As an artist, curator, and artistic director, Kristy Edmunds has headed up theater organizations starting in Portland, Oregon, then Melbourne, Australia, and then at the Armory at New York City. All those programs, when Kristy left, had been revolutionized. One piece written about her is titled, HOW KRISTY EDMUNDS HAS SHAKEN UP CONTEMPORARY ART!
At UCLA since the 2012-13 season, she’s created seasons like none other in Los Angeles. Where our respected institutions present productions that mostly are tried and true, with commercial success in mind, the seasons offered by UCLA at The Center for the Art of Performance, or CAP, is an explosion of originality and creativity. Some presentations are by well-known artists in a range of categories from theater, to dance, to music, to spoken word, and some are the product of years of Kristy working with artists she discovers. As she says about what she presents, “Artists disrupt our conscious and unconscious tendency to feel complacent about any number of things going on in society writ large…the organization that I run has to work within the same spirit of acting from the position of integrity, compassion, and the usefulness of disruption.”
Being as much a creator of performances as she is someone who books them, as well as being the shepherd of a large flock of donors where the warmth of her engaging personality makes us all feel like we are her friend, she also is a marvel in the talks she delivers to audiences before many of the performances. She settles people in, letting them know the value of the arts in general and readying them for whatever they need to know about what they are about to see.
This spring she was named the inaugural recipient of the Berresford Prize, a $25,000 annual award, founded by United States Artists, to honor a cultural practitioner who has significantly contributed to the advancement, wellbeing and care of artists in society. Kristy got it “for her work as a thoughtful and groundbreaking cultural producer and advocate for artists.”
Listen to the podcast episode and learn more about Kristy Edmunds here: