Los Angeles

Olga Garay-English Announces Departure From LA Department of Cultural Affairs

Olga Garay steps down.jpg
In partnership with Arts for LA
Arts for LA helps communities throughout Los Angeles County advocate for greater investment in the arts.

By Charlie Jensen

Olga Garay-English announced this week she will be stepping down from her post as executive director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs effective January 4, 2014. Arts for LA thanks Ms. Garay-English for her unwavering service to the city's arts and culture sector and congratulates her as she takes the next step in her career.

Garay-English assumed leadership of DCA in 2007 when she was appointed by then-Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. She helped navigate the organization through a complex period of economic turmoil in the nation and in Los Angeles, bolstering DCA's financial health by raising over $21 million from other public and private sources. These funds have been 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.

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Prior to her work with the City of Los Angeles, Garay-English was an independent producer and performing arts consultant who worked with organizations such as the Lincoln Center Festival, the National Performance Network, and El Museo del Barrio. As Founding Program Director for the Arts for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (1998 - 2005), Olga was responsible for the planning, design, management, and evaluation of the Arts Program, one of the largest national arts funders in the United States. A total of $145 million was awarded to arts organizations during Olga's seven-year tenure there. Her work has been recognized through her naming as a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture and Communications, her inclusion as one of ten "Game Changers" in LA, and with a Fran Taylor Distinguished Service Award for exemplary service to the field of professional presenting by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

"The mayor and the City of Los Angeles now face the difficult task of replacing an outstanding arts and culture leader," said Danielle Brazell, executive director of Arts for LA. "Fortunately, a new leader will not only be able to build on Olga's contributions to the field, but chart the course for new projects, new successes, and an enduring future for America's Creative Capital."

This article was previous published on Arts for LA.

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Top Image: Anthony Masters Photography.

About the Author

Charlie Jensen serves as the managing editor at the Colburn School.
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