Monday, May 27, 2024

Diana Navarrete-Rackauckas begins work full time this August as executive director of the Foundry community building.

The Foundry community building is expected to open to the public in the summer of 2022, but it already has an executive director: Diana Navarrete-Rackauckas, who begins work full time this August, The Foundry Consortium announced Thursday.

Navarrete-Rackauckas is expected to collaborate with the community to keep the East Cambridge building lively, offering its spaces for the visual and performing arts, community events, entrepreneurship, technology and workforce education. She is also expected to “help facilitate access for residents, especially those long underrepresented in the arts and sciences, to the working and learning environment” of nearby Kendall Square, the consortium said in a press release.

“We sought an ideal candidate who would bring a wide set of skills and knowledge – from how to build a truly inclusive culture to how to operate spaces to be used for art and technology programming to how to run a financially sound nonprofit organization and everything in between. Diana brings the full package, plus the passion, drive and approachability that are key for this role,” consortium board president Stephanie Couch said.

Navarrete-Rackauckas, a North Cambridge resident, has a background working in history, science and art museums, and currently serves as director of learning and interpretation at Design Museum Everywhere in Boston. In that role, she is involved with diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, supporting strategic planning and designs and managing youth and adult programming, the consortium said. She has worked directly with Cambridge community centers on youth programming for Design Museum Everywhere.

She also brings direct experience in theater production, maker space oversight and fundraising, according to an online résumé from Navarrete-Rackauckas.

“I look forward to working with local community members and organizations to ensure the Foundry is sustainable, equitable, inclusive and vibrant,” Navarrete-Rackauckas said, vowing to “maximize the benefit” of the building.

It will be an “incredible resource for the programs and individuals that want to use it for the arts, sciences, workforce development and more,” she said.

The renovated building – a $30 million city project, with $7 million of that total coming from the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority – will have makerspaces, a multi-use performance space, dance studio, demonstration kitchen, artist work space and offices. Spaces may be booked at no or low cost for programs and gatherings with a community purpose, including holding a neighborhood meeting or offering classes teaching how to sew or code.

The consortium plans a public meet-and-greet event this summer for Navarrete-Rackauckas where community members can ask questions and “share their hopes for the Foundry’s future.” Access to information is at

This post took significant amounts of material from a press release.