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Valencia, CA, June 23—California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) has confirmed four new members and four special trustees to its Board of Trustees. The new additions are Executive Producer Marta Kauffman, Attorney Richard J. Grad, arts and education advocate Melissa P. Draper and Denita Willoughby, partner of consulting firm Willoughby & Associates; along with Alumni Trustee Terence McFarland, Faculty Trustee Charles Gaines, Staff Trustee Christine Ziemba and Student Trustee Leila Navon.
Oversight of the Institute, comprising the schools of Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Theater, and The Herb Alpert School of Music, requires a unique array of talents and professional backgrounds. “In addition to their passionate commitment to the arts, our new trustees further enrich our Board with their diverse experience and expertise in the arts, law, technology, civic, business, and nonprofit leadership,” noted Patricia Gonzalez, Director of Board Relations & Special Assistant to the President.
Marta Kauffman, co-created and executive produced the Emmy Award-winning series Friends. Previously, Kauffman co-created and served as co-executive producer on the critically acclaimed, award-winning comedy series Dream On for which she received an Emmy Award nomination and a CableAce Award. She served as Executive Producer of the documentary film, Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh. Currently, Marta is executive producing 5 short films on breast cancer for Lifetime Television. She was named one of the 25 Most Influential Mothers by Working Mother magazine.
Arts and education advocate Melissa P. Draper is committed to education and the arts–constantly pursuing the balance between family, personal and professional endeavors. She concludes, “There is no such thing! So, I remain incredibly flexible.” A Smith College alumna, wife and mother of four, she resides in Atherton, California. She is actively involved in several boards including The California State Summer School for the Arts, UCLA Foundation Board, UCLA Parent’s Council, Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors and Children’s Health Council of Palo Alto.
Denita Willoughby is a partner in the consulting firm Willoughby & Associates in Los Angeles. Prior to forming her own firm, she held various executive roles at AT&T, California. Most recently, she was Vice President of External Affairs for AT&T in Los Angeles. She led the company’s local government affairs activities in the Greater Los Angeles Area and oversaw all local policy and philanthropic initiatives. Among her numerous awards, she has been named by California Diversity Magazine as one of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in California and featured in The Los Angeles Business Journal, USA Today, Fortune and Today’s Black Woman. She is very active in the community and focuses on improving education. She currently serves on the Green Dot Public School Board and has served as an executive board member for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Greater Los Angeles and Los Angeles Urban League.
Richard J. Grad is a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, one of the world’s largest law firms. He is the global co-chair of the firm’s Financial Services Class Action Litigation Practice Team. Mr. Grad has handled significant pro bono matters with Public Counsel Law Center as well as pro bono constitutional litigation with the State Bar of California. A trustee of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) and REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) Council, he has a long history of involvement in charities, arts, cultural, and educational institutions. He is active in Angel Flight, a national non-profit organization providing medical patients free air transportation, and is active in the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Alumni Trustee and Executive Director of LA Stage Alliance, Terence McFarland is president of the CalArts Alumni Association. He received his BFA from CalArts’ School of Film/Video in 2000 and an InterSchool MFA in Theater & Film/Video in 2003. He also holds a certificate from the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders in Arts from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. McFarland has served as the lead consultant on the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles Arts retention projects in Hollywood, North Hollywood and Mid-City. He is a Trustee of the Bringing Back Broadway Initiative–a $40 million public-private partnership to revitalize the historic Broadway District of downtown Los Angeles.
Faculty Trustee Charles Gaines has had more than 60 one-person shows and several hundred group exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. His work was included in the Venice Biennale (2007), the Triennale der Photographie, Hamburg (1999) and Esslingen (2004), and the Whitney Biennial (1975). Gaines is in the collection of numerous museums including the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York; Whitney Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Lentos Museum, Linz, Austria; Galerie der Stadt Esslingen, Esslingen, Germany; Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany and Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany.
Staff Trustee Christine N. Ziemba is a writer, editor, web content specialist and social media manager with more than 15 years experience in journalism and corporate communications, with a specialty in the arts and new media. She has been published in numerous outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, Paste Magazine, The Arizona Republic and Los Angeles Downtown News, and currently serves as arts and events editor of LAist.com. In her current role as CalArts’ Director of Web Communications, Ziemba oversees the content for CalArts’ online presence, including writing, editing and capturing footage for CalArts’ blog 24700 (blog.calarts.edu ); and managing the Institute’s social media accounts.
Student Trustee Leila Navon, is currently a senior Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate in Music Technology in CalArts’ Herb Alpert School of Music. Leila has represented the CalArts student body for two years, and most recently served as Vice President of the Student Council. Through her role with Student Council, she redefined the collaboration process by creating a website devoted solely to CalArts students inquiring into collaborative partners with advertisements their own works.