New Executive Director at FAWC
The Fine Arts Work Center (FAWC) recently announced Sharon Polli will serve as the nonprofit arts organization’s next executive director. She will begin her tenure on May 10, 2021.
Polli currently serves as Executive Vice President of BRIC in Brooklyn, NY, a 40+-year leading arts, cultural, and media institution in the heart of the Brooklyn Cultural District.
Polli was identified as the preferred candidate of the Work Center’s Executive Search Committee through an extensive nationwide search led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG) that began in October, 2020. The recommendation to hire Polli was enthusiastically endorsed by the members of the Search Committee and formally accepted by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees during a Special Meeting.
“The Search Committee was presented with an impressive talent pool, thanks to the efforts of ACG,” said Lynne Kortenhaus, Search Committee Chair and President of the Board of Trustees. “Sharon’s passion for the Work Center’s mission and her vision for the future stood out as a clear choice to lead FAWC. We are thrilled to welcome Sharon as the next executive director of the Fine Arts Work Center.”
“Nearly two decades ago, I first explored the thriving Provincetown artistic community and was awestruck by its vibrancy,” commented Sharon Polli. “I believe in the vital role that the Fine Arts Work Center plays in supporting emerging talent in the arts and literature, and I am extremely honored to join the outstanding team at FAWC. Through a deep listening and reflection process, I look forward to engaging everyone involved in this creative community to work together to promote equity and accountability, advance the mission of FAWC and amplify the vision and values of the community of artists and writers we serve.”
Polli has dedicated her professional career to advancing artistic voices and creating equitable opportunities for emerging and mid-career artists, performers, and media makers.
Since 2016, Polli has served in key leadership positions at BRIC, a leading cultural center and creative catalyst for the visual and performing arts, media and civic action. Through her work as Chief Revenue Strategist to Vice President of Advancement and most recently as Executive Vice President, Polli developed long-term strategies for financial support and partnerships to ensure BRIC’s continued ability to create cultural programming that is accessible and provide substantial support to artists in their efforts to develop work and reach new audiences. She drove growth in all revenue sectors (individual, foundation, government and corporate) to increase and sustain BRIC’s $15M annual budget. In 2020, she oversaw the launch of a $1M fund in response to COVID-19 to support BRIC’s pivot to virtual programs while ensuring no lay-offs in its 100+ full-time staff.
Polli is a collaborative change-maker. She worked with the Board of Directors and the Executive Staff at BRIC to transform a neglected city-owned building into BRIC’s new multidisciplinary arts center in the heart of the Brooklyn Cultural District. She played a key role in reimagining artist-centered initiatives and raised funding from leading philanthropic partners to support the growth and expansion of a multidisciplinary residency program with an annual cohort of 30 artists. She also played a pivotal role in BRIC’s commitment to building a stronger and more diverse artistic community reflective of Brooklyn by fostering conversations across disciplines, with a special focus on artists of color and underrepresented artists.
Prior to BRIC, Polli was the Deputy Executive Director of Groundswell, New York’s leading community public art organization. During her tenure from 2014-2016, Polli was responsible for strengthening the operations and systems to support a growing $2M budget and expanded 14-member staff. She ensured the implementation of the organization’s social justice impact model engaging more than 1,000 youth and 50 community-based partners. She was instrumental in the participatory process to develop an organization-wide strategic plan and produced videos and educational guides in partnership with PBS to elevate youth perspectives on street harassment and the complex relationship between police and young men of color.
At both BRIC and at Groundswell, Polli held earlier positions as Director of Development, as well as Marketing and Communications. She launched a $5M fundraising campaign for BRIC House to create its first reserve fund and an artistic growth fund to support programming initiatives.
Polli’s 20-year career has also included being editor of CreateNYC, New York City’s first ever citywide cultural plan. Through a public engagement process that reached 200,000 participants, Polli witnessed first-hand the impact of issues of equity and inclusion, access to artists live/work space, and neighborhood preservation. She has been an Executive Committee Board member of the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance and collaborated with organizations such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Mark Morris Dance Group, Theatre for a New Audience, and The Center for Fiction to develop neighborhood-wide strategies to support New York City cultural workers and artists in the face of increased pressures from gentrification, the pandemic and the economic recession. Polli is a Coro Leadership New York alumni and participant in intensive training programs at the New York City Cultural Advocacy and Equity Program and the American Express Leadership Academy/Center for Creative Leadership.
Polli is co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, an organization which partners with communities fighting against oppression to inspire transformative action through theater. She is a graduate of Carleton College.
“We are delighted to welcome Sharon to the Fine Arts Work Center and look forward to having such an accomplished and engaging leader to guide FAWC through this next chapter,” says Interim Executive Director Margaret Murphy.
Outer Cape Haiku Contest
Help celebrate National Poetry Month by testing your skill at creating your own haiku for the Provincetown Public Library’s first annual Outer Cape Haiku Contest.
To participate, submit your haiku (a short poem arranged in three lines of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables respectively) to [email protected] or drop off at the Library’s Center Street pick-up bin by Monday, April 19.
Submissions must be from Outer Cape community members. Poems will be evaluated without the author’s name attached by a panel of three local judges. Winners will be announced and “published” on the Library’s website and social media accounts during the week of April 26. Prizes will be given for winners in each age group.
Have some fun and start writing!
Year-Round Provincetown Pitch Contest Opens
The “Year Round Provincetown” Pitch contest is co-hosted by Provincetown Commons and EforAll Cape Cod, in partnership with the Town of Provincetown and Entrepreneurs Forever, and underwritten by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts EOHED Urban Agenda grant. This themed pitch contest invites locals to pitch all business ideas with special emphasis on ideas for businesses and organizations headquartered or operating in the Town of Provincetown.
EforAll Pitch Contests are lively events, currently being held virtually, that offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their business idea to a friendly audience and receive valuable feedback from experienced judges. Business ideas across a wide range of industries are encouraged!
A total of four cash prizes will be given out. The deadline to apply is April 19, 12 p.m. and the event, which is virtual this year, will happen on Wednesday, April 28 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
As retirees and second home owners buy up housing stock, the local Cape Cod workforce struggles to bridge the housing-wage gap, often living in seasonal rentals and struggling to find affordable housing during peak summer months. Cape residents aged 25-44 have declined significantly as many cannot afford to live on the Cape with income created from available jobs. The Cape Cod chapter of EforAll opened its doors in 2018 to help bridge this housing-wage gap and has already supported entrepreneurs in 15 Cape communities.