FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4/24/2020
The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is pleased to announce the promotion of Ms. Julienne Penza-Boone to Executive Director as of April 18, 2020 by the Center’s Board of Directors. “I am so honored to be named Executive Director of an institution that I cherish and feel so passionately about. The current times are certainly strange and uncertain, but I am so confident in our community and steadfastly believe that WHBPAC’s best days are ahead. Our goal is to make the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center the premier performing arts venue and arts education center on Long Island, while remaining firmly rooted in our community-based values,” says Ms. Penza-Boone.
A Massachusetts native, Ms. Penza-Boone joined the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center in 2008 as Arts Education Program Manager. Charged with helping to grow the Arts Education Program into a year-round Arts Academy, Ms. Penza-Boone was the architect of an after-school theatre program that has served over five hundred students ages 6 – 18 and has presented over twenty-five full-scale productions – many of which she directed. She continued to develop WHBPAC’s summer educational offerings, serving over three hundred students each year, creating original programming including Teen and Tween Theatre Troupes. Additionally, she was the co-creator of WHBPAC’s landmark creative aging program – Melodies and Memories, an original music and theatre program designed to foster the continuous development of skills and knowledge throughout the lives of older adults. The acclaimed program was the theatrical brainchild of Ms. Penza-Boone’s desire to bring together the need for creative expression with an improved quality of life for older adults.
Since becoming Education Director in 2014, she has been responsible for curating WHBPAC’s beloved School Day Performances Series – programming curriculum-connected field trip performances from around the world for students grades PK – 12. Most recently, her educational initiatives have been focused on adult arts education, including public speaking and music classes. Since October 2019, she has served as Interim Executive Director, programming WHBPAC’s Winter and Summer seasons and navigating the choppy waters of the current COVID-19 crisis. “Julienne has shown great leadership, and wonderful commitment to the theatre over the past ten years. She was our only choice to lead us through the next evolution for the theatre. Her poise in leading her very loyal staff through this difficult time has been extraordinary,” says WHBPAC Chairman of the Board, James Kuhn.
Being at the helm of the Arts Academy at WHBPAC for so many years has uniquely prepared Julienne for her current appointment – practically, she has honed her skills in strategic planning, financial management, fundraising, and programming, and ideologically, she understands and loves the Westhampton Beach community. Julienne holds a BA in Theatre and Sociology from Boston College, and an MFA in Performance and Society from Rhode Island College. She lives in Center Moriches with her husband Emmett, daughter Ryleigh, and a miniature schnauzer named Millie.
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