ARTS COMMISSIONER AND CULTURAL LEADER LETICIA BUCKLEY IS NAMED CEO OF LA PLAZA DE CULTURA Y ARTES
Longtime arts advocate Leticia Rhi Buckley has been named the new CEO of downtown Los Angeles’ LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Buckley brings nearly 30 years of experience at arts, communications, and entertainment organizations to the Latina/Latino museum and cultural center. She succeeds the retiring CEO John Echeveste, and moves into the new post as LA Plaza celebrates its 10-year anniversary.
Buckley’s background and career seem tailor made to actualize LA Plaza’s mission—to lift up the role of Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and all Latinas/Latinos in Los Angeles through exhibitions, programming, and educational initiatives. An East LA native and a downtown resident, Buckley was most recently The Music Center’s Senior Civic Strategist, where she cultivated and implemented civic and community partnerships.
Prior to The Music Center, she served the Los Angeles County Arts Commission (now the Department of Arts and Culture), as an Acting Executive Director, Chief Deputy, and Director of Communications and Marketing from 2012 through 2019. She is currently a Los Angeles County Arts Commissioner, appointed by First District Supervisor Hilda L Solis. Buckley is also the Vice President for Californians for the Arts/California Arts Advocates, Board Chair of the Arts for Healing and Justice Network, and an Adjunct Professor at the Center for Business and Management of the Arts at Claremont Graduate University.
"Leticia Buckley is steeped in community, equity, and arts," said Supervisor Solis. "At the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Leticia was instrumental in developing our Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative (CEII), a report which set out strategies for ensuring all Angelenos have equitable access to arts and culture. And as one of my Arts Commissioners, she’s helped to expand our reach and advance our work on the many programs and services the County invests in annually. I am thrilled that she will bring that expertise to LA Plaza—a key member of the County’s cultural arts family. Her passion for the arts, commitment to uplifting the Latino community, and strong background in the region’s cultural arts system makes her the visionary leader we need to lead LA Plaza in its second decade."
"As a daughter of Mexican immigrants who was born and raised not too far from LA Plaza, I am thrilled by the opportunity to expand the museum and cultural center’s role as the Latinx cultural hub of Southern California," Buckley said. "LA Plaza has firmly established itself as one of the leading cultural organizations of our region and I am honored and excited to work with the board and staff as we build on that foundation."
"This appointment is an incredible opportunity for LA Plaza and Leticia. She is a passionate advocate for our arts sector, and she not only believes in arts and cultural equity—she has lived experience in practices and partnerships that advance that equity. I very much look forward to continuing to collaborate with her in this new role within the LA County cultural community," said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture.
"Leticia is deeply and authentically civically-minded, whether it’s at her kids’ schools or in one of her many advisory and board roles," said Constance Jocular, President of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. "She has an incredible network of colleagues and fans, and can make connections between arts agencies and advocates at the local, regional, state and national level—putting the right partners together at the right time. I am thrilled for LA Plaza, and really, for Los Angeles County’s art sector, because she’ll lift both up with her unique ability to drive collaboration."
"I have known Leticia since her days at the Arts Commission, where she played a crucial leadership role in development of the County’s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative. CEII is very close to my heart—conceived of by my friend, Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, and guided by an Advisory Committee which I have the honor of co-chairing. Leticia is an incredibly strategic thinker, and committed to shepherding diversity and making the arts accessible to the people of Los Angeles County. I am excited to see what she brings to LA Plaza," said Helen Hernandez, CEII Advisory Committee Co-Chair.
About the Los Angeles County Arts Commission
The Arts Commission, an advisory group to the County Board of Supervisors, consists of up to 15 members, three members appointed by each of the five Supervisors. CEII was developed in response to a Board motion in November 2015 directing the LA County Arts Commission to conduct a constructive Countywide conversation about ways to improve diversity in cultural organizations" for all LA County residents, and focused on five key areas: staff, boards, audience, programming and creators/artists. The Advisory Committee has been a part of Arts and Culture's CEII Work from the beginning. When the LA County Board of Supervisors adopted the Cultural Equity & Inclusion Initiative, they also directed that the CEII Advisory Committee remain as a standing committee the Arts Commission.
About the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture
The mission of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture is to advance arts, culture, and creativity throughout LA County. The department provides leadership, services, and support in areas including grants and technical assistance for nonprofit organizations; professional development opportunities; public art commissions and the supervision of the County's civic art collection; countywide arts education initiatives; research and evaluation of the arts sector; the formation of career pathways in the creative economy; free community programs; and cross-sector creative strategies that address civic issues. This work is framed by the County's Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative and a longstanding commitment to fostering access to the arts.