San Francisco announced a new director for the Arts Commission who vowed on Friday to “boldly further the path of equity.”
Ralph Remington, the current deputy director for Arts and Culture for Tempe, Ariz., was selected by the Arts Commission last month and the deal has now been finalized. He will begin in January 2021.
Mayor London Breed announced the selection in a statement.
“Ralph has a long history of working in the arts,” Breed said. “I know he will ensure San Francisco’s diverse community of artists and cultural organizations are supported and valued throughout this pandemic and beyond.”
Breed said supporting the arts during COVID-19 “will help San Francisco rebound and come back even stronger than before.”
Remington fills the vacancy left by Tom DeCaigny, who stepped down from the post in January.
“We live in times that require bold fearless leadership around issues of arts and culture interwoven with equity, diversity and inclusion,” Remington said in a statement. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to work progressively with Mayor Breed and the San Francisco Arts Commission to boldly further the path of equity, diversity and belonging in the city of San Francisco, one of the world’s greatest arts and culture capitals.”
The director of cultural affairs oversees the San Francisco Arts Commission, which has a more than $20 million annual budget. The department disburses grants to artists, provides funding to art organizations and oversees the public art collection.
“I believe in Ralph’s ability to harness The City’s resources and lead us into the future,” said Roberto Ordeñana, president of the Arts Commission. “This pandemic presents incredible challenges to the world and our sector in particular, and Ralph’s fresh perspectives and incredible intersection of skills will help deploy strategies to keep the arts so very central to what San Francisco values.”
In 2016, Remington became the deputy director for Arts and Culture for Tempe, where he was in charge of the programming for the Tempe Center for the Arts, among other duties.
Other accomplishments include serving for one term on Minneapolis’ City Council and working as a member of Guthrie Theater Acting Company.