Arts for LA Thanks Olga Garay-English as She Departs DCA Today

Fri, 01/03/2014 - 11:38am

Photo: Olga Garay-EnglishArts for LA thanks Olga Garay-English for her unwavering service to the Los Angeles’s arts and culture sector and congratulates her as she takes the next step in her career. Today is Ms. Garay-English’s last day as the executive director of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Ms. Garay-English assumed leadership of DCA shortly before the economic downturn, steering the organization through a complex period of financial uncertainty and transition.  Though the department had to shrink its staff, $145 million was granted to arts organizations throughout Los Angeles, preserving jobs and services for communities and neighborhoods throughout the city.  Ms. Garay-English also proved to be a savvy fundraiser, bringing in more than $21 million from other public and private sources to bolster the department’s service to the city. These funds were regranted to LA-based artists and arts organizations through programs like the Cultural Exchange International Fellowship Program, to support DCA’s programs like LA’s Heritage Month Celebrations, and to refurbish city-owned theaters and art centers.

As Mayor Garcetti continues his search to fill Ms. Garay-English’s position, it is clear one of the city’s biggest priorities will be to maintain the momentum gathered over the last several years. In order for Los Angeles to remain America’s Creative Capital, we will need a visionary and strategic leader for the Department of Cultural Affairs with adequate resources who will build on past successes and lead Los Angeles into a more vibrant, creative, and innovative future.

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