Please Welcome Uptown!s Second Executive Director!

The Board of Directors of Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center is pleased to welcome Catherine Friedman as the next Executive Director. “We were overwhelmed with the quality of the candidates from our nationwide search,” says Founding Board Member Tom McEvoy, “and very pleased that our top choice lives right here in our own backyard. Catherine’s experience as an Executive Director, her background in the performing arts and her passion for Uptown! is the perfect combination to help this theater grow and expand.”

Catherine has worked as Executive Director of Friends Association for Care and Protection of Children in West Chester for the last 7 years and for several other local social service organizations since 2003. She holds a Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College at Rider University and spent her early career in supportive roles for performing arts organizations including New York City Opera. No stranger to Uptown!, Catherine regularly performs as a member of one of Uptown!s seven resident companies, Opera tutti. Uniquely qualified, she is already a member of the Uptown! “family”.

Reflecting on her decision to pursue this opportunity, Catherine says she has been a huge fan of the theater since its inception. “As someone who is a performer and has a lifelong love of the arts, this was an opportunity I could not pass up. What an honor to be part of what Uptown! has become to this community.” Indeed, after moving internationally throughout her childhood, Friedman considers West Chester her “hometown” since settling here with her husband fifteen years ago. She says her new position “perfectly brings together my passions for the arts, for West Chester and for community building”.

“The job of operating a theater is as fascinating as it is complex.” says Board President Gary Green. “It was important for us to find someone with an understanding of the big picture who could work with all kinds of folks. Catherine has all the tools to run the theater as a nonprofit business, and she has the enthusiasm to do the job with heart.”

Uptown! is bustling with activity as Friedman steps into her new role on Wednesday, December 19. The Resident Theater Company is beginning their second week of “Lend Me A Tenor”, and The Jazz Cocktail Hour’s Family Night with Cartoon Christmas Trio happens this Thursday. The Board of Directors are working toward reaching end of year giving goals with the ‘McEvoy Match’ campaign, while staff and volunteers are finalizing plans for Uptown!s New Year’s Eve celebration. Retiring Director, Angela Scully will be on hand initially, to aid in a smooth transition.

For those curious to discover our new Director’s talent for singing, Catherine will be performing as Cinderella in Opera tutti’s production of the comic mini opera, “The True Story of Cinderella”, Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 2pm.