Armory Center for the Arts Fetes Retiring Executive Director Scott Ward for 17-Year Legacy of Leadership

Julie Ward and Scott Ward, who is being honored for a 17 year legacy as the Executive Director for the Armory for the Arts.Carolyn and Craig WatsonScott Ward, left, Teresa Lamb-Simpson and Scott FeldmannLora Unger, Chief Executive Officer at Pasadena Symphony and POPS and Phil SwanScott Ward, left, Craig Watson and Scott FeldmannFrom left: Aurora Berger, Meng Yuanli, and Ben Zhao, students from the Claremont Graduate University.Lisa and Stan KongEmily Hopkins and Jon LapointeScott Ward and Bill UrquhartBen Zhao, left, Peggy Phelps and Jay BelloliIrene Isatsos, Curator for the Armory for the Arts.The Guests during the Armory Benefit, Honoring the 17 Year Legacy of Armory Executive Director Scott Ward.Guests during the Armory Benefit, Honoring the 17 Year Legacy of Armory Executive Director Scott Ward.

Photography by JAMES CARBONE

5:45 am | April 16, 2018

Nearly 350 gathered at the Armory Center for the Arts in Old Pasadena to thank retiring Executive Director Scott Ward for his 17 years of leadership of the nationally-recognized contemporary arts center.

“Thank you for tonight!” Ward told the group. “Please … commit yourself to what happens next [at the Armory] over the next decade.”

Ward said his final day as Executive Director will be June 30, 2018.

Under his leadership, the Armory Center for the Arts has become one of the Los Angeles region’s leading independent institutions for contemporary art exhibitions and community arts education.

“It’s a great moment for me, a great opportunity to explore other horizons, and it’s a wonderful opportunity for the Armory to find a great leader,” Ward said in an eralier interview with Pasadena Now, “to build them into the organization they’ll be in the next 17 years.”

Over the course of his nearly two decades at the Armory’s helm Ward was able to significantly increase the institution’s endowment, operating budget, geographic reach, and breadth of service, and to deepen the Armory’s commitment to delivering meaningful art experiences to underserved populations, both in Pasadena and throughout greater Los Angeles.

He is only the second Executive Director in the Armory’s 28-year history, succeeding founding director Elisa Callow in 2001.

Ironically, Ward’s first day on the job was “move out” day at the Armory, the start of a year-long, $2.4 million renovation project which added 6,800 square feet of administrative and classroom space to the organization’s Old Town Pasadena facility—a 1930s National Guard Armory initially rehabilitated in 1989.

“He made sure the Armory performed its commitment to young people and, over time, he delivered what the institution has to offer not only at the Armory, but also at venues in the neighborhoods of the City,” said former Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard.

Bogaard and his wife, Claire, were both in attendance at the Saturday event, with a large number of Armory supporters and members of the local arts community.