Stephanie Ybarra will step down as artistic director of Baltimore Center Stage to join the Mellon Foundation.
Ybarra will assume the newly created position of program officer in arts and culture at the Foundation, which is well-known for supporting the arts and humanities. She will help shape individual grantmaking and launch philanthropic performing arts initiatives, while leveraging various assets of the organization.
“I’ve spent most of the last 30 years making theater in some shape or form, so this is not a leap I make lightly. I’m humbled and honored to have the chance to serve the national arts and culture sector during this time of enormous challenge and opportunity,” said Ybarra in a statement.
Ybarra will relinquish her current post on April 1 after five years. During her time with Baltimore Center Stage, she expanded the reach of the regional house with the launch of programs such as Baltimore Butterfly Sessions, a civic dialogue series, and Play at Home, a commissioning process housed at the Library of Congress. Prior to this, Ybarra worked as the director of special artists projects at Off-Broadway’s Public Theater. She is a co-founder of the Artists’ Anti-Racism Coalition and received the Josephine Abady Award for producing from the League of Professional Theatre Women in New York.
Ken-Matt Martin will take over as interim artistic director as the search for Ybarra’s replacement continues.
The Mellon Foundation, founded in 1969, is led by president Elizabeth Alexander. By providing grants, the foundation seeks to build communities to foster ideas and imagination within the arts and humanities. The foundation has provided thousands of grants to arts organizations and initiatives, including more than a dozen to Roundabout Theatre Company since 1972 in order to help fund its theatrical workforce development and other programs.