California Arts Council

State of California

Longtime California Arts Council administrator Josie Talamantez to retire
The current Chief of Programs is leaving state service

Published: 07-22-2011

Josie Talamantez, Chief of Programs for the California Arts Council, has announced plans to leave state service. Her last day in the office is set for July 29, 2011. Josie has worked for the California Arts Council for over 25 years, and recently received the Bramson Memorial Award in Historic Preservation for her master's thesis in public history that chronicles the efforts to have an open-air museum of historic murals in San Diego added to the National Registry of Historic Places.

"Josie has been an extremely valued member of the California Arts Council team - by the Council, her colleagues and the field at large," said Marilyn Nielsen, Interim Director. "I commend Josie on her dedication and commitment to the arts and culture of California, and wish her all the best in her new endeavors. She will be missed!"

Josie has served the agency in many different capacities over the years, including Legislative Liaison, Manager of California's State/Local Partnership Program, and Manager of Artists' Residencies/Fellowships, Multicultural Arts Development and Traditional Folk Arts Programs.

She started at the agency in November of 1985 in the "Artists in Residency" program overseeing Artists in Communities, and then the Organizational Support Program overseeing the disciplines of Literature, Visual Arts, and Multidisciplinary Arts. As the first Manager of the Multicultural Arts Development Program, she developed the California Arts Council's key projects in Multicultural Advancement, Multicultural Entry, and the Multicultural Administrative Fellowship, and the Technical Assistance programs. Since 2004 she has served as Chief of Programs, overseeing all of the agency's programs and special initiatives.

Before joining the California Arts Council, Josie was the Director of two California multi-disciplinary cultural arts organizations: La Raza/Galeria Posada in Sacramento and the Centro Cultural de la Raza in San Diego. She is co-founder of Chicano Park, recognized as the only open-air museum in the Americas, located in the Logan Heights neighborhood of San Diego. Her most recent accolade, the Bramson Award, was due to her work and dedication to the preservation of the history of Chicano Park and its murals, and her ongoing efforts to include the park and murals in the National Registry of Historic Places.

Josie continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, California Heritage Partners, and the Capitol Area Indian Resources, Inc.  And she is a member of the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF), an internationally known multidisciplinary artist collective with a 40-year history. In 2002 she was selected as one of twenty women in the nation to participate as a fellow in the National Hispana Leadership Institute.

Artistic creation and expression are part of the fabric of her life. She has danced under the direction of Maestros Florencio Yescas and La Senora Angelberta Cobb. And for close to 30 years she worked with her late artist husband, Armando R. Cid, conducting arts workshops, lectures and traditional family altar making for the observance of Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead. She is also a trained public historian specializing in the Chicano Civil Rights era.

Josie attended California State University-Sacramento (CSUS) (M.A. in public history), University of California-Berkeley (B.A. in sociology), University of California-San Diego (teacher-training program) and San Diego City College (A.A. in social science). She has also participated in various certificate programs and training across the country, including at Harvard's JFK School of Government, the Center for Creative Leadership, and CSUS's management training program.

"It has been an honor to have served the California Arts Council for over 25 years and it has been a pleasure working with such a devoted Council staff," says Josie. "I applaud all our state's artists and arts administrators for their commitment to the arts and culture of California. I plan to continue to work in the field and look forward to interacting with the arts field in California and beyond."

Josie may be contacted via the California Arts Council through July 29, 2011 at 916-322-6394 and Beginning July 30, Josie may be contacted at 916 847-4569 or

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