“Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to that web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together. All things connect.”
~ Chief Seattle
For five years, as director of Laura’s Center for the Arts and the Arts & Education Department at the South Shore YMCA, I built and managed an annual budget of $250,000, supervising a team of 20 staff, volunteers, and interns in programming for all ages, identities, and abilities. In this role, I created strategic plans aligning our mission with the support of donors. I strengthened our presence in the community through partnerships with the following neighboring organizations:
I also led the strategic planning, creation, and implementation of the Digital Media Center with the goal of serving adults and individuals with diverse abilities and their families. I also developed strategies for bolstering the venue rental program, including creating and negotiating contracts, as well as providing onsite supervision, production support, event design, and vendor and client communications.
As co-executive director of the Riverside Theatre Works School and Performance Center, I revitalized the organization's vision and brand. I designed the production season and restructured the training program for theatre, dance, and vocal performance.
As director and instructor at Westwood Recreation Center, I created and established a year round musical theatre program for youth and the vacation and summer camp season that served over 200 youth annually. I created and led a visual arts program for youth and adults in watercolor and mixed media.
For eight years, I served as an arts ambassador to the Da Vinci Foundation where I developed strategic plans based on my experience as an arts educator and curriculum developer. And as a delegate to 1791 Delegates, I currently develop curricula and strategic plans to educate the public about the moral issues of our time.
Seeing the untapped potential of children and youth at ArtsCamp, the summer camp program at Laura’s Center for the Arts, I utilized my entrepreneurial skills to grow the program steadily from 11 summer camps to 26 camps over the course of four years. I expanded the programs and staffing to include theatre design & technology (scenic, costume, and prop design), culinary arts, digital media arts (film & photography), and literary arts, to build upon the existing musical theatre and visual arts programming.
In seeking to establish arts programming at Westwood Recreation Department, I developed from scratch a new musical theatre and creative dramatics program for youth ages 5 to 16. Programming increased to include summer camps in the arts, and I continued to adapt children’s literature into new musicals and led the rehearsal, production, and design process. I also created and implemented a new apprenticeship program for youth seeking community service and teaching experience. I supervised and evaluated these counselors-in-training as well as created a year-long curriculum for their professional development.
I was invited by the Publick Theatre's artistic and business team to create, develop, and execute The Young Company, an educational arm to the professional summer theatre company. As the director of education for the Publick Theatre I communicated with various community partners, families, schools, and organizations to devise a mentoring program for teens in classical outdoor Shakespearean performance.
As co-artistic director and founding member of The Other Theatre, an experimental theatre company, we created three seasons of original work as well as reimagined interpretations of Shakespeare and other classics.
In direct response to recurring violence in Boston, I devised a new curriculum called Youth in Action to facilitate a conversation with the Haitian community in Mattapan and Dorchester. I worked with teen victims to create original work that represented their experiences of gang violence. We toured Boston communities promoting non-violence with youth audiences.
As co-executive director of Riverside Theatre Works, I wrote and directed three original musicals. This increased the visibility and engagement of the company as well as provided a new wave of performers the opportunity to serve the Boston community.
For five years as director of the Laura’s Center for the Arts and Arts & Education Department at the South Shore YMCA, I created from scratch a distinct branding and communication plan for the center’s artistic and rental programs. I also designed and managed the digital marquee and the social media for the center and oversaw the internal communications.
For eight years as the administrative assistant for the Department of Performing Arts at Emerson College, I served as the communication liaison with all departments within the College, prospective students and parents, external clients and guest artists. I generated daily, weekly, and monthly e-newsletters on behalf of the Department Chair that was distributed to 600 undergraduate and graduate students, 125 faculty, and 12 staff. I managed the year round execution of space requests and events as well as oversaw the production of various departmental publications. I served as the facilitator and contact with candidates for faculty and staff searches.
For five years as community relations coordinator at the Boch Center-Wang Theatre, I served as the liaison to the following cultural partners: Boston Children’s Museum, the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, Zoo New England, and the Museum of Fine Arts. I also oversaw and implemented an outreach program for the Shubert Theatre and Wang Theatres by engaging local community partners, such as Boys and Girls Clubs, AIDS Action, YMCAs, and Saint Francis House.
As director of education for Art Inspires Me, formerly Broadway Experience, I currently ensure that the marketing and design aligns with the mission of the organization.
Throughout my twenty-five years of providing direction to various organizations, I worked with diverse stakeholders to achieve goals we could not have done alone. This required me to raise new funds, maintain relationships with existing donors, and to diversify our revenue streams. For example, I built and managed an annual budget of $250,000 at Laura’s Center for the Arts and worked with the development office at the YMCA to expand the donor pool to programmatic stakeholders. I managed a $100,000 grant by Mellon Bank awarded to the Wang Center for the Teen Ambassador Program that I conceptualized and implemented. As co-artistic director and founding member of The Other Theatre, I organized income-generating events. In all these roles, I prepared donor reports to measure the impact of the programs I directed. I am confident each individual's investment contributed to the legacy we were all responsible in preserving.
One of the constant roles that I have played throughout the organizations that I have served has been as an asset manager. Meaning, I lead teams to preserve and tend to the facilities that housed us and always left the space better than we found it. For example, as director of Laura’s Center for the Arts, I was responsible for daily operations, accessibility, safety, and management of the state-0f-the-art performance venue, the outdoor amphitheater, the arts gallery, the Digital Media Center, and the studio and rehearsal spaces. In managing the facilities and grounds, I was responsible for the safety and care of the theatrical equipment, such as the audio, lighting, and rigging inventory. I created the strategic plan and acted as the project manager for capital improvements including the oversight of the installation of the Digital Media Center, the professional dance floor throughout the facility, and stage. As co-executive director of Riverside Theatre Works I was instrumental in revitalizing and preserving facilities at French’s Opera House to support the events, productions, and training programs.
I am passionate about building purpose-driven teams. In utilizing my expertise as a strategist, catalyst, and a steward of organizations, I help individuals understand how their unique gifts contribute to the larger whole. For instance, for twenty-five years I have led production teams consisting of highly skilled professionals, volunteers, and students to achieve specific goals and to meet challenging timetables. I am known for ensuring that every individual’s skills and talents are honored and valued. As a facilitator, I tend to the group’s communications and create a mood that is inspired and engaging. I have learned that my primary goal is to create a healthy environment in which people of all ages, identities, and abilities can thrive.
Diversity and inclusion are two core values that motivate me as a leader. I am committed to creating new opportunities for people from historically marginalized groups. In all of my programming, I am committed to creating inclusive, multicultural spaces whereby all people experience first-hand the transformational power of community. I am known for creating an impenetrable fabric of trust to provide historically marginalized groups a space where people of all ages, identities, and abilities know they can be heard, that they matter, and that they belong.
I take seriously my role as a mentor of young leaders for the simple fact that I have been the recipient of unconditional support from my own mother and countless mentors. In caring for now two generations of young people, I have learned that my character is my greatest influence on them, just as my mentors have left a lasting impact on me with their kindness, resilience, and strength. As an arts educator, I am deeply committed to embodying the belief that every encounter, big and small, is a teachable moment whereby we as individuals and as a collective grow as artists and as human beings.
“SiouxSanna is a committed, caring and dedicated employee. She has grown the Arts & Education department at the South Shore YMCA during her tenure with her most significant accomplishment coming in our Summer Arts Day camp programming. This program has grown incrementally over the past four years in enrollment and financially by more than 55%.”
~ Dan Berry, Executive Director,
South Shore YMCA
“SiouxSanna is a leader who focuses on producing quality programming, is detail-oriented and mission-driven. She has built a department staff team that values providing a high-quality experience for all involved. She provides good coaching to her staff team and handles conflict competently and is a true professional in her field.”
~ Dan Berry, Executive Director,
South Shore YMCA
“I was not only impressed with SiouxSanna’s background, her knowledge of the performing arts and overall organizational skills but more importantly, the vision she had for expanding an outreach program. She has grown both the Center’s theatrical and musical programs and opened up new avenues for the public and students. We all have been blessed by her commitment, her excitement and her vision.”
~ Stuart Fultz, Manager
The Olde Kids Jazz Big Band Orchestra