The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) announced today that curator João Ribas has been named executive director and vice president of cultural partnerships at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in Los Angeles. Ribas will be the second director to lead the multidisciplinary center for visual, performing, and media artists in its seventeen-year history. He succeeds Mark Murphy, who stepped down at the end of last year’s season, and will take up the post on June 1.

“I’m excited to be joining such an innovative, inclusive, experimental, and forward-thinking institution where artists can develop exciting new work and introduce it to the incredible array of audiences on campus, in LA, and beyond,” said Ribas. “REDCAT’s dedication to supporting artists and the art of our time is paramount, and I am committed to creating a robust environment for this innovation and experimentation for artists, audiences, students, and the community.”

The curator, educator, and writer has previously served as artistic director of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, Portugal, but departed after eight months following a controversy over an exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe works, and has held curatorial positions at the MIT List Visual Arts Center and the Drawing Center in New York. He also served as commissioner and curator for the Portuguese Pavilion at the Fifty-Eighth Venice Biennale in 2019. He will work closely with Edgar Miramontes, who CalArts promoted to deputy executive director of REDCAT.

Commenting on the appointment, Ravi Rajan, president of CalArts, said: “João brings deep experience in working with artists on presenting new work and has been a great champion of free expression and diversity, qualities that are foundational to CalArt’s mission and, in turn, REDCAT’s programming. Together, Joao and Edgar will expand the creative and programming opportunities we provide to our students both on campus and at REDCAT and enhance the many roles that CalArts plays in the cultural ecology of LA, nationally, and internationally.”

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