Buffalo, NY ( April 3, 2018) – Michael G. Murphy, President of Shea’s Performing Arts Center,today announced the appointment of Thembi Duncan as Director of Arts Engagement and Education. Formerly Creative Programs Director at Young Playwrights’ Theater in Washington DC, she will manage the arts engagement and education programming across Shea’s Buffalo Theatre, Shea’s 710 Theatre, and Shea’s Smith Theatre, while developing collaborative projectsthat are responsive to and inclusive of the needs and interests of area schools and the diverse communities of Western New York.
Mr. Murphy said, “The Director of Arts Engagement and Education is a new position at Shea’s which will allow us to develop and implement fresh initiatives as well as expand upon the incredible variety of educational and community programming that we’ve fostered for many years. Through these efforts, Shea’s will create important opportunities that will further enrich the lives of our Western New York constituency. Thembi’s impressive passion for fostering community engagement makes her an ideal visionary leader for Shea’s.”
“After building a nearly 20-year career in the Washington DC arts community, I’m excited to connect to the rich cultural legacy of Buffalo and contribute to the future of arts and culture in Western New York. This new position reflects Shea’s commitment to increasing exposure to the performing arts, and I’m eager to begin building relationships across the region; working with schools and diverse organizations to design inclusive arts engagement programs for the community and contributing to the vision” said Ms. Duncan.
Prior to her employment at Young Playwrights’ Theater, Thembi worked in various theatre practitioner roles responsible for directing, teaching, producing, writing and acting. She graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with her B.A. in Theatre, and attended The George Washington University for Radio and Television Production. During her time in DC she has been actively involved with the Ford’s Theatre Society, African Continuum Theatre Company and Abraham Lincoln Oratory Fellows. An influential and respected leader in the Washington DC performing arts community with a history of employing artistic strategies toward social justice, she will be a dynamic addition to Shea’s PAC leadership team.