County of Marin - Press Releases - New Cultural Services Director

For Immediate Release
July 08, 2014

Calicchio Hired to Lead Cultural and Visitor Services

San Anselmo resident and former Marin Theatre Co. director replaces retiring Jim Farley

San Rafael, CA – Gabriella Calicchio, a San Anselmo resident with more than 15 years of leadership in the museum and theater worlds, is the County of Marin’s choice to replace the retiring Jim Farley as Director of Cultural and Visitor Services.

Calicchio was Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Family Museum at the Presidio in San Francisco from 2011-2013 and has served as a consultant since then. Previously, she was Managing Director of the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis from 2007-2011 and Managing Director of Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley from 2001-2007.

In her new role, which starts full-time Aug. 29, Calicchio will oversee all programs at Marin Center and the Marin County Fair. She spent some time over the past week at the County Fairgrounds checking out the 73rd Marin County Fair, which concluded July 6. She said she was particularly impressed with “arguably the best fine arts exhibit of any fair in the state,” more than 13,000 entrants of all ages participating in competitive exhibitions and shows, great headliners, amazing fireworks and a sustainability initiative that resulted in solar-powered rides and a 92 percent waste diversion record.

“I observed thousands of people young and old participating in and enjoying the fair,” Calicchio said. “Jim Farley and his talented staff and volunteers have done an incredible job. The fair has set the bar high in so many ways. All of this embodies and exemplifies the values, talent and diversity of Marin. I am eager to build upon this legacy, and I am so pleased that the Board of Supervisors has given me this opportunity to serve my community.”

Supervisor Kate Sears, President of the Marin County Board of Supervisors, said replacing Farley after his 40 years of involvement with the County was no easy feat.

“We were fortunate that we found an extremely qualified and highly regarded candidate within our own community,” Sears said. “Gabriella’s ties to Marin will prove valuable on a daily basis. But it was really her track record of community engagement, marketing, planning and leadership that made her the ideal choice. We know she will fit in splendidly.”

Calicchio (pronounced kah-LICK-ee-oh) earned drama and dance degrees at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., and earned a master’s degree in arts administration and education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. Later in her career, she was a Center for Social Innovation Fellow at Stanford University and a member of the San Francisco Travel Board of Directors.

With the Disney Family Museum, Calicchio ran an operation founded by Diane Disney Miller, Walt Disney’s daughter, to preserve and honor her father’s memory. The museum, which opened in 2009, houses 40,000 square feet of memorabilia and artifacts, interactive galleries and demonstrations of new technology. During her first year at the museum, attendance increased by 13 percent and membership went up by 43 percent. The museum’s annual budget was about $11 million during her tenure.

At Marin Theatre Company, Calicchio led efforts to bring the organization back to financial stability, cultivated long-term funding sources, helped develop a new series for emerging playwrights and created outreach efforts in Marin City and the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael.

Calicchio started her career in 1993 as a box office assistant manager at the Sanders Theater on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. She was gallery and theater manager at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, director of theater operations at Ohlone College in Fremont and Executive Director of the Diablo Ballet in Walnut Creek.

Her salary will be $154,210 and benefits will be consistent with those received by other County department heads.

Farley started working for the County in 1974 when he was 20 years old and became Director of Cultural and Visitor Services in 2004. His last day on the job as County Director of Cultural and Visitor Services will be July 31.

“Just like I did, Gabriella is sure to receive outstanding support from the Cultural and Visitors Service staff, the Board of Supervisors, the fair and Marin Center volunteers, the Cultural Services Commission and the community at large,” Farley said. “She’ll find out how valuable that support is and how it leads to great success for the fair and all our entertainment programs. I’d like to extend my sincere and deepest appreciation to all those who have shared those successes during my time at the County.”


Matthew Hymel
County Administrator
County Administrator's Office

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite #325
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6358
Email: Matthew Hymel
County Administrator website