Mina Para Matlon is an arts organizer, researcher, attorney, artist, and cultural equity advocate. Inspired by the spatial and temporal bridge building work of traditional knowledge bearers, Matlon’s research interests lie in the intersecting areas between arts and community development, with her practice particularly focused on supporting local communities who seek to protect and leverage their cultural assets. Since 2017, she has served as the managing director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life (IA), a national consortium of scholars, artists, designers, humanists, and organizers who imagine, study and enact a more just and liberatory ‘America’ and world. Prior to joining IA, she served as the director of research for Dance/USA and was the co-founder of the Canadian-U.S. advocacy collective Plural, in which capacity she served as principal co-investigator and lead author of Figuring the Plural, a landmark study examining the characteristics, needs, and support structures of Canadian and U.S. ethnocultural arts organizations. Her previous work spanned both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, including positions within higher education, corporate law, domestic and international legal aid and policy organizations, and small to large arts, media, and cultural institutions.
Matlon has trained in dance, theater, and photography and holds degrees from Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been appointed to the boards and advisory committees of arts organizations based in New York, Illinois, Oregon, and California and has served as a grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Matlon currently serves on the board of directors for California Humanities, the advisory board of Pepatian, a South Bronx-based multidisciplinary arts organization, the leadership team of the UC Davis African American Faculty and Staff Association, and the editorial board of the American Journal for Arts Management.