A message from the Board - August 2018

On behalf of the Board of Directors and our broad network of over 50,000 advocates, thank you for your continuing support of Arts for LA.  The last few years have been transformative for arts, culture, and arts education in Los Angeles County.  Creativity has become a major part of our civic dialogue. Ensuring there is equity and inclusion in the arts regionally is a top governmental priority.  Arts policies are being adopted and funding is being increased by local, regional and state authorities.   Private citizens are giving more to the arts than ever before.  And here at Arts for LA, we find ourselves on the precipice of a transformation.

Sofia Klatzker, who has served as the Arts for LA Executive Director admirably for the last 3+ years has decided to move on to begin work in the foundation sector.   Sofia led our organization in the adoption of a multi-year strategic plan, began a successful capacity building program, and stewarded programs that have brought increased attention to arts at the societal and individual level throughout our region.  We are saddened by the news of her departure, but wish Sofia continued success and look forward to her strong advocacy voice for arts in our community to ring out proudly as she continues in her new role.


As Arts for LA moves forward, we want to make sure you are kept apprised as we manage the Arts for LA leadership transition.


At our last meeting of Arts for LA’s Board of Directors, we elected a new slate of officers:

Winifred Neisser, Chair

Betty Avila, Vice Chair

Jim Schultz, Treasurer

Shana Mathur, Secretary


New chairs will lead our board’s committees, stewarding the ongoing work that has made Arts for LA dynamic and responsive.  Juan Devis (KCET) will chair the Policy Committee, and Lisa Cleri Reale will chair the Governance & Nominating Committee, while Amy Aquino and Annette Johnson will lead our Advancement efforts. 


Our colleagues on the Board have tasked the Executive Committee to manage the process of transition and we have asked board member George Davis of the California African American Museum to lead the search committee.  We will be reaching out to solicit input from stakeholders like you to help us find the right candidate who can address the challenges the arts community will be facing in the near and far term.   Our current thinking on the timeline culminates with a new executive director coming on board before the end of this year, laying the groundwork for a thorough search process that will reveal the right candidate for the position. You can view the position description at https://www.artsforla.org/arts_for_la_executive_director.


In the meantime, Sofia Klatzer will continue to fulfill her role as our leader through September 30, 2018.   Our long time Board member, Debra Padilla, who recently stepped down as Executive Director of SPARC, will provide day to day transition management until our search is concluded and the position is filled.  The rest of our talented staff will continue their work in building our membership base, convening and training advocates from around our region, and conducting candidate surveys pre-election to inform the public of each candidate’s stand on supporting the arts in our community.


Thank you for your advocacy and support of arts, culture, and arts education in Los Angeles County. Please contact Debra at   [email protected] or the Chair of our Board Winnifred Neisser at [email protected] if you have questions, input, or would like to arrange a meeting to discuss our programs, the leadership transition and the future of Arts for LA.