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Clara Martinez

Lansing, MI

National Leaders of Color Fellowship


Headshot of a smiling person of light skin tone and long wavy pink hair, with maroon glasses and nose piercings, wearing red lipstick and standing in front of a bookshelf.
Photo Credit: Clara Martinez


Fifty-three fellows from communities across the U.S. were selected to participate in the 2022-2023 National Leaders of Color Fellowship cohort to build on the legacy of creating an intersectional, intergenerational, and multiracial movement on behalf of cultural equity across the field. During this no-cost eight-month fellowship, fellows receive access to specialists in the field, strategic learning objectives to deepen thought on anti-racist and culturally-oriented leadership practices, and national-level network and cohort building.

Clara Martinez (she/her) is the Dance Director at Everett High School in the Lansing School District. A lifelong dancer with a passion for community organizing, Clara knows that students and community members are the experts- everyone else is in service to them. She is a proud union representative and advocates for students and educators in the Lansing Schools Education Association.

Prior to Everett, Clara served as a Teaching Artist and as Artistic Director of Clara Lucia Y Compania, which received the Arts Council of Greater Lansing’s 2016 Community Artist Grant. In 2017, Clara co-directed Daringly Real Crunchy Moves and premiered the work ““love in the time of trump”“ at Kristi Faulker’s ASSEMBLE Women’s Work Festival. In 2020, Clara won Best Dance Instructor in Lansing’s City Pulse Top of the Town Contest.

She is Chair of Michigan Dance Council, on the Board of Directors for All Of The Above Hip Hop Academy and Cultural Advocacy Network of Michigan. She was appointed by Lansing City Council to serve on the City of Lansing Arts & Culture Commission to represent the 1st Ward. In 2021, Clara was recognized as a Rising Leader in the Arts and selected for the Michigan Arts & Culture Council’s’ Rising Leaders 2021-2022 Cohort Program. Clara is pursuing her Masters of Social Work (MSW) in Organization & Community Leadership at Michigan State University. Clara received her Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance from The Ohio State University.

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