Ben Rodriguez-Cubeñas is the program director for the RBF’s Culpeper Arts & Culture program. He has led the Fund’s grantmaking focused on its home city since 1995, including as the program director of its Pivotal Place: New York City program, which concluded in 2015. He started his career in philanthropy three decades ago at the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. His grantmaking expertise includes education organizing and policy, immigration affairs, community development, international development, sustainable development, urban planning, and arts and culture.
Throughout Mr. Rodriguez-Cubeñas’ career in philanthropy, he has been a champion of artists and the arts and an advocate for equity and justice for Latinos and underrepresented communities. He continues to play an important leadership role in New York City’s civic and cultural life as vice chair of the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Cultural Advisory Board and chair of the Citizens Advisory Board for the Cultural Plan for New York City. In addition, he is vice chair of the board of Casita Maria in the Bronx, New York; chair of Ballet Hispanico’s Leadership Council; on the advisory board of New York Foundation for the Arts’ Leadership Council; and a founding member of the 2015 Lincoln Center Global Exchange. He has been a member of the Century Association since 2012. He previously served as chair of Hispanics in Philanthropy, a national organization dedicated to promoting philanthropy and support for the Latino community.
In 1998, he co-founded the Cuban Artists Fund, an organization dedicated to helping individual artists and promoting mutual understanding and relationship building with Cuban artists and arts professionals. He currently serves as the chair of the Cuban Artists Fund. For the last two decades, he has been a cultural ambassador to Cuba, promoting cultural exchanges, Cuban culture and artists, and interaction between Cubans and Americans. Mr. Rodriguez-Cubeñas has been recognized by Ballet Hispanico, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Hispanics in Philanthropy, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Cuban National Ballet, National Parent Teacher Association, the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, the Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute, the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute and many other institutions for his contributions to the Latino community and to arts and culture in general.
A graduate of Seton Hall University and Drew University, he currently resides in Manhattan.