Director, Culture and Art, Open Society Foundations
Rashida Bumbray is director of Culture and Art, the Open Society Foundations’ program dedicated to advancing diverse artistic practices and strengthening locally led cultural spaces around the world. Since joining Open Society in 2015, Bumbray has organized the Arts Forum: Art, Public Space, and Closing Societies and launched the Soros Arts Fellowship.Bumbray began her curatorial career in 2001 at the Studio Museum in Harlem, where she coordinated major exhibitions including Freestyle and Frequency. As associate curator at The Kitchen, Bumbray organized critically acclaimed exhibitions and commissions featuring work by Leslie Hewitt, Simone Leigh, and Kyle Abraham, among others. She was guest curator of Creative Time’s public art exhibition Funk, God, Jazz and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn in 2014.
Bumbray is also an accomplished choreographer whose practice draws from traditional African American vernacular and folk forms. Her performances have been presented by Tate Modern, the New Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harlem Stage, Project Row Houses, and SummerStage. A graduate of Oberlin College, Bumbray also received an MA in Africana studies from New York University. She has been nominated for the prestigious Bessie Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and the Independent Curators International Curatorial Vision Award. In 2018, she was honored among women in leadership by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.