestors’ greatest hopes and dreams for the future.