Project Oversight & Administration

Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez is a native of Fresno County, where she has been an active advocate for the arts. She served on the Board of the Fresno Art Museum and served on the Board of the Fresno Arts Council prior to being appointed Executive Director in August 2011. In 2016 she was appointed to serve on the Board of Trustees of the State Summer School for the Arts by Governor Brown. She is a performing artist with over twenty years teaching and performing Ballet Folklórico. With a degree in Child Development from California State University Fresno and a master’s degree in Administrative Leadership from Fresno Pacific University, Lilia has a history of addressing community issues that impact underserved residents. She has worked in the education and the arts fields first as a teacher and advancing through management and leadership positions in public and nonprofit organizations. She has worked in Fresno County government as a Principal Administrative Analyst and Coordinator of the Inter-agency Council for Children and Families, which provided her a generalist perspective of community issues. As Executive Director of the Arts Council she has led the organization to provide arts services in the State Prison system and local jail. Under her leadership the Fresno Arts Council has increased outreach to rural communities with a designated Rural Outreach Fund to support the transportation of artists and audiences to and from rural parts of Fresno County, created a Teaching Artists training program to increase participation of local artists in the schools and is credited for establishing the Poet Laureate program. Lilia is a co-founder of Arte América’s, the Latino cultural arts center in Fresno and served as its principal administrator for nearly ten years. In 2018 she was awarded the Judge Armando Rodriguez Legacy Award for Social Justice and Arts Access. She was appointed to serve on the California Arts Council by Governor Newsom in 2020.