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United States Artists names Carolina Garcia Jayaram new Chief Executive Officer
Since 2010, Jayaram has served as Executive Director of the Chicago Artists Coalition. Photo: Jacob Boll.

CHICAGO, IL.- The Board of Directors of United States Artists, one of the nation’s largest grant-making and advocacy organizations supporting performing, visual, media, and literary artists, announced today that Carolina Garcia Jayaram has been named Chief Executive Officer. USA is a non-profit funding organization that administers the USA Fellows program, which annually distributes awards of up to $50,000 in unrestricted grants to a diverse spectrum of visual, performing, literary and mixed-media artists across the United States. Jayaram will officially join USA on Monday, Feb. 24.

Founded in 2005 by the Ford, Rockefeller, Rasmuson and Prudential Foundations with $22 million to support artists in America, USA is today funded primarily by a broad range of philanthropic foundations and individuals. In the past five years, USA has raised a $10 million permanent endowment, and has invested $17.5 million in the hands of 350 artists with more than 91% of USA grants used to develop new art.

“In keeping with United States Artists' mission of investing in America's finest artists and illuminating the value of artists to society, we are thrilled to welcome Ms. Jayaram to lead our organization,” said USA Board Chairman Steven Oliver. “She possesses the perfect blend of vision and determination to ensure that our organization will grow as we continue in our commitment to support a thriving and vibrant cultural community nationwide.”

“Ms. Jayaram has proven herself in Chicago as an innovative arts leader,” added Chicago-based arts leader Jack Guthman, who also serves on USA’s Board of Directors. “We are delighted that her talents will be available to United States Artists and to artists on a national level.”

In her new position, Jayaram will oversee all of USA’s activities, including fundraising, marketing, board development, and daily operations. Key elements of her responsibilities include evolving USA to respond to the needs of current artists in ways that advance art-making, and shaping the awards program such that it improves the public’s appreciation of art and artists.

"I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead United States Artists during this exciting period of expansion,” said Jayaram. “My experiences in the diverse cultural landscapes of Chicago, Miami and New York will provide a foundation to grow USA into a vital national resource for artists and the communities that support them.”

Since 2010, Jayaram has served as Executive Director of the Chicago Artists Coalition where she has revitalized the 40-year-old organization into a vital resource whose mission is to build a sustainable marketplace for entrepreneurial artists and creatives. By capitalizing on the intersection of art and enterprise, she has created collaborative partnerships for CAC and other organizations, and has developed innovative opportunities for Chicago’s artist community. Her work has earned her the honor of being chosen by The Chicago Tribune as a “Chicagoan of the Year in Arts” for 2013. Before joining CAC, Jayaram was the founder and Executive Director of Cannonball in Miami, Florida, which manages a live/work residency in the Wynwood Arts District for eight national and international artists and curators. Prior to working in Miami, she worked at PEN American Center in New York City, the nation's preeminent association of writers, editors and translators. Jayaram served on the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan Advisory Committee, and serves on the Cannonball board of directors. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the New School University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law, where she was a H.O.P.E. Award recipient and a Miami Fellows Initiative Fellow.

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