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Grand Performances Announces Mari Riddle as New Executive Director

Variety logo Variety 5/16/2017 Erin Nyren
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Mari Riddle has been selected as the new executive director for Grand Performances, the organization that produces a concert series as well as dance and theater productions in downtown Los Angeles’ California Plaza.

Michael Alexander recently announced his retirement from Grand Performances after nearly 30 years of work with the group.

Riddle is a 25-year veteran of executive management for organizations promoting adult literacy, women’s economic development, and the cultural arts. Throughout her career, Riddle has also demonstrated excellence in developing and implementing programs, launching special initiatives and events, and developing board and staff. She is a recipient of the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, Southern CA Edison and Center for Nonprofit Management Executive Nonprofit Leadership Award and was named a Rising Star by the L.A. Latino Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re so excited to welcome Mari into the Grand Performances family and know we have found the perfect person to lead this dedicated organization with three successful decades of serving Los Angeles into a bright future,” Board Chair Rahul Marwah said.  “We’d also like to thank Michael for his leadership and enthusiasm for Grand Performances. His direction has made Grand Performances into one of the most respected performing arts entities in the country.”

Riddle’s connection with Grand Performances dates back to her performance in June 1996 as a part of Desborde, a music group she co-founded. Not only has she been a performer and now executive director, but Riddle was a patron and supporter as well.

“I’m thrilled to be building on the legacy of founding Executive Director Michael Alexander, working with Grand Performances to expand the scope and reach of our programming and presenting the most diverse array of artistic voices possible,” Riddle said. “I look forward to partnering with the Board and staff at Grand Performances, talking with our constituents and connecting even more people to the eclectic and inspirational work of this outstanding organization.”

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