The California Arts Council consists of eleven members, nine appointed by the Governor and one appointed by the President pro Tempore of the Senate and one by the Speaker of the Assembly. The members serve four-year staggered terms. Council Members serve without salary, elect their own chair, and meet throughout the state to encourage public attendance. The Council establishes general policy and approves program allocations. Governor appointees are subject to Senate confirmation.
Mr. Aitken is a nationally known attorney and founding partner of the Aitken-Aitken-Cohn law firm in Santa Ana. He is a resident of Anaheim and is active in a number of major Orange County cultural organizations, including serving as Past President and Member of the President's Circle of South Coast Repertory; as a Board member of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts; a member of Arts Council Orange County and Laguna Playhouse and is on the Board of the Mission San Juan Capistrano Preservation Foundation. He currently serves as a trustee of Chapman University and Chair of the Board of Visitors for its Law School.
Mr. Aitken is a frequent guest speaker at legal seminars and guest on TV and radio shows including Inside Edition, KOCE, KNBC, and KFI, and has numerous published articles and featured in newspaper and magazine publications.
He was the youngest president in the history of the State Trial Bar and is continually recognized by LawDragon Magazine as one of the Top 500 Lawyers in America & Top 100 Litigators. He is repeatedly listed by the LA Daily Journal as one of the Top 100 most influential lawyers in California.
Aitken was appointed in March 2010 by Governor Schwarzenegger and reappointed in February 2011 by Governor Brown. His term expires January 2015.
Michael Alexander is both the Artistic Director and Executive Director of Grand Performances, a nonprofit institution which presents free performing arts reflecting the best of global culture. Grand Performances is Southern California's largest presenter of free performing arts programs and a landmark nonprofit arts institution established with a primary focus on bringing together the diverse peoples of Los Angeles for concerts celebrating the community's cultural contributions.
Mr. Alexander arrived at Grand Performances after a successful career in arts management with such companies as the AMAN Folk Ensemble and the San Francisco Ballet, managing his own artists touring/booking company, and serving as the Director of Performing Arts for the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. He currently serves on several nonprofit arts and community service boards, and co-chairs Arts for LA, a committee of arts leaders. He has participated as a consultant and panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, Housing and Urban Development, the California Arts Council, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. Mr. Alexander was previously the Co-Chair of California Arts Advocates, and is now the organization's Legislative Chair. Mr. Alexander served as the Chair of the California Arts Council from 2007 to January 2009.
Alexander was appointed in December 2003 by Assembly Speaker Wesson, reappointed in October 2009 by Assembly Speaker Bass, and reappointed in January 2012 by Assembly Speaker Perez. His term expires in January 2016.
As President of Christopher R. Coppola Enterprises, Christopher Coppola has been a champion of, and leader in, digital media for over a decade. Since 1987 he has directed eight feature films and numerous television shows as well as developing and producing content for alternative distribution and interactive platforms. For example, his “HD: American Portraits” premiered on the Wal-Mart in-store network and reached over 160 million people. Coppola is also known as the “Biker Chef” who travels the country’s blue highways with his trusted comrade, Biker Cat, celebrating the endless diversity of people, their cultures and cuisine. Coppola’s company also produces a reality show series, “The DigiVangelist,” which features Coppola seeking out the latest innovations in creative technology while keeping the heart and soul of the human endeavor intact.
Coppola is deeply committed to education. His educational initiatives include helping to build a High Definition Research Laboratory at the San Francisco Art Institute, Coppola’s alma mater. The state-of-the-art lab provides equipment for shooting, editing and viewing, enabling students and visiting artists to discover new, artistic uses for high definition technology.
Coppola is in demand as a speaker and panelist, particularly on the topic of digital filmmaking. In 2006 he created Project Accessible Hollywood (PAH), a nonprofit organization that brings digital empowerment to underserved communities and individuals worldwide. PAH seeks to educate “everyday” people on using simple digital media to express themselves artistically. To date, Coppola has held forty-four free digital media festivals, called PAH-fests, across the U.S. and abroad. Each PAH-fest brings technology, education and community engagement while supporting artistic expression through a digital storytelling competition.
A member of the prolific Coppola family, Christopher studied music composition at University of Redlands School of Music and film at the San Francisco Art Institute. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America and serves on the Independent Directors Committee.
Since 1991, Andrew Green has been partner and vice president of the management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. Previously, Green was president and publisher for Techcom from 1985 to 1991.
Green was appointed in February 2010 by Governor Schwarzenegger and reappointed in February 2011 by Governor Brown. His term expires January 2014.
Charmaine Jefferson is currently executive director of the California African American Museum, a position she has held since 2003. Previously, Jefferson worked for Disney Entertainment Productions from 1998 to 2002 and de Passe Entertainment from 1996 to 1997. Prior to that, she was executive director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem from 1992 to 1996 and served the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs as acting commissioner and deputy commissioner from 1988 to 1992. She also served as general manager of the Dance Theatre of Harlem from 1986 to 1987. Jefferson danced professionally for 13 years and is a member of the California Institute of the Arts, Board of Trustees and International Association for Blacks in Dance.
Jefferson was appointed in February 2007 by Governor Schwarzenegger and reappointed in February 2011 by Governor Brown. Her term expires January 2015.
Terry Lenihan is a Los Angeles artist and educator. Professor Lenihan directs Loyola Marymount University’s art education credential program, as well as ARTsmart, a community service program of the Department of Art and Art History, which serves hundreds of local elementary students with fine-art lessons taught by volunteer LMU students. She is an advocate for arts education and a believer in the power of art as a catalyst for social change. Her research interests focus on K–12 and post-secondary art education, service learning, collaborative art, and social justice arts education.
Lenihan is a sculptor and installation artist who is known for her monumental figurative sculptures, which reference the individual’s struggle against constraints and the power of the human gesture. Her artwork has been exhibited in numerous gallery and museum venues, both locally and internationally; these include the Irvine Fine Art Center; Sherry Frumkin Gallery; Brand Art Gallery; Galerie Califia in Prague, Czech Republic; Seojong Center in Seoul, Korea; and the Museum of Modern Fine Art, Minsk, Belarus. Lenihan received her MFA in Sculpture from Claremont Graduate University.
Lenihan was appointed in February 2010 by Governor Schwarzenegger and reappointed in February 2011 by Governor Brown. Her term expires January 2014.
Susan Steinhauser is an attorney with a significant record of serving the public, especially with issues relating to the humanities, education, and the status of women.
She has been a member of the Library of California Board (1996-2008) and served as its legislative chair; is president of the Los Angeles County Law Library Board of Trustees (2002-present); was appointed to participated in development of a Master Plan for Education in 2001; is a member of the Santa Fe Community College Foundation Board in New Mexico (appointed 2003); has served as a trustee of the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle; chairs the Getty Museum Photographs Council (appointed 2007), is on the Board of Overseers of the Hammer Museum (appointed 2006), and served on both the Public Programs Committee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1998-2005) and the California State Superintendent's Task Force on Arts Education (1997).
She has received numerous awards in public service, especially in her public-service work concerning women and families, including the Crystal Star Award from the California Commission on the Status of Women, the BUDDY (Bringing Up Daughters Differently) award, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund "Distinguished Service Award from Women Lawyers of Los Angeles," and the "Founder's Award for Community Leadership" and "Spirit of Voluntarism" awards from the Junior League of Los Angeles.
For more than twelve years Steinhauser has practiced law in Sacramento with the State Legislative Counsel Bureau and in Los Angeles with Southern California Edison Company. In 2003 she was nominated for, and attended, the Strategic Studies Institute at the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Steinhauser also has experience in local government issues and served as President and Vice President of the Los Angeles City Fire and Police Pension System Board, the body responsible for managing over $5 billion dollars for the System's more than 20,000 members.
Steinhauser was appointed in May 2008 and reappointed in January 2012 by Senator Darrell Steinberg, President pro Tempore . Her term expires January 2016.
Mr. Turner has owned the William Turner Gallery since 1991. The gallery is located in Santa Monica and specializes in representing contemporary California artists. For the past 19 years, Mr. Turner has served on the Board of the California Lawyers for the Arts, where he has been an advocate and lecturer concerning issues of importance to artists. Mr. Turner is an active member of the State Bar of California and received his law degree from the University of San Francisco. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado College, where he studied philosophy and fine arts.
From 1995 to 2003, Mr. Turner co-chaired the LA International, a biennial art event. Galleries throughout greater Los Angeles invited international artists to exhibit in their galleries, with the goal of promoting collaboration between Los Angeles and the international art community. In that position, he worked closely with the Los Angeles and Santa Monica Departments of Cultural Affairs, galleries, museums and Consuls General throughout the city. Since 1994, Mr. Turner has been a contributing editor to the arts and entertainment magazine, Venice, and contributing writer to the Visual Artist’s Business and Legal Guide.
Turner was appointed in April 2007 by Governor Schwarzenegger and reappointed in February 2011 by Governor Brown. His term expires January 2015.
Rosalind Wyman is a life-long resident of Los Angeles, and was the youngest person ever elected to the Los Angeles City Council, where she served from 1953 to 1965. Her commitment to making and keeping Los Angeles a Major-League city included attracting Major-League arts, education, and sports. In that regard, she was instrumental in bringing the Dodgers from Brooklyn, and worked toward bringing the Lakers from Minnesota and the American Film Institute Campus to the former Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles.
Mrs. Wyman is a long-time board member of The Music Center – Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County – whose main venues are the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, and is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Center Theatre Group, LA Opera, and Los Angeles Master Chorale. She is proud to work toward the Music Center’s goal of providing diverse opportunities for life-long learning and engagement with the arts and culture. A member of the Board of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, she served as President twice.
She serves on the Thelma Pearl Howard Board (part of the California Foundation), which works to create programs in the field of education, music, and culture for disadvantaged and homeless children, and is President of the James A. Doolittle Foundation, which is dedicated to the promotion of dance.
Mrs. Wyman was appointed under President Reagan to serve on the Independent Commission to Review the National Endowment for the Arts to determine the future of the NEA in America – which helped ensure the continuation of the NEA. A former executive at Columbia Pictures Television, she also served as the Executive Chair of the Producers Guild of America and was appointed to the National Endowment for the Arts under President Carter.
Through her service on numerous boards and commissions over the course of her lifetime, Mrs. Wyman has consistently dedicated much of her efforts to developing and maintaining arts programs in schools.
Wyman was appointed in November 2011 by Governor Brown. Her term expires January 2015.