Bill Blake

West Coast Director

Drawing on over two dozen years in the field as a leader, advocate, manager, educator, and consultant, Bill guides clients large and small through strategic and business planning, facility feasibility studies, and policy development processes. Developing plans that mobilize ideas and aspirations into actionable steps is always Bill’s top goal with clients. His years of experience leading and managing arts organizations combined with his pragmatic approach to planning gives him great insight into how to implement strategies quickly and effectively.

Between turns with AMS, Bill was the Managing Director of the B Street Theatre in Sacramento. In his 11 years there, Bill led the planning, fundraising, design and development of its new $28 million mixed-use performing arts complex, The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts.

What is most significant about the work that you do?

For me it’s all about arts and culture as a means for community-building. Whether it’s in Mammoth Lakes, San Francisco, or Tempe, a community’s cultural “ecosystem” can bring tremendous benefits to people, economies, and built environments. But ecosystems are comprised of interconnected organizations, artists, supporters, and participants and I find that understanding how these unique components work together in different communities and helping to leverage the power of connection to be one of the most significant aspects of our work at AMS.

Where is the greatest opportunity for the sector today?

Inspiring creativity, igniting expression, and facilitating civic dialogue around the issues of the day are the opportunities that cultural organizations are called to do. Working with organizations such as Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco, Cal Performances in Berkeley, and the McConnell Foundation in Redding, California have all been clients that have sought to engage these opportunities, while at the same time catalyzing development of their immediate surroundings.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love the outdoors, enjoying the culture of our city, travelling to places near and far to experience other cultures with the people I love.

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