In August 2003, fresh from having received my MFA in theater and film from CalArts, I found myself at the Evidence Room for a Suzuki/Viewpoints training workshop. I changed from my sweaty clothes into a suit to interview for a marketing position at the newly named LA STAGE Alliance. I couldn’t have possibly imagined what came next. I was named Interim Executive Director by October of that year, ED by February 2004 and CEO for the last several years.
Thank you for allowing me to serve on behalf of this robust, diverse and dynamic performing arts community. It has been an honor and a privilege. Those aren’t empty words. Attendees from an Ovation Awards ceremony a few years back will remember that my father served in the US Navy for thirty years and I see my time here in a similar light, working to ensure the health of our nation by supporting artists to tell our stories to audiences across Greater LA. And, to me, I make no distinction between those artists that volunteer, get paid a stipend, minimum wage or make bank. All of the stories told on our stages are important and during my leadership of this organization we have worked to raise the floor for the entire community.
I hope my time here will be remembered for the innovative approaches we took toward empowering artists and engaging audiences. I’m proud of our successes in both increasing and diversifying our funding streams, enabling us to withstand many turbulent times and at least one or two perfect storms.
I leave the Alliance confident in the fact that the stellar staff and engaged board will carry forward to serve the field in a resilient and adaptive way.
On June 1st, I become the Associate Executive Director of the Valley Performing Arts Center on the campus of California State University Northridge.
It’s not lost on me that I’ll continue to empower artists and engage audiences, just from a different perch.
The LA STAGE Board has engaged Karen Constine to serve as the Consulting Interim Director and she and the transition committee will determine the next steps for the organization and the search for my successor.
I look forward to seeing many of you at performances and events across the region and to seeing the triumphant return of our journalism program when it launches on June 1st.
Until next time, onward!