The Music Center Announces New Artistic Division - The Music Center Arts

The Music Center, a cultural anchor and Los Angeles County's leading performing arts destination, announced plans to expand its programming by launching an artistic division, The Music Center Arts, which will complement the organization's operations division, known as The Music Center Ops. The Music Center Arts' debut validates the organization's commitment to deliver excellence and impact in dance, public programming and arts education, and ensure that its programming is relevant and accessible to both current and emerging audiences throughout Los Angeles County. The Music Center named non-profit arts sector trailblazer Josephine Ramirez as executive vice president to lead The Music Center Arts. Ramirez will report to The Music Center's President & CEO Rachel Moore and join The Music Center's executive team.

According to The Music Center President & CEO Rachel Moore, this is an unprecedented move in the history of the performing arts organization, which has managed both the 12-acre Music Center campus since its inception in 1964 and Grand Park since the park's opening in 2012, both on behalf of the County of Los Angeles. "In formalizing The Music Center Arts, we will propel our artistic work, validating the important role we must play in ensuring The Music Center's venues are home to world-class arts experiences and that The Music Center is a presenter and producer of programming that speaks to the needs, passions and interests of all," Moore said. "The Music Center Arts will partner closely with The Music Center Ops, whose work sets a gold standard by ensuring The Music Center is a welcoming place for patrons and its resident companies; both divisions are critically important to help achieve our vision to deepen the cultural lives of all residents in Los Angeles County and to continue creating a multidisciplinary performing arts center," she explained. Led by The Music Center Executive Vice President and COO Howard Sherman, The Music Center Ops is responsible for operating all four venues of The Music Center, its outdoor plaza and Grand Park, and providing support for The Music Center's resident companies, The Music Center Arts and lease clients in the areas of building maintenance, landscaping, housekeeping services, guest services, production, and scheduling and events.

In leading The Music Center Arts, Ramirez will be responsible for guaranteeing The Music Center's artistic staff will curate, commission and create programs of the highest caliber with a comprehensive and strategic focus on engagement. Ramirez contributes an extensive understanding of arts engagement that fosters greater relevance and access, not only through program production and presentation, but also as a central organizational commitment. She will supervise The Music Center's artistic presentations and productions, public programming, arts education, government relations and work in programming and operating Grand Park. She will also oversee The Music Center's Glorya Kaufman Dance series alongside The Music Center President & CEO Rachel Moore. "It's an honor to build on the success of The Music Center's programming to-date and to be responsive to what the public wants today from a performing arts organization. I'm looking forward to developing relevant programs that engage, delight and bring together a wide and diverse mix of people, deepening our cultural life and strengthening communities in L.A. County," Ramirez explained.

A long-time arts administrator and strategic consultant with experience in arts leadership, philanthropy and production, Ramirez comes to The Music Center most recently from The James Irvine Foundation, where, as the former arts program director, she provided principal leadership for the then largest funder of the arts in California, awarding an average of $18 million annually throughout the state. She conceived and implemented a new strategic direction for Irvine's arts investments: supporting organizations to undergo programmatic, organizational and business model change that sustains their engagement with/by/for low-income and diverse communities.

Prior to that, Ramirez served as vice president of programming and planning for The Music Center, where she led the creation and launch of Active Arts, a major initiative that animated underused spaces at The Music Center with participatory arts experiences such as The Music Center's Dance Downtown. In partnership with neighboring arts institutions, she initiated the first Grand Avenue Festival, and also launched a groundbreaking concert series in The Music Center's Walt Disney Concert Hall that profiled pop music reflecting Los Angeles' immigrant communities. Previously, she was a program officer at the Getty Foundation, managing funding in the areas of arts leadership development, Los Angeles cultural organizations, arts education research and arts policy. Ramirez has also worked as an independent consultant to cultural organizations around the country, including the National Endowment for the Arts, and as a producer of both large- and small-scale performance events. Her career has included multiple roles in arts education: leading the program expansion of Inner City Arts, an arts education facility for students from underserved communities; producing theatre for youth and creating high school theatre education programming at The Music Center's Mark Taper Forum; and performing and teaching as an artist in the schools.

Ramirez also has extensive experience in local and regional government, including serving as the community arts coordinator for the King County Arts Commission in Seattle, as vice president of the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission, as chair of the city's Cultural Master Plan Advisory Committee, and as a founding commissioner of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. She holds an undergraduate degree in theatre from the University of Texas and her master's degree in child drama from the University of Washington. She was awarded a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design in 2003.

Ramirez assumes her role on November 26, 2018.

The Music Center convenes artists, communities and ideas with the goal of enriching the cultural lives of every resident in Los Angeles County. The non-profit performing arts organization has two divisions: The Music Center Ops, which manages The Music Center's four theatres, an outdoor plaza and Grand Park on behalf of the County of Los Angeles; and The Music Center Arts, which curates a world-class dance series, Glorya Kaufman Dance; produces and presents programming in other arts genres with a focus on engagement; and presents nationally recognized arts education. The Music Center is also home to four renowned resident companies - Center Theatre Group, the LA Master Chorale, the LA Opera and the LA Philharmonic. With The Music Center On Location, the non-profit performing arts organization brings events and activities to locations outside of its Downtown Los Angeles campus. For more information, visit Follow The Music Center on Facebook, and follow @MusicCenterLA on Instagram and Twitter.

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