LOS ANGELES (August 30, 2023) — The Music Center announced today that Susan Avila will join Los Angeles County’s premier performing arts center as its new senior vice president of Advancement. A third generation Angeleno, Avila comes to The Music Center with 30+ years’ experience with major arts and education institutions as a leader in fundraising, board development, strategic planning and organizational development. She will begin her new role in September 2023.
Most recently, Avila was with the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco where she served as vice president of advancement from 2000-2008 and then as senior vice president from 2008-2023. She was responsible for planning and leading CCA’s largest-ever comprehensive campaign, raising more than $121 million for facilities expansion, student scholarships and public programs. Prior to CCA, Avila served as director of development at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where she and her team worked in collaboration with senior leaders, curators, board committees and seven distinct donor councils to raise core funds for exhibitions, acquisitions and education programs.
“I am thrilled to welcome Susan to The Music Center’s Executive Team. She has an extraordinary record of achievement and understanding of initiatives that help advance the goals of organizations and ensure their financial health as they are embracing change,” said Rachel S. Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. “Susan will build on and expand The Music Center’s work to increase access to the arts for all Angelenos, a vital component of The Music Center’s longstanding mission. With a dedicated and passionate Advancement team under her wing, I am confident Susan will help us strengthen and expand our relationships with our supporters, connect us with new funders and support the work we are doing to serve all the people of Los Angeles County.”
Additional posts held by Avila early in her career include associate vice president, development, at California College of Arts and Crafts (1994–1998); manager of government, foundation and corporate support at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (1990–1994); and fund development and market research associate at Harder+Kibbe Research (1988–1990).
“I have enjoyed a 30-year career engaging donors in the arts, and to do this exciting work, now in Los Angeles at The Music Center, offers a new depth of purpose,” said Avila. “As a native Angeleno, I hold Los Angeles, with its incredible diversity and vibrant cultural experiences, near and dear to my heart. I am ecstatic to return to my roots with the opportunity to help lead The Music Center into the next era and to introduce Los Angeles’ premier performing arts organization to a new generation of supporters.”
Avila holds a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in non-profit administration from the University of San Francisco. She has served on accreditation committees for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and is a recipient of the Smithsonian Institution Award for Museum Leadership and the Girl’s Inc. of Alameda County Woman of Distinction award.
Avila succeeds Valentine Gelman, who served as The Music Center’s Senior vice president of advancement from 2016-2023.
For more information about The Music Center, visit musiccenter.org.
About The Music Center
The Music Center convenes artists, communities and ideas with the goal of deepening the cultural lives of every resident in Los Angeles County. The $70 million non-profit performing arts organization has two divisions: TMC Arts and TMC Ops. TMC Arts, The Music Center’s programming engine, provides year-round programming inside The Music Center’s four theatres, on Jerry Moss Plaza, outside at Gloria Molina Grand Park—a 12-acre adjacent green space—in schools and other locations all over Los Angeles County and on a digital platform called The Music Center Offstage. TMC Arts presents world-class dance with Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, free and low-cost public concerts and events, as well as live and digital K–12 arts education programs, workshops, performances, interactive experiences and special events. TMC Ops manages the theatres, the Plaza and Gloria Molina Grand Park, which comprise $2 billion in county assets, on behalf of the County of Los Angeles. The Music Center is also home to four renowned resident companies—Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles Master Chorale, LA Opera and LA Phil. For more information, visit musiccenter.org. Follow The Music Center on social media @MusicCenterLA.
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The Music Center