sfai news

March 02, 2012

SFAI faculty member and alumna JD Beltran appointed President of the San Francisco Arts Commission

SFAI is proud to announce that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has appointed faculty member and alumna JD Beltran as the President of the San Francisco Arts Commission. She was sworn in on March 1, 2012 at City Hall, and will serve a four-year term. 

“The SFAC plays a crucial role in the San Francisco arts landscape,” said SFAI President Charles Desmarais. “We are delighted for JD to be taking on this position and look forward to watching her lead the organization into an exciting new phase, building on its history of bringing together audiences and artists, new talent and new ideas.”

As President, Beltran will oversee the volunteer 15-person governing body of the city’s cultural department, which seeks to integrate the arts into all aspects of city life. Beltran has been a member of the Arts Commission since 2009, and also served as its Interim Director from July 2011-January 2012. 

Beltran succeeds PJ Johnston, who resigned in January after eight years as president. On the occasion of Beltran’s previous appointment as Interim Director, Johnston said, “JD is a fantastic artist, a well respected member of the arts community, and a committed public servant dedicated to the well-being of this organization.”

Beltran received her MFA from SFAI after earning her JD from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. She teaches in the Film, New Genres, Design and Technology, and Interdisciplinary Studies programs at SFAI, and serves as Director of the school’s City Studio program, which provides arts education for under-served youth in their own neighborhoods.

A conceptual artist, filmmaker, and writer, Beltran’s work has been screened and exhibited internationally, including at the Walker Art Center, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Kitchen in New York, the MIT Media Lab, the Singapore DigitalMediafest, and ProArte in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2009, the Public Art Network recognized her project "Downtown Mirror” for the city of San Jose as one of the most outstanding public art projects in the country. In 2010, her “Magic Story Table” project in San Francisco, a collaboration with Scott Minneman, was recognized as one of the top interactive designs internationally by I.D. Magazine.

Mayor Lee also appointed Chuck Collins, President and CEO of YMCA of San Francisco, and formerly Chairman of the Board of the San Francisco Art Institute (2000-2005) as a new member of the Arts Commission. Collins will serve a four-year term.

JD Beltran with Mayor Ed Lee