Host and Executive Producer
Ximena Varela is a researcher, educator, and consultant with more than 25 years of experience in arts management education, research, and practice in the northern and southern hemispheres. She has worked with and advised international organizations, national and regional governments, city agencies, as well as private and nonprofit organizations in arts funding and arts policy. Ximena has published, lectured and taught extensively in the United States, Latin America, Europe and China. She served as President of the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) through the COVID pandemic, and Chaired the 2023 version of the Graduate Standards in Arts Management Education for AAAE. She was also a board member of the Latin American Institute of Museums from 2000 to 2020.
Ximena is a former Fulbright and Organization of American States (OAS) fellowship recipient, and was honored with a Doctor Honoris Causa degree in 2021 by the Moore College of Arts and Design, the oldest women’s art and design college in the United States, for her contributions to the field of arts management.
She holds an MA in Arts Management for Drexel University, has course doctoral studies in Comparative Politics from Temple University, two undergraduate degrees in Business and Finance from the Catholic University of Uruguay, and is a certified Teacher of English to Students of Other Languages. She is working on her PhD at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya as part of the Education and Information and Communications Technology stream.
Currently, Ximena is Associate Professor of Arts Management at American University, Washington DC, where she teaches courses on Museum Management, Cultural Policy, Research Methods, and International Cultural Management.
Gestoras is Ximena’s love letter and thank you note to everyone who has supported her in her dreams and in her career.