Justine Richardson is Director of The Arboretum, a 400-acre, internationally accredited, living laboratory at the University of Guelph. She brings a life-long passion for science and nature and a strategic storytelling approach to leadership in cultural spaces.
She joined the Embassy Cultural House to present the exhibition Pandemic Gardens.
For the past twenty-two years, she has worked in interdisciplinary university environments with subject matter experts to further research, teaching, and community-engaged outreach for positive change.
Justine has a background in documentary filmmaking and multimedia production. She trained at Appalshop, the community-based media arts centre in the Appalachian mountains of Whitesburg, Kentucky, where she was born. There, she directed Girls’ Hoops, an award-winning history of girls’ high-school basketball, and was a videographer for Shelter, Morristown in the Air and Sun, His Eye Is on the Sparrow, and The Ralph Stanley Story. For many years, she worked developing and managing multi-partner humanities research projects at Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Michigan State University, where her focus included the Quilt Index, the American Black Journal Online archive, and the MSU Museum and Quilt Alliance’s Quilt Treasures video documentaries. She managed the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation at the University of Guelph.
Justine studied history of art at Yale University (BA), cultural studies at Michigan State University (MA), community organizing at the Highlander Center for Research and Education (Newmarket, Tennessee, USA), undoing racism at the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA), and media production at both the Communications Experience (Guatemala City, Guatemala) and at Appalshop.
She lives in Guelph, Ontario, with her family.