One of San Luis Obispo County’s most prominent arts organizations is searching for a new leader.
Angela Tahti officially ended her tenure as executive director of Arts Obispo, the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council, on Monday. She had held the post since April 2015.
“I’m really proud of the work we’ve accomplished in the last two and half years,” said Tahti, who previously served as executive director of Placer Arts in Placer County. “It’s been a very big privilege. I’ve loved serving this constellation of artists.”
She said Arts Obispo, which aims to “advance the visual, literary and performing arts in San Luis Obispo County” through programs such as the Open Studios Art Tour, the countywide Poetry Out Loud competition and monthly art walks in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, is “reorganizing and looking to place a different type of executive leader.”
“With this new year, the Arts Obispo board of directors is taking a new direction,” board president Peggy Sonoda wrote in a news release Wednesday, although she did not clarify what that direction is.
Tahti’s departure comes in the wake of a new alliance between the nonprofit and the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education that is currently on hold. The county education office launched a search in the fall of 2017 for a “classified coordinator-arts coordinator” that would oversee operations at Arts Obispo and arts education efforts in the county.
“It was a risk for me to apply for my own job but I was very willing to do it. I very much believed in the promise of the alliance,” Tahti said.
“In the very end of the process, in the final interviewing (stage), the agencies could not reconcile their interests,” Tahti said, adding that the recruitment period was then closed and “the decision was made not to hire.”
Tahti, who lives in San Luis Obispo, said she’ll now return to doing peer consulting for arts and cultural organizations. She has no plans to leave the Central Coast.
“I’m not really planning to go anywhere,” Tahti said. “There’s just so much for me to love about this region.”