California Arts Council

State of California

At the arts council

Jaren Bonillo Joins the Arts Council as Arts Program Specialist

 Administrator, Artist, and Educator

Published: 06-10-2016

The California Arts Council is pleased to welcome its newest staff member, Arts Program Specialist Jaren Bonillo.

Active in the Bay Area arts scene, Jaren has supported hundreds of Bay Area artists to extend their practice into challenged neighborhoods, under-resourced public schools, detention centers, and nonprofit galleries as an administrator, artist, and educator. She brings over 15 years of experience in grant writing and fund development, program development, financial management, and team leadership to her new role.

Prior to joining the California Arts Council, she served as the Executive Director of the Imagine Bus Project where she strengthened and developed collaborative partnerships between local artists, community partners, donors, and other stakeholders. During her tenure, she shepherded the organization through a Program Model revision, improved the internal operations and infrastructure of the organization, and grew the organization threefold. She also served as Treasurer for the Arts Providers Alliance's Executive Committee in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Prior to the Imagine Bus Project, she was the Artists in Education Program Manager at Southern Exposure, where she managed arts education programs that brought together local emerging artists with at-risk youth in a gallery setting. Jaren has also curated and exhibited creative projects at the Headlands Center for the Arts; Memorial Union Art Gallery, University of California, Davis; Root Division, SOMArts, San Francisco; and the University of Cincinnati's Reed Galley, among others. She received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.

"I am committed and dedicated to creating a just society by working with diverse communities and organizations to ensure that arts participation and engagement is accessible," Jaren says. "I believe the arts have the power to transform lives and build a strong foundation for developing the next generation's leaders and creative thinkers. I am honored and grateful to be joining such an innovative and cutting-edge agency that is highly-regarded as a regional leader for its exemplary work on behalf of all of California's communities and cultures."

Jaren's first day at the Arts Council was June 6, 2016. She can be reached at