Eleanor Moreno, 32
Cook Arts Center
“Innovative” is a word that comes up a lot when people talk about Eleanor Moreno.
Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities in September hired Moreno as director of its arts programming arm, the Cook Arts Center. In her new role, she works with neighbors and arts center staff to strengthen existing programs and develop new community partnerships and initiatives.
In her prior role as director of community engagement at The Other Way Ministries, she developed innovative programs, new community engagement strategies and community-led initiatives around food justice, presenting her work locally and nationally.
She co-founded CO2 Storytelling, which provides a platform for “real people to be heard” by gathering stories from community members and presenting their concerns to people in power to effect change.
Her nominator called Moreno “an innovative thinker who puts her own boots to the ground to get things done for our community,” as well as a “sought-after and trusted resource by our city leaders and community stakeholders because she works with the people.”
Moreno has served Grand Rapids in many capacities, including on the Kent County Essential Needs Task Force Food and Nutrition Coalition, the Latino Community Coalition and the Challenge Scholars Advisory Committee. She was a founding member of the Kent County Food Policy Council and is chair of The Neighbors of Roosevelt Park.
Moreno received the 2019 Grand Rapids Young Professionals Advocate Award, was a National Equity Project Fellow in 2019 and is a 2020 Victory Empowerment Fellow with the LGBTQ Victory Institute, a program that develops LGBTQ leaders of color.