Deborah Lewis, an exceptional and highly regarded arts administrator with three decades of experience, has been appointed Executive Director of the renowned Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC) following a nationwide search, it was announced by LACC Board Chair Jennifer Terry. Lewis previously served as Executive Director of Angels Gate Cultural Center, the acclaimed visual and performing arts organization located San Pedro heralded for its broad reach throughout Southern California and beyond. Prior to that she was the executive director of the Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation, for which she administered its national grant and scholarship programs and also provided arts organizations with key technical assistance in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“We are very excited to welcome Deborah to the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus,” says Terry. “She has an outstanding track record of more than 30 years in arts administration as an engaging team builder with wide-ranging community ties who brings people together, a proven fundraiser with an enviable record, and an extremely effective management style praised by artists, donors, community partners and staff alike. Her strong skills and deep passion for music will help propel the Los Angeles Children’s to a new level of growth and esteem as it heads into its third decade.”
“It is an honor to serve in this vital leadership capacity with the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus,” states Lewis. “A musical jewel, the chorus has a superlative reputation for its exceptional artistry, highly developed training program for young singers and successful community partnerships. I look forward to working with all of LACC’s constituents to ensure that the chorus reaches new heights artistically and administratively.”
During Lewis’s tenure at Angels Gate Cultural Center, she oversaw 50 studio artists who participate in multi-year on-site studio residencies, four art galleries that present exhibitions by local and international artists, as well as an extensive array of community arts classes and in-depth visual and performing arts classroom residency programs throughout the harbor region. She was also responsible for the planning and implementation of the center’s short-term programs and long-term planning while successfully leading expanded fundraising efforts.
In her previous post with the Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation (ELA), Lewis provided ADA consultancies to the Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara Art Museum, Pasadena Playhouse, Rubicon Theatre and LA Stage Alliance, among other organizations. Additionally, she has provided audio description training and consultation to the Los Angeles Radio Reading Service for the Rose Parade, the Center Theatre Group, the Yale Repertory Theatre and the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disabilities conference through the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She is a founding member of the Audio Description Coalition and the California Audio Describers Alliance. Lewis joined the ELA Foundation after 15 years of work at Special Audiences in Atlanta, Georgia, where she brought the arts to over 100,000 disabled and disadvantaged people annually. As senior writer with Audio Description Solutions, she has also provided audio description for the Visitors Centers of such National Parks as Mesa Verde, Mammoth Cave, James Garfield, Keneewaw, New River Gorge and Pinnacles as well as the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
Lewis earned a BA from Otterbein University in Ohio and has completed the Nonprofit Leadership Institute at Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership and the Annenberg Foundation’s “Alchemy” leadership programs. Lewis, who lives in Altadena, California with her husband, Boyd, has been a singer since the age of 10 and currently sings in Canterbury Choir at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena.
LOS ANGELES CHILDREN’S CHORUS – lauded as “one of the world’s foremost children’s choirs” (Pasadena Star News), and described by critics as “hauntingly beautiful” (Los Angeles Times), “astonishingly polished” (Performances Magazine), “extraordinary in its abilities” (Culture Spot LA), and “one heck of a talented group of kids” (LA Weekly) – is recognized throughout the country for its exceptional artistic quality and technical ability. Founded in 1986 and led by Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson since 1995, LACC’s roster includes more than 400 children ages 6 to 18 from more than 50 communities across Los Angeles in six choirs and First Experiences in Singing program. LACC has toured North and South America, Africa, China, Australia and Europe. It appears on the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s critically acclaimed Decca recording A Good Understanding, and Plácido Domingo’s Deutsche Grammophon recording Amore Infinito (“Infinite Love”). The subject of a trilogy of documentaries by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, LACC is featured in the Academy Award-nominated Sing!, about a year in the life of the choir; Sing Opera!, documenting the production of LACC’s commissioned family opera Keepers of the Night; and Sing China!, chronicling its groundbreaking tour to China just prior to the Beijing Olympics. LACC has performed with John Mayer on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and was featured on Public Radio International’s nationally syndicated show “From the Top,” among other credits.
For more information on Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, please call (626) 793-4231 or visit www.lachildrenschorus.org.