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Mentor

Adriel Luis

Adriel Luis is a community organizer, artist, writer, and curator who believes that collective liberation can happen in poetic ways. His life’s work is focused on the mutual thriving of artistic integrity and social vigilance. He is a part of the iLL-Literacy arts collective, which creates music and media to strengthen Black and Asian coalitions, and is creative director of Bombshelltoe, a collaborative of artists and leaders from frontline communities responding to nuclear histories. Adriel is the Curator of Digital and Emerging Practice at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, where he advocates for equitable practices in museums and institutions. His ancestors are rooted in Toisan, China, and migrated through Hong Kong, Mexico, and the United States. Adriel was born on Ohlone land.

Luis has curated projects in a range of venues, including several museums across the Smithsonian in Washington, DC; the Museum of Modern Art and Pearl River Mart in New York City; Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia; Silo Park in Auckland, Aotearoa; Atom Bar in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and an abandoned Foodland in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. His writing has appeared in Poetry Magazine, the Asian American Literary Review, and Smithsonian Magazine. He has spoken at the Tate Modern, Yale University, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the China Academy of Fine Arts. His performance venues include the Brooklyn Academy of Music, SXSW, the John F. Kennedy Center, and the American University of Paris. He has a degree in human ecologies from UC Davis, in Community and Regional Development, and a minor in Asian American Studies.