Office of the President, Lee C. Bollinger

Melissa Smey Appointed Executive Director of CU Arts Initiative

July 12, 2011

Dear Fellow Members of the Columbia Community:

I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Melissa Smey as Executive Director of Columbia's Arts Initiative, adding to her current responsibilities as Director of Miller Theatre.  Under Melissa's stewardship, Miller Theatre has continued to enhance its role as a critically acclaimed venue for contemporary and classical music and dance in New York City, while increasing attendance and theater subscriptions.

She also succeeded in forging new partnerships among the School of the Arts, the Music Department and arts organizations across the city and region.  Melissa's position in New York City's performing arts scene, combined with her deep familiarity with the University's culture, ensures that the Arts Initiative will be able to build on the successes of its founding Director, Gregory Mosher, who last fall returned to his celebrated career in the theater and assumed the position of Professor, Theatre Arts in the School of the Arts.  I want once again to thank Gregory for his imaginative work that helped launch the Arts Initiative and helped to connect Columbia's students, faculty and alumni to the artistic life of our campus and the larger world.

Significantly, Melissa's appointment for the first time brings together Columbia's principle resources for innovative cultural programming and those for engagement with the arts.  Drawing on the leadership of School of the Arts Dean Carol Becker, the realignment will advance Columbia's goal of becoming one of the leading universities for students, scholars and members of the general public seeking to study and experience the arts.  We look forward with excitement to seeing collaborations involving Miller Theatre, our School of the Arts and the unmatched cultural resources of New York City, to be developed by this newly integrated team in the years ahead.

Please join me in congratulating Melissa Smey and wishing her success as Executive Director of the Arts Initiative and Miller Theatre.


Lee C. Bollinger