Danyelle Means is the Executive Director of the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA), a grassroots organization dedicated to celebrating creativity across the arts, humanities, and sciences and to advancing the cultural landscape of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Means is the first person of Indigenous heritage to lead the organization in its 40-year history. Prior to joining CAA, Means served as the Director of Advancement at the Institute of American Indian Arts and the Executive Director of the Institute of American Indian Arts Foundation. During her tenure, the organization reached its highest fundraising benchmarks and successfully shifted its programmatic offerings and efforts to digital platforms during the pandemic.
Means also has a wide range of museum experience, including at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). There, she participated in the development of several of the inaugural exhibitions for the Heye Center in New York, and oversaw the development of To Honor and Comfort: Native Quilting Traditions. As an independent museum consultant, she co-curated the 2019-2020 CUNY-QCC exhibition: Survivance and Sovereignty on Turtle Island at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center. She is on the board of ArtTable, the New Mexico Association of Museums, and a member of the Santa Fe Children’s Museum DEAI Advisory Board. She holds a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from Marist College/Instituto Lorenzo de’ Medici, Florence, Italy (ABT), and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and French from University of South Dakota.