Tariana Navas Nieves

Tariana Navas Nieves

Director of Cultural Affairs for Denver Arts & Venues (DAV)

Navas-Nieves, Director of Cultural Affairs for Denver Arts & Venues (DAV), has 30 years of experience in the arts and cultural sector, equity and social justice work; philanthropy and grantmaking; venue management; museum and curatorial practice; translation and interpretation; television and communications. As Director of Cultural Affairs, she oversees the agency departments of Grants & Cultural Investments, Public Art, Cultural Programs & Events, and Sector Leadership, Education & Training.  

Navas-Nieves was appointed by the Mayor to serve on the City’s Equity Leadership Team (ELT), responsible for establishing the first Office of Social Equity & Innovation for the city and the oversight and implementation of the City’s equity goals working with all City agencies. Denver Arts & Venues was the first agency in the City with an Equity Platform, which Navas-Nieves developed.

Navas-Nieves serves on the boards of Grantmakers in the Arts (Chair Elect), Philanthropy Colorado (Chair), and Colorado Business Committee for the Arts. She is co-author of the nationally recognized grantmaking toolkit Re-Tool: Racial Equity in the Panel Process, and created the series “How to be an Anti-Racist Organization. A Conversation with Dwinita & Tariana”, a series with strong following from all over the United States, Canada, South America and the United Kingdom.

With curatorial expertise in Latin American, American Indian and US art, she also served as Curator of Hispanic and Native American Art at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Curatorial Consultant for the Denver Art Museum, Curator of Collections for the Museo de las Americas, and curator for private collections in the US and Puerto Rico. Navas-Nieves’ experience spans into communications and marketing, having worked as an Account Executive for one of the first agencies in the US focused on EDI, and serving as Public Information Officer for a statewide transportation project and Director of Public Relations & Marketing for a non-profit organization. She also worked in television, with a tenure in Telemundo as an arts reporter; in translation and interpretation with her own business working for the Federal Court of Immigration, Children’s Hospital, and museums and city departments throughout the United States; and providing curatorial services to art collectors and museums.

Navas-Nieves holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a MA from the University of Texas at Austin.

She was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico.