SAN FRANCISCO, CA.-
The San Francisco Arts Commission
voted unanimously to appoint Tom DeCaigny as the agency's new Director of Cultural Affairs. A local consultant and the former executive director of the Performing Arts Workshop, DeCaigny will officially assume his new role leading the $10 million agency responsible for championing the arts in San Francisco on January 9, 2011.
"I'm honored and humbled that the San Francisco Arts Commission and Mayor have entrusted me to serve as the Director of Cultural Affairs," said Mr. DeCaigny. "My first priority as Director will be to steward a community engagement process aimed at defining a clear strategic direction for the San Francisco Arts Commission over the next 3-5 years. I look forward to working with the community, the Commissioners and the Arts Commission staff to define a shared vision for arts and culture in San Francisco and to champion a new era of transparency, accountability and purposeful community engagement."
After five months, Interim Director JD Beltran will step down and return to her life as a full-time artist and professor at the San Francisco Art Institute. She also plans to return to serving on the Arts Commission.
"JD Beltran has been an amazing steward of the agency over the past five months and has done a wonderful job getting our house in order for this transition," said P.J. Johnston, president of the San Francisco Arts Commission. "I am confident that under Tom's leadership the agency and its staff will flourish."
Tom DeCaigny is currently an independent consultant, strategist and facilitator with over fifteen years of leadership experience in the fields of arts and culture, youth development and education. He currently works nationally on projects related to program evaluation and improvement, policy development, fundraising strategy, governance and organizational innovation. He founded Canopy Consulting in 2010 and is also a Senior Consultant with The Improve Group based in Minnesota .
Mr. DeCaigny previously served nine years as Executive Director of Performing Arts Workshop, a San Francisco-based organization dedicated to helping marginalized young people develop critical thinking, creative expression and basic learning skills through the arts. While at The Workshop, he led three U.S. Department of Education research projects examining the impact of the arts on educationally disadvantaged youth; organized broad-based coalitions to advocate at the local, state and national levels for the role of the arts in improving public education; and managed the sustained growth of the Workshop's annual revenue despite the economic downturn - from $529K in FY 2003 to $1.4 million in FY 2011. He has presented extensively on promising practices in program and organizational management as well as on intergenerational and emergent leadership in the independent sector.
Prior to his role as Executive Director, he managed The Workshop's Robeson and Rivera Academy , an arts-intensive middle school and treatment program for repeat juvenile offenders. He has also managed the AIDS Memorial Quilt's National Youth Education Program, served as Director of Actor Training for the University of Minnesota 's Adolescent Actors Teaching Project, and conducted research for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. He is a 2007 alumnus of the LeaderSpring fellowship program and a current member of the LeaderSpring Dialogue Series, an initiative dedicated to exploring the role of social benefit organizations in society. He has appeared on CNN International and was invited to present at the first-ever UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education in Lisbon , Portugal .
He currently serves on the California Alliance for Arts Education's Board of Directors and statewide Policy Council. His prior board service includes two terms as Board Co-Chair of LYRIC, an LGBTQQ youth community center in San Francisco; Secretary of the SFUSD Arts Education Master Plan Advisory Committee; Host Committee Co-Chair of the National Guild for Community Arts Education's 2010 annual conference in San Francisco; and Steering Committee Chair for Making Art, Making Change, a 2006 conference dedicated to examining the relationship between art and social change. Mr. DeCaigny has a B.A. degree in Dramatic Arts from Macalester College in St. Paul , MN and currently resides in San Francisco , CA .