Alex Sarian is the President & CEO of Arts Commons, the largest arts center in western Canada and the nation's third largest arts facility. Appointed in January 2020, Alex became one of the youngest CEOs to oversee a major performing arts center in North America, including its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the half-billion-dollar Arts Commons Transformation (ACT) project—the largest cultural infrastructure project in Canada, scheduled to break ground in downtown Calgary in 2024.
Prior to his current appointment, he spent 18 years in New York City, the last seven at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where he served as the senior executive responsible for the organization’s portfolio of regranting initiatives, global consulting, community engagement, arts education, and artistic programming for young audiences and families.
As a recognized authority on the civic role of arts institutions, Alex has worked on cultural projects in 15 countries spanning 5 continents. As a professor, he has taught at New York University, Pace University, and City College of New York.
Alex has served on governing boards and special advisory committees for institutions including the Calgary Downtown Association, SXSW, Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, and the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize.
He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from New York University, is a graduate of the CommunityShift program at Western University's Ivey School of Business, and was an inaugural graduate of the Impact Program for Arts Leaders at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Alex is proud to have been named to the 2022 class of Calgary's Top 40 Under 40.