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ArtsEmerson Announces Ronee Penoi as New Director of Artistic Programming

Dear members of the Emerson community: 

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ronee Penoi as Director of Artistic Programming for ArtsEmerson and welcome her to Emerson College and the City of Boston. Penoi (Laguna Pueblo/Cherokee) is a well-respected leader and producer in the American Theater and will begin her work with ArtsEmerson starting August 2. She will be ArtsEmerson’s third artistic leader, following founder Rob Orchard and Artistic Director David Dower. 

Penoi was appointed to this position following an inclusive search process that involved members of Emerson’s faculty, staff and ArtsEmerson patrons. Among those who deserve a special thanks for their involvement in the search advisory committee are Lizzie Davis (Performing Arts), Jamie Gahlon (Office of the Arts), Jacqui Lindsay (ArtsEmerson patron), with support from Kathy Eow (Office of the Arts) and Janet Pohli (Human Resources.) Thanks are also in order for the many Office of the Arts team members who participated in the search process.

I am particularly energized by Ronee’s appointment given her track record of centering artists, her artistic curiosity, and her commitment to racial justice and climate justice. These are just a few ways that she exemplifies ArtsEmerson’s shared values.

Ronee has collaborated with ArtsEmerson for many years through her most recent role as Producer at Octopus Theatricals, which collaborated to bring many boundary-pushing artists to ArtsEmerson audiences.  As the new Director of Artistic Programming, she will oversee the strategies, programs, activities, and outcomes of ArtsEmerson’s signature work in artistic and civic engagement and she will lead the Artistic Engagement and Guest Experience teams in their continued effort to build meaningful collaborations, relationships and opportunities.

As Producer with Octopus Theatricals, Penoi advanced the work of Cherokee artist DeLanna Studi (And So We Walked), Phantom Limb Company (Falling Out), Ripe Time (Sleep), Homer’s Coat (An Iliad by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson), Theatre for One, and more. She is a two-time ISPA (International Society of Performing Arts) Global Fellow, and has been an APAP (Association of Performing Arts Professionals) Leadership Fellow and TCG (Theatre Communications Group) Rising Leader of Color. Ronee is a Founding Member of The Industry Standard Group (TISG), a commercial investment and producing organization with an intentional focus on increasing the presence of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) investors and producers in the commercial producing field.

Penoi’s artistic practice and advocacy draws from her Indigenous background. Her father was enrolled with both the Cherokee Nation and Pueblo of Laguna (her mother is white, of Polish ethnicity). Her great-grandfather, Mark Penoi, attended Carlisle Indian School, and Penoi is passionate about sharing how the legacy of that traumatic boarding school experience has shaped her and other descendants’ lives.

I look forward to the wisdom, the expertise and the gravitas that she will bring to ArtsEmerson and to the campus.

Please join me in welcoming Ronee to our community,

David C. Howse
Stephen G. Langley Chair & Vice President for the Office of the Arts
Executive Director, ArtsEmerson

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