Image of Jennifer M. Cuevas, courtesy of SHG.

Weeks ahead of its 50th year anniversary, Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG) announced Tuesday that Jennifer M. Cuevas will be the organization’s new executive director. A communications consultant with the nonprofit since 2017, she is inheriting the role from Betty Avila who announced in January that she’d be leaving the position.

“Her stepping into the role fulfills the vision for leadership continuity that our succession planning projected, ensuring that the person at the helm has not only the expertise and administrative acumen, but also holds the Chicana/o/x artistic legacy at the core of the future vision of Self Help,” said Avila, who held the position since 2018, in a press release. 

“SHG’s momentum in this critical moment will continue on its upward trajectory, and it will evolve under her leadership. I’m excited to see where she takes this cultural gem.”

Cuevas is an LA-based entrepreneur and cultural producer set to officially take on her new role on September 5th. She is the founder of the locally-based communications agency Jenerate Media, which specializes in supporting non-profit institutions throughout the city. 

Described as a “visionary leader” by the nonprofit’s board president Paulina M. Flores, Cuevas is set to lead the organization during its two-year capital campaign to renovate its center in Boyle Heights. “Self Help Graphics has been a home where I see my cultura reflected back at me and a place that makes art accessible to the community through printmaking, exhibitions, cultural events and intergenerational programs,” said Jennifer Cuevas in the press release.

Cuevas said that during her youth and as a rising journalism student at the University of La Verne she became impassioned with movements and groups infusing social justice and the arts, motivating her to help advance the careers of artists and institutions through communication.

Over the years, she has worked with the Vincent Price Art Museum, Academia Avance Charter School (Avance), California Native Vote Project (CNVP), Women Organizing Resources, Knowledge and Services (WORKS), Metro Arts, Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA), and others. She currently serves on the Board of Arts of LA.

“I am deeply grateful and excited to advance SHG’s mission with our incredible staff, to continue to advocate for artists, arts and culture, and for the journey ahead to continue to strengthen and grow our work,” said Cuevas in the release.

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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