Marcela “Xela” Garcia, Milwaukee
Region 14 Director
Marcela “Xela” Garcia was first elected to the Milwaukee School Board in April 2021, and is a proud alumna of Milwaukee Public Schools and the bilingual education program. She is a Xicana artist, innovator, and cultural warrior that currently serves as the Executive Director at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts. She brings broad experience in arts and culture administration, education, philanthropy, and organizational sustainability.
Xela earned her BA in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing & Chicanx/Latinx Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and also holds a certification in Nonprofit Leadership. She was awarded Board Sources’ National Emerging Non-Profit Leader Award in 2012, was recognized as one of Wisconsin’s Most Powerful Latinos in 2018, and was selected to the 2020 class of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award. She currently serves as a mayoral appointee to the City of Milwaukee Arts Board and as an Arts & Culture Leaders of Color Fellow with Americans for the Arts.
As an advocate of racial and gender equity she has served on local and national arts, education, and foundation boards. Xela comes from a family with a strong legacy in education—both of her parents, Eduardo and Marcela, have taught in Milwaukee Public Schools for more than 25 years, and her sister, Dina, is a university professor of public health. As a family, in 2007, they founded Científicas de Milwaukee, the first bilingual and bicultural STEAM program in the city serving girls in grades K5-8 grade. Xela was born in Guadalajara and was raised in Milwaukee’s South Side where she currently resides with her partner Aaron and their fur baby, Ikal.
Region 14 – School Districts