Haifa Bint-Kadi, Director of Community Engagement Through The Arts

Haifa has designed and fabricated public and community-based art via a community-engagement process since 1993She is currently president of Yonkers Arts Council and curator of the Riverfront Arts Gallery. One of her most important accomplishments is her award by the City of Yonkers, on behalf of Groundwork Hudson Valley, to coordinate Yonkers Arts Weekend in 2015, among the largest, most dynamic festivals in Westchester County. Haifa has further contributed to the revitalization of Yonkers by commissioning a series of public murals with acclaimed street artists on abandoned buildings throughout the downtown area.

She is now working on a steel sculpture series highlighting the history of industrial era workers for the City of Yonkers to be a key feature of the Mill Street Courtyard, Phase II of the Saw Mill River daylighting. The Museum of Natural History recently selected her art to highlight their Asian Arts collection through a mosaic project. Haifa has been a teaching artist with CityLore for more than 13 years. She has trained in CityLore’s Place Matters strategy to document, present, and advocate for a community’s living legacy. Haifa holds an MFA from the Istituto d’Arte per il Mosaico, Ravenna, Italy. She has done major mosaic installations at SUNY Oneonta and in cities throughout New York.

With each project, Haifa seeks to understand the community’s values, traditions, and history. She involves residents in cultivating their stories which are used to create and select images that reflect identity and heritage. This integral community investment translates into a community’s heightened connection to their neighborhood and to one another.

Haifa is a member of the City of Yonkers’ Muslim American Advisory Board and received Mayor Mike Spano’s Woman of Distinction Award for 2015.