Arthur Espinoza Jr., managing director of the Washington Ballet, has been named the new executive director of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He takes over for Lisa Richards Toney, who has served as the commission’s interim executive director since March.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Espinoza’s appointment today in a press release, saying that he “will help the District grow our creative economy, broaden access to the arts, and spur job growth.” All three are areas that, according to a report from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the District is behind in. 

That includes foundation funding, which decreased by nearly 48 percent in D.C. between 2009 to 2012. The District also saw a 3.1 percent drop in paid employment in the arts.

Espinoza has been the managing director of the Washington Ballet since 2013; he joined the company in 2010. Prior to that, he had stints working with the Colorado Ballet, the Milwaukee Ballet, Central City Opera, Canyon Concert Ballet, Opera Fort Collins, and Fort Collins Children’s Theatre.

Photo courtesy Washington Ballet