Thursday, November 1, 2018 - NEWS RELEASE
San Diego – As part of an effort to elevate San Diego’s creative culture, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer was joined today by City Councilmember Lorie Zapf and arts boosters to announce the appointment of longtime arts advocate Jonathon Glus as Executive Director of the City of San Diego’s Commission for Arts and Culture.
“We have a thriving arts and culture scene in San Diego and Jonathon will help ensure that it remains the envy of other cities for years to come,” Mayor Faulconer said. “His experience in the areas of civic arts programming, creative placemaking and cultural policy makes him the perfect fit to lead the City’s Arts and Culture Commission into an exciting future.”
Glus was recruited from the City of Sacramento where he served as the Director of Culture and Creative Economy. He was charged with bridging innovation, arts, culture and creative businesses. He also directed Sacramento’s first comprehensive cultural planning process in more than 20 years.
“I couldn’t be more honored to have been selected for this crucial position,” Glus said. “I look forward to being a part of making San Diego the most creative, vibrant city it can be and to ensure every San Diegan is a part of that process. Together we can empower every resident with the opportunity to celebrate their arts and their culture as they choose while building a diversified economy that includes creative businesses, creative industry and creative citizens.”
The Commission serves in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and City Council to promote and increase support for San Diego’s artistic and cultural assets, integrate arts and culture into community life, and showcase San Diego as an international tourist destination. The Commission awarded more than $11 million in contracts to local arts and culture nonprofits in fiscal year 2019.
“San Diego’s amazing arts and culture community plays an important role in San Diego,” said Councilmember Zapf. “San Diego’s commitment to our arts and culture institutions makes our city a more vibrant and exciting place to live.”
Before his time in Sacramento, Glus served as Chief Executive Officer of Houston Arts Alliance for nine years and held similar positions in Pasadena, California, and Evanston, Illinois. Glus studied urban economics and public policy at Indiana University and art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“I am thrilled Jonathon is familiar with developing cultural plans,” said Janet Poutre, Chair of the Commission for Arts and Culture. “Our commissioners are also excited to have a leader who can help us develop a sustainable funding source for our vibrant and varied arts and culture scene.”
Glus’ appointment comes one day after the release of the 2017 Economic and Social Impact of the City’s Investment in Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations report. The report showcases the powerful influence arts and culture programs have on neighborhoods and the local economy, including supporting more than 6,400 jobs and serving more than five million people in San Diego last year.
“Jonathon Glus is an exceptional leader with a proven track record advocating for arts and culture,” said Kathryn Kanjo, Museum of Contemporary Art of San Diego’s David C. Copley Director and CEO. “From creating partnerships to promote the cultural sector, to advancing policies that benefit the arts community, his experience working for cities like Sacramento, Pasadena, Houston, and Evanston will contribute greatly to our vibrant city. We welcome his leadership.”
Glus begins his new role in San Diego on Nov. 5. Additional information about the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture is available at www.sandiego.gov/arts-culture.