Chelo Montoya and Vicki Estrada Named Chair and Vice Chair of California Arts Council

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Arts Council elected members Chelo Montoya and Vicki Estrada to serve as Chair and Vice Chair of the Council, respectively, at a public meeting held on Thursday, December 8.

A Los Angeles-based artist, educator, and cultural producer specializing in community engagement strategies, Montoya was appointed to the California Arts Council by the Speaker of the Assembly, Anthony Rendon, in March of 2020. From March of 2020 to December 2022, Montoya served as Vice Chair of the Council. Her current term expires January 1, 2024.

Montoya succeeds Council member Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez, who served as Council Chair for two years. At the meeting, the Council members thanked Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez for her leadership. Gonzáles-Chávez’s term on the Council expires January 1, 2023.

Vicki Estrada, appointed to the Council by Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins in July of 2021, is a landscape architect and urban designer based in San Diego. Her current term expires January 1, 2025.

“I am so thrilled to be working with Chelo and Vicki over the next year, to make thoughtful and expedient progress in supporting our field; to actively listen to our field; to continue to advance equity in all aspects of the agency’s work; and to build a strong and responsive California Arts Council,” said California Executive Director Jonathan Moscone.

The positions take effect on January 1, 2023.

About Chelo Montoya

Consuelo (Chelo) Montoya is an artist, educator, and cultural producer specializing in community engagement strategies. She is the Assistant Vice President of Adult Education and Public Programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art where she oversees the music, film, docent and public programs. She previously served as Director of Education and Public Programs at the California African American Museum. Under her leadership there, she contributed to the exponential growth of the museum’s attendance through a dynamic offering of public programs. Her Radical Self Care annual series received national recognition by the American Alliance of Museums in their 2019 Trends Watch publication. She was the founding administrator and faculty member in the Master of Public Practice program at Otis College of Art and Design where she contributed to the development of the program over the course of a decade.

Chelo received her undergraduate degree in Fine Art from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her M.A. in Public Art Studies from the University of Southern California focused on arts administration and community-based arts. She earned a second masters, an MFA in Graphic Design at Otis College of Art and Design, with much of her work dedicated to issues around water and climate change. Her creative practice is largely inspired by her experience growing up in a rural community in the Central Valley of California. She has been extensively involved in working with local artists to produce the SELA Arts Festival at the L.A. River in Southeast Los Angeles since its inaugural year in 2018. Chelo also sits on the Board of Trustees executive committee of the Vincent Price Art Museum.

About Vicki Estrada

Vicki Estrada has lived in San Diego since 1955 and is president of Estrada Land Planning. She has 46 years of public and private practice experience and has been a registered Landscape Architect in California since 1977 with a B.S. in landscape architecture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She is also a musician with piano as her specialty. Her experience includes land planning, urban design and landscape architecture for a variety of projects, including community planning, master planned communities, infill, parks, and streetscapes. She is particularly skilled in providing community facilitation services and strives to make all of her projects sustainable, context sensitive, unique, and responsive to community and client needs. Vicki understands diverse community values and natural values as well as the creative and technical aspects of design. Reconnecting with the natural aspects of a site is a key objective on each of her projects. She is also known for developing design solutions that lead to consensus on difficult issues and for integrating public art into her designs.

In addition, she is a fellow of American Society of Landscape Architects; a past president of the San Diego Chapter of Lambda Alpha International; a past president of the Media Arts Center San Diego Board of Directors; a past chair of the San Diego Foundation Opening the Outdoors action team; a board member of the San Diego Canyonlands Board of Directors; a board member of the San Diego Maritime Museum; a member of the Groundwork San Diego Board of Directors; a founding member of the Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Landscape Architecture Advisory Council; a past member of the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture; a past chair of the City of San Diego Public Art Committee; and a past chair of the San Diego Airport Public Art Committee.

Media Inquiries:
Kimberly Brown
Public Affairs Specialist

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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: Consuelo Montoya, Chair; Vicki Estrada, Vice Chair; Gerald Clarke; Jodie Evans; Ellen Gavin; Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez; Alex Israel; Phil Mercado; and Roxanne Messina Captor. 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 Para 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.

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