SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts has appointed Clyde Valentín to develop and lead new programs that will integrate artistic practices with community engagement in Dallas and other urban centers across the country.
Valentín most recently served as executive director of the New York City-based Hip-Hop Theater Festival (HHTF), where he oversaw its transition to become Hi-ARTS, an arts organization fostering creative, multidisciplinary work, outreach and education through the hip-hop art and culture movement. He will begin his new role at the Meadows School immediately.
“The Meadows School of the Arts is thrilled to welcome Clyde Valentín to our staff,” said Meadows Dean José Bowen. “Clyde is an innovator in socially engaged art, and for more than a decade, he has created programs that integrate the arts with their communities. His appointment represents a significant step in Meadows’ ongoing mission to engage in deep relationships with the broader Dallas community and to introduce students to the arts’ critical role in social engagement.”
In his new role, Valentín will build on programs that allow students to immerse themselves in Dallas and to engage with community members and arts institutions to create art collaboratively. Through these cultural collaborations and interactions, Valentín and Meadows faculty members and students will work to enhance Dallas’ existing urban infrastructure, encourage people to think of Dallas culture in new ways, and create a cultural energy that supports Dallas – home to the nation’s largest urban arts district – and its growth as a nationally recognized arts center.
“The arts don’t belong only in the classroom or studio – artists need to engage with their communities to remain vital, and SMU Meadows is a pioneer in instilling these values in its students,” said Valentín. “I look forward to working with Meadows faculty and students to explore best practices in myriad multidisciplinary approaches to making art and engaging the community.”
Under Valentín’s leadership, HHTF presentations and productions appeared in major U.S. urban centers including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The festival has presented hundreds of artists and introduced diverse national audiences to the stories, people, music, dance and word of hip-hop. The HHTF also has curated visual arts programs since 2007, including a solo show of the work of pioneering sculptor Carlos Mare139 Rodriguez and classes for teens with noted guest artists.
Born and raised in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, Valentín served as a Fellow at the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center. He also serves on the Art Advisory Board for the Times Square Alliance, is a board member for the Theatre Communications Group, is an advisor for the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project and serves on the Steering Committee for the Latino Theater Commons.