The Public Theater has named Alexa Smith its new senior director of anti-racism, equity, and belonging, a newly created position that is part of the Off-Broadway company's anti-racism and Cultural Transformation Plan. Smith will officially join the company March 6, reporting to and working with Executive Director Patrick Willingham and Artistic Director Oskar Eustis.
Smith comes to the Public after serving as associate vice president for strategic innovation and special initiatives at Manhattan School of Music. During her tenure there, Smith led the school's Cultural Inclusion Initiative. She also led the charge to establish new performance requirements, including opportunities for underrepresented voices, and instituted regular town hall meetings on inclusion and equity in the arts.
“We are delighted to have Alexa Smith joining our team at The Public in this pivotal role," says Willingham. "Creating this new position has always been an integral component of our organization-wide Cultural Transformation Plan, and I’m thrilled to have Alexa on our team to amplify and contribute to this work. From her deep engagement in the arts to her wealth of experience fostering inclusive and equitable practices, her values greatly align with The Public’s and our vision for the future. We know she will be an invaluable member of our senior leadership team as we continue to build an equity-centered culture."
"I have always felt a sense of belonging while in the audience of The Public Theater and I am honored that the company has entrusted me with ensuring that feeling for all members of their community, onstage and off,” adds Smith. "The Public’s dedication to creating an anti-racist and equitable institution is exemplary. Their Cultural Transformation Plan is an innovative blueprint that most professionals in my position are tasked to create from the ground up. Walking into this role with that in place is tremendously meaningful. I can’t wait to see what we create."