2019 Circle of Friends Awardee Arelene Sagun

Arlene has served as an Artist and Administrator in the San Jose community for more than 30 years. She is the Executive Director for SJMAG/Tabia and handles the business operations of the organizations. She has been the Program Coordinator of the largest Dia de Los Muertos in Southbay for more than 20 years that brings 5,000 people to downtown San Jose for a day of cultural entertainment and celebration each year.

Arlene has served as an Arts Education Instructor for K-12 students in various schools throughout Santa Clara Valley for 30+ years. She has influenced and touched thousands of lives. As an instrumental partner of African-American and Latino communities in San Jose, she brought the culture of the two communities together and serving as a bridge for collaboration and unity. Arlene has been a key contributor in providing education and entertainment to the Family Shelter, Children’s Shelter, Job Corps, Juvenile Hall and other underserved Bay communities.

Over the years she has provided drumming and poetry “healing” workshops at the center for domestic violence. Arlene served as a resource for San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs for the after-school Arts Ed program, and was a key participant in start of the program. She assists in the successful operations of Tabia African American Theatre Ensemble working behind the scenes on quality productions and programs offered to the community and youth.

She also is one of the founders and member of Maiko Women’s Drum and Poetry group. Arlene has also provided administrative support to Akoma Arts, Teatro Familia Aztlan, and many other artists and arts organizations.

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2020 gala

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