CalArts Has Appointed João Ribas as Executive Director of the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) today announced the appointment of João Ribas as the Steven D. Lavine Executive Director of the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT), and Vice President for Cultural Partnerships. REDCAT is CalArts' multidisciplinary center for innovative visual, performing, and media artists, and is part of the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County in downtown Los Angeles.The second director in REDCAT's 17-year history, Ribas was selected through a nine-month search process assisted by the search firm Phillips Oppenheim and led by a committee chaired by Tracie Costantino, Provost of CalArts; and comprised of Tim Disney, Chair of CalArts Board of Trustees; and CalArts faculty members Berenice Reynaud, Michael Ned Holte, and Chi-wang Yang. The search engaged all of CalArts' internal community, as well as many voices external to the institute, and Mr. Ribas was recommended from all facets of the broad and diverse community engaged for the search. He will report to Ravi Rajan, President of CalArts, and will assume his role effective June 1, 2020. "João brings a deep practice of working directly with artists on presenting new work and has been a great champion of free expression and diversity, values made important to him from his own experience growing up as an immigrant in Newark, New Jersey," stated President Rajan. "Together, João and Edgar Miramontes will expand the creative landscape for our students and for the greater L.A. community through their work at REDCAT, and beyond." "Over the past decade, Los Angeles has solidified its position as a global powerhouse and hub for artists working in the visual, performing, and media arts," said Mr. Disney. "CalArts and its work through REDCAT has played a pivotal role in fostering innovation and experimentation in the arts. We look forward to João expanding CalArts' impact and reach through our programming, through increased partnerships with local communities, and by being an advocate for artists internationally." An internationally recognized director, curator, educator, and writer, Ribas' trajectory has been defined by his steadfast commitment to the artists with whom he has worked, sharing CalArts' dedication to the training and support of artists in the development of their practices, the creation of new work, and the engagement of diverse communities. Prior to joining REDCAT, Ribas served as Director of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, Portugal, and held curatorial positions at the MIT List Visual Arts Center and the Drawing Center in New York. He also served as commissioner and curator for the Portuguese Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019. "I'm excited to be joining such an innovative, inclusive, experimental, and forward-thinking institution where artists can develop exciting new work and introduce it to the incredible array of audiences on campus, in L.A., and beyond," said Ribas. "REDCAT's dedication to supporting artists and the art of our time is paramount, and I am committed to creating a robust environment for this innovation and experimentation for artists, audiences, students, and the community." CalArts also announced that Edgar Miramontes has been promoted to Deputy Executive Director of REDCAT, an integral part of the venue's curatorial team. Miramontes has worked at REDCAT since 2008 and has served in a range of key management and curatorial positions since 2013. He will work closely with Ribas in the leading and programming of REDCAT. Ribas' appointment and Miramontes' expanded role are a reaffirmation of the integral role that REDCAT plays as a resource for the students and faculty at the school. "REDCAT speaks to CalArts' commitment to placing working artists at the center of everything we do and is an unparalleled resource for our students and faculty as a place for experimentation and public engagement," stated Provost Costantino. "We are incredibly excited to welcome João to CalArts given the incredible sweep of his work, his prescient vision, his collaborative spirit, and advocacy for artists. And we are thrilled to promote Edgar, a lifelong Angeleno who has continued to push REDCAT forward with his dedication to providing a space for openness and inclusivity." João Ribas was born in Braga, Portugal and emigrated with his family to Newark, New Jersey when he was eight. He lived in the United States for 26 years before returning to Portugal in 2014. He has taught at Yale University; the Rhode Island School of Design; the School of Visual Arts in New York; and Lusófona University, Porto; and is a lecturer in the Master's Program in Cinema at the School of the Arts, Catholic University, Porto. Ribas served as the Curator of the Portugal Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019. He has organized numerous exhibitions internationally, including the work of Frances Stark, Amalia Pica, Nairy Baghramian, Rachel Rose, Nick Mauss, Sun Xun, The Otolith Group, and Martine Syms, among others. He is the winner of four consecutive AICA exhibition awards (2008-2011), and the Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award (2010) for "Man in the Holocene" at the MIT List Visual Arts Center. His writing on art and culture has been published in numerous publications and monographs, and in magazines such as Artforum, Afterall, Artnews, Art in America, Frieze, Mousse, Spike, and The Guardian. Edgar Miramontes has served as Associate Director of REDCAT since 2013 and has filled in as interim executive and artistic leadership while a replacement for the founding Executive Director was under way. Miramontes was a key part of REDCAT's curatorial and management team with an emphasis on dance and theater. He was co-curator and co-producer of the Pacific Standard Time Festival: Live Art LA/LA, an international celebration of art and performance throughout greater Los Angeles, with more than 200 Latin American and Latino artists and performers, and curator and producer of New Original Works (N.O.W.) Festival. He has participated in panels and group curatorial selections in New York, Chicago, and Minneapolis, among other cities; and also serves on the board of directors of Show Box L.A.