Denise Montgomery is the Executive Director of the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture. She oversees the Commission's $9 million budget and direct programs for funding organizational support of arts and culture nonprofits, neighborhood festivals and celebrations, public art in public and private development, and technical assistance and services to artists and organizations.
Prior her appointment by Mayor Filner, Montgomery was president of Culture Thrive, a consulting practice she founded in 2010. Montgomery served as Project Director on a national initiative aiming to increase access and equity for urban, low-income middle school and high school students to quality, out-of-school time arts programs through a partnership with The Wallace Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. She is the primary author of Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs from Urban Youth and Other Experts, to be published by The Wallace Foundation in summer 2013. Additional consulting clients have included the Australia Council for the Arts, Balboa Park Learning Institute, New Children’s Museum, La Jolla Playhouse, Nevada Humanities, National Performing Arts Convention, Next Level Strategic Marketing Group, and WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation), among others.
Montgomery has held leadership positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, as Director of the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs (DOCA), as Executive Director of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, and in the corporate sector. Her work at the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs earned national attention, and the Create Denver program, which she initiated and launched, continues to be on the leading edge of creative economy work in cities. She is adjunct faculty for the University of San Diego’s Nonprofit Leadership and Management graduate program.
Public Art Program Manager
Dana Springs is an arts administrator with over 15 years of public and private sector experience managing projects and programs involving artists. On staff at the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture since 2000 and in the role of Public Art Program Manager since 2005, Springs administers a pair of “percent-for-art” programs: 2% for art in public construction projects undertaken by the City of San Diego and 1% for art in private development projects. Springs has overseen competitive artist selection processes, artist contract management, community outreach and education, design team coordination, artwork design, artwork fabrication and artwork installation for more than 30 public art projects. Springs has served as the lead public art project manager within a collaborative team of urban planners, designers, engineers and construction professionals for projects including San Diego’s New Central Library and North Embarcadero Redevelopment Phase 1 as well as numerous branch libraries, fire stations, lifeguard towers, recreation centers, parks and streetscape improvements. In addition to administering the commission of new artworks for installation in neighborhoods throughout San Diego, Springs manages the care and exhibition of a collection of City-owned artworks numbering over 600 and growing. The artworks in the Civic Art Collection range in date from 1909-2010 and include artworks such as fountains, sculptures, earthworks, murals, paintings, photographs, works on paper and videos acquired through donation, purchase and commission. Springs’ work on composing a set of public art program policies for the City of San Diego led to a position as the Chair of the Governance Committee of the Balboa Art Conservation Center’s Board of Trustees. She serves as the Chair of the San Diego International Airport’s Art Advisory Committee and served as Co-Chair of the Public Art Coalition of Southern California. Email Dana Springs at email@example.com
Funding Program Manager
Gary Margolis joined the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture in 2007 and manages the Organizational Support and Creative Communities San Diego allocations programs. In that capacity Mr. Margolis works to ensure that Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) funds used to support arts and culture organizations and projects are allocated through a fair and transparent process. Mr. Margolis comes to the Commission with an extensive background in arts administration, nonprofit management, education and evaluation having worked for the Nevada Arts Council, Broward Cultural Division (FL), the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Jewish Community Center, the Allegheny County (PA) Department of Human Services, the Harvard Family Research Project, the New York Public School System, and the American International School of Bamako (Mali, West Africa). Mr. Margolis has a BA degree in dramatic art from the George Washington University and a master's degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. A former member of Actors' Equity Association, Mr. Margolis also worked as an actor/singer/dancer in PA, Washington, DC and New York City. Email Gary Margolis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arts Management Specialist
Nigel Brookes joined the Commission staff in 2005. Mr. Brookes' previous experience includes work for City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department as a grant writer and administrator; a trainer and writer for San Diego Consulting Group; as program manager at the Tariq Khamisa Foundation to reduce youth violence; and as a college instructor at San Diego State University and local community colleges. A native San Diegan, Mr. Brookes has been studying, writing about, creating, and showing art his entire life. As founding member of The Ancient Gallery artist collective, his current interests combine medieval aesthetics with early 20th century surrealism through the use of assemblage sculpture in the service of site-specific black light installations, and as a location for performing myth and ritual. Mr. Brookes earned a Masters Degree in Communication from San Diego State University with a research and teaching emphasis in visual symbolism, philosophy of language, and organizational and cultural theory. He received his BA in Speech, also at SDSU, from which he graduated Magna Cum Laude and earned the 1996 Outstanding Undergraduate Award. As Arts Management Specialist, Mr. Brookes is involved in the administration of the Commission's contract for services program, budget and policy analysis as well as public art project management. Email Nigel Brookes at email@example.com
Teresa Monillas joined the staff of the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture in 1991. Ms. Monillas served 10 years as the Commission's Public Art Administrative Assistant prior to becoming Contracts Coordinator. Her primary responsibility is to coordinate and implement the contracts for over 150 organizations that receive funding through the Commission's Allocations Program each year. In 2006, Ms. Monillas was a recipient of the City's Outstanding Customer Service Award. Ms. Monillas is originally from the Philippines. Email Teresa Monillas at firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Sokol joined the staff of the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture in 1999 after leaving the City Manager's office where she worked for the Deputy City Manager of Finance. Ms. Sokol previously worked for more than 12 years at a local agency that cared for abused children. Ms. Sokol is a native of San Diego. Email Linda Sokol at email@example.com