After 15 Successful Years Beryl Jolly to Step Down from the Mahaiwe

Great Barrington, Mass.— Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Executive Director Beryl Jolly has decided to step down from her position at the end of 2019, the organization announced today. Jolly has led the Mahaiwe for 15 years, overseeing the completion of the theater’s restoration and launching and leading its year-round programming seasons. She will continue to help the Mahaiwe during the leadership transition in 2020.

“It has been a privilege and joy to shepherd the Mahaiwe Performing Art Center’s growth and development over the last 15 years. During this time we completed a challenging and important restoration, established dynamic and memorable year-round programming, eliminated all debt and built our first cash reserve, and have become a vital cultural resource for diverse audiences,” said Jolly.

“It’s been a pleasure to partner with board chairs Lola Jaffe, Maggie Buchwald, Margaret Deutsch and the board as a whole. Together we’ve been courageous, responsible, and responsive to the Berkshire community. It’s also been a joy to work with the Mahaiwe’s smart, caring, and dedicated staff who keep the doors open 140 nights a year and skillfully manage the theater’s resources and communications,” Jolly continued. “I’m proud of our work. And it’s time for me to take on new challenges and adventures. The Mahaiwe is well positioned to continue to thrive and also grow in new ways. I look forward to supporting a positive transition as we each begin these new chapters.”

“Beryl’s leadership has strengthened the Mahaiwe and its role in the community, expanding programming, drawing visitors from across the region, and building a strong and talented team,” said Margaret Deutsch, Chair of the Mahaiwe Board of Trustees. “The board is appreciative of her contributions and the strong platform for future success she leaves behind. At the same time, we see this as an opportunity to continue to grow and evolve the Mahaiwe for the future.”

During Jolly’s tenure at Mahaiwe, the organization established and has achieved its ambitious mission of preserving the historic theater and becoming the leading year-round presenter of performing arts, film, arts education, and family programs for the Berkshires and neighboring communities.

Jolly arrived in Great Barrington in April 2005 and the theater kicked off its Centennial Celebration and began year-round programming in May of that year. The historic restoration of the jewel-box landmark venue was completed soon thereafter; the Mahaiwe is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • In its initial seasons, the Mahaiwe has presented and hosted over 1,500 presentations of all genres
  • Between 2005-2019, over 500,000 audience members have attended world-class live performances, international HD broadcasts, classic monthly movies, and community gatherings
  • School-time programs have welcomed over 22,000 local students from over 70 different schools across the tri-state region to enjoy live performances from international companies
  • The 2019 season boasts 11 sold-out headliner events and over 80% audience capacity overall
  • Jolly has overseen fundraising campaigns which have raised over $20 million to complete the theater’s restoration, its subsequent capital campaign to eliminate all debt and establish its first cash reserve, and support annual operating budgets
  • Over half the Mahaiwe’s audience of 40,000 people annually come from across Berkshire County and the other half from across New England, the northeast, and the country
  • The organization has grown from three full-time staff members to 11 full-time and a dozen part-time staff, with over 30 volunteers
  • Its membership base has grown from 100 people in 2005 to over 1,200 in 2019
  • The theater actively serves the local community with numerous collaborations, partnerships, and affiliations and has received widespread local, regional, and national press attention
Jolly will continue to lead the Mahaiwe as its Executive Director through December and then move into a consulting role, with a focus on assuring a smooth transition during the year ahead. The board will review organization needs and determine next steps on a search process for new executive leadership by the end of the year.

About the Mahaiwe

Located in downtown Great Barrington, Massachusetts, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is the year-round presenter of world-class music, dance, theater, classic films, Live in HD broadcasts, and arts education programs for the southern Berkshires and neighboring regions. The intimate jewel box of a theater opened in 1905. Since 2005, the performing arts center has hosted over 1,500 events and welcomed over half a million people through its doors. More than 22,000 students from 73 different schools have benefited from the Mahaiwe’s school-time performances and residencies. For more information, see www.mahaiwe.org.

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