California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

July 24, 2015Caitlin Fitzwater

Shelly Gilbride Named Programs Officer of the California Arts Council

Gilbride to oversee the California Arts Council’s grant programs

Sacramento -

Shelly Gilbride The California Arts Council is pleased to announce that Dr. Shelly Gilbride has accepted the position of Programs Officer. In this position, Gilbride will oversee all of the agency's grant programs and will serve as an executive leader in many of the Arts Council's key activities.

For the past year, Gilbride has served as an Arts Program Specialist at the California Arts Council, coordinating the agency's arts education programs and initiatives, and serving as the co-coordinator for the Poetry Out Loud program. She serves as a key liaison to the statewide arts education coalition, CREATE CA, of which the California Arts Council is a founding partner. Shelly will succeed Patty Milich, who retired from the Programs Officer position in 2014.

"Since joining our team, Shelly Gilbride has demonstrated outstanding initiative and leadership, both within our organization and in the greater California arts community," said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council. "She will be an invaluable member of the Arts Council's executive staff, leading our program administration during this exciting time of growth for the arts in our state. We are thrilled to welcome Shelly in her new role as Programs Officer."

Shelly holds a PhD in Performance Studies from UC Davis. While writing her dissertation on the creative legacy of choreographer Merce Cunningham, she performed with two local dance companies, wrote grants for arts and civic organizations, served on the Board of the Davis Arts Center, lectured at UC Davis, and started a family. As a Development professional in Northern California, New York City and Philadelphia, she helped many artists and organizations secure funding and develop their institutional and creative capacity. Shelly began her career as a Haas Acting Fellow at The Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia and performed in numerous regional theatre productions as well as in the Philadelphia and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals. Shelly resides in Davis with her husband Sangho Byun and their two children.

"I am excited to take on this new role, working with the fantastic programs team at the California Arts Council to promote, support and grow the vibrant arts community in California," Gilbride stated. "I aim to honor and uphold the legacy of past Programs Officers who worked so tirelessly in service of the arts, and to help lead the California Arts Council into a bright, creative future."

(Photo: Shelly Gilbride at the Poetry Out Loud California State Finals on Monday, March 16, 2015 at the State Capitol in Sacramento. Credit - Jay R Hart.)

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The Mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Susan Steinhauser, Michael Alexander, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Nashormeh Lindo, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at

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