Ben Johnson is currently the Director of Performing Arts for the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
Ben Johnson is currently the Director of Performing Arts for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. In this position he is tasked with relaunching the Performing Arts Division of the City of Los Angeles, which includes overseeing six city-owned theaters, relaunching a festival platform for the city, and advocating on behalf of LA artists on a national and international level. Special program including the launch of COMPOSE LA, the LA Dance Platform, LA Stage Advance, and Black Arts @ WAA. Previously, he was the Program Manager at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA (CAP-UCLA) in Los Angeles, considered one of the top contemporary performing arts institutions in the country, and where he produced significant contemporary performing arts events throughout Los Angeles. Also previously, he was the Director of Programs at United States Artists (LA) which awarded 50, 50K awards to artists in all disciplines. He was also the Director of Northrop Concerts and Lectures at the University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, where he re-branded the nationally-acclaimed Northrop Dance Series, and launched a Minnesota Contemporary Dance Platform and developed an international choreographer’s residency program on behalf of the McKnight Foundation, as well as launched the Women of Substance series devoted to female choreographers. Previous to this position, he was Director of Education and Audience Development at the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (MI). While in Michigan, he was on the founding board of the North American World Music Coalition and launched eight years for global festivals throughout Southeastern Michigan devoted to Arab, African, Asian, and Latin artists. He also worked at the Ordway Music Theater (St. Paul) as part of the Planet Ordway Series, and interned at the American Dance Festival (NC) and Walker Art Center (MN) under John Killacky in the Performing Arts Department. As an experienced and seasoned multi-disciplinary performing arts presenter and curator, and he is affiliated with many artists, foundations, funders, and national and international peer institutions.