Ocean County College (OCC)has selected Shannon Mayers as Executive and Artistic Director of the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for Arts (Grunin Center), following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began her tenure on July 12, 2021.
Ms. Mayers’ career spans more than 25 years in the arts, including extensive management and curatorial experience in both professional and academic settings. Most recently, she served as Executive Director at Keene State College’s Redfern Arts Center, where she commissioned 13 projects, presenting many regional and world premieres. In addition to implementing a strategic visioning project that established a new mission, vision, and values statement, she instituted the organization’s first inclusive arts engagement program entitled “Creative Connections,” which expanded free public programming from six to 50 activities per season.
Throughout her career Ms. Mayers has produced and presented more than 1,000 performances and worked with artists from six continents and 100 nations, ranging Bruce Springsteen to Ladysmith Black Mambazo. She transitioned into arts administration, focusing on arts programming at college performing arts centers such as Texas Performing Arts, The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, and the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College. Ms. Mayers has been a guest lecturer at Theatre for a New Audience in New York, Actors Theater of Louisville, Connecticut College, Queens College, College of Staten Island, and Georgia Southern University. She has also served on grant panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Maine Arts Commission. Ms. Mayers holds a master of fine arts from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor of science from Northwestern University.
“My passion is to entertain and engage audiences, inspire and enlighten the next generation of art enthusiasts, and to champion the arts as vital to the soul of every community,” said Ms. Mayers. “An arts center within a college or university setting exposes a wide variety of people to what the whole college has to offer. The arts should be as accessible as possible. It’s clear how OCC values the arts—giving students the chance to learn by doing and sharing what they learn. Sharing the arts is a holistic, integrated experience. The arts allow a safe place for dialog about challenging topics and it’s wonderful to see the College embracing that. I’m very committed to this.”
“ACG was honored to work with Ocean County College to fill this key position at the Grunin Center for the Arts,” said ACG Senior Vice President Wyona Lynch-McWhite. “Congratulations to Shannon Mayers as she steps into the Executive and Artistic Director role. She is a creative, thoughtful, and mission-driven leader who will inspire others with her passion and vision for lifelong engagement in the arts. Ms. Mayers’ proven commitment to arts engagement and community building will be vital as the Grunin Center moves into its next phase of organizational growth.”