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Armory Appoints Joan Dooley as New Director of Studio Programs

Left: Entertainer and philanthropist Tony Bennett visits Joan Dooley's East L.A. classroom in 2013. Dooley was instrumental in securing a major grant from Bennett's family foundation for the Humanitas Academy of Art & Technology at Esteban E. Torres High School. Right: Self portrait by Joan Dooley.

Pasadena resident Joan Dooley's credentials are genuinely impressive: writer for a major east coast newspaper; award winning photographer; Getty curator; multi-credentialed K-12 educator, nationally board-certified art teacher; and winner of several "teacher of the year" awards for her work with inner-city teens. Starting this September, we are happy to announce that Joan Dooley will join the Armory's administrative team as its new Director of Studio Programs.

Each year, the Armory's Studio department manages 400 tuition-based art classes taught by 35 teaching artists, serves over 1,500 students (ages 2 to adult), and awards more than $100,000 in tuition assistance. Armory teaching artists are seasoned educators and practicing artists with advanced degrees from the nation's top art schools.

"I'm thrilled to come on board with an arts organization as outstanding and innovative as the Armory" said Dooley. "I'm looking forward to collaborating with the highly-skilled and dedicated staff to build upon our shared mission of empowering lives and communities through art... and I'm especially excited to be working right here in my home community of Pasadena."

After earning an MA in Art History from UMass Amherst, Dooley transitioned from a career in journalism at the venerable Worcester Telegram & Gazette to join the J. Paul Getty Museum's curatorial team in Malibu—organizing the institution's world-class photo collection for exhibitions and publications. Joan was the lead curator for several Getty photo exhibitions, including Lisette Model (1991) and Albert Renger-Patzsch (1996).

Since 1999, Joan has taught photography at inner-city public high schools in Los Angeles, most recently at East L.A.'s Humanitas Academy of Art and Technology where she was instrumental in securing sizable grants from Tony Bennett's Exploring the Arts Foundation. Otis College of Art & Design (2003) and CalArts (2007) both named Joan teacher of the year for her work with teens. Joan's students are among the most honored in LA County, earning national recognitions from the Scholastic Art Awards (the nation's oldest); the US Congressional Art Competition; the Los Angeles Film Festival; and the prestigious grand prize from the Los Angeles Music Center's annual Spotlight Awards. In 2011, Joan was honored by Ovation Television and the Scholastic Art Awards as Southern California's teacher of the year for garnering the most student art awards of any high school teacher in the Southland. In 2013, Joan and her students were featured in two Los Angeles Times articles.

Joan is also an artist specializing in fine art documentary photography. Her photos have received many awards, including several Women in Photography honors and National Geographic's annual 2009 international World in Focus competition.

"We believe that Joan Dooley is a fabulous fit for our team with impressive skills, experience, determination, and a cheerful spirit," says Scott Ward, the Armory's Executive Director. "With Joan, we have an exciting opportunity to reexamine and reinvent our 25-year-old Studio program to meet the evolving needs of our 21st Century community." Dooley will officially join the Armory's administrative team in September, 2016. For more information about the Armory's Studio program, visit

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About the Armory
Armory Center for the Arts believes that an understanding and appreciation of the arts is essential for a well-rounded human experience and a healthy civic community. Founded in 1989, The Armory builds on the power of art to transform lives and communities through creating, teaching and presenting the arts. The organization's department of exhibitions offers diverse programs at its main facility and in locations throughout the region. Additionally, the Armory offers studio art classes on-site and a variety of standards-based art programs to more than fifty schools, community centers, parks, and detention centers in the greater Los Angeles area.


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