Deborah Sunya Moore named to lead Chautauqua Institution’s artistic programming
Chautauqua Institution today announced the appointment of Deborah Sunya Moore as vice president responsible for all arts programming at CHQ, effective Oct. 1, 2015. Moore succeeds Marty W. Merkley, who announced earlier this month that he will retire following the 2015 season, his 25th at CHQ.
“I am excited about the development of our arts programming at CHQ under Deborah’s leadership,” said Tom Becker, president of Chautauqua Institution. “She understands at a very high level the intersection between art and education. I believe that she will embrace this challenge in a way that is at once creative and expressive of the authentic characteristics of Chautauqua Institution.”
Moore currently serves Chautauqua Institution as associate director of programming, a position she has held since September 2013. In her new role, she will oversee all performing and visual arts presentations at the Institution, both professional and pre-professional, including the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Opera, Chautauqua Dance, Chautauqua School of Music (instrumental, piano and voice), Chautauqua Theater Company, the Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution, all popular entertainment scheduled in the Amphitheater and the Logan Chamber Music Series.
“I am thrilled to continue supporting the work of our outstanding resident, visiting and student artists who challenge us to explore the best in human values through artistic expression,” Moore said. “It is an honor to step into the role Marty has held for past 25 years. I look forward to collaborating with our artistic directors and teams to uphold the significance of the performing and visual arts at CHQ while striving to innovate and evolve our work in a way that fosters meaningful engagement on both a community and national level.”
In her time on staff at CHQ, Moore took a leading role in the Institution’s search for a new Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra music director, a process that involved in-season auditions for the eight finalists and culminated in the appointment of Rossen Milanov in October 2014. Moore, Merkley and Milanov have since worked together to plan the repertoire for his debut season this summer. Moore also was the producer for the 2014 Chautauqua inter-arts production, Go West!, working with director Andrew Borba, associate artistic director of Chautauqua Theater Company, to develop an original collaborative production featuring all of CHQ’s resident arts programs.
Previously, Moore held the positions of arts education and community engagement specialist and associate professor of percussion at the University of Trinidad and Tobago from 2010 to 2013. She was director of education and community engagement for the Louisville Orchestra from 2004 to 2009.
Moore first came to CHQ in 1996 in an appearance as an Amphitheater guest artist and has spent time here every summer since. Her husband, Brian Kushmaul, is the CSO’s principal percussionist.
A percussionist herself, Moore is also an arts educator with a long history as an advocate of performing arts programs for youth and persons with disabilities. As part of her work at CHQ, she has launched and led several arts residency programs in Chautauqua County classrooms using her training as a National Workshop Leader for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts .
This fall, Moore spearheaded two outreach initiatives in local schools: “Sing Me a Story, Play Me a Book,” using a curriculum Moore previously created, is a partnership between the Institution, Chautauqua Lake Central School and Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES through a contract with the Kennedy Center; and the Young Playwrights Program, a partnership between the Institution, Florida Studio Theatre and Chautauqua Lake and Fletcher (Jamestown) elementary schools funded by Chautauquan Georgia Court, an FST board member.
Moore was selected to be an artist in residence at the Hermitage Artist Retreat 2013-2014 and became a speaker for the U.S. Department of State in 2014, representing the United States in Trinidad as a performer and speaker for Trinidad’s 2014 Arts & Disabilities Conference. She holds a bachelor’s degree in percussion performance and an individual major, Performance and Education in Related Arts, from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and a master’s degree in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Cincinnati.
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