Josephine Ramirez became one of three new Portfolio Directors at The James Irvine Foundation in February 2015, transitioning from her former role as Arts Program Director that began in January 2010. The Portfolio Director position is a reflection of the evolving work of the Foundation and represents a cross-disciplinary approach to how Irvine develops and implements our grantmaking.
Before joining Irvine, Josephine was Vice President of Programming and Planning for the Music Center in Los Angeles, where she founded the programming department in 2003 and launched several groundbreaking initiatives related to increasing active arts participation and to providing programming for immigrant communities. Previously, she was a Program Officer at the Getty Foundation, managing funding in the areas of arts leadership development, Los Angeles cultural organizations, arts education research, and arts policy. Also at the Getty, she was Research Associate at the Research Institute, creating and implementing a multiyear investigation of the connections between art making and civic participation.
Earlier, Josephine worked as an independent consultant to cultural organizations around the country, producing large- and small-scale performance events. She was the Community Arts Coordinator for the King County Arts Commission in Seattle before moving to California in 1989. For the city of Los Angeles, she served as vice president of the Cultural Affairs Commission and chair of the city’s Cultural Master Plan Advisory Committee. She is a former Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, an award that supported her research on informal, nonprofessional art making and its relationship to individual and community vitality. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Josephine earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in theater from the University of Washington.
Josephine is based out of Irvine's Los Angeles office.
In 2011, Irvine put forward a program goal promoting arts engagement. Our aim was to support nonprofits that embrace and advance the diverse ways that Californians experience arts and culture, based on the belief that these experiences strengthen us and help us all live better together.Read the Story
From #OscarsSoWhite to #parityraid, discussions of who is represented on our stages and our walls, within our organizations, on our boards, and in our field, abound. Our state of California has a rapidly changing demographic, our country has a growing problem with economic inequality, and we have research from as late as 2005 showing that seventy percent of 400+ arts organizations responding to a survey said that racial or ethnic diversity is “not at all” or “not too important” in the selection of new board members.Read the Story