Arts Commons has selected Alex Sarian as President and Chief Executive Officer, following an international executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He will begin his tenure on May 11, 2020.
Mr. Sarian has an extensive background as an arts organization management consultant, with a large focus on fundraising, mediation, programming, and education. He has held various leadership roles at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, most recently serving as the Acting Executive Director: Grant-Making, Community Engagement, Education, Youth & Family Programming. During his tenure, he managed a $12 million budget, developed fundraising and partnership opportunities, and chaired the leadership council with other organizations on the Lincoln Center campus. As Senior Director: Grant-Making, Community Engagement, Education, Youth & Family Programming, he implemented the Lincoln Center Cultural Innovation Fund and organized the Summer Forum, an annual international conference focused on arts education. Mr. Sarian previously held the Senior Strategist/Management Consultant role at LaPlaca Cohen in New York, assisting in strategic planning initiatives with high-profile clients such as Boston Ballet and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His additional leadership roles include Director, Education & Community Engagement for MCC Theater in New York.
Mr. Sarian has served as an adjunct professor and lecturer at various international institutions, including New York University, the City College of New York, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Auckland University of Technology, and events such as China Shanghai International Arts Festival and TEDxIB@York in Canada. Mr. Sarian holds a bachelor of science degree in educational theatre and a master of arts degree in education theatre and performing arts administration from New York University. He is also attended the Impact Program for Arts Leaders at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
In making the announcement, Board Chair Scott Hutcheson said, “We are fortunate to have found someone of Alex Sarian’s character and experience to lead Arts Commons. He is a strong communicator with excellent leadership skills and has a proven track record.”
“I am thrilled and humbled to join the Arts Commons community, learn from my new colleagues, and lead the third largest performing arts centre in Canada,” said Mr. Sarian. “Centres like Arts Commons are paramount to creating and maintaining a sense of civic and social vibrancy and I look forward to continuing the great work being done to ensure that the arts play a role in the lives of all Calgarians.”
“Congratulations to Arts Commons on selecting its new President and CEO,” said ACG Senior Vice President Martin Bragg. “Alex Sarian is an inspiring, visionary leader and his commitment to connecting the community to the arts will build a strong future for Arts Commons and drive the organization to its the next level of growth and service to the Calgary community.”