Ebony Menefield Appointed Executive Director of ALT

Menefield's appointment is effective October 1.

By: Oct. 02, 2023
Ebony Menefield Appointed Executive Director of ALT

American Lyric Theater has announced the appointment of Ebony Menefield as the company’s new Executive Director, effective October 1, 2023. Based in New York City, Ms. Menefield joins ALT’s senior leadership team to strengthen the company’s partnerships with organizations locally and nationally; to lead ALT’s fundraising initiatives; and to oversee daily operations, including the Composer Librettist Development Program. Ms. Menefield will also partner with ALT’s founder, Artistic & General Director Lawrence Edelson, and Associate Artistic Director Kelly Kuo, on long-range strategic planning with the Board of Directors.

“Ebony comes to ALT with extensive experience in opera and a deep seated commitment to education and providing opportunities for meaningful connection between artists and audiences,” said Edelson. “I have admired Ebony’s work for many years at OPERA America and at Cincinnati Opera, and I am thrilled to have her join ALT’s leadership team. Ebony’s experience, perspective, and passion will strengthen ALT as a leader in the training of opera composers, librettists and dramaturgs, and as an incubator for new works that speak to the vibrancy of contemporary American society.


Ebony Menefield, a passionate advocate for the arts and education, has dedicated her professional career to curating experiences to connect audiences, students, and communities through creative expression and storytelling. Following almost ten years with Cincinnati Public Schools, Ebony transitioned to arts administration, serving as Director of Education and Engagement with Cincinnati Opera. Building authentic relationships with artists, schools, arts & service organizations, and other community stakeholders, was central to her work in developing dynamic programs and collaborations. She designed a new collection of educational offerings, including a preschool program that connected opera to healthy eating initiatives, an after-school residency program, and choral activities for seniors. Ebony also worked with members of the development team by providing information and materials for institutional grants and individual donor recruitment. This funding allowed programs to be shared with audiences across the region. The resulting partnerships amplified the power of opera, igniting discovery and bringing people together.

Ebony furthered her work in opera as Education Manager at OPERA America. In addition to serving the Education Network of professional companies, she was administrator for the Opera Leaders of Color and Women Administrators mentorship programs. These programs connected rising opera administrators to seasoned leaders in the field. Ebony worked to provide professional development resources and spaces for cohort round tables to assist in identifying barriers and creating action plans to achieve their goals. She also managed the National Opera Teens program, collaborating with the Opera Teens Advisory Council, comprised of high school students from across North America, and the Opera Teens Task-force, a committee of opera company education and community engagement directors. This team produced virtual programming, which included artist conversations, professional development webinars, blogs and a podcast series. Ebony led the initiative to host the first in-person event for Opera Teens in New York City in 2023. She developed the framework, learning objectives, and worked closely with the executive team for donor engagement. The monies raised allowed all students and chaperones to enjoy a fully funded experience including tickets to Broadway and Lincoln Center, guest artist fees, all meals, and hotel accommodations. Ebony also contributed to the Civic Practice Grants Program, providing support in the guidelines & application review process, and by leading sessions for continuing education.

Ebony has been in awe of opera since she learned of this multidisciplinary art form as a child. The magic of bringing artists from all specialties to create a masterful work inspired her to study voice, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Bowling Green State University. She also enjoys composing choral music, crafts, and consuming documentaries. Ebony is excited to bring her perspective and experiences to ALT and hopes to nurture artist and repertoire development to contribute to a uniquely powerful American opera canon.

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