Harold Steward, a modern philosopher, strategist, and educator, joined NEFA as executive director in July 2023. Prior to NEFA, they served as the executive director & cultural strategist at The Theatre Offensive (TTO), a Boston-based nonprofit organization that presents liberating art by, for, and about queer and trans people of color that transcends artistic boundaries, celebrates cultural abundance, and dismantles oppression. They previously served as manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center, which provides instruction and enrichment in the arts with an emphasis on the African contribution to world culture.
In 2009, Harold founded Fahari Arts Institute in Dallas after recognizing a gap in the landscape for local LGBTQ artists of color in Dallas. Fahari Arts Institute celebrated, displayed, and produced the work of queer artists from the African Diaspora.
Harold is a member of the board of directors of Theater Communications Group where they are the co-chair of the equity, diversity and inclusion committee. Harold is also the board treasurer for the National Performance Network and serves as the board clerk for MassCreative. They are also a steering committee member of the Black Theater Commons. Harold is also a founding member of NextGen National Arts Network and founding partner of Steward Cultural Development Group.
Steward served as a cultural equity facilitator with Equity Quotient and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Theater Studies at Emerson College where his current research interests include The Queer Trap Aesthetic in American Theatre and Identity Reclamation-The process in which oppressed individuals reclaim agency over their identity through cultural production.