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San Francisco’s SOMArts Cultural Center Names New Director

SOMArts Cultural Center has announced that Maria Jenson will be joining the organization as its new executive director on May 19. She will work with staff to continue to develop the organization’s ability to support Bay Area artists.

Jenson previously worked as the public partnerships manager for San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art and was a part of the team that managed the museum’s May 14 reopening after its $300 million expansion. She founded ArtPadSF—an independent art fair held at the Phoenix Hotel—and Salon Oblique—a private boutique gallery in Venice, California.

“Maria Jenson’s demonstrated commitment to creating a nurturing and sustainable environment for Bay Area artists and arts organizations will help SOMArts build on a thirty-seven year history of providing support services and producing bold, socially engaged art for diverse audiences,” president of SOMArts’s board of directors, Brian Freeman, said. Jenson will succeed former director Lex Leifheit, who accepted a job with San Francisco mayor’s office of economic and workforce development in June 2015.

Founded in 1979, SOMArts is one of six city-supported cultural centers in San Francisco.