Roberta Uno

Senior Program Officer, The Ford Foundation

New York City, United States

Recognizing the need to support cultural diversity and public participation, Roberta Uno founded the nationally renowned New WORLD Theater at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1979. Uno directed the theatrical space to support Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American artists whose work had been underrepresented in the region’s arts programming. She has since brought her 23 years of non-profit experience to overseeing grant giving in the “Supporting Diverse Arts Spaces” division at the Ford Foundation as Senior Programs Officer. In her first year at the Ford Foundation, Uno led research on Hip Hop as a contemporary space for young adults to experiment and develop their own subcultures and youth-led events. This project became the Future Aesthetics Regrant Program (FARR), which gave artists support for self-directed projects that include the Hip-Hop Theater Festival. She has since lead funding to arts spaces around the world from Mexico to North Africa and the Middle East. Her recent books include The Color of Theater: Race, Culture (2002) and Contemporary Performance, and Contemporary Plays by Women of Color: An Anthology (1996).