Grand Performances has selected Mari Riddle as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began her tenure on May 22, 2017, replacing Michael Alexander, who will retire after nearly 30 years of service.
Ms. Riddle has more than 25 years of executive management experience at nonprofit performing arts and social service organizations. Most recently serving as Program Director at Community Partners in Los Angeles, she was responsible for developing new business and overseeing a portfolio of projects and programs. Prior to joining Community Partners, Ms. Riddle held the President and CEO position at Centro Latino for Literacy as well as Executive Director roles at The Friends of the Levitt Pavilion–Macarthur Park, Telacu Community Capital, and Coalition for Women’s Economic Development. Over the course of her career, Ms. Riddle has developed and implemented new programs, launched special initiatives and events, and cultivated board and staff. Recognized for her dedication, she was named a Rising Star by the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce and is a recipient of the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award and Southern California Edison/Center for Nonprofit Management Executive Nonprofit Leadership Award. Ms. Riddle holds a bachelor of arts in Latin American studies from Brown University and a master of arts in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.
A singer and musician, Ms. Riddle co-founded the Latin American nueva canción (new song) music groups SABIA and Desborde, which performed, recorded, and toured in the United States, Canada, and Central American throughout the 1980s and mid-1990s. Her first connection to Grand Performances began when she performed there with Desborde in 1996.
“Mari Riddle’s variety of life and work experiences made her the perfect candidate to fulfill the role,” said Grand Performances Board Chair Rahul Marwah. “We are thrilled to support Mari as she stewards Grand Performances into its next generation of service to the Los Angeles community. We thank ACG tremendously and could not have found such a perfect fit without their guidance and unwavering commitment.”
“I’m thrilled to be building on the legacy of founding Executive Director Michael Alexander, working with Grand Performances to expand the scope and reach of our programming, and presenting the most diverse array of artistic voices possible,” said Ms. Riddle. “I look forward to partnering with the board and staff at Grand Performances, talking with our constituents, and connecting even more people to the eclectic and inspirational work of this outstanding organization.”
“ACG was thrilled to work with Grand Performances and its dedicated search committee to place a candidate of Mari Riddle’s caliber in this position,” said ACG Vice President Shawn D. Ingram. “Congratulations to Ms. Riddle and the entire board and staff as they embark upon this exciting new stage together. Ms. Riddle’s leadership abilities and dedication will certainly prove to be beneficial not only to Grand Performances but to the Los Angeles community as well.”