It’s hard to believe that it has been eleven and a half years since the Workshop’s Founder, Gloria Unti and Artistic Director, Gary Draper first interviewed me for an afterschool Program Coordinator position.  I still remember our conversation about the role of the arts in developing critical thinking skills, reforming education as well as how the arts transformed my own education.  During that interview at Fort Mason it would have been impossible to imagine the conversations to come or the partnership that would lead the Workshop to where it is today.  I was very fortunate to have responded to that Craigslist ad in 1999.

The Workshop has a rich history – one grounded in risk-taking, rigor and celebration.  These values were present in 1965 when Gloria founded the organization and are at the core of the Workshop today.  I leave my role as Executive Director knowing that these values will live on in a top-notch staff, leadership team and board of directors.  The future of the Workshop couldn’t be in better hands.

The torch has officially been passed to the Workshop’s new Executive Director, Jessica Mele, but I continue to be involved with the organization.  I am providing ongoing technical assistance to support the leadership transition and will serve as an Advisory Council member.  I look forward to aiding the transition in any way I can and to watching the Workshop evolve over the coming years.

I am excited to embark on the next phase of my career and will continue to work on social innovation endeavors, particularly in the areas of arts and education.  I hope to get to work with some of you more closely and see those of you in other parts of the country a bit more.  On the topic of staying in touch, my Performing Arts Workshop e-mail address is no longer active so please remove it from your address books.  You may contact the Workshop for my personal information, and I encourage you to invite me to your professional network via LinkedIn.

Thank you so much for making my time at the Workshop so memorable and rewarding and for your support of the Workshop’s mission.  It’s been an honor to work with such dedicated colleagues and partners, and it has made for a very special past eleven years.  The Workshop will always be like family to me, and I look forward to keeping in touch.


Tom DeCaigny