Leadership changes are coming to Xico Arte y Cultura, after Laura Wilde tendered her resignation last month. Wilde has served as executive director for Xico since January 2017. Her last day will be Friday, May 11.
Xico is a nonprofit founded by a group of local artists in 1975 to support Chicano and Native American arts and culture. Its first gallery space, located in Chandler, opened in 2008. Today it's got 3,000 square feet of gallery, studio, and office space near downtown Phoenix.
The group currently has three staff members, including Wilde. She’s helping with the search for a new director, and says she’s eager to help Xico succeed moving forward.
“It’s a really bittersweet transition,” Wilde says. “Xico’s future looks incredibly bright.”
During Wilde’s tenure, Xico expanded its footprint in downtown Phoenix.
In March, Xico took over curating a trio of shipping container galleries in Roosevelt Row. Next week, Xico will paint its name across the front of those galleries, where they’re slated to curate shows for one year.
In March, Xico participated in Art Detour, bringing several artists to the parking lot at Bentley Projects for a day of making giant prints using a steamroller. It was one of the best elements of the six-day art event.
But Wilde also had behind-the-scene accomplishments, including securing funding from the Halle Foundation and Cox Charities. She also spearheaded archiving more than 500 pieces in Xico’s print collection.
Wilde will still be working in arts and culture.
Starting on Monday, May 14, she’ll be the studios manager at Mesa Arts Center. Her new role includes overseeing about 1,000 visual and performing arts classes each year, and working on a wide range of arts education programs.
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“We are thrilled to welcome Laura Wilde to the Mesa Arts Center team,” Mandy Tripoli told Phoenix New Times in a Wednesday, May 2, email. Tripoli is the center's director of community-engaged practice. “Laura brings a range of experience in different roles and is well prepared to lead the Art Studios program," Tripoli also wrote.
Before joining Xico, Wilde worked at several Valley arts venues, including Phoenix Art Museum and Phoenix Center for the Arts. Five years ago, she interned with Mesa Arts Center, before spending a year working in outreach and engagement.
Wilde was born in Mesa, so in some ways she’s coming full circle.
“I’m so excited about this new opportunity,” she says.