April 18, 2023–The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Claudia Flores as President of the museum’s Board of Directors. Flores succeeds Laura Donnelley who recently stepped down from her leadership position after serving as ICA LA’s Board President for over eighteen years. Donnelley’s leadership was fundamental to the ICA LA’s move downtown to the Arts District in 2017. Her championing of artists has encouraged the museum to center artists’ perspective in all of its programming, as well as at the governance level. Donnelley will remain active on the ICA LA Board of Directors, of which she has been a member since 1999.
“On behalf of the entire ICA LA Board, I am thrilled to share the news of Claudia’s appointment. Her passion for ICA LA and her deep commitment to education and public engagement have served the museum enormously since she joined the Board in 2019,” says Laura Donnelley, “and I believe her infectious energy and dedication make her the ideal leader for the Board at this moment.”
“I know I speak for the Board and ICA LA’s entire community when I say we are immensely grateful for Laura’s wise and spirited leadership over two decades and cannot overstate her impact on the success of this museum. Laura’s partnership, guidance, and steadfast support have been invaluable to me since I joined the museum in fall of 2019,” remarks Anne Ellegood, ICA LA’s Good Works Executive Director (the position is named for Donnelley’s foundation). “Claudia is the first person I invited to join the Board after becoming director and her belief in artists’ capacity for positive social impact and the power of creativity will play a critical role for ICA LA as we evolve into our next chapter. I am thrilled to work closely with her on all aspects of the museum’s growth and know her energy, skills, and ideas will help us strengthen and grow the museum and its board for generations to come.”
This transition comes at an exciting moment with ICA LA having recently completed a phase of strategic planning that resulted in an ambitious vision and roadmap for the museum’s future, including many exciting priorities that will further amplify its mission. Building upon the museum’s distinguished history of daring curatorial and educational programming, ICA LA continues to look to artists’ empathy, creativity, and ability to spark the pleasure of discovery and challenge the status quo. The museum is actively building its future as a welcoming and dynamic space where people gather and feel encouraged and safe to explore the world and themselves and learn through the lens of the artworks and public programs we offer. ICA LA believes artists, who are supported to do their best work, and diverse publics, who experience radical openness and inquisitive criticality, have the power to transform Los Angeles and the world.
“I am dedicated to making ICA LA a space where people of all backgrounds gather to expand our awareness, ignite our individual and collective abilities, and engage our creativity,” says Flores. “I believe that art offers, more than ever before, an opportunity to accept, understand and engage our humanity. Together artists and art institutions are courageously redefining integrity and authenticity, inviting us to unleash both our creativity and criticality. I am honored to serve at an institution dedicated to education, compassion, and service to, as the mission states, foster critique of the familiar and empathy with the different.”
ICA LA has a singular role to play within the landscape of cultural institutions across Los Angeles, as a non-collecting museum with a bold curatorial vision and innovative programming that brings to the fore some of the most challenging social issues confronting our society. Since our founding, in 1988, ICA LA has been a “museum of firsts” for both artists and audiences. Our location in the Arts District is a tangible embodiment of our commitment to being a site of convergence for artists and a conduit to bring different communities together from Los Angeles County and beyond.
About Claudia Flores
Flores is a Mexican-born philanthropist, social entrepreneur, and activist who has devoted her life to the positive transformation of the planet toward human sustainability. She has served on the ICA LA Board of Directors since 2019 and is a member of the Executive Committee, Strategic Plan Steering Committee, and Chair of the Nominations Committee. She holds a degree in International Affairs from the American University of Paris, an MA in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, and is currently completing an MBA in Hospitality by Les Roches in Switzerland. As a humanitarian, her work includes many social impact initiatives. Flores is the founder of the Institute for Human Sustainability Project, an online educational platform promoting self-awareness, creativity, responsibility, community building, and service, “as the fundamental force, propelling us from within our essential humanity, necessary to create sustainable change and transformation, individually and collectively.” Amongst others, Flores is actively involved with Social Impact Media Awards, Freedom to Choose Project, and “Innovando la Tradición,” organizations and nonprofits committed to social justice, human rights protection, education, and preservation. She is the devoted parent of three children and currently lives between Mexico and Los Angeles.
About Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA)
The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) is an epicenter of artistic experimentation and incubator of new ideas. Founded in 1988 as the Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA) and reestablished in 2017 with a new identity and home in Downtown Los Angeles, ICA LA builds upon a distinguished history of bold curatorial vision and innovative programming to illuminate the important untold stories and emerging voices in contemporary art and culture. The museum’s 12,700 square-foot renovated industrial building—designed by wHY Architecture under the leadership of Kulapat Yantrasast—features ample space for exhibitions, public programs, retail pop-ups, integrated offices, and special projects.
ICA LA’s mission is to support art that sparks the pleasure of discovery and challenges the way we see and experience the world, ourselves, and each other. ICA LA is committed to upending hierarchies of race, class, gender, and culture. Through exhibitions, education programs, and community partnerships, ICA LA fosters critique of the familiar and empathy with the different. ICA LA is committed to making contemporary art relevant and accessible for all. Admission is free.
ICA LA Board of Directors
Claudia Flores, President
Randi Malkin Steinberger, Vice President
Vera Campbell, Treasurer
Maria Greenshields-Ziman, Secretary
Laura Donnelley, President Emeritus
Kathleen Melville Rosenbloom