HERE To Be Led By Three Co-Directors in New Leadership Structure

Each Co-Director will lead different functions of the organization, leveraging their individual passions and skills to best serve HERE’s team as a whole.

By: Feb. 26, 2024
HERE To Be Led By Three Co-Directors in New Leadership Structure
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HERE has unveiled a new leadership structure where the boundary pushing organization will be led by three Co-Directors. Each Co-Director will be essential to the artistic vision of HERE through the curation and support of HERE artists, and through their own artistic work. Each Co-Director will also lead different functions of the organization, leveraging their individual passions and skills to best serve HERE’s team as a whole.

HERE’s Board of Directors has promoted Amanda Szeglowski as the first of three HERE Co-Directors to make up the new leadership model. Szeglowski has served the organization for 13 years and was awarded a three-year residency in the prestigious HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP) in 2014 through which HERE commissioned, developed, and produced her iconic work, Stairway to Stardom. Prior to becoming Co-Director, Szeglowski served as both the Associate Artistic Director and Marketing Director, playing key roles in all programmatic, curatorial, and marketing initiatives for the organization. Highlights of Szeglowski’s contributions include guiding the selection panel for the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP); conceptualizing, launching, and curating URHERE, a virtual platform and third stage for HERE’s digital native, outdoor, archival and other non-traditional performances; and serving as Creative Producer for stand out HERE productions including Grace Galu and Baba Israel’s Cannabis! A Viper Vaudeville (HARP), Gelsey Bell’s mɔɹnɪŋ [morning//mourning](PROTOTYPE), and Maiko Kikuchi and Spencer Lott’s 9,000 Paper Balloons (Dream Music Puppetry). 

“Amanda not only carries 13 years of experience and institutional knowledge into her new role as Co-Director of HERE, but is an intrinsic strategic thinker and creative visionary that embodies the artist-centered values that are so important to HERE’s identity and mission.” remarked HERE Board Chair, Jennifer Suh Whitfield

Amanda Szeglowski remarked, “I have always loved the sheer diversity of art that embodies HERE and the electrifying feeling of, ‘what did I just witness?!’ that I have reveled in after countless HERE experiences. I am thrilled that I will be in a position to seek out, discover, and share more of these kinds of works with our audiences. I understand that each artist’s situation is unique and continuously evolving. HERE, and especially our Resident Artist Program, HARP, is dedicated to providing long-term support for artistic development. In order to do that effectively in today’s world, we need to be able to meet artists where they are and adapt our programs as their needs grow and change. I’m eager to join my Co-Directors in leading this trailblazing organization, whose courage and influence has shaped the field for three decades. Together, we will work to continue HERE’s legacy of always pushing forward.”

HERE’s Transition Committee, full board, industry advisors and experts are working together with consultants Doug Clayton, Calida Jones, and Rebecca Novick of Creative Evolutions to simultaneously launch a national search for two Co-Directors who will complement Szeglowski’s unique skills. The goal of the Transition Committee is to have our complete team of three Co-Directors selected by June 2024. The preferred application period runs through March 29, with full information provided at www.CreativeEvolutions.com/HERE. The hiring process will be inclusive of HERE’s board, staff, and HARP artists, and will include tools reflective of HERE’s values like compensating candidates and an embrace of new ideas and approaches brought by the candidates themselves.

In many ways, HERE’s new leadership model echoes the founding of the organization over 30 years ago. In 1993, four artists, Barbara Busackino, Tim Maner, Kristin Marting, and Randy Rollison, co-founded HERE as a vibrant and welcoming  community that delights in supporting and launching a variety of artists with unique perspectives. HERE started with the simple idea that boundary pushing hybrid artists can best realize their visions if they are invited into a creative home that offers flexible resources to match their unlimited imaginations. That vision and artist-centered mission has continued under Marting who is stepping down this June from her role as Founding Artistic Director to make room for a new generation of leadership. Marting is being honored for her extraordinary service and dedication to HERE at the Gala on June 3, 2024 at HERE. 

Board Chair Jennifer Suh Whitfield remarked, “The announcement of Amanda’s promotion to Co-Director and the beginning of a national search for two other Co-Directors to complete the triumvirate of future leadership at HERE, is a result of deliberate succession planning and strategic work that was carried out by HERE's community of incoming and outgoing leadership, board, staff, artists and partners. Eight months ago, the Board of Directors formed a Strategic Planning Committee that began work with Creative Evolutions to position HERE for the transition from a founder-led organization to an organization with a dynamic shared-leadership model. This invaluable process propelled by HERE's progressive values and desire to empower diverse perspectives through collaborative work and intentional relationship building has all stakeholders informed, engaged, aligned and excited for the next phase of hiring and providing support for new leadership.”

HERE’s 30th anniversary season opened on September 12, 2023 with the world premiere of Normandy Sherwood’s Psychic Self Defense, which Laura Collins-Hughes in The New York Times called “a primal dreamscape of a show… Playful, silly, teasing, bizarre, this is a work so thrillingly human-made, from so deep in the infinite strangeness of the human mind, that its maverick creativity seems out of reach of the artificial.”

The 30th anniversary season continued with The New York Times Critics Pick production of Terce: A Practical Breviary by the award-winning composer Heather Christian. “I’m not sure what faith she’s selling, but I’m a sucker for the way it sounds,” declared chief theater critic Jesse Green who added, “And it’s more of a spectacle than a service. The music, too, is idiosyncratic: For 60 minutes, plainsong, gospel, electronica, soul and the New Orleans funk of Christian’s upbringing layer into each other like atmospheric thermals. You ride them, completely trusting, with no idea where you’re headed.”

Next up at HERE is the latest edition of Puppetopia, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of HERE’s Dream Music Puppetry Program. Running February 27 – March 10, this two week festival features new puppet theater from Chile, London, Maryland, and New York. HERE’s 30th anniversary season concludes May 15 - June 9 with Nia O. Witherspoon’s Priestess of Twerk: A Black Femme Temple + Wisdom which merges African traditional religious approaches to healing and Black feminist theologies to both envision and enact a more evolved world through embodied experiences.

Please visit www.HERE.org for some information.

More About Amanda Szeglowski

Amanda Szeglowski (she/her) is a New York City-based writer, director, and choreographer who for 13 years has called HERE home, both artistically and professionally. An alumna of the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP), through which HERE commissioned, developed, and produced her iconic work, Stairway to Stardom, Amanda is Founder and Artistic Director of cakeface, an all-women, contemporary American dance-theatre company. Breaking the mold since 2008, cakeface makes darkly humorous works about human existence. 

Honored with “Outstanding Production” by the Bessies New York Dance & Performance Awards (2020) for her work, this is now, and now, and now., Amanda was one of six artists selected for the inaugural Baryshnikov Arts Center Open Residency (2022). She is a recipient of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation's Women Playwrights Commissioning program, and other additional awards of note, including two National Performance Network (NPN) grants, a Brooklyn Arts Council grant, and a Marble House Project Residency. cakefaceart.com 

Prior to becoming Co-Director at HERE, Amanda served as both the Associate Artistic Director and Marketing Director, playing a key role in all programmatic, curatorial, and marketing initiatives for the organization. She has guided the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP) selection panel and supported HARP artists throughout their three-year residencies including creative producing many of their productions. She has also overseen HERE’s curated rental program, SubletSeries, and served as the Marketing Director for PROTOTYPE, the premier global festival of opera-theatre and music-theatre in New York City, from its inception in 2013 for seven years through its development into an “utterly essential” festival. (The New York Times). 

Amanda is an alumna of the University of South Florida, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in Dance and a minor in Business Administration. A working-artist mom of two, she is a champion of parent/caregiving-artists.
 





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