DALLAS, TX, November 11, 2014 – The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) today announced that Cynthia Calabrese has been named Director of Development; she will begin her new position on December 15, 2014. Calabrese comes to the Dallas Museum of Art with more than 25 years of fundraising and philanthropic giving experience, primarily at visual and performing arts institutions, including nine years of prior service as Development Director at the Dallas Theater Center. She will join the DMA from Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), where she has been its founding Chief Development Officer since February 2013.
In her role at the DMA, Calabrese will be responsible for planning and implementing all aspects of the DMA’s fundraising efforts. She will report to Maxwell L. Anderson, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director, and will work in close partnership with all members of the Museum’s senior leadership team, trustees, staff and volunteers, and the community to support the Museum’s mission as a responsible steward of cultural heritage and a trusted advocate for the essential place of art in the lives of people locally and around the globe.
“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Cynthia to the DMA. She has had a distinguished career serving nonprofit organizations in Dallas and in other U.S. cities, and we are delighted that she will join the Museum, marking a return to her artistic roots,” said Anderson. “Cynthia’s broad experience in philanthropic fundraising will be a strong asset to the DMA, and, by virtue of our role as the City of Dallas’s art museum, to our community overall.”
As Chief Development Officer at Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), a nonprofit organization of volunteers appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in protective care, Calabrese formed and launched the association’s development operation, responsible for all aspects of raising contributed income for an organizational budget of $5 million.
From 2004 to 2013, Calabrese led the development team at the Dallas Theater Center, where she was responsible for the creation and implementation of a fundraising strategy to meet and sustain operational goals. She also managed the daily operations of a $13 million Advancement Campaign and developed a five-year strategic plan to increase giving by 40%.
“The Dallas Museum of Art offers an amazing opportunity to collaborate with a talented staff and dedicated board of trustees to advance a bold vision for the future. I am honored to join this world-class organization and I look forward to working with Max Anderson and his dynamic team,” stated Calabrese.
In 2003, Calabrese moved to Dallas from North Carolina after serving as the Managing Director of the Porter Center for Performing Arts at Brevard College, creating an annual subscription season, increasing the subscriber base over 1800% within five years and generating a sponsorship program. She joined the Porter Center in 1996 as its Campaign Director. From 1988 to 1992, Calabrese held development roles at various cultural institutions in Atlanta, including the High Museum of Art, The Robert Shaw Institute, and the Atlanta Preservation Center. She began her career in fundraising at her alma mater, Shorter College, in Rome, Georgia, as Assistant Development Director, after receiving a Bachelor of Music in piano.
Calabrese arrives at the DMA at a time of growth in attendance, engagement, exhibition organization and scholarship, and visibility for the Museum. With almost 670,000 visitors in FY 2014—the highest in the Museum’s history—the success of free general admission and of free museum membership through the DMA Friends program has been demonstrated, confirming the objective that one museum can be simultaneously committed to intellectual leadership and to public access.
About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 22,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum welcomes over 650,000 visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. In January 2013, the DMA returned to a free general admission policy and launched DMA Friends, the first free museum membership program in the country, which currently has over 80,000 members. For more information, visit DMA.org.
The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Partners and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.