Interdisciplinary Artist, Cultural Organizer, Designer, PhD Student

Jaclyn in the studio with cat Sili and dog Pili

Jaclyn Reyes (b. 1986, Los Angeles, CA) is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural organizer, designer, and PhD student based in New York City.

Reyes currently works at the International Rescue Committee, where she supports the Education technical unit, and previously participated in Operation Allies Welcome. She has done work for the Campaign and Creative Services team at BerlinRosen, the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, the Resilient Communities program at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Penguin Random HouseCondé Nast, and Visionaire.

She studied studio art at California State University Long Beach before transferring to Syracuse University where she received her BFA in Art Photography. In 2019, she earned her master’s degree in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

She will be pursuing a PhD in Social Welfare at The City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center in fall of 2023. Previously, she engaged in humanitarian research in the Philippines, exploring the intersections of education, armed conflict, climate disasters, and community resilience. Her doctoral studies aim to critically examine alternative approaches to paternalistic humanitarianism via diaspora engagement in humanitarian assistance, development, and transnational care systems.

Community Work

As a teaching artist, she has worked in QueensBrooklynPhnom PenhXela, Kuala Kangsar, and Gamay. She engages in social practice, community-based art, and creative place-keeping strategies and interventions with Little Manila Queens Bayanihan Arts in Woodside, Queens. Her projects include the Meal to Heal initiative, the Mabuhay mural, and the Little Manila Avenue Street Installation. Recent collaborations of hers include We Belong and Flare/Flair at the Queens Museum, the documentary and dance film We Are They, and The Tandang Sora Project, an ongoing effort to create a monument to migrant care workers.


In 2023, she was a Design Justice as Practice Fellow with the Center for Urban Pedagogy and recipient of a New York State Council on the Arts creative grant for interdisciplinary art, The Puffin Foundation grant, and her second Asian Women Giving Circle grant. Previously, she was a part of Re:Generation with The Monument Lab and a 2021-22 Art Commissioner with Queens Council on the Arts. She has been awarded opportunities from The Fulbright ProgramThe Laundromat ProjectEn Foco, Inc., and Wave Farm. She was a mentor with the New York Foundation for the Arts Immigrant Artist Program in 2021-22 and 2022-23. She has been an invited speaker at Stanford University, the Landmark Society of Western New York, and the NYC Racial Justice Commission.

Her work has been highlighted in The New York TimesGothamist, ARTnewsArt ForumBusiness InsiderPublic Radio InternationalArtsy, Yes! MagazineNueva LuzThe Asian JournalAPEX ExpressAll in NYCNew York Historical Society, and the Center for an Urban Future, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s virtual event “Creatives Rebuild New York—and America,” BronxNet Television, and on the PBS/Chasing the Dream series Caretakers

She shared her thoughts on art and care in an episode of the Queens Memory Project Podcast called “Seeing Signs,” the Queens Council on the Arts blog, and in a documentary about Little Manila aired on the Philippine television series I-Witness on GMA Network. She has also spoken about her experience community-building in Little Manila with The Laundromat Project and redistricting advocacy efforts in Little Manila. In recognition of her efforts, she was included in City & State New York’s 2023 Queens Power 100 list.

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