The arts have always been an essential part of Trinity Villanueva’s life, even when they were much less accessible than she would have liked. Making arts experiences accessible and inclusive are key reasons that Villanueva, who was recently named as Public Art Reston’s executive director, is excited by her new position, which she officially began on April 26. “Art exists to uplift and connect individuals and communities,” says Villanueva, who regards the mission of Public Art Reston, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, as directly aligning with her own aspirations and values.
“Now is the perfect time to commit to elevating accessible art,” Public Art Reston’s new executive director suggests. “The pandemic,” she says, “has spotlighted that the need for the arts goes beyond the supplementary. The constraints of these times have further shown that you do not need to go into a building to engage in art. Your direct involvement is what makes art transformative, and this next chapter for Public Art Reston will set that tone.”
Saying that Villanueva “brings a wealth of innovative and inclusive arts leadership experience to the role,” Maggie Parker, Public Art Reston board chair, notes: “Trinity’s zest for living and her unlimited view of what public art can do for a community is beyond compare. She has already injected joy and enthusiasm into Reston and will be a wonderful collaborator and thought leader in the community.”
Likewise, Parker sees Villanueva, working in collaboration with board members, as positioning the nonprofit, which was founded in 2007 by Reston civic and community organizations and other leaders, for “its exciting next chapters in building capacity for public art in placemaking, creative dialog and equitable, community-led partnerships.”
Reston’s singular history, Villanueva adds, intensifies her anticipation, too. “As I continue to learn more about Robert E. Simon, it is thrilling to know there is a community as unique as Reston that has a founder and principles that regard the arts as necessities and something that should be fostered.”
Villanueva comes to Public Art Reston from her most recent role at the Carlos Rosario International Charter School in Washington, D.C. There she founded and led its Arts Integration + Culture Department for more than a decade. The first adult charter school in the nation, it committed to uplifting adult immigrants and English-language learners. While there, she worked with more than 30 partnerships within DMV communities and led from a lens of compassion. Among other arts-related endeavors, Villanueva co-founded the Mixt Collective, which supports marginalized artists who live in undefined affinity spaces. Her work also is informed by her national board of director roles, including with Art Education D.C. and the National Art Education Association. She is a graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Trinity College Dublin, UPenn/National Arts Strategies, and NAEA’s School for Art Leaders.
Since its founding almost 15 years ago, Public Art Reston has sought to inspire an ongoing commitment for public art and create a new generation of artworks in Reston. It imagines public art throughout Reston that inspires the community and engages the mind and senses.
About Public Art Reston
Public Art Reston was founded in 2007 by Reston civic and community organizations and leaders. It is a 501©(3) non-profit organization that imagines public art throughout Reston that engages and inspires the community as well as the mind and the senses. For more information visit www.publicartreston.org.