F. Javier Torres recently joined the Surdna Foundation as the new director of its thriving cultures program. In this position Torres will be in charge of a $9 million grantmaking portfolio as well as the development of new initiatives and the enhancement of existing strategies. He comes to the Surdna Foundation from the national collaborative community fund, ArtPlace America, serving as its director of national grantmaking since 2014. During his tenure and under his leadership, ArtPlace supported 279 creative placemaking projects in 46 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to his position at ArtPlace, Torres worked for over three years as a senior program officer at the Boston Foundation where he was responsible for the development and implementation of its arts and culture strategies in the Greater Boston region. A true veteran of the arts and culture sector, he worked for more than five years as director of Boston’s Villa Victoria Center for the Arts before moving to the Boston Foundation.
With a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from Framingham State University, Torres began his career as an administrative assistant at the Starz Encore Group, after which he moved on to work as a marketing and public relations consultant at RevelationS Group. It was after this position that he got the job at the Villa Victoria Center, remaining in the arts and culture sector since. Now, he is firmly in the philanthropic sector overseeing a large national foundation’s arts and cultures program. In addition to his several working positions, Torres has served as a board member for the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures and MASSCreative. He was also a member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Creative Economy Council and a Chair for the Boston Cultural Council. Additionally, he is a current board member for Grantmakers in the Arts and an advisory board member for the Design Studio for Social Intervention.
“Javier brings a wealth of experience to his new role as Director of Thriving Cultures, with deep experience as a creative placemaking field builder, grantmaker, on-the-ground arts manager, and a personal and professional commitment to social justice,” said Phillip Henderson, president of the Surdna Foundation, in a press release. F. Javier Torres assumes his new position effective Mar. 5, 2018.