Maria Arena Bell is a television writer and producer who founded Vitameatavegamin Productions to develop projects for film, television, and new media. She is the Emmy Award-winning former head writer and executive producer of “The Young and The Restless,” the number-one daytime drama, where she had unprecedented success and led her team to two Writers Guild of America Awards. She has also written essays for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, C Magazine, Aspen Magazine, and many others.
Bell was co-chair for five years of the board of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), working closely with artists Takashi Murakami, Francesco Vezzoli, Doug Aitken, Marina Abramovic, and Rob Pruitt on events that were both financial successes and complete, immersive artworks. She co-chaired the endowment campaign and two director searches at MOCA. She is a long time board member of Americans for the Arts, chaired the Americans for the Arts National Arts Awards for over a decade, was vice chair of the board and received the Legacy Award in 2015 for her extensive work in arts education. Bell also chaired P.S. ARTS, an organization that provides art in Title 1 public elementary schools in the Los Angeles area, for five years, then served as president (then president at large) and chaired their signature fundraisers for over a decade.
Bell was appointed to the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission in 2013 by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and is a former California State Commissioner on the Commission for the Status of Women and Girls. She recently received the 25th Annual Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award for her work in education and was inducted into the Newport Harbor High School Hall of Fame in 2015. She is also the recipient of a Women’s Image Network Award for Women in Entertainment and Philanthropy. Bell currently serves on the board of MoMA PS 1 and is on the board of advisors for the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University. Bell was recently voted a Life Trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.