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John Lawler


As an award-winning director and writer, the co-founder of two nonprofits, and the principal of two nationally recognized arts high schools, John Lawler brings a wealth of experience to the world of arts education. He has served as a university guest artist and teacher, was the founder and principal of ArTES Magnet (Art Theatre Entertainment School), an innovative visual and performing arts high school, and as the principal of the Los Angeles County High School for the Performing Arts (LACHSA). He has enjoyed a successful career as a director and writer, with stage, opera, and film projects in New York, Los Angeles, London, Munich, and beyond. He is a co-founder of the award-winning Annex Theatre in Seattle, and has been a guest artist at Sundance, the Eugene O’Neill Center, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He developed and directed plays by Luis Alfaro (Macarthur Genius recipient), David Lindsay-Abaire (Pulitzer Prize winner “Rabbit Hole”), JT Rogers (Tony winner for Best Play – “Oslo”) and many award-winning actors including Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti. As a school leader, Mr. Lawler saw both ArTES and LACHSA receive multiple prestigious honors, including designations as national-level “Exemplary Arts Schools” by the Arts Schools Network. Under his leadership, LACHSA became the number 1 ranked arts high school in the country all while overseeing unprecedented growth in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. In 2016, Mr. Lawler was honored to receive the Denise Davis Cotton Award for Arts Leadership. He is excited to continue his mission of ensuring that all students have access to a high-quality arts education.


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