Irfana Jetha Noorani (she/her/hers) is a cultural organizer, artist, producer and administrator based in Washington, D.C. She supports neighborhoods, public spaces, cultural organizations, and philanthropic institutions with equitable planning processes and programming that center people of color and justice-based outcomes in their work.
From 2014 – 2020, Irfana served as a founding staff member and the Deputy Director of the 11th Street Bridge Park, a public/private partnership between the District of Columbia and the local nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River. Irfana led the Bridge Park’s cultural programming and investments; in 2018 she collaborated with local stakeholders to develop cultural strategies for the project and plan community-driven programs and other placekeeping initiatives in the adjoining neighborhoods. She promoted the project’s equity-first model by providing planning and implementation support on the Bridge Park’s Equitable Development Plan—a $56MM+ initiative to ensure that investments in nearby neighborhoods benefit current residents. Irfana also led fundraising efforts for the project and raised 82% of the project’s $139M capital campaign goal during her tenure.
Previously, Irfana worked with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in the Performing Arts Program and for New York Live Arts | Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. She serves on the Boards of Dance Place and Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and is a Founding Member of Vital Little Plans, a national artist collective and giving circle that challenges the power of Eurocentric philanthropy and supports creative and disruptive initiatives that are arts-driven and community-led. Irfana was an Arts Management Fellow at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and holds a BA in Dance & Movement Studies and International Relations from Emory University in her hometown of Atlanta, GA.
Photo Credit: Jared Soares
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT & IMPLEMENTATION
PUBLIC ART PLANNING
EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT PLANNING
GRANTMAKING PROGRAM DESIGN & MANAGEMENT
FRIENDS & COLLABORATORS
The people listed below are friends whose approach I admire and folks that I recommend working with.
I often like to work in collectives and with teams of people to complete complex projects. At times, I might pull these people in to work with me or advise me on different projects.
Please check out their work!