Thursday, October 1, 2020
Hi, All –
I am writing to let you know that, effective today, with the Board’s concurrence and support, I have stepped away as Washington Revels’ Executive Director.
I have wondered for several years how I would feel when I finally wrote those words. Now I know: it feels very right.
The world around Washington Revels is changing quickly and is unlikely to return to the world we have known. Revels must change with it or risk becoming irrelevant. Deciding what should change (and what shouldn’t) will require a top-to-bottom reassessment of what Revels is and — both ideally and realistically — what it can and should be.
We know the guiding principles: Washington Revels uses traditions (old and new) in music, dance, storytelling and drama to bring people together in community, whether in pre-existing groups or by reaching across boundaries and divisions to make new connections among disparate peoples; and we seek both to give joy and “take joy” in our celebrations of that community.
It has meant the world to me to have been able to help Washington Revels grow its reach and vision over the past 15 years. But now, as we transition towards a new home and a post-COVID world, the creation of a new vision and a new Washington Revels should be overseen by a rejuvenated leadership that will bear the responsibility for carrying that new vision and organization forward into its bright future. This process is already underway in our new Season of Reveling.
It is also time for me to spend more of my days and evenings with Susan, our 3 sons and their families, and to focus more energy on my personal health.
Apart from my stepping away as Executive Director, there are related developments:
- The search for a new Executive Director will be placed on hold until sometime in 2021. This will allow the Board to assess our financial and operational state after the dust from this Fall has settled, to determine the leadership structure best suited to take Revels forward, and to shape an appropriate search to fill any open position(s).
- From October 1 through the completion of any search, my management duties for Washington Revels will be shared by Colin K. Bills, as Producing Director, and Ross Wixon, as Administrating Director. Colin and Ross will report to the Board Chair directly and the Board generally. I will be available to answer questions if asked, but I will have no further involvement in managing the organization.
- However, I will not be retiring entirely from Washington Revels. Rather, I will become Director of Special Projects, working half-time on specific tasks assigned by the Board Chair, and reporting to the Board Chair. I won’t just saddle my horse and head into the sunset.
The Board will follow shortly with a message that provides more information regarding this transition. Meanwhile, I look forward with great anticipation and joy to the next steps on this journey, both personally and for Washington Revels. I also look forward to performing with Revels for as long as my body cooperates. And above all I look forward to maintaining my relationships with all of you.
Cheers – Greg
Greg Lewis, Director of Special Projects