• Advisory Committees

Michelle Cruz

Director of Community Engagement, Trinity Rep, Founder, Natural Creola Farms

Michelle is a singer, songwriter, farmer, food blogger, entrepreneur, and community arts advocate. She blends her love of community and the art of the story into her work in Publicity at Spia Media/Fox Point Cape Verdean Heritage Place, Trinity Rep's Director of Community Engagement, and her own work with her budding lifestyle brand and farm, Natural Creola. Cruz connects and builds trusted relationships with community partners across the state and nation. She often participates in community-building events like the Community Sing in Downtown Providence, conversation series with Providence Public Library, voter registration events, and marching with FPCVHP's St. Antonio Society Procession.

Michelle first engaged with the Swearer Center through the Bonner Fellowship while at Farm Fresh RI, and now works with Distinguished Community Practitioner and Senior Fellow in Residence, Dr. Claire Andrade-Watkins. She loves Swearer's foundation of community engagement, engaged scholarship, and social innovation as it connects to her vision of state partnerships. Michelle joined the Community Advisory Board to further integrate the arts into Swearer’s work and promote the exchange of ideas through different sectors. Cruz believes everyone can learn from different perspectives and she certainly wants to highlight how the arts can be transformational in our lives and community. In addition to her role with the Swearer Center, Michelle is also part of the Fox Point Cape Verdean Heritage Place, The Food Advisory Committee for Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin, Northeast Farmers of Color, Black Farmers and Urban Growers, Food Solutions New England Trailblazer, and a Manton Avenue Project Board Member.