Brian Cohen Photo by Marshall Smith

Today, July 20, Faith Raiguel, Chair of the board of Governors, announced that "Brian D. Cohen is no longer President of Idyllwild Arts."


"On behalf of the entire Idyllwild Arts Academy we wish Brian well as he continues his work as an accomplished artist and as an arts educator," Raiguel wrote in a press release.

A committee will be formed and begin the search for a new president.

Until that is accomplished, Vice President Steve Fraider will continue to manage the summer program. Dr. Doug Ashcraft, Dean of Arts, who begins his sixteenth year at the Academy, will head the Academy until an interim president is appointed.


  1. If that's the case, then good riddance to him, but I would also pity him for choosing such a path. I feel for his wife and son, who have certainly been indelibly marred by these events.

    Perhaps the details will come forth in a future edition of the TC to dispel any false rumors.

  2. I don't believe anything that's being said about him–Idyllwild School of the Arts is mired by politics and infighting and always has been, anyone who works there or has vested interests in what happens there is far from a disinterested spectator. My sense is that he probably stepped on the wrong toes.

  3. Quite the contrary. Idyllwild Arts has a dedicated, committed faculty and staff that loves the school and Idyllwild.The past two outside administrators turned out to be disappointments, but the school needs your support as a community more now than ever.

    • Times are very tough right now for so many, our community included. This is the time for all at IAA to remember that IAA is a community, and we are family. Everyone in the organization has an important and valuable role in the school's success–it doesn't matter if you're a dean, administration, development, faculty, food service, maintenance, or a driver, we all are there to support the same goals, and that needs to be recognized and reinforced on a continual basis. Our work there is a form of Seva. WE have to operate not out of fear nor inflated egos nor desperation, but with selflessness, integrity, confidence and respect. Respect for ourselves, our school, our students, and our community.

      Mr. Cohen seems to have failed on these points.

      There is no room in a successful organization for others who also fail on those points.

      In the search for a new president, I think most will agree on the need to find a strong leader who has the necessary business experience to create a prosperous and profitable environment.

      IAA needs everyone's support on every level to heal, deconstruct and create anew.

    • The Idyllwild Arts Board of Governor’s did not share the reason for Mr. Cohen’s departure. The Town Crier has not heard anything that would imply or suggest that involvement with a student contributed to this decision.