Yerba Buena Center
For The Arts

701 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

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YBCA Welcomes New Chief of Program

Vocalist, singer-songwriter, composer, and cultural activist Meklit Hadero joins the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts leadership team, assuming the newly created role of Chief of Program. She will drive YBCA’s multidisciplinary program strategy and oversee the implementation of programming in visual arts, performing arts, film, and civic and community engagement.

“Meklit Hadero’s experiences are rooted in a deep commitment to inclusivity,” remarked YBCA CEO Deborah Cullinan. “She has an amazing ability to hold at heart the concerns of both the community and artists. She has been part of the YBCA family for many years and has contributed to the organization in deep and meaningful ways.”

As Chief of Program, Hadero will work with YBCA’s newly formed Program and Engagement Team. She will develop a cross-disciplinary programmatic and curatorial staff of change makers in support of YBCA’s mission to be a creative home for the diverse communities of the San Francisco Bay Area and to cultivate a thriving ecosystem of artists who are working to support societal movement.

Under the new programmatic structure, Hadero will work closely on the YBCA 100 Summit, YBCA Fellows, and film, performing, and visual arts programs. She will usher in new initiatives, including a Senior Fellows program that will enable deeper relationships with artists and curators, and an open call for exhibition and experimental ideas for YBCA’s second-floor gallery spaces.

“At a personal level, YBCA is home,” said Hadero. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with its dynamic team of curators and staff to create an artistic home and build on YBCA’s commitment to reimagining the role an arts institution can play in the community it serves.”


“At a personal level, YBCA is home,” said Hadero. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with its dynamic team of curators and staff to create an artistic home and build on YBCA’s commitment to reimagining the role an arts institution can play in the community it serves.”


Hadero is known for her electric stage presence, innovative take on ethio-jazz, and her fiery, emotive live shows. As Meklit, she has released four studio albums, tours regularly, and is currently signed to Six Degrees Records. She is a TED Senior Fellow and her TED Talk,“The Unexpected Beauty of Everyday Sounds,” has been watched by more than 1.2 million people. She first collaborated with YBCA in 2008 when she served as a Bay Area Now 5 co-curator of performances in the Room for Big Ideas. In 2016 YBCA debuted her body of ethio-jazz music, This Was Made Here/When The People Move, the Music Moves Too for a three-night run to great acclaim. The following year she served as the musical director for UnderCover Presents: A Tribute to the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, co-presented by YBCA as part of the Clas/Sick Hip-Hop Festival. Hadero served on YBCA’s Board of Directors from 2015 to 2019 and recently wrapped up a three-month artist residency in spring 2019 with the organization.

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