New Year brings changes at THS!

We are just fifteen days into the New Year at Theatre Historical Society of America and we have some more exciting news for you!

First, our members have already seen our new THS Wordmark on their renewal materials but we’re now unveiling it to the general public.  This new graphic element was designed as an interim logo for marketing and public relations. 

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We hope to convene a committee to develop a new THS logo for the future. 

Second, we will be launching our newly improved website at the end of this month.  The new site will go live at precisely 12 noon on Wednesday January 30th!  I am tremendously excited about the look, feel and new features and I hope that all of you will enjoy it as well. 

Finally, we have been working diligently to restructure job assignments and tasks here at the THS Office.  We have created some new positions and hired some new staff members. 

In our newly created Development and Marketing Director position, THS was lucky to hire Janine M. Pixley.  Janine is a proud member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She has worked in the development departments of Glimmerglass Opera, in Cooperstown, NY and The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival (NY) in various roles. Artistically, she has worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as a Producing Fellow and has also worked with Arts Impact, an arts entrepreneurship program in Detroit, MI.  As an amateur photographer, her work has been published in Theatre World and various regional publications. 

Also as part of the staff reorganization, we have hired Megan Wozniak as our Office Assistant and Lead Docent in the museum.  Megan graduated from Elmhurst College with degrees in History and Psychology.  She is currently enrolled in an online Master’s program from Johns Hopkins University with a major in Museums Studies.  Megan has spent the last two years volunteering at Elmhurst Historical Museum and is excited to work with us.

I hope that you join me in welcoming both Janine and Megan to our staff here at THS.

Sadly, as we have been changing job assignments and allocations of our resources, we were only able to engage the Office Assistant on a part time basis.  Due to the reduction, Freeda Cannon was unable to continue with us at THS.  We thank her for her hard work and wish her well in future endeavors.

As we begin our forty-fourth year, we are excited to lay the foundation for a bright future as well as recognizing and honoring our past.  Thank you for your continued support.

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6 Comments

  1. wayne zimmerman

    Rick,
    Change is NOT always for the better!
    1. While you may be “tremendously excited about the look, feel and new features” of an “improved website”, I’m really not aware that there is anything wrong with the existing one.
    2. “…a new THS logo for the future.” What’s the matter with the existing logo??
    3. “…created some new positions and hired some new staff members.”
    Was there anything inadequate with the existing positions and staff??
    THS appeared to function OK over the past 35+ years.
    4. “THS was lucky to hire Janine M. Pixley.” for a newly created position. Hmmm…. Hopefully her first responsibility and duty will be to obtain funding for her “newly created position”. No funding?? Good bye Janine.
    5. “…hired Megan Wozniak as our Office Assistant and Lead Docent…”
    While I have never been to THS’s HQ, over the years I have on a number of occasions spoken by telephone with Freeda Cannon. She has alweays been pleasant and helpful. You state that “..Freeda Cannon was unable to continue with us at THS.” I’m curious. Was this Freeda’s choice??
    6. While I have not had the pleasure(?) of meeting you, I must admit that I miss very much Richard Sklenar. It appears to me that you are not interested in filling Richard’s shoes (so to speak), but actually intent in replacing them with your own boots.

    As I previously pointed out “Change is NOT always for the better!”

    ps: If all these “changes” require an increase in THS membership dues,
    there will be another “change”: my no longer being a member of THS.

  2. As President of THS for the past 10 years, i am here to say that each and every carefully considered change at THS is designed to bring our organization the national recognition it richly deserves AND ensure that THS continues to serve its mission for generations to come. Please feel free to contact me personally with any questions. Rick and the staff at our Elmhurst IL Headquarters will continue to have our full support as we move through these exciting and much needed changes!

  3. Thanks Rick & Karen for all your hard work. I am looking forward to the new website! The new staff members with great credentials also sound very important for the future of the organization.

  4. agirlnamedkylie

    What exciting news! As an employee of the Rome Capitol Theatre in Rome, NY, we have been privileged to work with, and become members of, THS over the years. I knew Richard while he was there, and met Rick at the League of Historic American Theatres this past summer. We had a great conversation of the future of the industry and what we could all do not only to survive, but to thrive. As we all know in the theatre and arts fields, stagnation can be deadly!

    Change is always difficult, and I am so proud of THS for doing what they need to to stay viable in a time where getting people to appreciate our history is more and more difficult. We treasure our historic nature and want to celebrate it as much as possible, and can’t wait to help THS show these national gems to new audiences. Anything we can do to help and spread the word, please let us know.

    I am Development Director at the Capitol, and I know firsthand how forward-thinking the hire of such a position is for any organization. Most development departments, with the time it takes to build relationships with current and prospective donors, start to show significant increases in revenue for their organizations in 3-5 years. For this reason, only the strongest, most professional organizations make these investments. I have no doubt that Janine, with her background and experience, will help THS in so many ways, and will make a big impact even sooner than the 3-year mark. Welcome to you Janine, and to Megan! We are looking forward to meeting you on this summer’s ramble.

  5. Change is difficult for everyone — “veteran” and new. I personally am very fascinated by all the new changes at THS — and am eagerly waiting for the new website and logo. The THS board and staff are to be commended for reaching out and trying to improve the organization, it’s outreach, and making the “history” part of our theatre heritage fun! (After all, aren’t theatres all about entertainment> ?) Go, THS, Go!
    …oh, and yes, I have yet to meet any of the THS staff members — but am eager to make your acquaintance “in the flesh” as well as online.
    John Faust

  6. I can not tell you how excited I am for all of these great changes that are (finally) occurring at THS! Since I became involved with the organization over a decade ago, I have always been pushing for THS to move into the 21st century and begin the difficult process of updating its imagine, logo, and accessibility. An organization is a living, breathing organism, and like all living things, must constantly adapt, change and mature to survive and thrive.

    When I was appointed to the Board five years ago, these were all ideas that I started to push for. That is not to suggest I am taking credit for any of these changes (which I am not), but just to point out the obvious.. that all of these have been very long overdue. As an independent filmmaker and video producer, I am constantly working to improve my own website, refine my company logo, and constantly updating material available to potential clients and the viewing public. The THS website has been “frozen” for many years with the same design, layout, and look, and often times I have found it not the easiest to navigate. The THS letterhead desperately needed a new design and I am so glad to see the new one. And as for the logo… well needless to say that it wouldn’t win any design awards. While sufficient back in the 70′s when it was originally designed, it desperately needs an update that is fresher, cleaner and sharper. Thank God it is finally being addressed by the new administration and board of directors.

    In the past getting access to the THS archives was like trying to enter Fort Knox. Limited hours of availability, items referenced in a card catalog, picture requests that had to go through more steps then filling out a tax return… it was difficult to say the least. I am most excited to see that the library is finally being made available on-line and the the long task of digitally scanning every file and photo is going to start paying dividends both for the organization and the membership.

    All in all these are tremendous first steps of bringing THS into the 21st Century. Congratulations to Rick and the Board for moving so boldly forward. I look forward to renewing my membership and hopefully can take part in all of these exciting and dynamic changes. As I was told in one board meeting, changing an organization is liking turning a battleship… I’m happy to see that this time around it may be more like a speed boat.

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