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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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OUR BOARD

Board President

Mal Montoya

A business and community leader for over thirty years, Mr. Montoya brings a broad spectrum of board experience and an entrepreneurial spirit to his endeavors. Adept at fostering a conducive environment for strategic stakeholder relations and bringing those to the table who can make critical decisions in real time. 

Son of famed Chicano art movement activist and college art professor, Jose Montoya, Mal was born and raised in Northern California where he was frequently on the front lines of many social struggles including Cesar Chavez’s grape boycotts in the late sixties and seventies. Learning first-hand the value of change through art, he assisted his dad in printing posters to announce rallies, and picket signs that would be carried by fellow marchers. Looking back at his youth, the art world was always present. He grew up making frames for his dad’s canvases, or assisting him as he taught art classed to youths in inner city community centers.

His deep desire to assist underserved communities led him to help create one of the first Hispanic owned public relations firms in California in the late 1980’s. His firm focused on brining critical basic services information, including economic, health and transportation issues, to various Spanish speaking communities. This work would ultimately bring him to Chicago, where he would be part of a team that created a small, Hispanic owned community bank. In this capacity, he would focus on brand identity and community relations. He was elected twice to serve on the Board of Directors of the Berwyn Development Corporation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization. Serving as the President of the Board, he focused his efforts on activities that led to business development opportunities for all segments the City of Berwyn. In the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, he was appointed by then mayor Richard M. Daley, (and reappointed by current Mayor, Rahm Emmanuel) to serve as a commissioner on the SSA 10, where he was asked to be its Chairman. The charge of the SSA is to oversee, recommend and approve annual services, budgets and formally select a Service Provider Agency on behalf of the City in this historic neighborhood.

Today, in addition to being a business development specialist, Mal is an avid photographer and graphic artist who continues to stay connected to the art world that was instrumental to his youth. After the passing of his father, he proudly worked closely with his family to curate his father’s collection of drawings, paintings, and writings. This tedious work culminated in a show of 2,000+ hand-picked original works by his father on display at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. He is also personally overseeing the archiving and reproduction of select works in his Greenfield studio. Mal has developed a process for producing high resolution digital files that he reproduces on his large format digital printing equipment. Understanding that printing must always be a collaboration with the artist, Mal calls on his father’s direction every time he is in his studio.