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Expert Profile


Kheli Willetts






Position Type:



United States of America

Years in the field:

26+ Years

Areas of Expertise

Administrative Support, After-School Programs, Curatorial/Collections, Diversity, Education, Explainer/guide, Senior Leadership, Operations, Outreach and Public Engagement, Partnerships, Project Management, Professional Development, Strategic Planning, Other

Dr. Kheli Willetts is Principal and Founder of Dira Professional Development, LLC. Dira provides tailored consulting services offering proven experience in the following areas, Individual and Cohort Coaching, Governance and Operations and Programming and Community Engagement.

Prior to starting her own firm, Dr. Willetts was Director of Professional Development at Mid-America Arts Alliance where she provided cohort coaching and programming for small to midsize arts and cultural organizations, as well as practicing artists.

Before relocating to Texas in 2016, she spent almost 15 years as the Executive Director of Community Folk Art Center and Professor of Practice of African American Art History and Film in the Department of African American Studies at Syracuse University, in Syracuse, New York. Dr. Willetts has consulted with several organizations including, The Wallace Foundation, Black Box Press Foundation, The Bullock Texas State History Museum, Jazz Houston, and WolfBrown Consulting.

Dr. Willetts currently serves as the Vice President of IDEA for Texas Association of Museum’s Council and a member of the Steering Committee for Houston’s BIPOC Arts Network and Fund. Her previous board service included, Association of African American Museums, New York Consortium of Museums and Art Centers, and Houston Center for Photography. Her experience as a grant panelist includes several arts and culture organizations including, Institute of Museum and Library Services, New York State Council on the Arts, City of Austin, Texas Commission on the Arts, and the Houston Arts Alliance.

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