Former executive director of Hip-Hop Theater Festival joins Meadows

Clyde Valentín joins Meadows to develop programs that integrate community engagement with artistic practices.

Clyde Valentín

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts has appointed Clyde Valentín to develop and lead new programs that will integrate artistic practices with community engagement in Dallas and other urban centers across the country. DALLAS (SMU) –SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts has appointed Clyde Valentín to develop and lead new programs that will integrate artistic practices with community engagement in Dallas and other urban centers across the country.

Valentín most recently served as executive director of the New York City-based Hip-Hop Theater Festival (HHTF), where he oversaw its transition to become Hi-ARTS, an arts organization fostering creative, multi-disciplinary work, outreach and education through the hip-hop art and culture movement.

He will begin his new role at the Meadows School immediately.

Over the past several years the Meadows School has increasingly focused on the intersection of the arts and social engagement. The school’s annual Meadows Prize invites internationally recognized artists and scholars to interact with Meadows students and create a lasting work in Dallas, and students and faculty from throughout the school’s 11 disciplines are involved with projects that support diverse communities in the city.

“The Meadows School of the Arts is thrilled to welcome Clyde Valentín to our staff,” said Meadows Dean José Bowen.  “Clyde is an innovator in socially engaged art, and for more than a decade, he has created programs that integrate the arts with their communities. His appointment represents a significant step in Meadows’ ongoing mission to engage in deep relationships with the broader Dallas community and to introduce students to the arts’ critical role in social engagement.”

In his new role at the Meadows School, Valentín will build on programs that allow students to immerse themselves in Dallas and to engage with community members and arts institutions to create art collaboratively.  Through these cultural collaborations and interactions, Valentín and Meadows School faculty members and students will work to enhance Dallas’s existing urban infrastructure, encourage people to think of Dallas’s culture in new ways, and create a cultural energy that supports Dallas – home to the nation’s largest urban arts district – and its growth as a nationally recognized arts center.

“The arts don’t belong only in the classroom or studio – artists need to engage with their communities to remain vital, and SMU Meadows is a pioneer in instilling these values in its students,” said Valentín. “I look forward to working with Meadows faculty and students to explore best practices in myriad multidisciplinary approaches to making art and engaging the community.”

Valentín was born and raised in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  Under Valentín’s leadership, HHTF presentations and productions appeared in major urban centers around the United States, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.   Known as one of the most influential outlets showcasing hip-hop performing arts, HHTF has presented hundreds of artists and introduced diverse, national audiences to the stories, people, music, dance and word of hip-hop. Under Valentín’s leadership, the HHTF also has curated visual arts programs since 2007, including a solo show of the work of pioneering sculptor Carlos Mare139 Rodriguez and classes for teens with noted guest artists.  Valentín was instrumental in the recent transition of HHTF to Hi-ARTS, expanding the organization’s vision to become an international arts and culture center dedicated to the development, exploration, education and production of theater, dance, music and visual art.

Valentín served as a Fellow at the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center. He also serves on the Art Advisory Board for the Times Square Alliance, is a board member for the Theatre Communications Group, is an advisor for the New England Foundation for the Arts National Theater Project and serves on the Steering Committee for the Latino Theater Commons.  He has presented at numerous conferences including the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture, Association of Performing Arts Presenters and the National Performance Network’s Annual Meeting.


The Meadows School of the Arts, formally established in 1969 at SMU, is one of the foremost arts education institutions in the United States. The Meadows School comprises 11 academic disciplines: the Temerlin Advertising Institute, Art, Art History, Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, Communication Studies, Creative Computation, Dance, Film and Media Arts, Journalism, Music and Theatre.

The goal of the Meadows School is to prepare students to meet the demands of professional careers. It is also committed to providing an ongoing opportunity for all SMU students to grow in the understanding and appreciation of the arts. The Meadows School is a leader in developing innovative outreach and community engagement programs, challenging its students to make a difference locally and globally by developing connections between art entrepreneurship and social change.

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