Blackbird Arts and Research, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to innovative arts and research that contribute to building public knowledge and engagement with history, society, and the arts. We were founded by Lara Stein Pardo in 2009 and incorporated officially in June 2010. Some of our projects include the Mapping Arts Project and Miami Art Salon.
The mission of Blackbird Arts and Research is to support innovative arts and research projects that contribute to broadening public knowledge about history, society, and the arts, and to connect artists and researchers with their peers.
Lara Stein Pardo – Executive Director, Founder
Lara Stein Pardo is a cultural anthropologist and visual artist. She founded Blackbird Arts & Research in 2009. Currently, she is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Laboratory for Race and Popular Culture (RAP Lab) and a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Earning her PhD from the University of Michigan in 2013, she has held fellowships at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Brown University, and Vanderbilt University. In her work in anthropology and art, Stein Pardo considers the connections between personhood and space. Stein Pardo's book manuscript, "Tropes of Tropicality and the Work of Art," is an ethnographic study about the practice of art and migration in Miami, Florida. Her recent publications include, “Contemporary Black Photographic Practice in Miami, Florida: Noelle Théard and Donnalyn Anthony” in Transatlantic Feminisms: Women and Gender Studies in Africa and the African Diaspora (2015) and “‘Put your hand in the air:’ Caribbean Cultural Contradictions in Christopher Cozier’s The Arrest” in Transition (2014). Stein Pardo's artwork has been exhibited in public spaces and shows including Social in Practice (2014) in New York, Flux (2012) in Washington, DC, Four minutes, thirty-three seconds (2011) in Miami, Forever Forged. Forever Becoming (2011) in London. In 2011, her work was featured in En Foco. For more information visit www.larasteinpardo.com.
Jennifer Gonzalez – Board Member and Finance Director
Jennifer Gonzalez graduated Cum Laude from the University of Central Florida in 2003 with a Bachelors Degree in Finance, and is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. Jennifer has worked in accounting for over 6 years with Continental Real Estate Companies, one of Florida’s largest commercial real estate firms. Growing up in Miami Beach, Jennifer had the great opportunity of helping run her family’s business, Masters Italian Restaurant – a local landmark for over 30 years. In addition to business, Jennifer cares deeply about animals and has volunteered many hours to organizations such as the Humane Society and Coastal Boxer Rescue, and attended a volunteer symposium at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah in 2009.
Tayana Hardin - Board Member
Tayana Hardin brings to the organization a love for the arts and a commitment to inspired academic research. She holds a doctorate in American Studies (2012) from the University of Michigan, where she also completed a graduate residency in the Center for World Performance Studies. In 2013, Tayana joined the faculty of the English Department at the University of Denver. She teaches courses on American literature and culture, as well as more specialized courses that focus on twentieth century African American literature and its creative and historical connections to visual art, music, and dance. Although great literature and compelling criticism nourish her mind and soul, her true sustenance comes from Colorado sunshine, good food, lots of laughter and dancing, and quality time with family and friends.
Alissa Pardo Stein – Board Member
Alissa Pardo Stein graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A in Art History and an M.A.Ed in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis on Reading and Learning Disabilities. She has continued her education by earning a certificate from the Center for Non-Profit Management at the University of Miami and her Yoga Teacher Certification in Skanda Yoga. A native of Miami Beach, Florida, Alissa is an active member of many local civic and religious organizations within her community, including Co‑Chair of the Miami Regional Council of Washington University, Immediate Past President of the Greater Miami Section of National Council of Jewish Women, as well as on the NCJW, Inc. national level, Commissioner & Section Advisory Council Member. Alissa has taught as well as held positions in sales and marketing. Her previous positions as the Marketing Director of the Center for Yiddish Culture and in the University of Miami Business Office enable her to continue her work in the world of the non‑profit organization. Presently, she works with Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, in charge of logistics for the Holocaust Summer Teacher Institute. Her role as one of the NCJW – GMS representatives to the Miami HIPPY Advisory Board led to her current work with Dr. Henry Green as the Project Manager of the HIPPY Health Literacy Project, where she organized networking seminars as well as Advocacy Day.
Past Board Members
Lisa Phillip – Board Member and Vice Chair (2009 - 2015)
Jimmy Cudzilo – Board Member (2009 - 2015)
Interns and Project Assistants
Rebecca Peterson (2009 - 2010)
Elizabeth Salerno (2009 - 2010)