Arts Leadership Award Program

Ellen Lake

Representing Alameda County Supervisorial District Five —

Ellen Lake is the Executive Director and Co-Director of Kala Art Institute in Berkeley where she works in partnership with Kala’s Artistic Director and Co-Director Mayumi Hamanaka. Founded in 1974, Kala is a unique resource, providing high-quality facilities to artists working in printmaking, photography, and media arts. The organization’s mission is to help artists sustain their creative work over time through its artist residencies and to engage the community through exhibitions, public programs and education. Ellen has over 20 years of experience working in nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area. At Kala, she focuses on fundraising and creating a productive and thriving arts organization. Through her leadership, Kala was able to adapt and continue its activities during the pandemic, adding a housing component for the artist residency program and working with Kala’s talented team to continue its popular Artists-in-Schools and on-site youth art programs. Ellen received her MFA from Mills College in 2002 and BA from Amherst College in 1991. As an artist, she’s a recipient of many grants, awards, and residencies. Ellen is passionate about supporting artists and building creative communities. Ellen Lake is a resident of Oakland.