New year, new pier! On January 17, the Santa Monica Pier Corporation (SMPC) welcomes Negin Singh as its new Executive Director. An experiential producer, festival-founder, and creative leader in tech, Singh has spent the past eight years in Los Angeles engineering campaigns and projects in the arts, technology, and cultural sectors. She enters the frame at the start of an ambitious new era for the Santa Monica Pier. Come fall, the Pier will debut a reimagined Twilight Concert Series, and Singh is excited about the challenge of calibrating the popular event to work for everyone in its 34th year. Additionally, the SMPC plans to introduce new events geared toward locals while amplifying the impact of annual mainstays like the S.T.E.A.M Innovation Fair. "Singh's deep experience in conceiving and producing public events will add important professional leadership as we rethink the pier concert series, focus on other events that will bring people to the pier, and support pier businesses, year-round," says SMPC Board Member Abby Arnold. Additionally, newly appointed board members Daniela Martin, Carter Rubin, and Gray Bright are to join continuing members Abby Arnold, Misti Kerns, Christopher Foster, and Allan Lipsky.
A newly-minted post-grad resident of Santa Monica in 2008, Singh's connection to the Pier was both kinetic and instant when she happened upon the GLOW festival on one of her first nights exploring the city. As she recalls, this happenstance moment at the Pier spirited her into life as a young adult in Los Angeles. The lights, music, and atmosphere made her feel at home. Since then, Singh's professional experiences have all underscored a common thread of serving as an arts ambassador for Los Angeles. It's been her mission to connect people with layered experiences that stir feelings.
As the founder of experiential production group cARTel, Singh and her team were behind LA events such as BROKE LA(formerly Brokechella), No Budget Film Festival, and produced for clients such as Wonder Women Tech, Sunstock Solar Festival, Indian Film Festival and more. In driving each festival's artistic vision and operations, Singh recruited artists, small businesses, volunteers, non-profits, and community members to participate – skills that pair perfectly with the Pier's full calendar of events and entertainment – and worked alongside city officials to grow events responsibly. As DAQRI's Director of Inspiration, she managed a team of 30+ engineers and creatives to create branded experiences around the world. One of DAQRI's many multi-million dollar clients included Crayola, for which Singh's team created the award-winning augmented reality app Easy Animator. She's made a career of fearlessly steering ambitious projects, always adding color along the way.
"I've been an artist all my life and a producer before I knew what the term meant," says Singh. "I'm passionate about creating an enriching experience that's accessible to all. We know that people will come to the Pier, but how can we ensure that they leave feeling full? I'm looking forward to telling the story of Santa Monica through the Pier that gives locals a sense of pride and leaves visitors with rewarding memories."
The SMPC famously locates its offices within the historic Hippodrome on the Pier. Some might think it strange to work above a merry-go-around, but Singh expects to feel right at home.