Maria Rosario Jackson is senior advisor to the Arts & Culture Program at The Kresge Foundation, and an Institute Professor at Arizona State University where she holds appointments at both the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, and the College of Public Service and Community Solutions.
In 2013, President Obama appointed Maria to the National Council on the Arts. She serves on the advisory board of the Lambent Foundation and L.A. Commons, and on boards of directors of both the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and The Music Center in Los Angeles.
At Kresge, Maria is an independent consultant. She began working with the Arts and Culture Program team in 2012 as it developed a Creative Placemaking strategy.
She has previously served on the boards of Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Cultural Alliance for Greater Washington and Fund for Folk Culture. She also has served on research and project advisory bodies on measuring arts participation, museums in communities, arts institutions and shifting demographics, arts and health outcomes and economic and social impacts of the arts.
Maria is the former director of the Culture, Creativity and Communities Program at the Urban Institute, where she was based for 18 years. There, she led research on arts and culture indicators, measuring cultural vitality, arts and culture in comprehensive revitalization in low-income communities, development of art spaces, and support systems for artists. Additionally, she participated in projects about public housing, public education, public safety and parks. Prior to her role at the Urban Institute she was a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Urban Poverty at UCLA.
Maria has been adjunct faculty at Claremont Graduate University and at the University of Southern California. She was also James Irvine Fellow in Residence at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Her work appears in a wide range of professional and academic publications and she has been a speaker at numerous national and international conferences. Maria earned a doctorate in urban planning from University of California Los Angeles and a master’s degree in public administration from University of Southern California.