Ariana A. Curtis, PhD

Curator for Latinx Studies | National Museum of African American History and Culture


Dr. Ariana A. Curtis is the first curator of Latinx Studies at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In this role, she is responsible for collection and interpretation related to: Latinx, Afro-Latinx, African American & Latinx, African Diaspora, and African Americanness in Latin America. Additionally, she serves on multiple committees for the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative. Among her conference presentations and keynote addresses most recently Ariana was a speaker at SXSW 2019, Ted Women 2018, and Politico Women Rule 2018. She has appeared in national media outlets including LatinoUSA, The Root, and USA Today.

Previously, Ariana was curator of Latinx Studies at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum (ACM) where she curated two bilingual exhibitions: Gateways/Portales, which received honorable mention in the 2017 Smithsonian Excellence in Exhibition Awards and is currently on view at the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., and Bridging the Americas: Community and Belonging from Panama to Washington, D,C,, which was exhibited at ACM and in Panama City, Panama. She also organized Revisiting Our Black Mosaic, a symposium about race and immigration in Washington, D.C.

Ariana is a Fulbright scholar who earned a doctorate in Anthropology from American University, an MA from American University, and a BA from Duke University.