Grass Valley’s Julie Baker named Californians for the Arts and California Arts Advocates interim executive director |

Grass Valley’s Julie Baker named Californians for the Arts and California Arts Advocates interim executive director

Submitted to The Union

Californians for the Arts, a statewide network of arts organizations and California Arts Advocates, an advocacy organization, has named Julie Baker as interim executive director, according to a release.

“I am thrilled to be working with the board and our partners to work on our transition to a staff person and to increase awareness of the important work we are doing to further the arts in California,” Baker said.

Until May 30, Baker served on the board of Californians for the Arts and California Arts Advocates as chair of the membership committee. Baker, 51, is owner of Julie Baker Projects, a consulting firm specializing in arts management and programming.

Baker is a seasoned business owner and management professional with over 30 years of experience in art, service, retail and technology industries. From 2009-2017, Julie Baker served as the executive director of The Center for the Arts, a nonprofit performing arts venue and organization in Grass Valley. In addition to presenting over 150 events per year and increasing revenue by over 70 percent in less than five years, in 2014 Baker led the successful acquisition of California WorldFest, an 18 year old established music and camping festival. In 2018, Baker was awarded the first annual Peggy Levine Arts & Service award by the Nevada County Arts Council.

“We are delighted that Julie Baker has agreed to step up to the challenge of becoming the Interim Executive Director of CAA/CFTA.” said Victoria Hamilton, President of California Arts Advocates/Californians for the Arts, “In addition, to being a skilled arts administrator she will come to the job as an enthusiastic, passionate arts leader who will navigate both boards through a smooth transition until a permanent director is hired in the fall.”

Earlier in her career she worked in New York City at several prominent art galleries and the international auction house Christie’s before becoming the President of her family’s art marketing agency, Gerngross & Company Inc.

After selling the business in 1998 and moving to Nevada City, she worked as a senior executive producer for Tristream, a 20-person web development and marketing/branding company specializing in technology start ups. In 2001 she opened an art gallery Julie Baker Fine Art, located in Nevada County and New York City. Baker also co-produced and co-founded Flow art fair in Miami.

She is a former board member of California Presenters, a statewide coalition committed to connecting, engaging and developing performing arts professionals from organizations of different sizes and structures; and advocating for important issues in the presenting field; and the Arts Collaborative of Nevada County, the state local partner for Nevada County.

Founded in 1996 as a nonprofit statewide advocacy organization by leaders in the arts field, the California Arts Advocates has been the collaborative force behind the battle to protect arts funding in California, as well as the successful passage of several bills that return arts programs to schools and laws that positively impact the arts.

Californians for the Arts was established in 2007 by California Arts Advocates as a partner organization to increase public awareness of the importance of the arts; to ensure that the arts are an ongoing part of the public dialogue; and to encourage Californians to care about the arts as a critical component of their own lives and the lives of their communities.

Board members are leaders of broad-based arts organizations such as Arts for L.A., Theatre Bay Area and the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition and State-Local Partner organizations such as the Alameda County Arts Commission, Arts Orange County and the Shasta County Arts Council.

The organizations are seeking an executive director to represent state wide the unique and creative arts and culture industry in California. The job will be posted in June of 2018.

Source: Julie Baker Project

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