SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica announced on its website on Friday, September 29 that Jenny Rogers was appointed as director of the newly established Recreation and Arts Department. She has over 28 years of experience in arts, parks, recreation and community services, recently serving as director of community services for the city of Beverly Hills. She started her career with the Cultural Arts Division of the city and county of San Francisco and held director roles at the city of Mill Valley and the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts.
“I am thrilled to bring Jenny onboard and jumpstart the great work of the newly formed Recreation and Arts Department,” city Management David White stated. “Her vast experience and talent will be invaluable in uplifting arts, culture and recreation services and programs that enrich lives and help people thrive.”
During her career she collaborated to enhance recreation programs and facilities, including increasing recreation class enrollment with innovative marketing, adding new community events, increasing cost recovery at community centers and launching a “neighbors helping neighbors” social service program. She led efforts to launch several new and innovative community events, including the Beverly Hills Artwalk and MADE in Beverly Hills celebration.
Rogers has over 30 years as an artist, director and designer in theater. Her work has been featured internationally, earning several grants, awards and recognition.
The Santa Monica City Council established the Recreation and Arts Department in June 2023 with the approval of the 2023-2025 biennial budget. They created a new Housing and Human Services Department — dividing the functions formerly combined under the Community Services Department.
“I believe public service is a calling and the critical services we provide create community, and it is deeply gratifying to serve a place and a people so closely aligned with my own values,” Rogers said. “Santa Monica is such a special place, and this is such a unique chapter in the city. I look forward to working collaboratively with the community and city staff in support of existing facilities and programs and in creation of a diverse array of new recreation offerings, public art and cultural events.”
Rogers graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in Art and Semiotics and holds a master’s degree in Fine Art specializing in Digital and New Media from Pennsylvania State University, where she was the first University Fellow for the School of Visual Arts. She will join the city on Monday, October 9 with a yearly salary of $227,772