California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

February 21, 2008Mary Beth Barber

Future of the Arts in California Examined at Conference from the California Arts Council

The 2008 statewide conference features prominent futurist experts and other arts and culture leaders at March 4 statewide conference

Sacramento -

"The Future--What's Next?" is the theme of the March 4, 2008 statewide arts conference from the California Arts Council. Hundreds of arts administrators, local leaders, artists, educators and others are expected to attend the conference in Sacramento at Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday, March 4, 2008. Check-in and continental breakfast starts at 8:30 am, and the opening remarks will begin at 9:30 am.

"Arts lovers in California are always wondering about the future of the arts and culture in our state, and our 2008 conference seeks to examine the question," said Muriel Johnson, Director of the California Arts Council. "Speakers will lead us through presentations and round-table discussions--from state and national perspectives--through the lens of changing demographics, cultural diversity, arts education, audiences, and the media."

Presenters at the California Arts Council statewide conference include:

Derek Woodgate, internationally known futurist, President of The Futures Lab, and a world-renowned conference speaker, panelist and commentator on the future

Jonathan Katz, Director of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

Dr. Tomas Ybarra-Frausto, educator, author, and former Associate Director for Creativity & Culture at the Rockefeller Foundation

Richard J. Deasy, Director of the Arts Education Partnership, Washington, D.C.

Joseph Hayes, Research Associate, Public Policy Institute of California

Also, Senator Jack Scott and Assemblymember Betty Karnette will receive awards of appreciation for their strong support of the arts. More complete biographies of speakers follow this release.

The California Arts Council's statewide arts conference has been sponsored by the Target Corporation, and is being coordinated with the California Arts Advocates' March 5 arts advocacy events. Attendees may sign up for both events on the registration page at

The Memorial Auditorium is located at 1400 J Street, Sacramento, 95814, and the cost for attendees for the March 4 conference is $65 per person (includes light breakfast and lunch). Registration deadline is February 26. More information and registration forms can be found on the California Arts Council website. Interested members of the press should contact Mary Beth Barber at 916-322-6588 or

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Speakers Biographies
California Statewide Arts Conference "The Future-What’s Next?"
March 4, 2008, Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento

Derek Woodgate
Derek Woodgate is a futurist, author, speaker and innovator, with over 25 years of international business experience, having had positions on the Boards of two major corporations and nearly 10 years working with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He is currently President and CEO of The Futures Lab, a futures-based consultancy which he founded in January 1998, and a founding member and a board member of the Association of Professional Futurists, a professional member of The World Futures Society, (President of the Central Texas Chapter), The World Futures Studies Federation and is also on the Regional Vision and Strategy Committee for Central Texas.

Derek is especially involved in the realms of entertainment, media, and culture. He was the lead consultant on the cultural future of Covent Garden in London; MTV and Showtime; The Performing Arts Council at the University of Texas and its related auditoriums; the performance division of Clear Channel; and is the founder of Charrette Austin, a group dedicated to the advancement of technology in the arts. Derek has lived and worked in eleven countries and is at home in seven languages. He graduated with a Bachelor Degree (Hons.) from University College London, in Contemporary Slav Studies and then gained his Masters in Economics from Zagreb University. Derek, a prolific writer on future-related topics, authored Future Frequencies in 2004.

Jonathan Katz
Jonathan Katz has served as CEO of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) since 1985. Prior to that, he was executive director of the Kansas Arts Commission, one of the first state arts agencies to focus its resources on the development of a local arts agency network. He has taught communication, literature and creative writing at universities in Indiana, Ohio and Kansas. Mr. Katz has consulted extensively in cultural policy planning, organizational development, and leadership and management training. His presentations on the policies, issues and trends that affect participation in cultural activities are a frequent feature at national and state conferences, and at state arts agency planning sessions. He has co-authored a number of articles including: Advancing America's Creativity: An Agenda for Leadership in Support of the Arts.

Dr. Tomas Ybarra-Frausto
Tomas Ybarra-Frausto was formerly the Associate Director for Creativity and Culture at the Rockefeller Foundation. At the Foundation, he developed the Fidecomiso Para La Cultura Mexico-Estados Unidos (The U.S. Mexico Fund for Culture), a bi-national initiative that supported individual artists, humanities scholars and institutions creating new paradigms for mutual understanding, cooperation and reciprocal knowledge-sharing between the two countries. He served as Chair of the Mexican Museum in San Francisco and the Smithsonian Council, and has written and published extensively on Latin American and U.S. Latino arts and culture. In 1998, Dr. Ybarra-Frausto was awarded the Henry Medal by the Smithsonian Institution.

Joseph Hayes
Joe Hayes is a research associate at the Public Policy Institute of California. He studies migration and population change throughout the state. Previous projects have focused on movements of people into and out of the Central Valley and the Inland Empire, and on the families of newly arrived immigrants to California. A recent publication profiles the state's prison population. Joe holds an M.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Richard J. Deasy
Richard J. Deasy is the director of the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), a coalition of over 100 education, arts, business, philanthropic, and government organizations. Under his leadership AEP has published seminal research studies and reports that are credited with major advances in arts education in the United States. He commissioned and edited AEP's widely acclaimed compendium of research, Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development. Mr. Deasy has been a senior state education official in Maryland and Pennsylvania, president and CEO of the National Council for International Visitors, and a prize-winning reporter on politics and government in Philadelphia. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on slum housing conditions in suburban Philadelphia.

The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the Arts and Creativity. Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Michael Alexander, Vice Chair Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Eunice David, Charmaine Jefferson, Chong-Moon Lee, Carlos Martinez, Michael Rubel, Fred Sands, Karen Skelton and William Turner.

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