Irfana Jetha Noorani (she/her/hers) is an 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.
Irfana founded a cultural consulting practice in 2021 and currently serves as a Senior Fellow to the High Line Network and is working as a Project Consultant with the Ford Foundation to launch a global program with their Creativity & Free Expression and Civic Engagement & Government teams. Recent projects include providing interim executive leadership and fundraising strategy for Transform 1012 N. Main Street, and leading a multi-year public art commissioning process for the 11th Street Bridge Park, among others.
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 fundraising efforts for the project and raised 82% of the project’s $139M capital campaign goal during her tenure. Irfana also led the Bridge Park’s cultural work; 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.
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 Board of Dance Place, 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 Fellows 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. You can read more about her work and current projects at irfanajethanoorani.com.
Photo Credit: Jared Soares
Equitable Development Planning
Program Development and Implementation
Public Art Planning
Fundraising & Grant Writing
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!
OMAR HAKEEM, AIA
Socially Engaged Design
Operations | Communications | Programming
Communications I Programming