Board of Directors
LACY AUSTIN, Secretary
For over twenty years, Lacy Austin has worked as an arts educator and program administrator in public schools, community centers, and cultural organizations across the country with arts education and social justice at the heart of her career path. Lacy received her M.A. in Arts Education and Social Justice from New York University’s Gallatin School, and her B.A. in Urban Studies and Sociology from Macalester College. For the past fourteen years she has been the Director of Community Programs at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York City, leading museum education initiatives and youth classes, as well as partnerships with schools and social service organizations in underserved communities. Prior she held positions at The Children’s Arts Carnival, the Coalition School for Social Change, and ArtsConnection–all roles which focused on the arts as agents for change. Additionally, Lacy is a member of the Photojournalism Advisory Council for The Alexia Foundation, the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable, and the New York City Museum Education Roundtable.
MARIO LAZZARONI, Treasurer
Mario Lazzaroni has 20 years of experience in corporate strategy, strategic consulting and operations for consumer-focused corporations in US, Europe, Africa. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Napoli University in Italy and an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York. He is currently the Country Manager of The Estée Lauder Companies in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this capacity he is responsible to develop the strategy of the company in the region, drive revenue growth, deliver profitability goals, develop internal and external capabilities, and build the Estée Lauder Companies brand portfolio across all markets in the region. He previously held positions at both McKinsey and Co. and Procter & Gamble. Additionally, he serves as a Director of Van Brunt Stillhouse, a spirits manufacturer in Brooklyn, NY, and is involved in several direct investments with leading entrepreneurs, including Africa Felix, a fruit concentrate manufacturer in Sierra Leone. He was previously the Chief Investment Officer for Agora Partnerships, a Social Venture Capital fund focused on small enterprises in Central America.
WANGECHI MUTU, Chair/President
Deeply committed to her Art and an activist at heart, in 2014, Wangechi Mutu founded AFRICA’SOUT!, as a dynamic platform where art and activism converge to raise awareness to very urgent present issues affecting Africans today– specifically issues relating to Gender Equality and Gay Rights. Artist and Activist, she is best known for her large-scale figurative collages in dystopic otherworldly landscapes. Through performance, collage-paintings, Art-films and sculpture she questions issues of gender inequality, race issues, conflict globalization, colonialism and the eroticization of the black female body. Wangechi received her MFA from Yale University and BFA from Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Science. She has exhibited internationally for almost 20 years, most recently participating in the renowned Venice Biennale, 2015. Wangechi’s work has been the subject of solo shows throughout the U.S. and abroad including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, and Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; among many.
KIBRA A YOHANNES, Director
Kibra A Yohannes has fifteen years of experience leading media, arts and education organizations using art and innovation for social change.
As Director of AFRICA’SOUT!, Kibra continues her commitment to creating new cultural spaces and influencing the direction our society moves. Before joining AFRICA’SOUT! Kibra was the Director of the School of Continuing Studies at Long Island University, where managed and designed children’s and accredited adult education programs for more than 1,000 students annually. Previously she served as Director of Operations and Director of Programs, respectively, at Arts Engine, Inc a film production company producing social-issue documentaries of consequence, and programs such as the Media That Matters Film Festival, MediaRights and Filmmaker Services. Kibra holds a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Virginia and is a candidate for a Master’s in Social Science, with a Graduate Certificate in United Nations System from Long Island University.