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Sharing News of a Leadership Transition

Dear Emerson community,

I am writing to share exciting, and bittersweet, news about David C. Howse, Emerson’s Vice President of the Office of the Arts, Executive Director of ArtsEmerson, and Special Advisor to the President for Strategy and the Arts. David is departing Emerson at the end of November to become the next President of the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco. While we will greatly miss David’s presence at Emerson, we are delighted for him and this exciting new opportunity, and proud of his many accomplishments. The College will announce plans for interim leadership and a forthcoming search for permanent leadership in the coming days.

Since 2015, under David’s leadership, ArtsEmerson has become the leading presenter of contemporary world theatre in Boston and one of the leading arts organizations within the city. This work has advanced our aim of leveraging the arts for civic transformation and bridging communities in an ever-divided society. David’s countless contributions to the betterment of the College have included leading the creation and curation of artistic performance at the UnCommon Stage on the Boston Common, and taking on the interim role of Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

David joined Emerson in 2015 as the Associate Vice President for the Office of the Arts and Managing Director for both ArtsEmerson and the Office of the Arts. In September 2020, he was named Vice President of the Office of the Arts and ArtsEmerson’s Executive Director. Prior to his service to Emerson, he was the longtime executive director of the Boston Children’s Chorus, a nationally recognized youth arts organization committed to uniting the city’s diverse communities through the power of their voices. Throughout his career, David has made his mark on the City of Boston, using his voice and work to champion the arts’ role in shaping a more just and connected city.

David has been a passionate, valued, and impactful member of the College’s leadership team since his arrival, and I am personally grateful for his leadership and support during our short time working together. Please join me in thanking David for his exceptional work at Emerson College and congratulating him on his new and exciting opportunity as President of CCA.


Jay M. Bernhardt

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