Toccarra A. H. Thomas
Toccarra A. H. Thomas is a media and performance artist, film programmer, and arts administrator. As the Director of the Joan Mitchell Center, she guides and refines the artist residency program, develops related public programs and special projects to connect artists and communities, and oversees the Center’s day-to-day operations.
After obtaining her BA in Cultural Anthropology (Film Studies minor) at Smith College, she went on to earn her Masters in Media Studies at The New School, while also working as an interview facilitator for StoryCorps’ Griot Initiative to record personal narratives of Black Americans that were later archived at The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and the National Museum of African American History & Culture. Following her time in the field, she served as the program manager at African Film Festival, Inc., where she produced public programs in over thirteen countries in partnership with city parks, community centers, schools, cinemas, and museums that challenged notions of culturally “accessible” content and brought members of the public together in conversation with creative practitioners and art educators from Africa and the African Diaspora. Later, she shifted focus to support the professional development of artists as the NYFA Source Program Associate at New York Foundation for the Arts, where she led workshops and created resources tailored to address the needs of artists at varying stages in their careers. Most recently, she held the positions of inaugural general manager of Pioneer Works Art Foundation and inaugural managing director of SPACE, a contemporary multidisciplinary art organization in Portland, ME.