DAYTON, OH (July 23, 2020) – The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) held its eighth Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees on Thursday, June 18, 2020 at 4:00 pm. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held virtually via the Zoom video conferencing platform. On July 1, 2020, the performing arts organization, comprising Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, celebrated the eighth anniversary of the historic merger of these three art forms into one operating entity, the first and only merger of its kind in the United States.

The DPAA annual meeting was led by Chair of the DPAA Board John Beran and attended by Board and Advisory Group members and staff. Beran introduced Dayton Opera Artistic Director Thomas Bankston, Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke, and Dayton Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman to give their annual reports and highlight the season’s productions. DPAA President and CEO Pat McDonald delivered her remarks since taking over the interim leadership role of this organization in January 2020. Additionally, changes to the Board of Trustees were announced.

The following individuals were elected to a two-year term as new members of the Board of Trustees: Ron Anderson, Kayleigh Pratt Clark, Barbara O’Hara, Dr. Burt Saidel, and Joe Zehenny.

Officers of the Board of Trustees were elected for the 2020–2021 season as follows: Vernon Fernandes, Chair; Ed Tomme, Vice Chair; Joe Zehenny, Treasurer; Suzi Mikutis, Secretary; Joe Gruenberg, Assistant Treasurer; and Wray Blattner, Assistant Secretary. John Beran was elected Chair Emeritus, as he completed his two-year role as Board Chair.

The following outgoing members of the Board of Trustees were thanked for their service and each presented with a memento of their time with the DPAA: William H. Caldwell, Jan Culver, Rick Holley, Alan Kimbrough, Franklin Lewis, and Milt Ross.

Jan Culver and Betsy Whitney were then elected as Honorary Trustees of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance.

Maestro Neal Gittleman was recognized for his 25 years of service as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic. He was honored with words by Jan Culver, Betsy Whitney, William H. Caldwell, and Lou Mason, and he was presented with a commissioned artwork created especially for him by local Dayton artist Marsha Pippenger.

The meeting closed with a presentation from incoming Chair Vernon Fernandes of two proclamations honoring outgoing Chair John Beran. A proclamation from the Office of the Mayor of Dayton, Nan Whaley, acknowledged the work Beran has done as DPAA Chair and the generous support and commitment he and his wife have given to the arts community of Dayton. The Mayor’s Office proclamation officially named June 18, 2020 as John R. Beran Day in the city of Dayton. A second proclamation was presented to Beran from the Board of County Commissioners of Montgomery County, Ohio, which recognized, honored, and congratulated Beran for his outstanding service to the citizens of Montgomery County.

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About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence. Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio’s cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents. In 2013, The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was thrilled to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year “Music Alive” grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is the proud recipient of a 2017-2018 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.