Dr. Amy Shimshon-Santo is a writer and educator who believes the arts and culture are powerful tools for personal and social transformation. Her interdisciplinary work bridges the arts, education, and urban planning.
Amy has been recognized on the President of the United States’ Honor Roll for Service Learning. Her writing has been published by UC Press, SUNY Press, Public!: A Journal of Imagining America, the Teaching Artist Journal, Tiferet Journal, Zocalo Public Square, and Lady Liberty Lit.
She completed her doctorate in urban planning at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs (Ph.D., M.A.) where studied multicultural arts through the lenses of cultural citizenship, community development, policy and sustainability. She holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in creative writing from Antioch University (Creative Non-Fiction/Poetry). Her undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies (UCSC) provided a foundation for her intercultural and interdisciplinary work.
She is the founder of CREO Worldwide which promotes a just society by investing in diverse leadership, catalyzing community knowledge, and amplifying great ideas in action. Amy coaches arts professionals, cultural start-ups, and mentors emerging leaders. She has consulted for respected mission-driven organizations including Community Partners, Arts for LA, and the Chicano Park Museum.
Amy is the Head of Arts Management for the Sotheby’s Institute of Art – LA at the Claremont Graduate University. Before joining CGU, she taught for seven years at UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture where she directed the school’s ArtsBridge Program. She later spent one year as a Visiting Scholar at UC Irvine.
Earlier in her career she co-founded the Brasil Brasil Cultural Center, a transnational performing arts company that toured globally and provided local cultural programming. She enjoyed a fulfilling career in dance and performance. Her work has been presented at the Kennedy Center for the Arts and in numerous theaters throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
Amy represented the State of California on the six member team to the National Endowment for the Arts’ Education Leadership Institute. She was a founding member of CREATE CA, and co-chaired the policy work group on access and inclusion for the CA Department of Education and the CA Arts Council.
Amy has earned fellowships from the James P. Shannon Foundation, Leadership LA, CORO, the Dana Foundation, and the University of California. She has galvanized public and private resources for arts and educational programs from state agencies, foundations and corporations, and served on grant review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs, the James Irvine Foundation, the Cal Trans’ Active Transportation Program, and has served on the Board of Directors of Women Transportation Seminar Los Angeles.