Episode 59: Listen, Present, and Repeat

David C. Howse, Executive Director of ArtsEmerson, shares how ‘curatorial listening’ leads to better community partnerships in developing programming and initiatives. He also discusses the benefits afforded institutions that shift their imagination in ways that allow them to see the world and ultimately benefit from the world in a much more magical way.

David Howse. Photo by Asia Kepka.David C. Howse joined ArtsEmerson as executive director in 2015 and is fiscally and administratively responsible for multiple cultural venues in Downtown Boston. Prior he served as executive director of Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC), where he was instrumental in helping grow BCC from a pilot project serving 20 kids in 2003 to a vibrant organization educating more than 500 singers in 12 choirs in 5 locations.
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Episode 58: Removing Barriers for Theatregoers

Meg O’Brien, Interim Co-Director of Education at Huntington Theatre Company, discusses their long-standing commitment to universal participation. She shares how the Huntington makes productions accessible for patrons with hearing or vision difficulties, and how they’re expanding ways to integrate accessibility into performance models and schedules.

Meg O'BrienMeg O’Brien is in her 10th season at the Huntington Theatre Company, currently serving as one of two Interim Co-Directors of Education.  She has also served as the Manager of Education Operations & Access Coordinator at the Huntington Theatre Company.  Meg is an actor, dancer, singer, director, producer, and stage manager; however, her passion lives with Theatre Education, which she quickly fell in love with when she was in college.  For the past 15 years, Meg has made her living teaching students of all ages about the world of the theater. Continue reading “Episode 58: Removing Barriers for Theatregoers”

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.
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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”