The Colorado Committee for the National Museum of Women in the Arts (CCNMWA) is a Colorado 501(c)(3), founded and incorporated in 2021. CCNMWA works to advance the mission of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) and serve as a platform to build community, create connections and champion women through the arts in our state. NMWA is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. With its collections, exhibitions, programs, and online content, the museum seeks to inspire dynamic exchanges about art and ideas. NMWA advocates for better representation of women artists and serves as a vital center for thought leadership, community engagement, and social change. The museum addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art by bringing to light important women artists of the past while promoting great women artists working today. Get the quick facts about NMWA.
CCNMWA will recognize and celebrate the contributions of women in the arts throughout Colorado through online content, exhibitions, gallery and museum tours, networking events, panel discussions and more. Subscribe for updates about upcoming events, and follow our social pages. The Committee's work is 100% carried out by volunteers.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Natalia Ballinger, Secretary
Natalia (Talia) Ballinger is a Senior City Attorney for the City and County of Denver, where she practices employment law. Prior to joining the City Attorney’s Office, Talia spent over 15 years in the private sector as a class action practitioner and legal writing specialist. Originally from Memphis, Talia received both her undergraduate and law school degrees from Vanderbilt University, and received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach undergraduate classes in Vienna, Austria. Talia is a 2006 graduate of both the Leadership Denver and Leadership Arts programs; has served on the Boards of Directors of YouthBiz (Chair) and Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (Secretary); and was named one of Denver’s top “Forty under 40” by the Denver Business Journal (spoiler alert: she is no longer under 40!). Talia is a Spanish cookbook author (Paella, Paella/Time Warner Books and Spanish Bar and Restaurant Cooking/Quintet Publishing) and enjoys running, ABBA, antiquing, and embarrassing her children. Talia and her husband Mike collect 19th century art from the Andalucía region of Spain, home to her mother’s side of the family.
Erin Bird is Associate Director of Communications at Denver Botanic Garden where she leads all media relations, social media and marketing video storytelling campaigns that connect people to plants, science and art in relevant and inspiring ways. During her tunure at the Gardens, she has increased the number of national press stories, launched the Gardens' Instagram in 2013 and TikTok in 2022, putting the museum on the map not only as a beautiful public garden, but as a leader in plant conservation, regenerative agriculture, urban food access and high caliber art exhibitions. Prior to working at the Gardens, she managed media relations at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, working with internationally renowned artists such as Lee Bontecou, Jenny Holzer, Mark Bradford and Kerry James Marshall. She also was a marketing event specialist at the flagship Marshall Field's Department store (now Macy's) in Chicago. She has worked on Denver's Art District of Santa Fe Board and the Center for Visual Art's leadership council. She completed the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts' leadership program in 2018.
Maria Elena Buszek, Ph.D.
Maria Elena Buszek, Ph.D. is a scholar, critic, curator, and Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Colorado Denver. Her recent publications include the books Pin-Up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture and Extra/Ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art; contributions to the anthologies Punkademics: The Basement Show in the Ivory Tower and Design History Beyond the Canon; catalogue essays for numerous international exhibitions; and articles and criticism in such journals as Art in America, Art Journal, Flash Art, and TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies. With Hilary Robinson, she edited the 2019 anthology of new writing, A Companion to Feminist Art. She has also been a regular contributor to the popular feminist magazine BUST since 1999. Her current book project, Art of Noise, explores the ties between contemporary feminist art and popular music. Dr. Buszek is also a prolific independent curator, who has previously worked at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her most recent exhibitions include Inner Ear Vision: Sound as Medium (with Raven Chacon and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, 2019) and Danger Came Smiling: Feminist Artists and Popular Music (2016).
Cecily Cullen, Chair
As director and curator at the MSU Denver Center for Visual Art, Cecily Cullen develops exhibitions and programs to engage the public in examination of global issues. She collaborates with artists in activating dialogue in an environment that encourages learning for both visitors and the student staff. She has curated or organized over 100 contemporary exhibitions that give voice to challenges of our times. Cecily has been a guest juror for numerous exhibitions and public art projects, is a member of the Colorado Attorneys for the Arts advisory board and has served four times on the National Endowment for the Arts art museums grants panel. Cecily has a BA in Art and Humanities and an MBA from the University of Colorado. In 2017 she received the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts Cultural Leadership Award.
Hamidah Glasgow has been the Executive Director and Curator at The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado since 2009. Hamidah holds a master’s degree in humanities with a specialization in visual and gender studies and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Hamidah is a co-founder of the Strange Fire Collective. The Strange Fire Collective is a group of interdisciplinary artists, curators, and writers focused on work that engages with current social and political forces. We seek to create a venue for work that critically questions the dominant social hierarchy and are dedicated to highlighting work made by women, people of color, and queer and trans artists.
Pauline Herrera is the Executive Director of the Denver Architecture Foundation. She joined DAF in early 2015 to provide strategic guidance to the organization and build upon the successes of its long-standing events and programs. Pauline brings nearly 20 years of experience in cultural administration, nonprofit management and communications. From 2003 to 2011, as the Director of Communications and Marketing for the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, Pauline was integral to the success of such initiatives as Doors Open Denver, Create Denver and One Book, One Denver. In 2011, she launched PaulineMarie Consulting specializing in nonprofit arts and culture organizations. She is a graduate of Leadership Denver and holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Regis University (’04). Pauline serves on the board of the Chicago-based Association of Architecture Organizations.
Dakota Hoska, is an enrolled member of the Oglála Lakhóta Nation, Pine Ridge (Wounded Knee). As the Associate Curator of Native Arts, Hoska joined Denver Art Museum in 2019. Previously, she served as a Curatorial Research Assistant at the Minneapolis Institute of Art supporting the ground-breaking exhibition "Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists." Hoska completed her MA in Art History, focusing on Native American Art History at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN (2019). She also completed two years of Dakota language at the University of Minnesota (2016) and received her BFA in Drawing and Painting from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2012).
Before going back to school for a career in the arts, Dakota had a long and successful career in marketing in a Business to Business capacity, but curatorial work and the arts are her true calling. As a curator of Indigenous Arts of North America, Hoska pursues her passions of working closely with her Native community while being continually surrounded by and learning about beautiful artwork. In her own Art, Dakota makes connections between the personal and the universal. Through painting and monotype printmaking, Dakota explores her relationship to her Indigenous community. She works to capture singular moments of human interactions and the fleeting play of color and light, while reflecting on her own personal journey and philosophical viewpoints.
Claudia Moran-Pichardo was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico and moved to Denver in 2002. She participated in various archeological projects in northeastern Mexico sponsored by Mexican and American universities. Claudia holds a Master’s Degree in Museum Administration from the University of Colorado Boulder as well as a Bachelor’s in Archaeology from the Escuela Nacional de Antropologia e Historia in Mexico City. Once established in Denver, she decided to get involved with the Latinx community and found a great opportunity at Museo de las Americas in 2006. Given her formal education in archeology and expertise in ancient Rock Art, Claudia has developed a passion for art. She recognizes the power art holds to shed light on the traditions that shaped the life of ancient civilizations as well as contemporary societies. Her passion for ancient forms of artistic expressions along with her desire to support Latinx communities has kept her at Museo de las Americas, where she has served in many capacities, including Director of Operations and most recently as the organization’s Executive Director. Her 15-year experience at Museo de las Americas has significantly shaped her philosophy on the role of museums and firmly believes in Museo’s mission of providing vital art exhibitions and programming with cultural enrichment for the local and regional communities. Her tenure at Museo has also prepared her to take on opportunities where Latinx arts and culture can inspire and educate audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Claudia’s community involvement began collaborating with non-profit organizations dedicated to women’s rights and human rights for indigenous communities of Mexico. Currently she is a Livingston Fellow at the Bonfils Stanton Foundation, Union Hall’s board member, involved with the Circle of Latina Leadership, Change Leadership Institute at the Colorado Creative Industries, Latinas Giving Circles and The Denver Foundation’s Executive Directors of Color Institute. She has also participated in the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture Leadership Institute and she was a Denver Business Journal 40 Under 40 nominee.
Jennifer Tansey, Founder, Treasurer
Jen brings 20 years of diverse management experience in business and nonprofit to the Committee. She has worked closely with corporate executives, sponsors, donors and volunteers to design and implement effective programs and projects. As a former gallery owner, her business represented over 50-60% women artists and facilitated museum exhibition and acquisition of works by women artists, nationally and abroad. Jen has served on arts and culture focused nonprofit boards and committees in Denver and Santa Fe and completed the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts’ Leadership Arts program in 2017. She has a degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado and is currently a student at MSU, Denver. She is passionate about making art accessible to everyone and leveraging the power of the arts to build stronger communities. (Artwork pictured in background by Clare Belfrage)