With 18 years of experience in the arts education field and 22 years as a professional Dancer, Shelby Williams-Gonzalez has a career made up of overlapping networks. Artist, educator, and leader pushing for social change. Shelby has taught dance and performing arts for LAUSD, as well as, developed programs for non-profit organizations such as The California Dance Institute, A Place Called Home and the L.A. Opera’s Education Program. She joined artworxLA in 2008 as a Workshop Coordinator and was promoted in 2012 to Artistic Director to oversee programming and partnerships. In 2017, Shelby shifted her career focal point from programming to fundraising and institutional sustainability as the organization's new Development and Communications Director and in 2018 she was appointed as the new Executive Director of artworxLA by the Board of Directors.
Shelby has participated in numerous professional developments focusing on leadership and cross sector work. In 2013, she was part of L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce Southern California Leadership Network – Leadership L.A. In 2015, Shelby participated in the Durfee LEAD Program with a residency at the Downtown Woman’s Center. Shelby is also a member of the 2016 Courage to Lead Cohort and the 2018 Next Leaders Development Program through the Center for Nonprofit Management.
As a professional Dancer, Shelby has been a member of the national touring and critically acclaimed Afro-Brazilian dance company Viver Brasil, since 2006. She has served as their Rehearsal Director and currently is part of the touring company and a resident choreographer. Her most resent work with the company, “Revealed,” explored the intersection of traditional Orixa (Afro-Brazilian Deities) dance and current racial and social inequities resulting in over-policed communities and mass killings of black bodies both in the United States and Brazil. Shelby holds a B.A. in Dance and Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and is a proud native angelino, mom, wife, and avid shoe shopper!
“An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times.”-Nina Simone