Mahaiwe Appoints Janis Martinson Acting Executive Director

Great Barrington, Mass.— The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Janis Martinson as acting executive director. Martinson has served as the theater’s director of advancement since July 2017. She will assume her new position on January 1, 2020. Beryl Jolly, the Mahaiwe’s longtime executive director, is stepping down at the end of next month.

“I am incredibly gratified that the Mahaiwe is fortunate to have such an outstanding team that is both skilled and mission-driven. Janis offers the right mix of knowledge of the Mahaiwe and its operations, relationships with the local community, and ability to think both courageously and creatively,” said Mahaiwe Board Chair Margaret Deutsch. “The Mahaiwe Board joins me in sharing my confidence that Janis can assume this new expanded role in a way that assures that the Mahaiwe will continue to succeed and additionally pursue new endeavors for the future.”

Prior to the Mahaiwe, Martinson served as vice-president of institutional advancement at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, where she led university fundraising and alumni and donor relations, served on the President’s Cabinet, and secured funding for a significant expansion in arts instruction facilities. She also spent 17 years as chief advancement officer at Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, MA, where she led two capital campaigns to fund campus construction and to grow endowment, served on the senior administration, staffed board committees, developed volunteer cohorts, and oversaw events and communications. She has raised nearly $100 million over her decades in fundraising for educational and performing arts organizations. She earned a BA in English with a minor in Theater and Dance from Princeton University and an MBA from U-Mass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management.  She is Clerk of the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, and has served on the boards of The National Coalition of Girls Schools and Berkshire South Regional Community Center.

“It is an honor to be given this opportunity to carry on the rich tradition of bringing world-class performing arts to the stage and screen of the beautiful and historic Mahaiwe theater. I could not be more delighted to step into a deeper role with the Mahaiwe’s artists, audiences, non-profit partners, Board, and volunteers, and feel indebted to Board Chair Margaret Deutsch and the directors for entrusting me with the leadership of this local treasure; grateful to Lola Jaffe for the brilliance of her enduring founding vision; and thankful for all Executive Director Beryl Jolly has done to build the strong institution she is leaving in my hands,” said Martinson.

“I look forward to working closely with Beryl as she completes her tenure this year and to calling on her as an advisor in the coming year,” Martinson continued. “In working to maintain the high artistic standards, breadth of programming, and warmly welcoming culture that audiences have come to expect of the Mahaiwe, I will draw on the wisdom of our Board and the deep expertise of Director of Finance and Administration Karin Watkins, Director of Production and Preservation Tristan Wilson, and the rest of the phenomenal Mahaiwe team. As I guide the Mahaiwe into the 15th anniversary season in 2020, it gives me great joy to think that every time we open our doors for a show, we are providing extraordinary experiences that lift hearts and elevate minds.”

“I was delighted to hire Janis Martinson as the Mahaiwe’s director of advancement two and a half years ago and appreciate her commitment to the theater’s core mission and values. I look forward to partnering with her, the board, and staff on this milestone transition to a new chapter for the organization,” said Jolly.

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

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