Josephine Ramirez became one of three new portfolio directors at The James Irvine Foundation in February 2016, 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.
Last week, The James Irvine Foundation announced an evolving focus based on the twin goals of expanding economic and political opportunity for California families and young adults who are working but struggling with poverty. In a related email, I introduced aspects of our evolving Arts program. Today, I would like to provide additional context on our Arts strategy and future directions.Read the Story
We thrive on change in California. Our shifting demographics and technology innovations point the way for the rest of the country, and we’re aware how these changes can profoundly affect who we are as a people and how we live together.Read the Story
Many arts nonprofits are paying close attention to place as a vehicle to attract and engage new participants. Some are bringing arts to unusual spaces to make it happen. This activity is the impetus behind research released today through AEA Consulting.Read the Story
The ability to experiment is vital for arts organizations seeking to offer new experiences that draw more and different kinds of participants. In 2012, The James Irvine Foundation issued the first grants from our Exploring Engagement Fund. Through five rounds of grantmaking, involving 91 grants, we have deepened our appreciation for the value of pilot projects for nonprofits that want to connect with underserved groups and promote engagement in the arts for all Californians.Read the Story