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Poway OnStage Announces New Executive Director

Sharlene O'Keefe to lead non-profit that presents professional performances at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts and Arts in Education Programs world-wide.

Poway OnStage Announces New Executive Director

Poway OnStage, a dba of the Poway Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, is proud to announce the appointment of Sharlene O'Keefe to the position of Executive Director. O'Keefe assumed the role on July 1, 2022 and her duties will include overseeing the operations of the 32-year-old non-profit including programming the annual Professional Performance Series at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts and guiding the organization's Arts in Education Initiative. She fills the position held by Michael Rennie who had served as Executive Director/CEO since 2009.

"The Board of Directors is thrilled for the opportunity to work with Sharlene in her new leadership position as Executive Director. She has always had a passion for the arts and we look forward to her contributions to our Professional Performance Series and Arts in Education Initiative," said Poway OnStage Board Chair, Dr. Elaine Cofrancesco.

O'Keefe joined Poway OnStage in 2013 with a proven record of leadership in for-profit arts administration and arts education. O'Keefe brings unique blend of administrative, artistic and educational talents and expertise to the Executive Director role that will serve the organization well in the future. "I am honored and excited to be acting in this new capacity for Poway OnStage," said O'Keefe. "I look forward to serving our loyal patrons while seeking new and meaningful ways to engage our community in the arts." O'Keefe's previous roles with Poway OnStage include Director of Education and Community Engagement as well as Operations and Program Manager. She is responsible for tripling the number of subscription sales for Poway OnStage, drove the organization's annual Taste of Our Towne fundraiser, and is the architect of the organization's highly successful Virtual Field Trip program, a series that provided Arts experiences to nearly 500,000 students during the 2020 global shut-down.

Prior to joining Poway OnStage, O'Keefe owned and operated a successful multi-disciplinary arts studio that specialized in training in Dance, Drama, Music and Art. O'Keefe holds a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University and an MFA in Dance (emphasis in Education and Curriculum Development) from the University of California, Irvine. O'Keefe's multi-disciplinary background provides a unique and beneficial perspective as she leads Poway OnStage forward.

"The Arts are essential to maintaining a thriving community," O'Keefe explains. "And live performances have the unique ability to not only entertain, but to bring people together and foster greater understanding and connection."

O'Keefe will take over for Michael Rennie who announced his intent to resign earlier this year. "I am pleased to say that the current Poway OnStage staff and Board are the most creative, positive and high-functioning team ever to present talent at the PCPA. There has never been a better time to pass this baton," says Rennie.

Rennie joined Poway OnStage in 2003 as the Associate Director for Marketing and Development and was promoted to Executive Director/CEO in 2009. Under Rennie's leadership, the PCPA saw an increase in visits by high-profile touring artists such as Jose Feliciano, Kansas, Art Garfunkel and Melissa Etheridge. Rennie also included local artists in the Professional Performance Series. In particular, Back to the Garden's series of "Story Concerts" became audience favorites.

O'Keefe concludes, "I am excited to be leading this next chapter for Poway OnStage. I look forward to serving the arts community and upholding Poway OnStage's mission of Entertaining, Educating and Enriching through Powerful Live Performances."

Poway OnStage, (a dba of The Poway Center for the Performing Arts Foundation), is a 32-year-old non-profit organization. Each year, Poway OnStage presents a series of professional performing arts events including concerts, dance performances, theater productions, comedy and more at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. Additionally, Poway OnStage presents an Arts in Education Initiative designed to provide students with up-close-and-personal experiences in the Arts. The Foundation operates through a special partnership with the City of Poway and the Poway Unified School District.

For more on Poway OnStage, visit www.powayonstage.org.




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