Civic Art Project Manager
Lara joined the City of San Diego in April 2019. She assists with management of the Civic Art Collection, coordination of public art commissions, and siting art in the public realm. Lara is a contemporary art historian, writer, curator, and educator. She has remained committed to the local arts community by serving as co-chair and chair of the Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego, by serving as a member of the Arts, Culture, and Design Committee at the San Diego Unified Port District, and by serving three years on the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture’s Public Art Committee. She received her B.A. in Art History with Honors and Minor in English, followed by her M.A. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the University of British Columbia. She earned her Ph.D. in Contemporary Art History at the University of California, San Diego.
Arts and Culture Project Manager
Karla began her career with the City of San Diego in April 2019. She prepares communication materials for effective engagement as well as assists in: budget development, managing the grant making program, and contract management. Karla has been deeply involved with the arts, both locally and internationally, throughout her career. Most recently, she was Director of Education and Programs at San Diego Art Institute where she led the department and implemented a series of dynamic and innovative public programs that engaged the community. Prior to her tenure at SDAI, she was a Gallery Educator at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), and while living in Mexico City, she worked with Material Art Fair, an international art fair devoted to emerging art practices, and as MCASD liaison at Mexico City’s Museo Rufino Tamayo. She received her B.A. in Art History from San Diego State University.
Jonathon joined the City of San Diego in November 2018. He leads and facilitates the strategic vision of the office. Prior to working in San Diego, he was the Director of Culture and Creative Economy for the City of Sacramento, CA where he led the city’s first cultural planning process in more than 20 years. Jonathon set in place an assessment of Sacramento’s film sector and an equity audit of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. Prior to Sacramento, he served as the first CEO of Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) for more than nine years. While at HAA, he worked closely with a board of more than 30, multiple committees, staff and partner agencies including VisitHouston, the Greater Houston Partnership, cultural districts and universities. Jonathon co-chaired the tourism committee of VisitHouston, partnered on multiple cultural tourism initiatives, and lead two studies on the creative economy in Houston region. He was also the chairman of the board of Texans for the Arts (TFA), a statewide arts advocacy organization. He was Executive Director of Arts & Culture for the City of Pasadena, CA where he led multiple cultural tourism initiatives and partnerships, represented that city with the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition & Festival, and led the city’s cultural planning process, in partnership with the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission. Jonathon began his career with city arts agencies in Evanston, IL, and his arts career with the International Sculpture Center, in Washington, DC where he wrote for SCULPTURE magazine and traveling exhibitions internationally. He studied urban economics and public policy at Indiana University, and art and architectural history at University of Illinois. He also studied at University of Kent, in Canterbury, England, where he focused on British urban policy.