Civic Art Project Manager
Lara joined the City of San Diego in April 2019. She assists with management of the Civic Art Collection, facilitates coordination of public art commissions, and manages the siting of 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 chair of the Artist Advocacy Committee for the Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego where she pioneered Rising Arts Fest, a day-long arts event in which all sectors of the arts community are invited to dialogue. She has also served as a member of the Arts, Culture, and Design Committee at the San Diego Unified Port District and served three years on the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture’s Public Art Committee. In addition, Lara has taught courses at a variety of institutions including Southwestern College and the University of California, San Diego and has worked at a variety of internationally renown art museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, as well as curated many exhibitions locally. As a scholar, Lara is interested in art in a global context from 1945 to present, with a focus on art and its impact in the public realm. She received her B.A. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism with Honours and Minor in English from the University of British Columbia, followed by her M.A. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She earned her Ph.D. in Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the University of California, San Diego.
Senior Arts and Culture Funding Manager
Kip began his career at the City of San Diego in November 2021. He prepares communication materials for effective engagement and assists in managing the arts and culture funding program and contract management. Kip worked for years in art auctions—at leading auction houses in New York City and Barcelona, Spain, as an Associate Vice President and Specialist in Editions/Works on Paper and a Senior Business Intelligence Analyst in the Contemporary and Asian Art markets. He recently completed his MBA at UC San Diego, where he studied nonprofit management and inSite binational art festivals during the 1990s while also working in the Chief Auditor’s Office at the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. Earlier in his career, Kip published columns as an art critic and worked at a Los Angeles gallery. He authored reviews of exhibitions in San Diego, Tijuana, and Arizona for the New York magazines Bomb and Artforum. Kip’s undergraduate degree is from Vassar College in New York, where he wrote a thesis about Southwestern Land Art and studied the History of Art/Architecture, Economics, and Urban Studies.
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.