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Name: Watson, Craig
Current Position: Director

A 26-year veteran of the cable television business and the first director chosen by the council rather than appointed by the governor, Craig Watson assumed his post at the embattled council in August 2011.

Watson attended Occidental College 1969-1974, where he received a fine arts degree. He studied sculpture as an undergraduate and assisted sculpture artist Christo build his famous “Running Fence” in Sonoma County. Afterward, Watson worked as assistant director of a small arts center in Santa Rosa called the Sonoma County Arts Council and then ran the nonprofit Rural Arts Services in Northern California. He received a fellowship with the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C., in 1979 and after returning to California became co-director of Santa Barbara Arts Services.

Watson then took a 26-year “detour” through the cable television business. He was vice president/general manager at Falcon Cable TV from 1983-1989, general manager at Cencom Cable TV in 1989-1993, general manager of Times Mirror Cable Television for a year, vice president and state manager of Cox Communications from 1993-1997, senior vice president of consumer telecommunications services fulfillment at Cablevision from 1997-2001, vice president for new business development at Mastec for a year and finally vice president of communications at Charter Communications, 2003-2009.

When Charter closed its offices in Long Beach, Watson took the executive director position at the Arts Council for Long Beach in 2009 and stayed until being tapped by the California Arts Council in 2011.


California Arts Council Names Craig Watson as New Director (by David Ng, Los Angeles Times)

Craig Watson (LinkedIn)

A Conversation with Arts Council for Long Beach Executive Director Craig Watson (by Tiffany Rider, Long Beach Business Journal) (pdf)

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