ADOLFO V. NODAL – The Institute for Art and Olfaction

alnodal_300x400President, Board of Directors

Adolfo V. Nodal was born in Guaos, Cuba in 1950, and subsequently immigrated to Miami FL with his family. In Miami, he attended Miami-Dade Junior College, graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in Journalism & Photography in 1970. Mr. Nodal received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art from Florida State University in Tallahassee in 1972 and a Masters of Arts degree in Contemporary Art by California State University at San Francisco. In 1981, he was awarded a certificate in Museum Management by The Art Museum Association Museum Management Institute.

While earning his Masters in San Francisco, Nodal worked in large and small arts institutions, and quickly developed his devotion to the arts. He has since served as Executive Director of Contemporary arts institutions in Washington, DC. (Washington Project for the Arts, 1978-83), Los Angeles (Otis Parsons School of Art Exhibition Center, 1983-87) and New Orleans (Contemporary Arts Center, 1988). He has served as trustee of several local and national arts institutions including American For The Arts, the National Assembly Of Local Arts Agencies (NALAA), The Urban Arts Federation, and as a founding Member of National Association of Artists Organizations, LA Works, and LA Shares (Materials for the Arts).

Adolfo V. Nodal held the position of General Manager of the City of Los Angeles’ Cultural Affairs Department from 1988-2001. His department regulated civic design, historic preservation, and arts funding and programs for the city, and as the GM he was responsible for cultural advocacy and planning for arts and culture in Los Angeles. He is considered a national leader in the fields of multicultural arts development, arts administration, and support for individual artists and all artistic disciplines.

With the help of the LA City Council, he established and developed the Los Angeles Endowment for the Arts, achieved a comprehensive arts master-plan for LA in 1990, and a cultural heritage master-plan for the city in 1998. One of his greatest achievemtns at LACAD was completing a restoration of the city’s historic Art Deco neon and electric signs in the Wilshire, Hollywood and Downtown districts- he was responsible for refurbishing and relighting over 250 signs. He also developed a millennium arts celebration for Los Angeles and a national study of the public safety impact of the arts in the community as well as a report on the role of graffiti art in reducing vandalism He also initiated an emergency response cultural master-plan for the city which is yet to be completed.. Other achievements in his tenure as General Manager include a program to name city traffic squares to honor artists who have made significant contributions to the arts community – thus LA now boasts a Carmen Miranda and a Carlos Gardel Squares in Hollywood. He also developed a civic recognition program to celebrate important arts administrators in the City of Los Angeles. Mr. Nodal encouraged arts and cultural organizations to include all of the Americas in their programming, and he re-energized and further developed a significant cultural grants program for the arts, and a historic preservation plan for the City of Los Angeles. He supervised an active building program, produced a major festival program and provided record amount of funding to the city’s mural program.
He oversaw the plans for the total reorganization and physical upgrade of Barnsdall Art Park (including the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House). He also managed the city’s Watts Towers.

Throughout his career, Adolfo V. Nodal has championed individual artist and designers with special emphasis on experimental visual arts and theatre. He has organized countless programs to present this work in various cultural institutions in the United States. He is considered a national expert on Public Art, Historic Preservation and civic design. While at Cultural Affairs, he assisted the Cultural Affairs and Cultural Heritage Commissions in their deliberations regarding the regulation of civic design, architecture, historic landmark status, public art, and street lighting in the City of LA.

Mr. Nodal has provided encouragement and support to artists and arts institutions at all stages of development: From homeless arts organizations to the city’s more established institutions.

He is multi-disciplinary in his support of art, believing in the inherent power in all arts disciplines, as well as the entertainment industry. His work in the arts has benefited countless American artists and institutions as well as audiences and communities throughout the region, and he has provided critical leadership on connecting the arts to other important civic issues such as education, public safety, community development, tourism, public health and community empowerment.

Mr. Nodal has received numerous awards and honors. Some of these include the  Washingtonian Of The Year Award (1981), The Mayor’s Art Award for Washington DC (1981), A Presidential Citation for Community Service HUD (1987), and The Order of the Southern Cross by the Government of Brazil (2000).

Since leaving LACAD, Nodal has served as President for the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commision, as well as Project General Manager for the Annenberg Foundation/Farmlab LLC (where he oversaw the construction of a large-scale public art project in Los Angeles).

He currently serves as the President of Los Angeles Sister Cities. He also works in the area of cultural development and political evolution of his native Cuba. He believes that culture is one of the only bridges available to the Cuban people and has devoted a lot of effort throughout his career to supporting Latin American artists in achieving a broader audience. In 2004 Mr. Nodal established an exhibition service in the town of San Pedro and opened a licensed company to provide Cultural, Humanitarian and Religious missions to Cuba. Also in 2004, he became president of the Cuba Culture Foundation a non profit organization in California.

Mr. Nodal completed a book on the role of public art in the field of community development titled ‘MacArthur Park: How The Arts Made A Difference’ in 1990 (Hennessey & Ingalls Press). In 2001 he completed a definitive reference volume titled ‘Memoria: Cuban Art of the 20th Century’ (The California International Arts Foundation). He is currently preparing a book on the historic neon and electric signs of Los Angeles.