Photo: Kelly Strayhorn Theater
On Aug. 2, the Kelly Strayhorn Theater announced that executive director Janera Solomon will leave her position at the end of the year. The board of directors will conduct a search for a new executive director over the next few months. Solomon will remain at KST through December 2019.
In a press release, KST states that when Solomon joined the organization in 2008, "she stewarded the then-fledgling organization into a vibrant anchor institution in the East End, and a celebrated cultural and community hub." The press release also highlighted Solomon's accomplishments during her tenure at KST, including increasing the theater's visibility, introducing the "pay what makes you happy" ticketing model, quadrupling the theater's annual budget, and other milestones that encouraged growth at KST.
Named after Pittsburgh natives Gene Kelly and Billy Strayhorn, the theater is a hub for the arts in East Liberty, hosting innovative dance, music, and theater performances. KST also hosts community events, like dance festivals and summer camps.
"We are very thankful for her dedication these past 11 years," said board chair Yvonne Campos. "It is our priority to find the best person who will lead us. It’s our job to carry her legacy forward."
Solomon added that after her departure, she will continue the same goals. "While I have a mix of emotions as I move into this next chapter of my life, I will continue in the work that has become so important to me: supporting community anchor institutions and bringing diverse communities together through the arts," said Solomon.