Maria Jenson is recognized as a leader in the arts nationally for advancing innovative strategies to sustain creative communities in the midst of rapidly changing urban environments. As Creative and Executive Director of SOMArts, Jenson has deepened the organization’s commitment to racial equity, creating clear pathways for Bay Area artists to incubate new ideas and grow their careers. Through her leadership, Maria has expanded SOMArts’ educational and public programs, advanced new public-private partnerships, and fostered groundbreaking exhibitions such as The Black Woman is God, The Third Muslim: Queer and Trans* Muslim Narratives of Resistance and Resilience, and many more. These initiatives further SOMArts’ mission to engage the Bay Area’s diverse cultural communities in inspiring creative encounters at the intersection of art and social justice. They also represent SOMArts’ commitment to incubating the growth and careers Bay Area artists and curators, building the sustainability and future of artistic practices in the Bay Area.