Executive Director, Shield Ranch Foundation
Andrea Mellard serves as executive director of the Shield Ranch Foundation. In her role, she connects diverse communities to a protected, wild place in an urbanizing environment. For over two decades, she has worked to provide inspiring, restorative, and educational experiences in museums, parks, and historic sites. A commitment to partnership and expanding community access informed her 17 years in a variety of programming, education, outreach, curatorial and leadership roles during The Contemporary Austin’s development of the lakeside Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria and downtown Jones Center. Before moving to Austin, she worked for the Smithsonian Institution for three years developing a museum exhibition and radio series preserving and celebrating Memphis’ cultural and civil rights history.
Andrea is omnivorously curious and wants to talk about what you are reading, listening to, watching, and doing for inspiration. She enjoys observing the artistic beauty of nature while kayaking, birding, and hiking. From her childhood through college years, she lived in Central California, where she learned to value both the agricultural working lands of the Salinas Valley and the Monterey Peninsula’s wild places. Austin has been her home for 20 years since she came to earn a master’s degree in American studies from The University of Texas at Austin. There she met her husband Jason, a professor and Texas music historian.