I’m writing to share the news that after 10 tremendous years at UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, I have accepted the position as the next Director of MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. I am honored and excited to join this incredible organization while full of emotion as I transition my role from the Center and UCLA which has been my professional home for over a decade.
I have countless memories from hundreds of performances, artists, and the Center’s indefatigable staff over these years of our shared efforts (that stunningly and often against all odds have made many an ‘art miracle’ happen, with many more to come). I could fill volumes recounting these wildly rewarding, challenging, and indelible experiences, and perhaps one day I will try to catalogue the weave of my time at the helm of CAP UCLA.
Doing so now would be premature because as I transition into the big shoes at MASS MoCA, I will continue my involvement with the Center as Creative Advisor for the much-anticipated UCLA Nimoy Theater (formerly The Crest). With renovations soon to begin there will be exciting news about “the Nimoy” on the near-term horizon.
At this moment though, I want to express gratitude for the positive impact that you have all had on my tenure at UCLA. Every director of an arts organization has the multi-faceted responsibilities that come with the job, and here that encompasses the myriad detail involved in presenting and sustaining live performances and the artists who create their worlds for us to encounter on stage. I have had the pleasure to collaborate with an astonishing staff, patron leadership from our Executive Producer Council, the School of the Arts and Architecture and moreover, all of you that make up the community that we have the joy of working with and for.
I have been regularly motivated by you as audience members and supporters who are such an enormous part of what has compelled me to get up every morning and stay late into the evenings. You care about what we do here and show up time and again. At a professional and personal level, your presence and consistency over these many years means that we know each other by name, by face, and through our many exchanges together. This rapport and relationship is the backbone of the Center itself.
You have made a lasting mark on my professional life in extraordinary ways. These come in the form of a simple kindness, a high-five or an embrace, or sharing a profound observation about the production or a burst of ebullience in the lobby. You’ve offered helpful advice on improvements (notably the wine selection or parking, a squeaking seat, font sizes, the importance of harp players and more). You’ve sent emails to me after reflecting on a show or an event; a masterclass by a visiting artist, or a toast backstage. There have been times when you re-upped your membership to support CAP UCLA, and done so not for the benefits associated, but for the cause. Some of you have made transformative gifts to one of the support funds or program endowments that keep the lights on and enable the work to continue.
You are as much a part of the inspiration behind my job as the artists and the people I work with each day.
I know this is as true for the CAP UCLA team as it is for me.
As I begin as the Director of MASS MoCA and shift into an advisory role to support the transition ahead, I am elated to announce that Fred Frumberg, Deputy Director and Program Manager and Meryl Friedman, Director of Education and Special Initiatives who have extensive experience in managing CAP UCLA’s operations, will together assume the interim leadership for CAP UCLA. I know you will join me in supporting them and everyone on the Center’s team as we move into a brilliant future.
Thank you for being the community that has made my life’s work here so fulfilling, and here’s to the circle expanding in transformative ways for all of us.
Executive and Artistic Director
UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance