Director, California Arts Council
Craig Watson is the Director of the California Arts Council, a position he has held since August 2011 when he was selected by the Council after a nationwide search. Previously he was the executive director of the Arts Council for Long Beach, where he oversaw the expansion of the agency into the community, including the largest local celebration for Arts and Humanities Month in the nation.
Watson started his career in the arts field at local arts agencies and arts-services organizations, and later built a career in the telecommunications industry before returning to the arts as Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach. He held senior executive positions in the telecommunications field in Rhode Island, New York and California. His earlier career in the arts included positions with the Sonoma County Arts Council and Rural Arts Services in Northern California, as well as a fellowship at the National Endowment for the Arts, participation in the Coro Foundation’s Arts Management program, and a co-directing position at Santa Barbara Arts Services.
The California Arts Council is the official state arts agency for California, the state with the largest number of artists and creative-industry workers in the U.S. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.
Breakout Session 2.1: The Arts and Economic Growth