La Quinta Arts Foundation (LQAF) and California Desert Arts Council (CDAC) are delighted to announce the promotion of Kristen Dolan to the position of Executive Director. Dolan’s 14 months as Managing Director, coupled with her previous 8 years in Director roles at other organizations, 21 years of professional public speaking, and a deep passion for community enrichment will help to further advance the mission of CDAC, and LQAF – which just celebrated its 40th Anniversary.

While working at La Quinta Arts Foundation and California Desert Arts Council, she has advanced the Board’s strategic plan for both organizations. Aligning with LQAF’s focus on Digital Arts education, Dolan worked with COD’s PaCE program to successfully complete the Digital Arts and Media Certificate that was in progress when the previous Executive Director retired. Dolan has also raised the profile of both agencies within the community through outreach and collaboration with neighboring arts councils. She assisted in bringing $4.7 million dollars to the Inland SoCal region and is committed to growing more resources and opportunities for artists and culture leaders in the Coachella Valley through a vision of advocacy, professional development, and education.

Kristen Dolan, the new Executive Director of La Quinta Arts Foundation and California Desert Arts Council, said “I’m honored by this promotion and to have the trust of our Board”. She further added, “As a bridge builder and community connector, my goals for these organizations are focused on advocating for the existing arts and culture community in the Coachella Valley, while also working to build up structures that allow for new artists, art mediums, and creativity to emerge and thrive. Our Valley has a lot of talented artists, organizations, and culture bearers and I want us to be part of giving them the recognition, resources, and living wage career opportunities they deserve.”

Kristen Dolan grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania and moved to South Florida in 2004. There she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. She moved to the Desert in 2010 and a few years later successfully completed a certificate in Non-Profit Management from University of California Riverside – Palm Desert Campus. She began her non-profit career in 2013 after spending 14 years as an on-air personality at radio stations in various states across the country. She resides in La Quinta with her husband and their three rescue cats.

“Kristen made a lasting impression on the board with her vision, intellect, and professionalism,” said Frank Delany, Chairman of the Board at La Quinta Arts Foundation. “She has made a tremendous impact during her time at LQAF and CDAC to date, and we have no doubt she will continue this momentum as our new Executive Director, with her strong leadership continuing to advance opportunities for the arts in and around the Coachella Valley.”

Dolan assumed the role on January 1st, 2023 and will manage day to day operations, as well as education and community programs. She will also lead fundraising programs as well as marketing and community engagement initiatives.

Dolan succeeds previous Executive Director, Christi Salamone, whose impressive tenure lasted 24 years and ended when she retired in November of 2021.