There comes a time when organizations need to take a step back and evaluate their work, how it aligns with their mission and purpose, and how to improve and grow. It is not an easy task, nor one that most employees want to undertake, but it is an essential move for some. It can come from a need to change locations, to capitalize on the experience economy we live in, or a need to capture a new market through a rebranding.
At EALS 2016 we want to have a conversation about how and when to take that step, the surprises that can come up and the major lessons learned along the way. Our panelists have been through this process and are here to answer your questions through an incredible, specialized look at how to renew your organization and rebrand in the realm of Washington, DC.
The opportunity for such a case study is rare especially with our moderator at the helm. We are thrilled to see how these three panelists have approached DC while undergoing a renewal or rebrand.
Maureen Dwyer is the executive director of Sitar Arts Center, a creative youth development program for underserved youth in Washington, DC. During her tenure, the Center grew from a small afterschool program to a year-round visual, digital, and performing arts education program with 1,000 students. In 2015, under Ms. Dwyer’s leadership, Sitar Arts Center won the Washington Post Excellence in Nonprofit Management Award, and in 2014, she was selected as a class member of Leadership Greater Washington. She serves as the secretary of the Board of the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates and is on the membership committee of the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative. Ms. Dwyer holds a BA in drama from Catholic University of America. Previous careers as a performing artist and early childhood educator shape her convictions that the arts are vital for positive youth development and the opportunity gap for youth from low-income homes must be closed.
Cathy Crane Frankel is the Vice President for Exhibitions and Collections at the National Building Museum. For the last 16 years, she has provided leadership to the curatorial and collection staff members, overseeing a number of exhibitions, including Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future, Hot to Cold: An Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation and House of Cars: Innovation and the Parking Garage. She has also led the staff in the development and execution of the Museum’s popular summer installations, The BIG Maze and The BEACH. As an executive staff member, she is an active participant in the strategic planning and budgeting process for the entire institution.
Adele Robey and her late husband bought a property at 1365 H Street NE in 2001, turning it
into a small independent black box theater, the H Street Playhouse. It proved to be one of the catalysts for the explosive growthon that corridor—a commercial strip that had remained mostly boarded up since the 1968 riots. She was one of the founders of Theater Alliance at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, which then became the first resident company of the H Street Playhouse. The theater was the recipient of the Committee of 100’s Vision Award, as well as the Herrema Architectural Award for Adaptive Reuse. She has been involved in local economic development, first as a member of the H Street Merchants Association, and then as a board member of the H Street Main Street organization and member of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce. She is a recipient of the Capitol Hill Community Achievement Award. In 2012, she founded the Anacostia Playhouse with support of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. Also a freelance graphic artist, she co-founded the Voice of the Hill newspaper and has served in Capitol Hill public schools, fashioning after school programs for at-risk children. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she is the recipient of that school’s Alumni Award of Merit.
Lisa Richards Toney, Moderator
Lisa Richards Toney is currently Vice President and Chair of Strategic Planning for the Mosaic Theater Company of DC Board of Directors. She is also Co-Chair of the American Alliance of Museums Public Engagement Subcommittee, 2016 conference. Prior to these positions, Lisa served as Interim Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Before assuming the role of interim executive director, Lisa served for over three years as Deputy Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, acting as the Chief Operating Officer for the city government agency. In addition, from September 2006 until October 2010, Lisa served as the Commissions Arts Program Manager and produced over 15 major programs and special events as well as developed and managed several grant programs. She earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Theater from New York University with coursework in Arts Administration and her Bachelor’s Degree as a Presidential Scholar from Spelman College in Drama and English. Lisa Richards Toney also volunteers her professional expertise to the Advisory Board of the American University Graduate Program in Arts Management. She lives in Washington, DC with her family.