Casandra Hernández Faham to Step Down as Executive Director of CALA Alliance

Phoenix, AZ / June 25, 2020

Casandra Hernández Faham, who has led the multidisciplinary Latinx arts organization CALA Alliance since 2016, will step down from the position of Executive Director on July 15, 2020. At that time, she will also transition from her role as Curator of CALA Initiatives at ASU Art Museum. Hernández Faham will be joining the Arts and Culture team at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York City, where she will work to resource and amplify the work of artists and arts organizations in a national capacity.

“It’s been the greatest privilege of my career to work with artists and culture workers in Arizona, Mexico, and Latin America to tell new stories about our transborder connections and move our cultural imagination forward in Arizona,” says Hernández Faham. “I’m very proud to have been CALA’s first Executive Director, and to have worked with the board and team to transform CALA into the dynamic artist-centric organization that it is now.”

After four and half years at the helm, Hernández Faham leaves CALA a more resourced, strategic, and culturally-relevant organization. In collaboration with the board and key partners, some of her accomplishments include:

  • Leading CALA’s successful transition from annual festival to multidisciplinary organization with new mission, vision, artistic programs, operational structure, brand, and funding strategies.
  • Organizing artistic commissions, international residencies, performance series, and transborder collaborations, including the only program in Arizona dedicated to offering international residencies to Latinx artists.
  • Overseeing the development of CALA’s first strategic and fund development plans.
  • Growing and diversifying the organization’s revenue streams, including securing national funding, increasing earned revenue and individual contributions, and organizing CALA’s most successful fundraiser gala.


“Casandra’s leadership of CALA Alliance over the past years has been instrumental in our organization’s ability to positively impact our community through innovative programming centering Latinx and Latin American art and artists,” says CALA Alliance Board Chair Ruben Alvarez. “It is with mixed emotions that we bid her farewell, as she has been a truly inspirational leader. We wish Casandra the very best as she takes this new step in her amazing career.”

“We are thrilled for Casandra’s next chapter, says Miki Garcia, Director of ASU Art Museum. “She was critical in ASU Art Museum’s ability to contribute to the cultural landscape of Arizona in ways that value the creative contributions of Latinx and Latin American artists. Her vision and commitment to reimagining Arizona’s place in the Americas will leave a lasting legacy.”

After Hernandez Faham’s departure, Phoenix visual artist and arts educator Giovana Avilés will manage operations and programs for CALA Alliance. Avilés has held various roles with CALA since 2017 and most recently worked as Production Manager. Read her bio.

About CALA Alliance

CALA Alliance (Celebración Artística de las Américas) is a multidisciplinary Latinx arts organization based in Phoenix that collaborates with artists and arts organizations to connect Arizona, Mexico and Latin America. It advances its mission through innovative public programming, artist commissions, international residencies, and cultural exchanges that reimagine Arizona’s place in the Americas. CALA envisions a cultural landscape that values the creative and artistic contributions of Latinxs and latinoamericanxs, and critically engages their stories in Arizona and throughout the Americas.