Virginia Louloudes Steps Down from A.R.T./New York

November 11, 2020

The Executive Committee and Board of The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York) announced today that Virginia P. Louloudes has stepped down from her position as Executive Director. Risa Shoup, who was named Interim Executive Director in August 2020 when Louloudes began her leave, will now continue in the position through July 2021, an extension of 6 months. 

A national search for a new Executive Director, to begin in early 2021, will involve board, staff, member theatres and other community stakeholders as A.R.T./New York pursues a central commitment to building a more inclusive and equitable organization.  Simultaneously, A.R.T./New York is facilitating working sessions with its staff, board, and members to examine its values, programs, and internal structures through an explicit anti-racism lens. Transparent and collaborative dialogue with stakeholders is essential to A.R.T./New York’s evolution as a service organization and its ability to address the needs of a changing theatre community.

Louloudes’s tenure at A.R.T./New York began in 1991. From 1991 to 2020, membership in the institution grew from 150 to 420 theatres and the organization’s budget grew fourfold. With the guidance of staff, consultants and board members, Louloudes led development of many of A.R.T./New York's programs, including the Nancy Quinn Fund (now the Dime Community Bank Fund); the Bridge Loan Fund; the Theatre Leadership Program; South Oxford Space and Spaces@520, shared office and rehearsal spaces; and the A.R.T./New York Theatres, two state-of-the-art performance spaces on West 53rd Street and 10th Avenue. 

When Louloudes arrived in the early 1990s, national funding and service trends focused on building theatre institutions, and A.R.T./New York might have followed suit. But Louloudes had noticed a burgeoning off-off and downtown theatre community led by artist/producers and recognized that not every small organization wants—or needs—to grow into an institutional theatre. She decided to expand A.R.T./New York toward developing the organic managerial innovation of artists who start theatres in order to pursue their artistic vision and directly connect with their audience. In 1993, this decision led to the Nancy Quinn Fund for Emerging Theatres, which provides grants (often first grants), leadership training and technical assistance to theatres with budgets under $100,000. Over the decades, this attention to the smallest theatres has seeded not only a generation of resourceful, values-driven organizations of all sizes, but a transformation in our field. This has taken root in New York City, where the theatre community has grown in breadth, size and diversity to reflect and serve the city, and has become a model for communities nationwide. 

In this moment, it is especially essential that we continue to build a theatre ecosystem that is strong, resilient, and equitable. A.R.T./New York’s impact will be as great as our organization’s legacy of collective effort and advocacy, as embodied by its staff, membership and board. 


The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York is the arts service organization dedicated to supporting New York City's vibrant and diverse community of nonprofit theatres. Founded in 1972, A.R.T./New York assists over 400 member theatres in managing their theatre companies effectively so they may realize their rich artistic visions and serve their diverse audiences well and has proven a persistent and successful advocate on their behalf. Over the years, A.R.T./New York has earned a reputation as a leader in providing progressive services to our members—from shared office and rehearsal spaces to technical assistance programs for emerging theatres—which have made the organization an expert in the needs of the New York City nonprofit theatre community. A.R.T./New York supports nonprofit theatre companies in New York City by providing four core programs: Funding, Training, Space and Connections. 


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