Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas Appoints Roy Hirabayashi to California Arts Council

SACRAMENTO, CA – Last Tuesday, March 5, Speaker Rivas of the Assembly announced the appointment of Roy Hirabayashi of San Jose to the California Arts Council body.

The California Arts Council consists of 11 members who set priorities and policies for the agency’s local assistance grantmaking.

Roy Hirabayashi is a champion for social justice, multicultural arts, and cultural preservation. He is a leader in the arts community known for starting organizations and empowering the next generation of leaders.

“I’m proud to appoint Roy Hirabayashi to the California Arts Council. His background in social justice and commitment to the preservation of Japanese culture within his community will provide a unique perspective and uphold the Council’s vision of empowering and safeguarding arts, culture and creative expression in California,” said Speaker of the Assembly Robert Rivas (D-Salinas).

In addition, Hirabayashi is a nationally recognized folk and traditional artist, composer, producer, and collaborator in international projects. He is a National Endowment for the Arts, National Heritage Fellow and an American Leadership Forum John W. Gardner Leadership awardee.

Hirabayashi is most well-known for co-founding San Jose Taiko, the preeminent taiko performing arts company based in San Jose, in 1973. He was active with San Jose Taiko as a leader, performer, workshop instructor, and composer until 2011. His signature instruments are taiko and shinobue (Japanese horizontal bamboo flute).

“We are thrilled to welcome our newest Council member and grateful to Speaker Rivas for his appointment of Mr. Hirabayashi,” said California Arts Council Executive Director Danielle Brazell. “Roy’s lifelong dedication to inspiring the next generation of artists through cultural practice aligns with our agency’s commitment to continue to expand access to the arts and to meet communities where they are. With a full Council, I know that we are more than capable of addressing the challenges at hand and moving towards a more expansive—and art-filled—future.”

“For nearly five decades, members of the California Arts Council have been endowed with the responsibility of guiding our state’s arts agency. The Council is composed of dedicated individuals who serve in a number of disciplines, each bringing their expertise to representing arts throughout this great state,” said Chairperson of the California Arts Council Roxanne Messina Captor. “Mr. Hirabayashi’s great wealth of work adds to the Council. I am honored to work with him in my position as Chairperson.”

Hirabayashi was appointed to the California Arts Council by Speaker of the Assembly Robert Rivas in March of 2024. His term expires in 2028.

The California Arts Council will hold its next business meeting on April 19.

Media Inquiries Only:
Kimberly Brown
Public Affairs Specialist


The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Roxanne Messina Captor, Chair; Leah Goodwin, Vice Chair; Gerald Clarke; Caleb Duarte; Vicki Estrada; Ellen Gavin; Roy Hirabayashi; Alex Israel; Phil Mercado; Nicola Miner; and Olivia Raynor. Learn more at

The California Arts Council is committed to increasing the accessibility of its online content. For language and accessibility assistance, visit To read this announcement in Spanish, please use the website’s Google Translate tool by clicking the “Translate” link in the upper righthand corner of this page.

El Consejo de las Artes de California se compromete a aumentar la accesibilidad de sus contenidos en línea. Para obtener ayuda con el idioma y la accesibilidad, visite leer este anuncio en español, utilice la herramienta Google Translate del sitio web haciendo clic en el enlace “Traducir” situado en la esquina superior derecha de esta página.

Subscribe to the California ArtBeat weekly newsletter

Skip to content