Jenny Rogers selected as new Recreation and Arts Department director

September 29, 2023 11:47 AM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2023) — City Manager David White announced the appointment of Jenny Rogers as director of the newly established Recreation and Arts Department.

Rogers brings more than 28 years of experience in arts, parks, recreation and community services, most recently serving as director of community services for the city of Beverly Hills. She began her career with the Cultural Arts Division of the city and county of San Francisco and has 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,” White said. “Her vast experience and talent will be invaluable in uplifting arts, culture and recreation services and programs that enrich lives and help people thrive.”

Throughout her career in local government, Rogers has 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.

On the arts side, she has led efforts to launch several new and innovative community events, including the Beverly Hills Artwalk and MADE in Beverly Hills celebration.

In addition to her roles in public service, Rogers has a 30-plus year career 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 with the approval of the 2023-2025 biennial budget, at the same time creating a new Housing and Human Services Department — dividing the functions formerly combined under the Community Services Department.

Among other goals, the move aimed to allow for greater focus on restoring and expanding recreation opportunities, reimagining the future of the Miles Memorial Playhouse and Camera Obscura buildings, reframing City Hall murals, and leveraging the Annenberg Community Beach House as a tourist destination and a key element of Santa Monica’s beachfront brand.

“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 an 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.

Rogers will join the city effective Oct. 9, with an annual salary of $227,772.

Media Contact

Lauren Howland
Communications and public information manager




Recreation and Arts