Press Releases

For Immediate Release

Director to Ignite  Arts Industry in Sonoma County

Santa Rosa, CA  –  February 17, 2015  –  Staff - Kirsten MadsenKristen Madsen, Senior Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Foundation, has been appointed the new Director of Arts at the Sonoma County Economic Development Board.

Ms. Madsen has an extensive background in the arts, having worked at the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for over 20 years.  In her role at the GRAMMY Foundation, she acquired 11 years of professional experience working across the public and private sectors.  During a highly successful tenure, Ms. Madsen completed a $12.5 million major gift campaign and created a new signature career education program, GRAMMY Camp.  She also formed the Foundation strategy and managing all fiscal activity.  Prior to 2003, Ms. Madsen was Executive Director of the California Assembly of Local Arts Agencies, leveraging new business, government and cultural relationships to gain financial support and promote local arts activities.  Susan Gorin, Chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, stated, “The arts sector is fundamental to who we are as a County, and I’m thrilled that we were able to hire a leader with such an established track record to lead the development of our arts industry. We are looking forward to working with Ms. Madsen on the Creative Sonoma Program and other arts initiatives.”

Kristen Madsen will be responsible for the Creative Sonoma program, which was adopted by the Board of Supervisors in June 2014 and seeks to boost the nonprofit arts community and the creative for-profit arts sector.  The Arts Action Plan, which established the Creative Sonoma program, explains the development path for cultural and economic development, including funding and structural plans.  Ms. Madsen will be working on a number of initiatives from the Arts Action Plan, including a series of Spring Workshops to help local artists and their businesses.  This will be followed by a Spring Forum in late April, bringing the arts and creative community together.  Pam Chanter, Chair of the Board of Sonoma County EDB, says, “We are delighted to welcome Ms. Madsen into Sonoma County – she has the industry experience and enthusiasm to help our creative economy thrive.”

Kristen Madsen will join the EDB initially on a part-time basis March 16, 2015 and will assume full-time employment starting April 1, 2015.

If you would like to learn more about the Creative Sonoma project, please visit the “Creative Sonoma Arts Actiom Plan” section of our website at