Steven Leigh Morris Resigns as Executive Director of LA Stage Alliance


The Lemon

The Lemon

Writer


Morris' resignation letter reflects on his three years as ED and of the successes and struggles along the way.
Though there was no official announcement from LA Stage Alliance, they posted the following on their facebook page early Tuesday morning.
Dear L.A. Theater Community,
Wanted to let you know that on Oct. 29, I tendered my resignation from LA STAGE Alliance, effective Nov. 11. My aim was to wait until after the Ovation Awards nominees had been announced before making this public. (Congratulations to all the nominees.)
Short version: After three years as Executive Director, I feel I've done what I can within the confines of a complicated administrative structure. For this, and for personal reasons, I feel it's time for me to move on and turn the organization over to new leadership.
In three years, I can point to three accomplishments that I'm proud of: First, upon taking the job, in a series of community meetings, I was told that the community needed greater visibility. With the help of LA City's Department of Cultural Affairs and Butcher Bird Studios, we produced a dozen public service announcements promoting local theater, and hosted by local theater makers with name recognition. These are currently being aired on public TV station KCET.
These PSAs refer the public to a new destination website for LA (onstage.la), conceived by LA STAGE Alliance and funded by The Ahmanson Foundation. This website has now launched, and its public facing side is gorgeous, guiding residents and visitors to performances across the region, as well as to arts journalism and local stage reviews. Most of the community interacts with the site's Ovation Awards functions, and developing that side has been far more challenging. For several months, IT Manager Mark Doerr lived somewhere near the seventh circle of hell, trying to resolve the onslaught of glitches. Mark's tenacity has elevated him to somewhere between the first and second circle, as problems continue to be fixed. And he continues to work, to repair, and to rise towards the land of the living. Thank you Mark.
Finally, with the help of The Ahmanson Foundation, NPO Solutions and the Non-Profit Sustainability Initiative (NSI), LA STAGE Alliance has been leading the effort to implement a discount ticketing program for teenagers, based on Teen Tix Seattle. Such a program is vital to bring a new generation of arts-goers to the sector.
I must express my gratitude to the Board of Directors, and for the generosity of Marco Gomez and Jose Luis Valenzuela, whose vision and combined efforts have sustained LASA. Thanks also to Cj, Miriam, Tomas, Mark Seldis, Cathy Carlton; and finally, to Eric Sims and Cricket Meyers, who have been instrumental in keeping the Ovation Awards program clipping along.
The ecology for arts service organizations is even more brittle than it is for arts organizations, and Los Angeles needs a pillar organization that represents the interests of the stage community. I hope you'll continue to support LA STAGE Alliance in that role, as I will.
In the meantime, I'll be turning my professional attentions back towards teaching and to journalism which is my home, via Stage Raw which is my now gangly, pre-teen child.
I'll say more on that from the Stage Raw platform.
Keep the faith,
Steven Leigh Morris

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