Larry Baza and Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez Named Chair and Vice Chair of California Arts Council

Leadership elected at public meeting on December 2

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Arts Council elected members Larry Baza and Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez to serve as Chair and Vice Chair of the Council, respectively, at a public meeting held virtually on Wednesday, December 2.

A San Diego-based arts administrator, Baza was appointed to the California Arts Council by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins in February of 2016 and reappointed by Atkins as Senate Pro Tem in January of 2020. From January 25, 2018 to December 31, 2019, Baza served as Vice Chair of the Council. His current term expires January 1, 2024. Baza succeeds Council member Nashormeh Lindo, who served as Council Chair for three years. At the meeting, the Council members thanked Lindo for her leadership. Lindo’s term on the Council expires January 1, 2021.

Gonzáles-Chávez, appointed to the Council by Governor Gavin Newsom in February 2020, is Executive Director of the Fresno Arts Council and a longtime arts leader from the Central Valley. Her current term expires January 1, 2024.

The positions take effect on January 1, 2021.

About Larry Baza
Larry Baza is a professional arts administrator with more than four decades of experience in advocating for the arts at the local, state and national level. He is the immediate past Chair of the San Diego Arts Commission. Baza has served on the boards of various nonprofit arts organizations and provided his expertise as a panelist for arts commissions and foundations. In his professional career, he has directed and managed San Diego arts organizations and businesses including Centro Cultural De La Raza, Sushi Performance and Visual Arts, Fingerhut Gallery, and Community Arts of San Diego. His wealth of knowledge and experience includes affiliations, consultancies, site visits and panel participation with multiple arts organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, California Association of Local Arts Organizations, Chicano Federation of San Diego County, National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, and the San Diego Community Foundation.

About Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez Council Member
Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez is a native of Fresno County, where she has been an active advocate for the arts for over 40 years. She served on the board of the Fresno Art Museum and the board of the Fresno Arts Council prior to being appointed Executive Director in August 2011. In 2016, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the State Summer School for the Arts by Governor Jerry Brown and was reappointed in 2018. She is a performing artist with over 30 years teaching and performing ballet folklórico. She has worked in the education and the arts fields first as a teacher then advancing through management and leadership positions in public and nonprofit organizations.

As Executive Director of the Fresno Arts Council, she has led the organization to provide arts services in the state prison system and the local jail. Under her leadership, the Fresno Arts Council has increased outreach to rural communities with a designated Rural Outreach Fund to support the transportation of artists and audiences to and from rural parts of Fresno County, created a teaching artists training program to increase participation of local artists in the schools, and is credited for establishing the Fresno Poet Laureate program.

Chavez is a co-founder of Arte Américas, the Latino cultural arts center in Fresno, and served as its principal administrator for 10 years. Known for her work with underserved residents, she was awarded the Judge Armando Rodriguez Legacy Award for Social Justice and Arts Access in 2018.

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: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Jaime Galli, Larry Baza, Lilia Gonzales Chavez, Jodie Evans, Kathleen Gallegos, Stanlee Gatti, Donn K. Harris, Alex Israel, Consuelo Montoya, and Jonathan Moscone. Learn more at

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