About Candelaria

Candelaria Flower1

About Candelaria SilvaCandelaria Silva-Collins is a consultant, writer and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Her areas of expertise include cultural economic development, community outreach and engagement, and facilitation and training.

Cultural Economic Development/Arts Administration

Candelaria was the first director of ACT (Arts, Culture & Trade) Roxbury from its inception in 1998 until August 2007.  ACT Roxbury was the cultural economic development program of Madison Park Development Corporation.  She conceived and developed:

  • Roxbury Film Festival: Film Celebrating People of Color
  • Roxbury Literary Annual
  • Roxbury Open Studios
  • Roxbury in Motion (Staged readings and performances)
  • Roxbury Discussion Series  (featuring such authors as Lalita Tademy- Red River and Thomas Shapiro – The Hidden Cost of Being African-American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality)
  • Playwright Mentorship (facilitated by Ed Bullins, Kate Snodgrass and Lydia Diamond)
  • Danette Jones Business of Culture Series (professional development workshops for artists)
  • Roxbury Is Rich Holiday Shopping Guides (insert in Bay State Banner, Globe and Patriot Ledger newspapers)

She played a major role in the creation of the Roxbury Center for Arts at Hibernian Hall, the rehabilitation of the grand former Irish Dance Hall.  ACT Roxbury received an Out of the Blue Grant from The Boston Foundation in 2005.


Candelaria has provided  community outreach, arts and event marketing consultation for a number of clients including Huntington Theatre Company, Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston, Door-2-Door to the Arts by SCM Community Transportation, Youth Producing Change of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Jackson Medical Mall Foundation,  the Boston Athenaeum, the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists (for the ¡Merengue! Visual Rhythms/Ritmos Visuales exhibit of works by Dominican Artists), and the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation. 

Workshop Design and Training

Topics include cultural economic development, grant-writing, community outreach, arts administration, networking, job search and parenting education.


Candelaria has published three booklets:  Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents.  Her essays, short stories, children’s stories, and poetry published in such publications as Boston Globe, Glue magazine, New Words Journal, Sojourner, Roxbury Literary Annual, the Hornbook, the Dictopedia, the, Ebony, Jr., and the School/Library Journal.  An active blogger, Candelaria was a Contributing Editor to BlogHer.com. She also writes about relationships, family, current issues, race and sex on her blog – candelariasilva.com

Community Service

Candelaria is currently Chair, Henderson Foundation Designators.

She is also on the boards of Dunamis, Boston and Write-on-the-Dot.

Previous board memberships include: Trustees, Goddard College, Discover Roxbury, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, StageSource: The Greater Boston Theater Alliance, Arts Service Coalition, Roxbury Cultural Network and Lead Boston Advisory Committee.

She was a member of the Lead Boston Class of 2006 sponsored by the Boston Center for Community & Justice. She was a volunteer for Generations, Inc., with the Boston Public Schools and has provided mentorship to teens, college students and young professionals throughout her career.


2017 – Arts and Community Leadership Award, Martinis and Masterpieces – Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston

2012 – Community Service Awards, John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute at Northeastern University

2011 – Roxbury Puddingstone Award – Discover Roxbury

2006 – Community Service Award from the Boston & Vicinity Club of the National Association of Negro Business & Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc.

Community Catalyst Award from Madison Park Development Corporation at their fortieth anniversary gala.

2006 – The Drylongso Award from Community Change

2003 – Top of the Arts Award for Individual Leadership from the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston.

Selected Press and Appearances

  • Panelist, Meet the Donors, Associated Grantmakers and Mass Cultural Council (12/14/2017)
  • Panelist, Paving the Way: A Conversation with Leaders of  Color in the Arts – sponsored by Network of Arts Administrators of Color (12/12/2017)
  • Leading from the Audience – A Conversation with Susan Peevy and Candelaria Silva-Collins, co-sponsored by ArtsEmerson and ArtsBoston, Paramount Theatre (10/23/2017)
  • Moderator, Ford Hall Forum, Black Economy, White Privilege. Black businesses lag behind businesses of all other racial groups in every measure of success. Is it necessary – or even possible – for the black community to sustain its own economy? Featuring Author Maggie Anderson shared her highly-publicized year-long journey completely living off Black businesses, called The Empowerment Experiment.   Sociology professor Thomas Shapiro warned that blacks are failing in asset accumulation and homeownership, to the point of negating gains in employment and income. (October 4, 2012)
  • Moderator, Ford Hall Forum featuring Ashley Judd, award-winning actress, humanitarian, and author of All That Is Bitter and Sweet to discuss Judd’s experiences in feminist social justice work to discover the relationship between healing oneself and healing others. (April 8, 2011)
  • Trading on Local Talent: ACT Roxbury and Madison Park Development Corporation (Boston, MA) featured in The Creative Community Builder’s Handbook:  How to Transform Communities Using Local Assets, Arts & Culture by Tom Burrup, Fieldstone Alliance, 2006.
  • Magnificent Six: They do what they can to help” by Vanessa E. Jones, The Boston Globe, Jan. 1, 2005.
  • “New dawn for a couple & a charming old house: Life at home with Candelaria Silva and Tessil Collins” by Leigh Belanger.  The Boston Globe, Dec. 23, 2004.
  • “Acting Up: Candelaria Silva and ACT Roxbury use the arts to enliven a long-underserved community” by Tamara Wieder, The Boston Phoenix, Oct. 3, 2003.
  • To be a force for positive change: An arts/development activist’s vision, work and prayer-life by Warren Bolon, Christian Science Sentinel, August 26, 2002.
  • Touring Boston to know its children: children’s Museum brings teachers to the neighborhoods by Amy Mednick, The Boston Sunday Globe, July 26, 1992.