April 13, 2022 Issue ArtsWatch


This month’s Arts Watch includes good news from the GALA Hispanic Theatre, news of additions at the Anacostia Playhouse and National Museum of African American History and culture, and more.

Anacostia Playhouse Welcomes New Artistic Executive Director

Stephawn Stephens has joined the Anacostia Playhouse as its new Artistic Executive Director, bringing over 30 years of experience. Stephens will be managing all day-to-day operations for the venue as well as leading fundraising programs and artistic and community engagement.

“Stephawn brings a combination of energy, leadership and creativity that will serve the Playhouse well into the future,” said Pat Martin, board chair. “We expact Stephawn to not only continue the Playhouse’s excellent programming, but to expand it to reach more members of the community.”

New Head of Advancement at National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture welcomed Adele Hixon-Day as its new head of advancement last month. Hixon-Day brings with her over a decade of experience. Before joining the NMAAHC, she was vice president of development for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“Adele’s experience in non-profit management and leadership development makes her especially suited to join the museum at this time,” said Kevin Young, the museum’s Andrew W. Mellon Director. “As a skilled professional in fundraising and philanthropy, she has experience with both the financial and visionary aspects of executing a national endowment campaign and is dedicated to leading and uplifting our equally gifted team.”

GALA Hispanic Theatre Awarded $150,000 Grant

GALA Hispanic Theatre was approved to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The theatre will receive $150,000 and use the funding to save jobs and fund day-to-day operations, health and safety supplies and more.

“We are thrilled to have been selected to receive an American Rescue Grant,” said Rebecca Medrano, executive director of the GALA Hispanic Theatre. “These funds are critical to our recovery from this devastating pandemic and will help us retain Latinx staff and support general operations.”

Smithsonian National Museum of American History Collecting Covid Artifacts

Let this be a reminder of how we are living through history — the Smithsonian National Museum of American History is continuing to document the current pandemic. Curators are considering artifacts offered through emailing inquiry@si.edu. The museum has responded to over 500 donation offers. They’re currently working on an evolution of personal protective equipment, from tennis champ Naomi Osaka’s Black Lives Matter masks to one worn to a wedding and another worn by a 2020 poll worker in New York City.

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