Luis R. Cancel resigns as San Francisco Director of Cultural Affairs and head of the San Francisco Arts Commission

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that he has accepted the resignation of Luis R. Cancel, the Director of Cultural Affairs and the head of the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC).

“Mr. Cancel has informed me of his desire to return to New York City and I want to thank him for his leadership of the San Francisco Arts Commission over the last three-and-a-half years. While he began his tenure in 2007, Mr. Cancel agreed to stay on long enough for a smooth transition,” said Mayor Lee.

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Luis R. Cancel

“We wish him well and appreciate his work to increase awareness of the importance of the cultural sector to our City’s economy.”

During Mr. Cancel’s tenure the Arts Commission completed its first Strategic Plan, helped to revitalize The Mexican Museum, launched the television program CultureWire, and saw the introduction and utilization of social media tools to communicate with San Franciscans.

“It has been an honor and pleasure to serve the administrations of two Mayors, who equally appreciate how the arts in San Francisco are core assets in defining the City as a cultural destination,” said Mr. Cancel. “Today, the Arts Commission moves into expanded office space that will allow the agency to welcome its 80th Anniversary Year in 2012 with better facilities to serve the residents of San Francisco. It’s time for my family and I to return to my native city, and I thank the staff and Commissioners for the privilege of being their Director.”

Established by charter in 1932, the SFAC champions the arts in San Francisco by integrating the arts into all aspects of City life. Programs include the Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Arts & Education, Cultural Equity Grants, Public Art, SFAC Gallery, Street Artists Licensing, and San Francisco Symphony—Engaging Communities.

Mr. Cancel’s last day will be Friday, July 8, 2011. The SFAC will select an Interim Director on Monday, July 11th and immediately commence a search for a permanent Director of Cultural Affairs.

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