Episode 57: Mounting a Comeback for Edith Wharton’s Legacy

Susan Wissler, Executive Director of The Mount, shares her experience of bringing an organization back from the precipice, and how retiring its $9M debt helped its community rethink what a historic home can be.

Susan WisslerSusan Wissler joined The Mount in 2001 as Vice President and became Executive Director in 2008. Ms. Wissler graduated from Brown University, received a J.D. from Columbia University, and, prior to joining The Mount, practiced law in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Highlights of Ms. Wissler’s sixteen years at The Mount include the return of Wharton’s books to the library, the retirement of The Mount’s debt, and most recently, welcoming over 50,000 visitors to the property in 2017.
Continue reading “Episode 57: Mounting a Comeback for Edith Wharton’s Legacy”

Episode 55: Generate and Cultivate Engagement

Zakiya Thomas, Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Director of Education, Community Engagement and Inclusion, discusses how evaluation and accountability are key for institutions seeking to reach new audiences.

She says the same rigor that organizations apply to visitor experience or to the quality of work on display needs to also be applied around how that organization works with communities and the kinds of outcomes they expect to see.

Zakiya ThomasFor more than fifteen years, Zakiya Thomas has worked to develop engaging educational and public service initiatives designed to strategically align business, marketing, public relations and community engagement objectives.

She currently serves as the Executive Officer for Education, Community Engagement and Inclusion for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Continue reading “Episode 55: Generate and Cultivate Engagement”

Episode 54: Demystifying the Dance Process

Peter DiMuro, Executive Director of The Dance Complex and Artistic Director of Peter DiMuro Public Displays of Motion, says there are many reasons to come to movement. He discusses how the act of creating dance brings people together and plays with leadership and followership, essential ideas for working on a team wherever you are – whether in the studio or in a Whole Foods.

Peter DiMuroPeter DiMuro has woven a career as a choreographer, arts administrator, director, teacher, community engager, and performer.  His early works created at the height of the AIDS crisis laid the groundwork for community engaging and socially conscious dance/theatre works throughout his career. His work has for concert stages, theatre and specific sites has been performed world-wide, and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mass Cultural Council, the City of Boston AIR program, Boston Dance Alliance, The Boston Foundation and the Aliad Fund. Continue reading “Episode 54: Demystifying the Dance Process”

Episode 53: Unearthing and Cultivating a Hidden Economy

Jessica Allan, former City Planner for Easthampton, MA, discusses the trajectory of the city’s work to identify and cultivate Easthampton’s unique culture and artists, and bring them to the forefront of the local economy.

Jessica AllanJessica Allan has been with MBL Housing & Development since December 2017, and has over 17 years’ experience in land use planning, zoning, and permitting. Prior to joining MBL, Jessica served as the City Planner for Easthampton, MA, where she developed and implemented short and long-term community plans, administered the zoning code, provided permitting assistance to private developers, wrote and managed grants, managed and procured public infrastructure projects, and provided technical planning assistance to various city boards and committees.
Continue reading “Episode 53: Unearthing and Cultivating a Hidden Economy”