Jerry Allen

San Francisco and Soquel, CA


Cultural planning; local arts agency management; public art master planning and project management; cultural facilities planning.

Training / Education

I’ve spent 30 years in local arts agency management, serving as cultural affairs director for King County, Washington, Dallas, Texas and San Jose, California, with an interlude developing the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Since 1985, I have developed cultural plans and public art master plans, consulting with more than 50 local arts agencies around the country.


My academic training at both the undergraduate and graduate levels was in studio art, with a concentration in sculpture and three-dimensional design. Much of my creative energy today is directed toward my garden, where I am in the process of building a wood-fired bread oven. Bread making has become a passion for me.


I served for 17 years on the Board of Directors of Americans for the Arts. As time permits, I volunteer for Hospice of Santa Cruz County, providing support for patients and their families.

Wishful Thinking

Writing the definitive history of public art in America with my urban planner daughter.


I recently attended a weeklong tree house building workshop. There is a grove of redwoods on my property that has been calling to me for several years. My daughter plans on living in it!


Developing a deep understanding of issues presented by clients and proposing innovative strategies for addressing those issues. Creative ability bred from long experience in local government processes and approaches to community development through the arts. Consensus building among disparate groups of people–artists, public officials, funders, private developers, nonprofit managers and citizens at large.