Californians for the Arts and California Arts Advocates Names New Executive Director

Sacramento, CA -- Californians for the Arts (CFTA), a statewide network of arts organizations and California Arts Advocates (CAA), a statewide arts advocacy organization, has named Julie Baker as Executive Director.

“With a unanimous vote by the board, we are ecstatic to have Julie Baker step up as the first Executive Director of CAA/CFTA,” said Victoria L. Hamilton, Board President. “In addition to being a skilled arts administrator for over 30 years, she comes to the position as an enthusiastic, passionate arts leader who will dedicate her time to navigate both organizations through a significant time in advancing California through arts, culture and creativity.”

Baker served as Interim Executive Director for CAA/CFTA and has served on the board of CFTA and CAA as chair of the membership committee. Baker, 51, is owner of Julie Baker Projects, a consulting firm specializing in arts management and programming. Baker is a seasoned business owner and management professional with over 30 years of experience in art, service, retail and technology industries. From 2009-2017, Julie Baker served as the Executive Director of The Center for the Arts, a non-profit performing arts venue and organization located in Grass Valley, CA. In addition to presenting over 150 events per year and increasing revenue by over 70% in less than 5 years, in 2014 Baker led the successful acquisition of California WorldFest, an 18-year old established music and camping festival. In 2018, Baker was awarded the first annual Peggy Levine Arts & Service award by the Nevada County Arts Council.

“This is an exciting time for our organizations and I am thrilled to steward the growth and value as we pivot from an all-volunteer organization to dedicated leadership,” says Baker. “California is the world’s 5th largest economy in the world with the creative economy accounting for $407.1 billion (Source Otis Report 2018) and yet trails nationwide in state funding for the arts (28th in per capita spending). Building awareness of the value of the arts to legislators and giving arts organizations and artists the tools to advocate for funding and appreciation for the arts is our goal and my passion. I am honored to be leading this charge alongside our skilled and experienced board of directors from across the state."
Ms. Baker is a former board member of California Presenters, a statewide coalition committed to connecting, engaging and developing performing arts professionals from organizations of varied sizes and structures; and advocating for important issues in the presenting field; and the Arts Collaborative of Nevada County, the state local partner for Nevada County.

About California Arts Advocates (CAA)
Founded in 1996 as a nonprofit 501(c)(4) statewide advocacy organization by leaders in the arts field, CAA has been the collaborative force behind the battle to protect arts funding in California, as well as the successful passage of several bills that return arts programs to schools, and laws that positively impact the arts. CAA has recently been instrumental in increasing funding for the arts in California in the last 5 years by $14.1 million.

About Californians for the Arts (CFTA)
CFTA, a 501c3 organization was established in 2007 by California Arts Advocates as a partner organization to increase public awareness of the importance of the arts; to ensure that the arts are an ongoing part of the public dialogue, and to encourage Californians to care about the arts as a critical component of their own lives and the lives of their communities.