DM Playhouse Names Nikki Syverson Director of Development

The Des Moines Community Playhouse has hired local fundraising and events expert Nikki Syverson to help fuel the organization's growing programming. Syverson will take on the role of director of development beginning Aug. 1, 2014.

In her new role, Syverson will work with Playhouse executive director John Viars and managing director Rod McCullough to craft an institutional development plan that will ensure sustainability and growth.

"The Playhouse is poised for continued success due to another record-breaking year of ticket sales and the opening of a beautiful new lobby," said Syverson. "I'm looking forward to building on this momentum and collaborating with the community in order to share the organization's story with an even wider audience."

The Des Moines Community Playhouse will turn 100-years-old in 2019, so long-range strategic planning is a priority. "Nikki has a solid track record of building collaboration and growing organizations like the Des Moines Symphony and Winefest," said Viars. "She is the ideal person to help us craft a strategic plan that guarantees our metro will have quality community theatre and educational programing for another 100 years."

Syverson's longstanding love of community theatre prompted this career move. At the age of 10, she began taking classes and participating in camps at the Topeka Civic Theatre & Academy. She went on to perform in productions throughout high school. Syverson has been an active Playhouse volunteer since 2008. She and her husband, Jay, are serving as co-chairs for the annual Hollywood Halloween fundraising event with fellow Playhouse enthusiasts Bill and Erin Bemis.

For the past three years, Syverson has served as event director for the Winefest Des Moines Foundation. Under her leadership, the organization has increased earned revenue by 30 percent. Prior to that, Nikki honed her development skills while serving as the director of donor relations and Events for the Des Moines Symphony from 2005 to 2011. In that role, Syverson oversaw the large-scale Yankee Doodle Pops event on the Capitol grounds, as well as the Pops Viewing Party fundraising event on the roof of the State Historical Museum. She received a bachelor's degree in public relations from Drake University.

The Des Moines Community Playhouse is Iowa's oldest and largest producing theatre. Located on 42nd Street exit of I-235, the theatre has presented a full season of shows since 1919. The Playhouse also offers a wide variety of educational experiences including classes for ages 4 to adult, theatre trips and onstage/backstage volunteer opportunities.

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