Craig Watson, Executive Director of the California Arts Council, will be the Keynote Speaker for the 2014 Conference!
Craig Watson is the Director of the California Arts Council, a position he has held since August 2011 when he was chosen by the Council after a nationwide search. Previously he was the executive director of the Arts Council for Long Beach, where he oversaw the expansion of the agency into the community, including the largest local celebration for Arts and Humanities Month in the nation.
Watson started his career in the arts field at local arts agencies and arts-services organizations, and later built a career in the telecommunications industry before returning to the arts as Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach. He held senior executive positions in the telecommunications field in Rhode Island, New York and California. His earlier career in the arts included positions with the Sonoma County Arts Council and Rural Arts Services in Northern California, as well as a fellowship at the National Endowment for the Arts, participation in the Coro Foundation's Arts Management program, and a co-directing position at Santa Barbara Arts Services.
The California Arts Council is the official state arts agency for California, the state with the largest number of artists and creative-industry workers in the U.S.
Karen Atkinson will lead our "Visual Artist" workshop!
Karen Atkinson is a media, installation and public artist, independent curator, collaborator, and has published and guest edited a number of publications. She has exhibited and curated internationally including South Africa, Australia, Europe, Mexico, Canada, and throughout the USA, and exhibited in the Fifth Havana Biennial in Cuba and the Biennale de Paris in NYC, and recently at the Glow Project in Santa Monica. She is currently a year long artist in residence at Thank You For Coming, an experimental restaurant in Los Angeles. She has taught at California Institute of the Arts since 1988 and lives to tell about it.
She was a co-founding director of Side Street Projects in 1991, a non-profit artist-run organization in Los Angeles that is still up and thriving today in Pasadena. She gave it to the next generation to continue the legacy. She is a past board president of NAAO, the National Association of Artists’ Organizations. She has served on the board of directors of LACPS, Side Street Projects, Installation and serves on many Advisory Boards of arts organizations.
In 2000 she began creating software for artists called “Getting Your Sh*t Together” and started a company of the same name. She now provides software to artists world wide. She has published two books on professional practices, one for artists and the other for teaching. Her company GYST Ink, is an artist run company for artists that works to make life better for artists, and only hires artists and teaches them how to run a business. There are tons of free resources for artists located on the site, as well as a blog, newsletter, support services and books. This takes up most of her time, but she is still making artwork and getting into as much art trouble as possible. www.gyst-ink.com
Matt Walker will lead our "Performing Artist" workshop!
Matt Walker has been the artistic director of The Troubadour Theater Company since 1995, and has directed over 40 original productions.
In 2006, Matt received the O.C. Weekly Theater Award for Career Achievement, in 2007, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Sustained Excellence in Theater, and in 2010, the LADCC’s Joel Hirschorn Award for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Theater.
Walker has trained with notable performers and organizations including; Bill Irwin, Second City Improvisation, The Royal Shakespeare Co., and The San Francisco Mime Troupe. Walker is also a graduate of Ringling Bros. Clown College, and did time as a circus clown in The Greatest Show On Earth.
Walker served as adjunct professor of Clowning and Commedia at the University of California at San Diego for four years, and now teaches and directs MFA acting students at the University of Southern California, as an adjunct professor of advanced movement, clowning, and commedia.
An accomplished film, television, and theater actor, Matt has enjoyed continued success since joining SAG in 1987, and is also now a proud member of SAG/AFTRA, AEA, SDC, WGA, and AGMA. Matt has worked professionally in TV, film, theater, opera, theme parks, corporate entertainment, and circus.
Scott Ward will lead our "Arts Administrator" workshop!
Scott Ward is the Executive Director of the Armory Center for the Arts (since 2001). Located in Pasadena, this community-based organization is committed to creating, teaching and presenting the arts for all ages and backgrounds. Programs include exhibition and performance, on-site sequential education, art experiences in the community, school residencies, and professional development for teachers and artists.
Previously, Mr. Ward worked as the Executive Director of the Palos Verdes Arts Center (1997-2001), Executive Director of the Downey Museum of Art (1987-1996), and Gallery Director of the University Art Gallery at CSU San Bernardino (1983-1985). He often serves as a grants panelist for organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, California Arts Council, Los Angeles Department for Cultural Affairs, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Wallace Foundation, and The Getty.
Mr. Ward is also an accomplished curator and educator who has taught at CSU San Bernardino, Chaffey College, and Loyola Marymount University. He is frequently invited to speak and consult on a wide range of issues and topics related to Art and Community. He received an MFA in Photography from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and a BA in Aesthetic Studies from UC Santa Cruz.
Daniel Foster will be our Closing Speaker!
Daniel Foster has a distinguished 25-year career in fine and contemporary arts/museum leadership and programming. Additionally, Foster is a proven nonprofit and philanthropic foundation leader and fundraiser – having raised nearly $30 million over the past ten years.
As the Executive Director of the Oceanside Museum of Art for the past two years, Mr. Foster has instituted significant new strategic visioning, programmatic growth, and outreach/visibility into the region, resulting in 30% membership growth and 45% growth in the museum’s annual operating revenues and budget. In September 2012, Foster left his role as the President/CEO of The Community Foundation serving Riverside & San Bernardino Counties after four years of successfully achieving a 50% growth of assets ($41 to $61 million) and a nearly 100% growth of operating budget and staffing. Amongst several key regional initiatives under his leadership, Mr. Foster led a 60-member task force for two years that fundraised nearly $350,000 to design and launch Arts Connection, the Arts Council for San Bernardino County in 2013. Previous to TCF, Mr. Foster was the Executive Director of the Riverside Art Museum (RAM) for over 5 years.
Mr. Foster has received many honors and awards throughout his arts and nonprofit professional career, such as Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year-2008, County of Riverside; and Finalist Award ($25,000) for the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award-2008. Academically, Mr. Foster received a MFA in New Genres and Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BS degree from the Marshall School of Business (Entrepreneurship) at the University of Southern California.
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