Culture News

Gerd Wuestemann Named Scottsdale Arts CEO

Gerd Wuestemann will join Scottsdale Arts as president and CEO in March.
Gerd Wuestemann will join Scottsdale Arts as president and CEO in March. Courtesy of Gerd Wuestemann
Louisiana arts executive Gerd Wuestemann has been appointed the new president and CEO of Scottsdale Arts, according to a press release issued on Thursday, February 1. 

He'll start the new position on Monday, March 19.

“Gerd was the unanimous choice of our board,” Kathy Wills wrote in the release. Wills chairs the board of directors for Scottsdale Arts, a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 that oversees Scottsdale Public Art, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Scottsdale Arts has seen significant turnover in recent years, including losing five directors since 2015.

Wuestemann will oversee 71 full-time and 104 part-time staff members at Scottsdale Arts.

Wuestemann previously served as executive director of the Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafayette, Louisiana. He's spent nearly four decades working in the arts, including 10 years in arts administration.

“His extensive experience working with a city to develop its vision for the arts, managing a multi-disciplinary arts organization, fundraising experience and enthusiasm for the Scottsdale Arts’ mission make him the ideal choice," Wills also wrote.

Wuestemann will succeed Mike Miller, who left the Scottsdale Arts board of directors to serve as interim president and CEO for Scottsdale Arts after Neale Perl resigned in October 2017. Miller will return to serving on the board.

Wuestemann was part of the class of 2015 at the National Arts Strategies Executive Leadership Group. He's a member of the board of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and a founder of the INNOV8 Festival of Creativity & Entrepreneurship. He also has chaired Louisiana Citizens for Arts Advocacy since 2009.

He holds a doctorate of musical arts from the University of Arizona, a master's of musical arts from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and a master's of music from Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt, Germany.

“I am excited for the opportunity to expand existing programs, create new initiatives and partnerships and further the mission of Scottsdale Arts and the arts and cultural life in the City of Scottsdale,” Wuestemann said in Thursday's press release.

“Great culture reflects our sense of community and in turn allows a community to come together, grow together and experience something new. I hope to serve my new community through engagement, partnerships, focus on artistic quality and innovative and diverse programming."


KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble