Catching up on Near West Theatre staff and family news…
A memorial service for the mother of Executive Director Stephanie Morrison-Hrbek, the Rev. Eleanor Morrison, was held April 26. Eleanor died Feb. 12 in East Lansing, Mich. She was 92. An obituary is here. Eleanor played many important roles in the lives of Stephanie, her siblings and countless others. She and Stephanie’s late father, the Rev. Truman Morrison, had a particular influence on Stephanie’s artistic development, as explained in this Cleveland Arts Prize video. The memorial service was at Edgewood United Church of Christ, East Lansing, co-founded by Eleanor and Truman.
NWT welcomed two new staff members in April: Joseph Castellano, Director of Development, and Amy Clausen, part-time Office Specialist.
Joe arrives with extensive experience in arts management. With major talent agencies and through his own business, Castellano Artists LLC, he has worked with conductors, instrumentalists and composers in all matters of their daily artistic lives, from long-term strategic planning to monitoring finances and handling logistics. He has also worked with touring productions, overseeing more than 50 performances throughout the United States and in eight other countries. After living and working in New York City and San Francisco, he arrived in Cleveland in 2013, when his partner was appointed Director of Artistic Planning with the Cleveland Orchestra. A native of Verona, N.J., Joe holds a degree in communications from Iona College.
Amy recently switched to the administrative side of nonprofit work after seven years in camp work with children with disabilities and as a children’s bereavement counselor. St. Edward’s High School and Ohio City, Inc., are among the nonprofits that have benefited from her administrative skills. She holds a B.A.in psychology and computer applications and a master’s degree in nonprofit administration, both from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and a Master of Social Work degree from Case Western Reserve University. She’s an active athlete at Two Ravens Fencing Club, where she also lends her administrative and marketing expertise.
Lindsay Doerr, Development Director at Near West Theatre since September 2010, left Jan. 17 to join Chicago-based CCS Fundraising Consulting. Among Lindsay’s many gifts to NWT’s fundraising work: a remarkably organized and detailed approach to the extensive calendar of grant applications and reports that are important sources of support for Near West Theatre’s art and mission … strong leadership in our annual winter Benefit, and in our first two experiences as the recipient of funds raised at an August event at the Barrington Golf Club in Aurora, Ohio … helpful contributions to the day-to-day financial, human-resources and front-of-house aspects of our work … and a cheery, can-do attitude toward any task the office team needed to tackle.
Artistic Director Bob Navis Jr. and longtime partner Tony Saar were married Jan. 24 at the Selby Hotel in Toronto, where they had first met on that same date in 1997.
Two former NWT staffers who still work on our e-newsletter, The Near West Circle, have each given birth to daughters. Circle writer Julie Cajigas and Israel Cajigas welcomed Hazel Josephine Cajigas on Dec. 7, 2013. Circle designer Sara Radak and Christopher Radak are parents of Nora Rebecca Radak, born Jan. 22, 2014.