Moss Arts Center Names Margaret Lawrence as New Director of Programming
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Margaret Lawrence has been named the director of programming for the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech and will lead the center’s performance season planning, integrating the many unique elements of programming, including community engagement and student learning, with a focus on diverse voices and meaningful experiences.
An award-winning arts administrator and performance curator with a strong track record of organizing and presenting culturally-inclusive arts projects, Lawrence comes to the Moss Arts Center after serving as the director of programming for Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center for the Arts for 23 years.
Lawrence brings extensive experience supporting a mission-driven, multidisciplinary university performing arts program with a focus on diverse and world-class offerings. At the Hopkins Center, she curated a dynamic program of national and international artists that served both the Dartmouth campus and its surrounding communities, led commissioning efforts, and secured significant national funding for program initiatives.
“We’re extremely excited to welcome Margaret to Blacksburg to lead our programming team,” said Ruth Waalkes, executive director of the Moss Arts Center and Virginia Tech’s associate provost for the arts. “As a colleague of Margaret’s over the years, I have admired her work and always looked to ‘the Hop’ as a significant benchmark program. I look forward to working closely with her in this new position for the Moss Arts Center, to continue building on our successes and to increase our impact on all the communities we serve.”
Lawrence served as a member of the Hopkins Center’s senior leadership team, oversaw scheduling for two performing arts venues offering more than 300 events each year, and collaborated with faculty, students, community members, and organizational partners to develop innovative programming connecting academic and community audiences, introducing national and international emerging artists, and offering opportunities for deep curricular engagement.
Lawrence established artist residencies and developed programs that bring artistic experiences to places beyond the arts and humanities departments, including the Curricular Connections program, which identifies programmatic connections with Dartmouth curriculum and encourages faculty to integrate arts events into their coursework. The program engaged approximately 25 academic departments and between 60 and 70 professors each year.
Her Class Divide Project, a groundbreaking, multi-genre initiative exploring social and economic class, resulted in collaborations with many of Dartmouth’s research centers, the development of new curricular approaches, and multi-year funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She also created STEMArts, a commissioning program embedding emerging music composers with university science and engineering departments that is fueled by the inspiring power of interdisciplinary discovery.
“I’m thrilled to join the Moss Arts Center at this exciting moment in its trajectory,” says Lawrence. “With the Center’s talented and inspired team, it increasingly plays a key role at the heart of one of the most forward-thinking universities in the country. So many rich, profound experiences for the Virginia Tech community are taking place, and I look forward to imagining the next artistic chapter together.”
In 2015, Lawrence received the William Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP). The award is presented each year to an individual or organization for the quality, innovation, and vision of program design, audience building, and community involvement efforts.
Lawrence has also served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and was a member of the board of directors for APAP for nine years. She has served as an international delegate to arts assemblies in over 15 countries and regularly collaborates with other arts presenters.
Prior to joining the Hopkins Center, Lawrence worked for six years at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, Oregon. She received a double bachelor’s degree in anthropology and humanities from the University of California, Berkeley.
Lawrence will begin her new position on June 25.
Opened in 2013, Virginia Tech’s Moss Arts Center presents renowned artists from around the globe and close to home, with a special focus on experiences that expand cultural awareness and deepen understanding. Uniquely partnered with the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, the Moss Arts Center houses the Street and Davis Performance Hall and its Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, visual art galleries, experimental venue the Cube, and research studios. The center is creating a thriving creative community fueled by inspiration, where patrons have meaningful experiences, enjoying arts of the highest caliber in a wide variety of forms.