WAM Announces New Artistic Director

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LENOX, Mass. — As WAM Theatre mounts its 15th Anniversary Season, its Board of Directors announced artist-activist Genée Coreno as the company's new Artistic Director. 
 
Coreno comes to WAM from the leadership team at Every Mother Counts, and formerly held artistic roles at The Public Theater and Big Dance Theater. She will succeed Kristen van Ginhoven, WAM's co-founder and Producing Artistic Director, who has stepped down after leading the company for 14 years. Coreno will co-lead the organization with Managing Director Molly Merrihew.
 
"After a comprehensive nationwide search, we are beyond excited to have Genée Coreno join us as WAM's new Artistic Director," said WAM Theatre Board of Trustees President Toni Buckley. Buckley led the national search, alongside four other search committee members, including Board Members Carolyn Butler and Nicole Young Martin, and senior leadership team members, Merrihew and Associate Artistic Director Talya Kingston. 
 
According to a press release:
 
Genée is a theatre director and creative professional with a track record of effective non-profit management. She holds over 10 years of experience providing creative and skillful leadership to high-profile female founders, artistic directors, and artists. Past experience includes four and a half years in operations, development, and engagement at Every Mother Counts, a maternal health organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe, respectful, and equitable for everyone. Prior to Every Mother Counts, Genée was predominantly a company manager at The Public Theater and Big Dance Theater as well as an Artistic Associate for Ripe Time and supported the Marketing Team at Third Rail Projects. In addition to her full-time work, Genée founded Fringe and Fur, a theater company that creates performances that examine the way identity and fantasy are transformed by gender, violence, and environment. Fringe and Fur devised and produced five original works presented in Downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Genée has an MA in Performance Studies from NYU and a BA in Drama Studies from Purchase College. She has trained with Theater Mitu, Song of the Goat Theater, SITI Company, and New York State Theater Institute (NYSTI). Genée looks forward to making WAM her home and encountering all of the creativity the Berkshires have to offer.
 
"It is my honor to be the next Artistic Director of WAM Theatre," said Coreno. "WAM was founded with the aim to invite artists and audiences to end the oppression of girls and women– inspiring a fairer and freer world through pertinent theater-making and storytelling. Time continues to reveal the many ways racism, climate, war, politics, violence, and the economy continue to disproportionately impact outcomes for women – especially for Black, brown, Indigenous and trans women – but I am optimistic that arts organizations like WAM are powerful avenues for awareness-raising, community-building, and social justice.  As WAM's next Artistic Director, I look forward to continuing Kristen van Ginhovens vision and co-generating an ecosystem where bold and rigorous women-centered work will flourish."
 
Founder Kristen van Ginhoven shared, "I couldn't be more thrilled to pass the baton to Genée as WAM's next Artistic Director. Given her professional accomplishments and personal passions, WAM makes perfect sense as the next place she'd want to be of service in her career. As someone who has both run her own grassroots theatre company and worked at large budget innovative arts and activist institutions, I am incredibly excited for the fresh energy and vision Genée will contribute to WAM as the next Artistic Director. I look forward to welcoming her and her family to the Berkshires."
 
Coreno joins the team as WAM prepares to announce its 15th Anniversary Season, which has been curated by WAM's 2023 Artistic Team and Literary Committee.

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Zonta Club of Berkshire County Offers Scholarship

LENOX, Mass. — Applications for the 2024 Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award are now available from the Zonta Club of Berkshire County website, www.ZontaBerkshire.org.    
 
The goal of the Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award Program is to encourage young women to participate in public affairs by recognizing a young woman's commitment to the volunteer sector, evidence of volunteer leadership achievements and a dedication to the empowerment of women. 
 
Applicants are asked to reflect on their voluntary commitment to their school and to their community and the problems limiting the empowerment of women in their own country and worldwide. The Zonta International Young Women in Public Affairs Award Program looks to the young women of today to be the leaders of tomorrow. 
 
Applicants aged 16-19 studying at a high school, college or university in a Zonta district/region, or who are studying elsewhere but are citizens of a Zonta country at the time of application, are eligible to apply. Applications are due: March 15th. The Berkshire County winner will be announced by April 1  and the winning application will be forwarded on to the Zonta International Foundation for Women to complete for a $5,000 International Award. 
 
The Zonta Club of Berkshire County chartered in 1994, is an organization of Berkshire County women working together to improve the lives of girls and women locally and worldwide.  It is a not-for-profit organization that is 100 percent volunteer-run and driven.
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