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Denise R. Duarte

Denise R. Duarte is a multi-disciplinary and socially-engaged artist and graphic designer. 

Duarte received her Master of Fine Arts in Community Arts and the College Teaching of Art Certificate from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) where she received the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship. In 2018, she receive the Print Design Certificate from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Continuing Education and the Graphic Design Certificate from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Continuing Education in 2021.

During Denise’s 18-year corporate career in the insurance and financial services field, she experienced and witnessed the negative impact of discrimination and injustice as an employee and as a manager. This has fueled her quest for equality for all people. 

She has received two Las Vegas Mayor’s Urban Design Awards for Public Art. The first award was in 2008 as a design team member for the sculpture Ancestral Gateway and the second award was in 2011 for Flourish, a cultural urban trail. She has completed 8 public art projects plus facilitated numerous socially-engaged art projects. 

She was accepted to the Nevada Arts Council’s Artist in Schools +Communities Roster, Education and Community Tracks and was listed as an artist to watch on Creative Capital’s On Our Radar. Recently, she was accepted as in theArtsWA Public Art Roster.

Her recent solo exhibit, Unraveling Identity, in The Studio, Sahara West Library, was a multidisciplinary, socially-engaged exhibit reframing the dialogue regarding human sexuality and gender identity using the botanical world as a metaphor.


Image of Denise R. Duarte

She has held numerous leadership positions during her lifetime, primarily in feminist and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) organizations as well as in the corporate world. She was in leadership or served on the Nevada Women’s Lobby Steering Committee for approximately 13 years. Additionally, Duarte was chair of Stand OUT For Equality, the advocacy arm of The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada and founded Equality Days in 2009, the first officially recognized day by the Nevada Legislature for the LGBTQ community. Equality Days was instrumental in helping pass Nevada's Domestic Partnership law. In addition, she founded the Nevada LGBTQ Leadership Coalition. 

Currently, Denise serves as President for Women of Diversity Productions, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Duarte co-authored with Dr. Marlene J. Adrian the Women of Diversity Productions, Inc.’s 2017 and 2018 Gaming Gender Equality Index, a report revealing the results of a survey of 21 casino and gaming corporations which was conducted to assess their policies, practices and commitment to gender equality. 

Duarte has authored over 30 articles on art, feminist and LGBTQ issues in a variety of publications such as, Baltimore OUTloud, Gay Life and the Washington Blade. 

Denise's lifelong passions include art, activism and the exploration of the social fabric of life. 

Visit to see Denise's studio art, public art and socially-engaged art.

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