The San Francisco Arts Commission voted unanimously on a new interim director Monday, officials from the mayor’s office announced.

The agency named JD Beltran, the current vice president, to act as director while they recruit a new permanent director of cultural affairs.

Beltran will replace Luis Cancel, who has been the director of cultural affairs since 2007.

The mayor’s office announced that Cancel had tendered his resignation last week and planned to return to his hometown of New York City where he previously served as the head of that city’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

Beltran is a conceptual artist, filmmaker, and writer as well as a member of the San Francisco Art Institute’s faculty. Beltran is also the director of the school’s City Studio arts education program for underserved youth.

“JD is a fantastic artist, a well respected member of the arts community, and a committed public servant dedicated to the well-being of this organization,” commission President PJ Johnston said in a statement. “We’re very fortunate that she’s willing to step in and serve for this brief period.”

Johnston said the search for a permanent director is expected to take two to three months.

“I see my role as one of placeholder, helping the Arts Commission get through this transition to its new director,” Beltran said in a statement.

“I have no interest in the permanent job–indeed, I’ll need to get back to my work soon. But I do care deeply about the San Francisco Arts Commission, and I want to see it flourish.”

Beltran said she hopes to return to the commission once a permanent replacement has been found.

Erika Heidecker, Bay City News

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