Edgar Miramontes has been appointed executive and artistic director of UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, effective August 2023. Miramontes comes to CAP UCLA from REDCAT, the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater, where he has served as deputy executive director and curator since 2019, and associate director from 2013 to 2019.
The appointment was made by Brett Steele, dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.
Miramontes, who earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 2002, was appointed following an international search. He succeeds Kristy Edmunds, who left CAP UCLA in 2021 after 10 years to become the director of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
CAP UCLA brings the world’s most innovative and dynamic professional artists — representing a diversity of voices, viewpoints, ideas and creative expressions in music, dance, theater, literary arts, digital media arts and collaborative disciplines — live to the stages of UCLA’s Royce Hall and The Theatre at Ace Hotel and, soon, to the UCLA Nimoy Theater. Located in Los Angeles’ Westwood neighborhood, the Nimoy Theater was formerly known as the Crest Theatre, and following an extensive renovation, it will reopen in September.
“Edgar’s appointment aligns with the start of an exciting new chapter for CAP UCLA that includes the eagerly anticipated opening of the UCLA Nimoy Theater — a momentous occasion that will fuel the cultural renaissance already taking place in Westwood,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “We look forward to having a distinguished alumnus at the helm of our flagship performing arts program, joining other campus leaders who are dedicated to advancing the arts at UCLA and further elevating our university’s standing as one of Southern California’s great cultural centers.”
Miramontes brings to CAP UCLA more than 18 years of experience as a strategic arts leader, curator, producer, teacher, administrator, fundraiser and festival organizer. At REDCAT, a multidisciplinary center for innovative visual, performing and media arts, he has been responsible for international, national and regional programming and management with an emphasis in dance, theater and performance. In January 2018, Miramontes co-curated and co-produced the Getty-led Pacific Standard Time Festival: Live Art LA/LA, an international celebration of art and performance, with more than 200 Latin American and Latino artists and performers creating events at more than 25 locations throughout greater Los Angeles. He also curated and produced the annual New Original Works (NOW) Festival of new performance works, premiering 80 projects and supporting more than 300 artists.
“Edgar’s commitment to artists in the world today is deep, personal and profound: He is incredibly dedicated to advancing their lives and work,” Steele said. “He is generous, supportive and forward-looking in his vision of what the arts offer the world. As an internationally recognized curator, Edgar has created opportunities for audiences of all kinds to envision the world in new and meaningful ways through the art of performance, and he brings to this work a deep knowledge of both global and local-based experience.”
As a Mexican immigrant leader in arts and culture, Miramontes is committed to working closely with historically marginalized and underserved artists, primarily people of the global majority, women and those who identify as LGBTQIA+, who make experiential, experimental, hybrid contemporary performance. In his work, he intentionally widens the canon of experimentation beyond Western pedagogies through radical inclusion.
“It is a tremendous honor to have been selected as executive and artistic director of CAP UCLA, and to join one of the nation’s greatest public research universities – and my alma mater – in this capacity,” Miramontes said. “It is a true privilege to join the leadership team, staff and artists, and uplift CAP UCLA’s legacy of presenting world-class programming that supports diverse artistic visions. When the doors of the Nimoy Theater open, it will welcome audiences into a space where artistry flourishes, creativity knows no bounds and a sense of belonging permeates the atmosphere.”
Miramontes is a board member of NPN, the National Performance Network, and an advisor of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project. He was on the curatorial team for NPN’s Performing Americas Program and has served as a panelist for Creative Capital, the National Endowment for the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Network of Ensemble Theaters, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles County Arts Commission and NPN, and as a reviewer for the MAP Fund.