The Foundry Consortium Welcomes its First Executive Director!

The Foundry Consortium is excited to announce the hiring of the Foundry’s first executive director, Diana Navarrete-Rackaukas.

Diana will be working in collaboration with the Cambridge community to activate the Foundry by offering its spaces for programming in the visual and performing arts, entrepreneurship, technology, workforce education and community events. The Foundry, located at the intersection of the Kendall Square and Canal District and the East Cambridge neighborhood, will also help facilitate access for residents, especially those long underrepresented in the arts and sciences, to the working and learning environment of Kendall Square. Spaces may be booked at no or low cost for programs and gatherings that have a community purpose such as learning about the diverse cultures represented by Cambridge residents, holding a neighborhood meeting, or learning how to sew or code. The Foundry’s historic, industrial structure is now under construction; its redevelopment will be completed by summer 2022. The newly renovated building will offer makerspaces, a multi-use performance space, dance studio, demonstration kitchen, artist work space, and offices.

Foundry Consortium Board President Stephanie Couch notes, “We sought an ideal candidate who would bring a wide set of skills and knowledge, from how to build a truly inclusive culture, to how to operate spaces to be used for art and technology programming, to how to run a financially sound nonprofit organization, and everything in between. Diana brings the full package, plus the passion, drive, and approachability that are key for this role.”

Diana adds, “I’m honored to join the Foundry Consortium at this pivotal time. I look forward to working with local community members and organizations to ensure the Foundry is sustainable, working with local community members and organizations to ensure the Foundry is sustainable, equitable, inclusive and vibrant. Together we will maximize the benefit of this incredible resource for the programs and individuals that want to use it for the arts, sciences, workforce development and more.”

Diana comes to the Foundry with deep expertise in integrating diversity, equity and inclusion values into organizational culture and programming; nonprofit organizational growth; community building; approaches to integrating STEM and the arts; and youth curriculum development. She also brings direct experience in theatre production, maker space oversight, and fundraising. Currently serving as the Director of Learning and Interpretation at Design Museum Everywhere, Diana leads and directs diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, supports strategic planning, and designs and manages youth and adult programming. Through this position, she has worked directly with Cambridge’s community centers on innovative youth programming. She has previously held positions at history, science and art museums.

Diana lives in North Cambridge. She will start full time in August of this year.

The Foundry Consortium will be hosting a meet-and-greet event this summer where the community will have the opportunity to welcome Diana, ask questions and share their hopes for the Foundry’s future. Community members may sign up for the Foundry’s newsletter to be notified about this event and to get involved in other ways: CambridgeFoundry.org/contact/

The Foundry will open to the public next summer. The City of Cambridge is conducting the renovation of the Foundry site. The CRA holds a master lease on the Foundry and will provide a sublease to the Foundry Consortium, to operate the building. The CRA will also play an ongoing role in ensuring the Foundry’s success, in addition to the Foundry Advisory Committee and the City of Cambridge. Learn more about the Foundry at:

CambridgeFoundry.org

CambridgeRedevelopment.org/Foundry

Cambridgema.gov/Departments/citymanagersoffice/thefoundry

The Foundry executive search was conducted by a selection committee made up of Foundry Consortium Board Members and a staff member from the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority, with consultants from Ann L Silverman Consulting.