American Artscape Notable Quotable: Irfana Jetha Noorani

By Katryna Carter
Woman wearing glasses and a beige sweater sitting on a chair.

Irfana Jetha Noorani. Photo by Jared Soares

"That early exposure to modern dance, ballet, and improvisation was so key to me learning and navigating through many different careers. That kind of creativity and improvisation was helpful in figuring it out, exploring, and learning new avenues of how to use my brain throughout my career. I think it's really hard for first-generation kids like me to think about a career in the arts. It's impossible to think about for my parents' generation for sure. But the reason they moved to this country was to have the possibility that their child could do anything. I got a lot of pushback when I was younger, and I tried to navigate into something where I could support myself and have my own career. It certainly took a lot of navigating and helping my parents understand what it meant to be in the arts sector and opening that world up for them."

Irfana Jetha Noorani is an artist, producer, and administrator based in Washington, DC. She supports neighborhoods, public spaces, cultural organizations, and philanthropic institutions with equitable planning processes and programming that center people of color and justice-based outcomes in their work. Noorani founded a cultural consulting practice in 2021. For the Artful Lives issue of American Artscape, Noorani reflects on how her dance background has helped her forge a career in the arts.