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Staff & Advisory Council

Sixto Wagan

Sixto Wagan is the inaugural director for the Center for Arts Leadership at the University of Houston.  Prior to this role, he led the contemporary art center DiverseWorks, serving a multitude of capacities including Artistic Director, Co-Executive Director and Performing Arts Curator. During his tenure, he organized more than one hundred projects and is especially well known for collaborating with performers whose works tackle prescient cultural, social, and political issues. He is a celebrated commissioner and producer of contemporary art works, and has served on the boards of the National Performance Network, The MacDowell Colony and QFest. He currently is a Hub Site for the National Dance Project and on the advisory board for the Texan French Alliance for the Arts.  Mr. Wagan has been part of the Performing Arts Japan Advisory Committee, FUSED (French – US Exchange for Dance), the Contemporary Art Centers consortium and the Performing Americas Project; and has previously served as Dance Down Under Ambassador for the Australian Arts Council and as a primary consultant to Creative Capital.  Wagan has served on a number of granting panels for private foundations, spoken at numerous national conferences, was published as part of Counting Beans: Intrinsic Impact of Art (Theater Bay Area), and has been recognized with two awards in Houston for Dance Presenting. He served on the Center for Houston's Future Policy Committee for the 2014 Indicator Report on Arts and Cultural Heritage and is currently on the Culture and Tourism committee for the Greater Houston Partnership.

Research Fellow

.MAPashaM.A. Afsar Pasha is a 2015 engineering graduate candidate at University of Houston with interest in participatory arts, culture and community development activities. While in previous professional lives, he has been an analyst engineer, student chairman, and an active volunteer of IEEE with multiple recognitions for his work. Coming from the heartland of India, he represents a unique blend of arts, culture and leadership coupled with a zeal for social good.

University of Houston Advisory Board

  • Karen Farber, Executive Director of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts

  • Fleurette S. Fernando Director of the MA Program in Arts Leadership

  • Terri Golas, Adjunct faculty in the MA Program in Arts Leadership
  • Catherine Horn, Associate Professor & Senior Research Associate - National Center for Student Success, College of Education
  • Jim Johnson, Associate Professor and Head of Performance Area, School of Theater and Dance

  • Rex Koontz, Professor and Director of School of Art

  • Aaron Parazette, Professor of Painting, School of Art

  • Claudia Schmuckli, Director and Chief Curator of Blaffer Art Museum

  • Karen Stokes, Professor, School of Theatre and Dance
  • James Thurmond,Director, Master of Public Administration Program


  • Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, Ph.D., artist-scholar
  • Patricia Graney, choreographer, community organizer, 2013 Doris Duke Artist
  • Autumn Knight. performance artist and educator, 2013 Galveston Artist Residency recipient
  • Aaron Landsman, playwright, director and educator, ASU Gammage Resident Artist
  • Robert Pruitt, artist and founding member of the artist collective Otabenga Jones & Associates

Student Leadership Board