Julianne (Jan) Mia De Sal, Ph.D., has been named Colorado Academy’s new Fine and Performing Arts Director, beginning next summer. Veteran arts director and administrator Angel Vigil, who has served CA for the past 31 years, announced his retirement effective at the end of this school year.
De Sal was selected from among a group of outstanding finalists; she comes to CA from her position as Director of Arts at the Viewpoint School in Calabasas, California, where she has been since the year 2000.
She held a similar position at Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena for many years and also taught at the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay and California State University in Los Angeles.
Her career as a theater and arts educator and director has been dedicated to building arts programs and curricula, with a focus on creating rich opportunities in the arts for young people such that, “they remain artists throughout their lives, in heart, if not by profession.”
In her work, De Sal has been an innovative educator, creating course offerings, service learning in the arts, and award-winning arts education programs in music, theatre, dance, and visual arts. The Viewpoint School program has been honored with a BRAVO Award for Excellence in Arts Education from the Music Center of Los Angeles, and De Sal was one of four educators selected as a BRAVO honoree for individual excellence for her Conservatory of Theater and Dance programs.
“From the moment I walked on campus, I knew that I was at a school that was distinctive and true. I am honored to be part of the CA community. With art, all things are possible.”
De Sal holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Rhode Island with a focus on Anglo/Irish Literature, in particular the poetry and dance plays of W.B. Yeats, a Master of Arts in Theater from Catholic University in America, with specialization in American Theater and adapting multicultural literary texts for performance, and a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in English and Theater Arts also from Catholic University. She has extensive dance and theater education ranging from work and courses with the Connecticut Ballet, The Margo Knis Jazz Ensemble, the Alvin Ailey Junior Company, Martha Graham, Bob Fosse, Paul Taylor and others, and in theater with the Stratford, Connecticut Shakespeare Festival, the National and Ford theaters in Washington, DC and others.
In accepting the position, she says, “From the moment I walked on campus, I knew that I was at a school that was distinctive and true. I am honored to be part of the CA community. With art, all things are possible.”