Thursday, February 8, 2024

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Adjoa Jones de Almeida as its inaugural Executive Director. Jones de Almeida joins FAI after working at the Brooklyn Museum for over ten years, where she initially served as Director of Education before her promotion to Deputy Director for Learning and Social Impact. In this new role, Jones de Almeida will lead FAI in expanding their programmatic reach throughout Philadelphia, building partnerships with artists, civic leaders, and organizations, and presenting exhibitions and cultural programs that showcase the city’s diverse artistic community.

“We are thrilled to announce Adjoa as our inaugural Executive Director of Forman Arts Initiative,” said Jennifer Rice and Michael Forman, Co-Founders of Forman Arts Initiative. “Her profound experience in museum education, coupled with her dedication to community-based organizations, aligns perfectly with our mission of enriching and serving the cultural fabric of Philadelphia. Adjoa has a long history of embedding herself within communities to best understand and support their needs through the thoughtful creation of programs, and we are excited to see how her attentiveness and focus can increase FAI’s impact as we continue to grow and extend our work throughout the city.”

As recently as January of this year, Jones de Almeida oversaw the opening of the Brooklyn Museum’s new Toby Devan Lewis Education Center and co-curated Artland: An Installation by Do Ho Suh and Children, which launched as part of the reopening celebrations. Also of note was Jones de Almeida’s implementation of the Museum’s Social Action Framework, which included the establishment of Project Reset, an arts-based education program for people charged with low-level misdemeanors as a means to avoid court and a criminal record, developed in partnership with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and the Center for Justice Innovation. 

“I am honored to be named as the inaugural Executive Director of Forman Arts Initiative,” said Adjoa Jones de Almeida. “FAI’s call to mobilize community and uplift arts and culture in Philadelphia resonates deeply with my own longstanding commitment of activating the arts as a vehicle for personal and collective transformation. I’m particularly inspired by how initiatives like Art Works and Public Works can forge bridges across diverse stakeholders in Philadelphia–including local communities, artists, arts organizations, government agencies, civic leaders, and funders–to celebrate the city’s uniqueness, and to collectively find solutions to its most pressing concerns. As I step into this new role, I look forward to tapping into these powerful networks to grow FAI’s impact and reach.” 

In addition to her work at the Brooklyn Museum, Jones de Almeida co-founded Sista II Sista (SIIS), a Brooklyn-based organization that, for over ten years, brought together working-class women of color, with a focus on promoting the development and leadership of young women for personal and social change. While living in Bahia, Brazil, in 2008, Jones de Almeida co-founded Diáspora Solidária, a community-based collective dedicated to fostering social and environmental justice, artistic expression, and youth development. 

Jones de Almeida’s appointment follows an extensive national search driven by Isaacson, Miller. Her arrival coincides with FAI’s third round of Art Works, a $3,000,000 grantmaking program to support cultural organizations and artists working in partnership with BIPOC and other historically under-resourced communities throughout the city, as well as the upcoming launch of the second iteration of Public Works, a residency program that pairs artists and Philadelphia government agencies to develop artwork that forges new connections between the agency and the communities they serve. 

You can read the full press release here

Recent Press


The New York Times: When the Artist-Patron Relationship Becomes Friendly


Artblog: Woodmere Art Museum Breaks Ground, Paul Cret drawings at Saint Joseph’s University, ‘Philly Daydreams’ at the Oculus, Judy Gelles’s works at RISDI Museum 


METRO Magazine: Inside SEPTA Artist’s Augmented Reality Public Art Project This new interactive art exhibit brings augmented reality tech to SEPTA trains


6ABC: Philly Daydreams: Stories in Transit


WHYY: SEPTA reopens its underground oculus, for daydreaming


PhillyVoice: Public art project on SEPTA uses augmented reality to tell stories about commuter daydreams


The Philadelphia Inquirer: Filmmaker Anula Shetty will be SEPTA’s artist in residence


Sugarcane Magazine: Rooted in Love: A Conversation With The Colored Girls Museum Founder Vashti DuBois


Philly Voice: The Colored Girls Museum in Germantown celebrates Black girlhood through art and artifacts


Ebony: 10 Black Art Exhibits to Visit Around the Country This Month (doesn’t mention FAI but could be nice to include TCGM)


The Architect’s Newspaper: Theaster Gates participates in The Monument We Make symposium at Drexel in Philadelphia


City and State: The 2022 Impact 50


ARTnews: Artist Prize Roundup: Nairobi-Based Wajukuu Art Project Wins Top Award at Documenta 15, Frieze L.A. Releases Call for Entries for Impact Prize, and More


ARTnews: With New Venture, Collectors Michael C. Forman and Jennifer Rice Are Ensuring Philadelphia’s Art Scene Thrives in a Post-Pandemic World


The Philadelphia Inquirer: How a monument to no one found a home at Drexel University


Philadelphia Magazine: Michael Forman — the Philly Power Player You’ve Never Heard of — Is About to Make Some Noise


WHYY: New philanthropic organization to give $3M to Philadelphia arts


The Philadelphia Inquirer: New ‘Art Works’ program will grant $3 million to emerging Philly artists and community arts groups


Philanthropy News Digest: Philadelphia Foundation, FAI announce Arts Works grant recipients


PhillyVoice: New grants available to Philly artists whose work reflects city’s diversity


ARTnews: ARTnews in Brief: Cécile Giroire to Lead Louvre’s Greek and Roman Art Department—and More from July 23, 2021


The Philadelphia Inquirer: ‘Time to celebrate’: The arts are back, and with City Hall’s support, there’s a week of events to make that point