ArtsWatch: New Directors at D.C. Arts Commission, Solas Nua; Cézanne Restorations

Here are the latest arts moves in Washington, with news from The National Building Museum, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Arena Stage and more.  

Phillips Collection to Restore Two Cézanne Pieces 

The Phillips Collection has been awarded Bank of America’s 2023 Art Conservation Project Grant. The grant will allow the museum to conserve two paintings by the French post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne. The artist’s “Mont Sainte-Victoire” (1886-1887) and “Self-Portrait” (1878-1880) will be getting extensive treatment for the first time in almost 50 years.   

D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities Welcomes New Executive Director 

The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities announced a new executive director, Aaron Myers, earlier this summer. Myers is a renowned jazz vocalist, pianist, educator, and activist. He was nominated in February of this year after a four-month search. The D.C. Council unanimously appointed him at a May 2 legislative meeting.  

Aaron Myers is the new executive director of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.  Courtesy D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanties.

National Building Museum Announces 2023 Honor Awardee 

The National Building Museum recognized Kohler Co. and its leader, the late Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. (1939-2022) as the recipient of their 2023 Honor Award. The award was given to Kohler at the museum’s annual gala on May 24. “We are thrilled to present Kohler with the 36th annual Honor Award,” said President and Executive Director of the National Building Museum Aileen Fuchs in a press release.  

A photo from the 2022 Honor Award Gala at the National Building Museum.  Courtesy NBM.

Arena Stage Gets New Board Chair 

Potomac Law Group’s Catherine Guttman-McCabe was unanimously elected as board chair for Arena Stage. She began her tenure leading the organization on May 1, and replaces Decker Anstrom. Guttman-McCabe is in her fifth year of service to Arena Stage, having also chaired the venue’s Artistic Director Search Committee following Molly Smith’s June 2023 retirement. “[Catherine] stepped up and brought her ‘A’ game to the most important task trustees hold as their responsibility to their community,” said Arena Stage Executive Producer Edgar Dobie in a press release about Guttman-McCabe’s work on the artistic director search committee. “How terrific that her leadership now extends across our entire enterprise.”  

Catherine Guttman-McCabe was recently elected board chair for Arena Stage.  Courtesy Potomac Law.

In addition to Guttman-McCabe’s appointment, Arena Stage also announced promotions of two senior leaders, Shonali Burke and Ryan E. Merkel. Burke has been promoted to chief marketing and strategy officer and Merkel’s role expands from director of development to chief development officer.  

Ryan Merkel was also promoted at Arena Stage.  LinkedIn photo.

Solas Nua Has New Executive Director 

Solas Nua’s Board of Directors has appointed Andrew Dolan as executive director of the Irish contemporary arts organization. Dolan is an accomplished artist, producer and leader with over 15 years’ experience in professional theater. He most recently served as co-artistic director of the Red Eye Theater in Minnesota. “I am humbled and honored to join Solas Nua as executive director,” Dolan said in a press release. “I am thrilled to come to D.C. to work with Solas Nua’s board, staff and supporters to grow our platform for Irish artists.”  

Andrew Dolan has joined the Solas Nua team.  Courtesy Solas Nua.

Mosaic Theater Announces Staff Changes 

Mosaic Theater’s Director of Communications and Marketing Mike Fila announced late last month that he’ll be departing the artistic venue for a new opportunity at the Library of Congress. The interim contact for his position is Liza Lorenz, who was previously director of communications and digital strategy and director of communications and marketing for Ford’s Theatre.   

Liza Lorenz will take over for Mike Fila at Mosaic Theater. LinkedIn photo.




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