Olga Garay-English has been an independent arts consultant since 2014 working on California-based, national, and international projects. During this period, she has been senior advisor on Local and International Cultural Programs to City of Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge; creative strategist to UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance; program and resource development consultant at the Emerson College Office of the Arts and its three campuses in Boston, Los Angeles, and The Netherlands; senior international advisor to Fundación Santiago a Mil in Chile; director of the California Institute for the Arts (CalArts) Latin American/Caribbean/Latino Initiative and Visiting Professor for the CalArts School of Theater on Management and Planning; project manager, on behalf of the Ford Foundation, to the U.S. Latino Arts Future Symposium (Teresita Fernández, project director); and senior advisor to France Los Angeles Foundation (FLAX). She was recently appointed interim executive director of the Ford Theatres in the Hollywood Hills. From 2007 to 2014, Olga was executive director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). During her tenure at the City, DCA and its programs were awarded more than $23 million in funding from private and public entities. As founding Program Director for the Arts for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (1998-2005), Ms. Garay-English was responsible for one of the largest national arts funders in the United States. She awarded $145 million to arts organizations in the U.S. and abroad during her nearly eight-year tenure.
The Western Arts Alliance named Ms. Garay-English one of 2013’s Fifty Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts (USA) and one of the top five Local Arts Agency Leaders. Ms. Garay-English was named a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 2012. Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, she became naturalized as a United States citizen in 1978.