Mario Garcia Durham
1030 15th Street NW, Suite 283
Washington, DC 20005-1500
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 209
Mario Garcia Durham (he/him/his) has more than 30 years of experience guiding community-based, regional, and national arts and service organizations. Garcia Durham is a respected policy strategist known for his diplomatic approach and bringing people together, while addressing stakeholder needs to establish positive and committed organizational cultures. His areas of expertise include board relations and leadership, strategy, organizational management, resource optimization, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Garcia Durham spent nearly a decade as President & CEO of the Association for Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), managing one of the largest professional associations for the performing arts field in the United States. In addition to overseeing APAP’s $4.3 million budget and annual conference, Garcia Durham strategically realigned the association, identified new fundraising resources, and significantly refocused the organization on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. APAP recently awarded him the Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest honors in the field of presenting.
Prior to joining APAP, Garcia Durham served as Director of Artist Communities & Presenting at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In this role, he administered the $6 million federal grant portfolio and was instrumental in spearheading several of the agency’s national and international special initiatives, including the Guadalajara International Book Fair, NEA Opera Honors, and American Masterpieces Presenting Program. He inaugurated the NEA’s Artist Communities granting program and was the initiator of Live from Your Neighborhood, a groundbreaking study on the impact of outdoor arts festivals in the United States. Garcia Durham was also the Executive Director and Founder of Yerba Buena Arts & Events, which produces the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in San Francisco. Now in its 20th year, the festival attracts more than 100,000 people to over 100 free presentations from May to October.
“Having spent my life in the arts and business, the work we do at ACG offers me the rare chance to be part of the much-needed evolution that is going on in the arts and the world around us. I firmly believe artists and arts organizations can be a leading force in this work and be catalytic in provocative and important conversations. These are times of unprecedented change that offer great opportunities for all of us, including arts and culture organizations, to reflect, learn, and grow.”
Garcia Durham is a Professor of Practice at George Mason University’s Graduate School of Arts Administration. He has been a prominent participant on numerous national boards and committees, as well as award and grant panels. He currently serves as Board Chair of the Sitar Arts Center, sits on the National Advisory Committee for SMU/Data Arts, and leads the newly formed National Outdoor Arts Group. Garcia Durham holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Houston.
Durham's ACG client work includes:
Americans for the Arts
Archie Bray Foundation
Artists Repertory Theatre
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
California Association of Museums
Center Theatre Group
City of Richardson, Eisemann Center for Performing Arts
Folk Alliance International
Hobby Center Foundation
League of Chicago Theatres
National Association of Latino Arts and Culture
National Independent Venue Association
Overture Center Foundation
Symphony San Jose
Virginia Symphony Orchestra