Born in Havana, Cuba, Cruz studied Art History and Political Science at New York University.
Cruz's first museum position was as a curatorial intern at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, where she subsequently worked as a Curatorial Assistant.
Her other museum positions have included posts as Associate Curator, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution; Acting Chief Curator and Manilow Curator of Exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies Museum at Bard College; and as the former Executive Director at San Antonio-based Artpace, an artist residency program.
Cruz has also worked as a grantmaker and was the founding Program Director for United States Artists in Los Angeles, where she was responsible for all programming activities of a Ford and Rockefeller Foundations initiative. She also has been Executive Director of Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue in New York City, which awarded grants to visual artists in San Francisco, Houston and Chicago.
- "Phoenix Art Museum names new director". azcentral. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
- "Amada Cruz Named Director of Artpace - News - Art in America". www.artinamericamagazine.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
- Villarreal, Ignacio. "Artadia Names Amada Cruz Director". artdaily.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18.