Meet the Team

Marcela Garcia

Executive Director

Marcela “Xela” Garcia is a Xicana artist, innovator and cultural warrior, born in Guadalajara and raised in Milwaukee. She has extensive experience in the fields of arts and culture, education, philanthropy, and organizational sustainability, adding up to over ten years of systems and program development, implementation and evaluation.

A proud MPS alumnae and resident of Milwaukee’s Southside, her deep commitment to cultural equity and change-making uniquely positions her to lead an organization with matching values.

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“To me, art provides an outlet and a voice for individuals and groups affected by such forces. WPCA acan lead these crucial conversations and efforts in Milwaukee. I want healthy communities. I want communities mobilizing and collaborating for social change. Most importantly, I want my city to thrive.”

She previously served as a program director for Board Governance and Leadership at Partners Advancing Values in Education (PAVE), where she lead governance and leadership programs for independent school systems in Milwaukee. She earned her BA in English Literature, Chican@/Latin@ Studies and American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a certification in Non-profit Leadership. An advocate of racial and gender equity, she serves on local and national arts, education, and foundation boards.

Howard Leu

Marketing Communications Coordinator

howard@wpca-milwaukee.org
414.509.6186

Howard is a creative thinker and visual storyteller. With lifelong failed attempts to paint competently, he now sticks to digital comforts in graphic and layout design, multimedia production and exhibition curation. He’s quite good at these things, depending on who you ask.

Also, a lifelong tinker-er of photography, Howard has put in enough hours to fancy himself a professional photographer. His photo subjects have include dozens of happy couples on their wedding day, children, dogs, and dignitaries such as Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, comedian extraordinaire Christopher Schmidt, and New Orlean’s famed Sally the Book Lady.

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His previous experience include: business manager/writer/photographer at ThirdCoast Digest (now Urban Milwaukee), architectural designer/preservation-restoration consultant at Bungaloo Preservation and Design, architectural researcher at City of Milwaukee’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Howard has been active in nonprofits and community organizations for over a decade. He served in leadership roles at Historic Milwaukee, Inc., Milwaukee Forum, Ex Fabula, and is currently on the board of Charles Allis/Villa Terrace. He holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from UWM and worked in historic preservation and restoration for many years before following the path of media and marketing.

He’s lived in various places throughout his youth, including Atlanta, Houston, Taipei and Alexander City, AL. This has been the longest he’s ever lived anywhere and he’s proud to call Milwaukee home. In the summer, he enjoys riding the Oak Leaf Trail, going to festivals, Brewers games and photographing uniquely Milwaukee cityscapes.

Maikue Vang

Art Education Coordinator

maikue@wpca-milwaukee.org
414.509.6187

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Maikue’s philosophy of art teaching and art making focuses on the community she grew up in, creating activities that connect art and identity. As an artist educator, her goal is to be able to provide an art program for youth in the Milwaukee community that encompasses art making that connects to processing thought and addressing contemporary ideas. Maikue’s goal in life is to support arts and humanity in the community through advocacy, active engagement, and collaboration.

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She received her BFA in Art Education in 2012 and an MFA in Fibers and Textiles Art in 2014 at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. As a student, Maikue was a recipient of the Advanced Opportunities Program Award, Layton Fellowship, and Surface Design Association’s Outstanding Student Award.

Her artistic practice includes participating in local shows such as the ABK Weaving Center’s Annual Milwaukee Fibers Warped Exhibit, Sharon Lynne Wilson Art Center’s Emerging Artist Exhibition, Hmong American Women’s Association’s Honoring Our Sisters’ Stories: A Tribute to Survivors of Violence Exhibit, and the Wisconsin Quilt Museum’s Second Biennale Fibers Art: Wisconsin State of Art show. She has also presented her artworks and written pieces at the Milwaukee Area Hmong Writing Symposium, UWM’s Teacher’s Institute, and the Milwaukee Art Museum’s ArtXPress Teen Youth Program.

Germán Gómez

Senior Intern

Germán is a second-year student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee pursuing degrees in photography and art history. His interest in art has led him to attain an Undergraduate Research Assistant position under Professor Raoul Deal and an internship at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts. His current work responds critically to concepts such as community, equity, and social responsibility.

Besides art, Germán has a deep appreciation of music, sleep, and his cat, Salvador. He can be found on the internet as @xlxlxmxn.

Cyndi Bergloff

Senior Intern

Cyndi izhinikaazo. Nindonjibaa Chigagou, Nindadaa Wauwatosa. Nindoodem Animikii gaye Mishiikenh. (My Name is Cyndi. I grew up in Chicago, and am currently living in Wauwatosa. I belong to the Thunderbird and Turtle clans).

Cyndi comes from the Grand River and Grand Traverse Band Odawa communities, and grew up in the Urban American Indian community in Chicago. She is an American Indian Studies major at UWM. In her studies she’s focusing on Indigenous language preservation, and is in the Anishinaabemowin language program.

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She served two year with AmeriCorps, City Year Seattle and Playworks Wisconsin, where she spent countless hours in schools that are historically underserved. The experience gave her the understanding how important it is for youth to see representation of their own communities in positions of leadership, specifically representation of Indigenous leadership in the educational sector .

With these experiences, Cyndi returned to complete her undergraduate degree with a new excitement for her educational and career aspirations. In addition to her education during the 2016-2017 school year, she is a current fellow in a fellowship called “Young People For,” an organization through “People For the American Way.” During this fellowship, she will be leveraging her educational and service experiences to create a “Blueprint for Social Justice.” In her free time, she enjoys creating: writing poetry, knitting, crocheting and making jewelry. Cyndi strongly believes that traditions and stories are passed down through art and loves facilitating conversations through her creations. Cyndi Is incredibly excited to be joining the team at Walker’s Point Center For the Arts and looks forward to seeing all of the exhibits and programming taking place.