|Dear Opening Act Community,
Nearly 17 years ago, I joined a young and small New York City after-school theater program called Opening Act as an assistant teaching artist. This fall, as we enter Opening Act’s 20th Anniversary and the final year of our ambitious and achievable Strategic Plan, I look back on my 11 years as Executive Director and am so very proud of how strong our organization has become. We have cultivated incredible leadership and support within our students, alumni, teaching artists, staff, boards, and the entire Opening Act community, including YOU.
We now find ourselves at an exciting moment in Opening Act’s journey. Our success to date has laid a foundation for transformational impact over the next 20 years – for our young people, our field, and the sector at large. At this critical juncture, I have come to realize that this momentous time offers an ideal opportunity for new leadership that will bring additional strengths and vision to the work that we do. I have also come to understand that after nearly 17 years, it is time in my own life to center my family, while continuing to do work that is meaningful, impactful, and community-based.
And so, I have decided to step down as Executive Director of Opening Act, and welcome a new dynamic leader to steward us into 20 more years of impact.
While this decision is certainly bittersweet, I am so moved by what we’ve achieved together:
– Growing from 3 to 56 partnering high schools and serving over 3500 studentsin Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and – as of this year – Queens,
– Presenting hundreds of student-devised plays that speak truth to power,
– Expanding into NYC’s alternative school program, District 79, where we are working with some of our city’s most vulnerable youth,
– Building an innovative College and Career Readiness Program for our students and alumni,
– Piloting our first-ever middle school program this fall,
And perhaps most importantly, creating together a community where we can all be creative, challenged, honest, brave, and, to quote a young woman in my Opening Act classroom in Brooklyn last week… “accepted.”
What an honor it has been!
I plan to officially step down as Executive Director in early 2020, which means we have plenty of time to kick off our 20th Anniversary in strong style together!
We are beginning our search for our next leader this week! Please help us spread the word by sharing this job posting far and wide, and by reaching out to us with any thoughts or ideas you may have to help guide our search!
I very much look forward to continuing to actively support Opening Act and our outstanding young people, forever cheering on the brilliance they bring to our world.
With deepest love and gratitude,