California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

May 09, 2012Mary Beth Barber

California Arts Council makes internal staff changes

Marilyn Nielsen is Chief Deputy Director for the agency; Scott Heckes is Deputy Director of Programs and Administration

Sacramento -

The California Arts Council made some internal staffing changes in March. Marilyn Nielsen is now the Chief Deputy Director for the agency, and Scott Heckes is the Deputy Director of Programs and Administration. Nielsen was formerly the Deputy Director and Heckes the Chief of Administration. Additionally, John Seto, formerly an arts program specialist, was brought into the Special Projects team. The staff changes started on March 1, 2012.

Nielsen was appointed to the California Arts Council in 2005 and is a government executive with over 30 years experience in governmental relations and business management. She assumed the role of Chief Deputy Director for the entire agency and manager of special projects. Heckes, who has worked for the Arts Council for over 20 years in program management and previously oversaw the administrative duties of the agency, was selected to fulfill the Deputy Director position. Seto, an Arts Program Specialist with experience in museum management, will work on special projects with an emphasis on research and technical assistance concerning grants, programs, outside funding and other information vital to the nonprofit arts and arts-education field.

The restructuring comes after the former Chief of Programs, longtime Arts Council employee Josie Talamantez, retired in 2011. The management position to oversee the agency's programs and administration was then folded into a Deputy Director position, and a Chief Deputy Director position to oversee the ongoing management of the agency.

Members of the media may contact: Mary Beth Barber, Information Officer, at 916-322-6588 or  For more information on the California Arts Council, please go to .

The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the Arts and Creativity. Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Vice Chair William Turner, Wylie Aitken, Michael Alexander, Andrew Green, Adam Hubbard, Charmaine Jefferson, Terry Lenihan, Susan Steinhauser, and Rosalind Wyman.

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