Shirley Alfaro

Shirley Alfaro is Third Coast's executive director. A native Chicagoan, she is rooted in communities, art, education, and justice.

Shirley officially joined the Third Coast team in November of 2019. She comes to Third Coast with over 15 years of experience in arts and media administration in Chicago, including StoryCorps Chicago, Latino Policy Forum and National Public Housing Museum. Prior to that, her work focused on arts-based programming for Chicago’s young people at reputable organizations, Marwen and After School Matters. Shirley utilizes art and storytelling as a foundation for developing public programs, igniting discussion, producing socially engaged art interventions, and public policy research.


Former Executive Director Emeritus Third Coast International Audio Festival

Third Coast International Audio Festival, or Third Coast, has served an ever-growing global community of narrative audio storytellers and makers since 2000. An independent nonprofit arts organization based in Chicago, we center people first in our advocacy for the medium of audio as an art form. Through our work, we seek to push at the boundaries of the audio industry and support an international community of creators who build our world in sound.