Caribbean-American Leader To Be Honored In Philadelphia

Kwayera Archer Cunningham
Kwayera Archer Cunningham

PHILADELPHIA  – Caribbean-American nonprofit leader Kwayera Archer Cunningham will be honored in Philadelphia this weekend when members of more than 350 community arts education organizations across the U.S. gather for the 78th annual Conference for Community Arts Education.

The National Guild for Community Arts Education, producers of the conference, will present Archer Cunningham, Founder and President Emerita of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, with the 2015 National Service Award in recognition of her vision and lifelong dedication to youth and family development, community building and social justice; her service to the field; and her commitment to mentoring future arts educators.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by such an historic organization,” said Archer Cunningham, who is currently President of Global Ase, an international nonprofit organization that promotes social transformation initiatives by creating strong relationships between people who want to help and those who need help. “This award means a lot to me and I hope it will serve to inspire the young creative and artistic minds who are moving up the ranks in this fascinating field.”

Music schools, arts and cultural centers, youth theaters, dance studios and museum education departments will be represented among the more than 600 delegates converging at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown this week.

The four-day conference (Nov. 11-14) is featuring nationally renowned experts exploring innovative ideas for growing arts programs, strategies for providing more equitable access to arts education, ways to increase financial support, and the arts as a force for social justice.

More than an international thought leader on community transformation and an extraordinary community development expert, Archer Cunningham is a dynamic nonprofit executive who believes passionately in sustainable philanthropy and social transformation through the use of culturally-based values. One of her primary goals is to increase the level of excellence of philanthropy in the Caribbean and African regions and communities of color in America through integrating philanthropic activity and building organizational capacity.

Archer Cunningham has raised more than $40 million in support of local programs, capacity building efforts and operations. She has also been instrumental in training other leaders seeking to improve their own nonprofit organizations.

At the conference, Lily Yeh, Founder of Village of Arts & Humanities/Barefoot Artists, will receive the 2015 National Leadership Award in recognition of her ground-breaking work as an artist, educator and community leader.

For program details, visit

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