Californians for the Arts and California Arts
Advocates names Interim Executive Director
Californians for the Arts (CFTA), a statewide network of arts organizations and California Arts Advocates (CAA), an advocacy organization, has named Julie Baker as Interim Executive Director. Founded in 1996 as a nonprofit 501c(4) statewide advocacy organization by leaders in the arts field, the CAA 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 (CFTA), 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 LA, 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 position is currently open for applications. For more information click here.
“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 CAA/CFTA, “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.”
Until May 30, Baker served on the board of CFTA and CAA 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 non-profit performing arts venue and organization located in Grass Valley, CA. In addition to presenting over 150 events per year and increasing revenue by over 70% in less than 5 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.
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, CA, 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 cofounded 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. Baker states,“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.”