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Kelvin Dinkins Jr. appointed A.R.T. executive director

Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Kelvin Dinkins Jr. appointed A.R.T. executive director
Kelvin Dinkins, Jr. PHOTO: EMIL COHEN

After a rigorous 11-month search, Kelvin Dinkins, Jr. has been appointed American Repertory Theater’s new executive director. Dinkins is nationally recognized for his work in the theater sector, particularly in cultural changes in theater leadership and management that build towards a more inclusive future.

Dinkins will work with artistic director Diane Paulus to co-lead the theater beginning officially on June 1.

“I am proud and eager to be joining Diane and the A.R.T.’s dynamic staff as the theater moves into its next chapter of boundless artistry and community building,” says Dinkins. “I join them and the boards in committing to a future where our leadership is joyfully accountable and transformational.”

A.R.T. has a number of profound projects underway, including a physical expansion into Allston and intensive diversity and inclusion efforts in every sector of the theater, from management and staff to artists and audience members.

Dinkins comes to Boston and A.R.T. from the Yale Repertory Theater where he is general manager and assistant dean and acting chair of theater management at Yale’s David Geffen School of Drama. Part of his work at Yale is specifically mentoring students in management, crisis and recovery and anti-racist theater practice. In the wake of pandemic theater closures and racial justice movements, the value of these skills is becoming increasingly obvious.

“Collectively, we must now center humanity and restorative practice to lead our re-emerging producing organizations,” says Dinkins. “At A.R.T. I see great capacity to expand our approach to equitable and sustainable practices, broadening access and building intentional partnerships that will help the mission to thrive.”

In addition to his work with Yale, Dinkins is the founder of Dinkins Consulting, a group that advises institutional leadership on diversity, equity and anti-racism efforts on both broad organizational levels and with individuals. Dinkins’ approach to these issues is one of joy as well as accountability. Even when radical changes and tough conversations need to be had, he hopes to approach them with firm but positive energy. This approach applies both to the ongoing diversity work in theater spaces but also to efforts to ensure longevity and security in an industry ravaged by COVID-19 shutdowns.

“I am excited for A.R.T.’s aspiration to boldly take the university and all audiences on a journey into what the next 50 years of artistic creativity looks like, not just on our stages but in classrooms, community cultural centers, our workplace, and the world.”