May 14, 2018
Koya partnered with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in their search for a new Executive Director of the Arts Commission. Following a comprehensive national search led by Michelle Bonoan, the Board of Supervisors appointed Kristin Sakoda to head its Countywide Arts Initiatives as Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission provides funding for over 350 nonprofit arts organizations through a $9 million grant program and runs the nation’s biggest internship program. The Commission’s free community programs advance diversity and accessibility for the County’s 88 municipalities and 137 unincorporated areas. In joining the County, Ms. Sakoda has a broad mandate to advance arts and culture Countywide under the direction of the Board of Supervisors.
Ms. Sakoda joined the County on February 15, 2018 with over 20 years of cultural arts experience. During the 9 years prior to joining the Arts Commission, she was instrumental in guiding the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the largest arts funder in the U.S. outside of the federal government, in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, arts administration, programmatic initiatives, legal matters, legislation, public art, and capital projects at City cultural facilities.
During that time, she served as chief legal officer of DCLA and chief executive officer of the city’s Theater Subdistrict Council awarding grants to cultivate diversity and inclusion on Broadway and beyond.
Ms. Sakoda is also a creative professional and lifelong arts practitioner whose work continues to be informed by her professional career in dance, music, theater and songwriting. She has appeared on stages across the U.S. and internationally including with the Urban Bush Women dance company and in hit musicals Rent(National Tour) and Mamma Mia! (Broadway).
Ms. Sakoda holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law, where she received the Jack J. Katz Memorial Award for Excellence in Entertainment Law, and a B.A. from Stanford University in American Studies with a specialization in Race and Ethnicity and a secondary major in Feminist Studies.