Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden will host a discussion at noon on March 22 with three dynamic leaders in the arts in celebration of Women’s History Month at the Library of Congress. The event will be streamed live on the Library’s Facebook page and its YouTube site. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter and #WomensHistory.
“In Conversation with the Librarian of Congress: Leaders in the Arts, a Celebration of Women’s History Month” will feature Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Deborah Rutter, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and Molly Smith, artistic director of Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Hayden, the first woman to serve as Librarian of Congress, will speak with these leaders about their life experiences and achievements and trends in the cultural community.
Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. She also holds the title of conductor emeritus at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002 to 2008. Her tenure as the BSO’s music director has garnered national and international attention for her innovative programming and artistry. In 2005, she was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first and only conductor ever to receive this award. In the same year, she won the Classical Brit Award for Best Female Artist. She was also the first artist to win Gramophone’s Artist of the Year award and the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Conductor’s Award in the same year (2003). She makes regular guest conducting appearances with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
As president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Deborah Rutter is the artistic and administrative director of the world’s busiest performing arts center. She manages all facets of the facility, including expansive theater, contemporary dance, ballet, chamber music and jazz seasons, as well as affiliates the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera and offerings in Hip Hop and contemporary music and comedy. The center encompasses one of the nation’s largest arts education programs, reaching millions of people of all ages each year, and includes VSA, the international organization on arts and disability. She became president of the Kennedy Center on Sept. 1, 2014, the third person to serve in this capacity. Prior to her work at the Kennedy Center, she served as president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association from 2003 through 2014 and as executive director of the Seattle Symphony from 1992 through 2003.
Molly Smith has served as artistic director at Arena Stage since 1998. Her more than 30 directing credits at Arena Stage include “Carousel,” “Oliver!,” “The Originalist,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Camp David,” “Mother Courage and Her Children,” “Oklahoma!,” “A Moon for the Misbegotten” and “My Fair Lady.” She most recently directed “Our Town” at Canada’s Shaw Festival. Her directorial work has also been seen at The Old Globe, Asolo Repertory, Berkeley Repertory, Trinity Repertory, Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, Montreal’s Centaur Theatre and Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska, which she founded and ran from 1979 to 1998. She has been a leader in new play development for more than 30 years. She led the reinvention of Arena Stage, focusing on the architecture and creation of the Mead Center for American Theater and positioning Arena Stage as a national center for American artists. During her time with the company, Arena Stage has workshopped more than 100 productions, produced 39 world premieres, staged numerous second and third productions and been an important part of nurturing nine projects that went on to have a life on Broadway.