The LA County Department of Arts and Culture is led by a staff of dedicated professionals committed to supporting a robust and thriving arts and culture community in Los Angeles County.

Kristin Sakoda

Kristin Sakoda

Kristin Sakoda is Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, a local arts agency which fulfills a mission to advance arts, culture, and creativity throughout the largest county in the U.S. The Department of Arts and Culture provides grants and technical assistance to hundreds of nonprofit organizations; runs the largest arts internship program in the nation; coordinates countywide public-private arts education initiatives; increases access to creative career pathways; commissions civic artwork; supports free community programs; leads the LA County Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative; and advances cross-sector cultural strategies to address civic issues. Appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Ms. Sakoda previously served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Under her leadership, she led the organization during its historic transition into the County’s first Department of Arts and Culture.

Ms. Sakoda is an arts executive, attorney, and performing artist with more than 25 years in the field. She has appeared on national and international stages including with dance and social justice company Urban Bush Women and in musicals Rent and Mamma Mia! on Broadway. Prior to her work at the Department of Arts and Culture, she served in key leadership roles at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs overseeing a portfolio of strategic, programmatic, policy, legislative, and funding programs with a $200 million annual budget, and was instrumental in advancing diversity and inclusion; public art; creative aging; cultural facilities; and affordable workspace for artists. She holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law with honors in Entertainment Law, and B.A. from Stanford University with a specialization in Race and Ethnicity and a secondary major in Feminist Studies. As of 2021, she is a Board member of Grantmakers in the Arts, the national association of public and private arts funders in the U.S. 



Miriam Gonzalez

Executive Assistant


Megan Moret

Special Assistant/Board Liaison


Heather Rigby

Chief Deputy

Alexis Camins

Information Technology Manager


Monica Guardado

Administration Assistant


Alex Hinojosa

Human Resources Manager


Vanecia Logan

Office Coordinator


Larisa Safaryan

Contracts Manager


Brandon Turner

Administrative Deputy

Denise Grande

Director of Arts Education
Ms. Grande oversees the Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective, spearheading regional efforts to advance arts education for LA County’s 1.5 million public school students. This involves promoting a common agenda, shepherding a 200+ partner coalition that engages over 100 arts organizations and 70 school districts, guiding communications efforts and spearheading research to inform strategy and track progress. Previously, Ms. Grande was Director of Programs and Strategic Partnerships for the Metropolitan Opera Guild at Lincoln Center in New York, annually serving 160 schools across 7 states. During her 20 years at The Music Center in Los Angeles, she played a leadership role in arts education program design, implementation, research and evaluation. Ms. Grande received her BA from UCLA in dance and was a Coro Fellow through the California Arts Council’s Arts Leadership Fellow Program.



Abe Ahn

Development Coordinator


Irina Contreras

Juvenile Justice Coordinator


Gregg Johnson

Arts Education Program Manager


Meia Johnson

Arts Education Program Manager


Megan Kirkpatrick

Arts Education Senior Manager


Gillian McCarthy

Arts Education Program Manager


Rachel Mendoza

Arts Education Assistant


Elisabeth Nails

Project Consultant


Keelia Postlethwaite Stinnett

Arts Education Program Manager


Rebecca Renard Wilson

Senior Project Consultant

Grace Ramierez-Gaston


Director of Civic Art
Grace Ramirez Gaston is responsible for planning, developing and implementing what is becoming one of the largest public art programs in the country, with over 40 active projects, ranging in size from $10,000 to $1 million. The Civic Art Program, which began in 2005, allocates 1% of county capital projects for public art. The Director of Civic Art develops and articulates a broad vision for the program and oversees a team of project managers, a collections manager, a registrar and a program coordinator. A graduate of Rowan University with a degree in fine arts, Ms. Ramirez Gaston was the Deputy Director and Program Manager for the New York City School Construction Authority, Public Art for Public Schools Program.



Anne Marie Acosta

Civic Art Project Manager

Ottavia Crucitti

Civic Art Project Manager

Pat Gomez

Civic Art Project Manager

Caroline Kerrigan Lerch

Civic Art Project Manager

Brianna MacGillivray

Civic Art Program Associate

Iris Anna Regn

Civic Art Project Manager

Laleña Vellanoweth

Civic Art Collections Manager

Lida Venieri

Civic Art Finance and Operations Manager

Kristin Friedrich

Kristin Friedrich

Director of Communications & Public Affairs
Kristin Friedrich oversees media and message strategy, social media, internal and external communications, and marketing, in order to amplify the Department of Arts and Culture's work in supporting arts and culture throughout Los Angeles County. Previously, she was an Editorial Manager and Director of Communications at the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, and an arts and culture writer at the Los Angeles Downtown News. Ms. Friedrich received a B.A. in English from UCLA, and a Master’s in Communication Management from USC. She volunteers at the Downtown Women’s Center, Chrysalis, and the Echo Park Trash Club.



John Johnson

Communications Associate

Kim Glann

Cross Sector Manager


Jacqueline Pimentel

Cross Sector Program Associate

Anji Gaspar-Milanovic

Director of Grants and Professional Development
Anji Gaspar-Milanovic oversees the Organizational Grant Program, Community Impact Arts Grant Program, Arts Internship Program, professional development, special initiatives designed to increase the capacity of the arts sector and connecting regional arts funders. Prior to joining the Department of Arts and Culture in 2007, Ms. Gaspar-Milanovic worked in development at Saint Joseph Ballet and held several positions at the American Red Cross of Orange County, including Public Relations Specialist, Bilingual Public Information Officer and Disaster Services Caseworker. Fluent in several languages, she received a B.A. in Latin American Studies and French Literature from Lake Forest College and attended Vanderbilt University’s graduate program in Latin American Studies.



Rosalyn Escobar

Grants Manager


Laura Guerrero-Nieto

Grants Manager


Martín Hernandez

Professional Development Programs Associate


Ann Jensen

Management Analyst


Marah Morris

Grants and Professional Development Programs Manager

Bronwyn Mauldin

Director of Research and Evaluation
Bronwyn Mauldin oversees a Research and Evaluation team that utilizes data and social science methods to improve the Department of Arts and Culture’s work and strengthen the arts ecology. Ms. Mauldin has spent her career conducting applied research and evaluation for nonprofits, philanthropies and government. She also teaches research methods to graduate students in the arts administration program at Claremont Graduate University. Prior to coming to LACDAC, Ms. Mauldin evaluated farmworker programs in California’s Central Valley, studied employment conditions for truck drivers in the Pacific Northwest, analyzed apprenticeship opportunities in the healthcare industry, served as a nonpartisan policy analyst in the Washington State House of Representatives and researched villager organizing in rural northeast Thailand. Ms. Mauldin has a master’s in public administration from the University of Washington. She is also a novelist.



Matthew Agustin

Arts Education Research Associate



The Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission is housed at, and administratively supported by, the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture. 

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Alexandra Valdes

Executive Director, Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission & LANAIC Self Governance Board
Alexandra Valdes is an enrolled tribal citizen of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, a descendant of the Athabascan and the grandchild of German and Hungarian immigrants. She is the mother of two children, ages six and three. Alexandra has dedicated her career to working for organizations that empower American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities.

Previously, Alexandra worked for her Alaska Native Regional Corporation, Sealaska Corporation. In this role she developed, implemented, and managed educational and professional development programs and opportunities for tribal member shareholders and descendants. She also served as a project assistant at the Seattle Indian Health Board’s Urban Indian Health Institute, a tribal epidemiology center that focuses on the national urban AIAN population. During her graduate studies, she interned for Haa Aani, a Southeast Alaska based non-profit Community Development Financial Institution committed to creating sustainable economic opportunities for Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people.

Alexandra was a First Nations Futures Fellow at Stanford University and a Barbara Jordan Health Policy Fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation where she worked for the US Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brown University and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Southern California. While at Brown, Alexandra was a member of the women’s Division I water polo team.



Israel Tejeda

Administrative Assistant