Valley Performing Arts names Thor Steingraber executive director


The 3-year-old Valley Performing Arts Center at Cal State Northridge — a growing local hub for live music, dance, drama and other cultural events — has named Thor Steingraber as its new executive director.

Steingraber, 47, was vice president of programming for the Los Angeles Music Center, where he oversaw last year’s ambitious opening celebration for downtown’s Grand Park. He brings 24 years of arts management experience to VPAC. He replaces Robert Bucker, who had been VPAC executive director and dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication at Cal State Northridge.

Steingraber, who also had served as senior vice president for strategy and planning at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, said in a statement that he wants to bring a bit of downtown L.A.’s diversity and creative edge to the valley.


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“We have an opportunity at VPAC to reach all Angelenos, welcoming their support and participation in quality and diverse arts and entertainment experiences,” he said. “VPAC is an extraordinary venue and one that should be accessible for all the people of the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles area.”

Added Harold Hellenbrand, CSUN’s provost and vice president for academic affairs: “Thor is credited with the vision to blend classical and cutting-edge programs. And he knows Los Angeles well.”

Bucker left VPAC and its 1,700-seat concert hall last summer and is now dean of the College of the Arts at Portland State University. Steingraber is expected to start in his new position March 1.


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