Mary Navarro has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, working as a grantmaker, fundraiser, project manager, and teacher. Currently she is a consultant based in Pittsburgh PA with expertise in the arts and culture, public art, design, and community development sectors. Mary develops strategy, manages projects, and provides training and technical assistance for a range of clients including the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, The Heinz Endowments, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Point Park University, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, The Pittsburgh Foundation and the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. She is an adjunct faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College Arts Management Program and at the University of Bologna in Bologna Italy teaching in the Graduate Degree in Innovation and Organization of Culture and the Arts (GIOCA).
As a senior program officer at The Heinz Endowments, Mary’s work covered a broad range of activities including visual and performing arts, public art, architecture, and design. She developed, and for several years managed, the Small Arts Initiative, and was a partner with the statewide team that expanded the Endowments' touring program for performing arts organizations to cover the entire Mid-Atlantic region. She worked with many mid-sized organizations, helping them to develop their artistic potential, leadership capacity and facility options. Mary was involved in leading the Endowments’ Downtown Now Strategic Alliance, an internal, cross-programmatic team focused on helping downtown Pittsburgh fully realize its potential as a vibrant center for culture and commerce in the region. Before that, she headed the foundation's Civic Design Initiative. She has overseen the Endowments’ involvement in architectural competitions for the new David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh, and the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Mary has been a leader in public art initiatives, including the $2 million program for the convention center, and the development of Pittsburgh’s Office of Public Art. She also was involved in planning activities for the city’s downtown that are aimed at developing more housing and revitalizing the corridor between Fifth and Forbes avenues. Mary managed The Heinz Endowments’ art collection of about 100 items and recently completed the development of The Endowments’ Downtown Now Photography Project.
Mary joined the then-combined Heinz Endowments and Pittsburgh Foundation in 1990, after serving as conference coordinator for STEP One, a major national conference exploring environmental challenges and solutions. She also has served as director of development for Pittsburgh Hearing, Speech and Deaf Services Inc., and as general manager of a gallery that specialized in antiques and decorative arts.
Mary received a master’s in public management from Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College, and a bachelor’s in urban studies from Bradford College. She has been a co-chair of the Urban Design Committee of the Riverlife Task Force in Pittsburgh and a council member for the Public Art Network, a national organization. She currently serves on the boards of Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development, and the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.