The Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs (the Centers for the Arts) has selected Alyona Ushe as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began her tenure on May 15, 2023.
A creative visionary, Ushe brings to the organization over 20 years of executive experience and a successful record of starting and growing nonprofit organizations and cultural programming from inception to multi-million-dollar operations. Prior to joining the Centers, Ushe served as Executive Director at St. Lucie Cultural Alliance, where in under three years, she doubled the organization’s operating budget and significantly increased its membership base. Ushe also created a wide range of new opportunities for artists and launched Arts Conserve the Environment, a multi-faceted initiative that promotes recycling through arts, where she secured over $100,000 in support, including a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Ushe also devised a wellness festival called Art, Mind & Soul, now in its third year. Previously, Ushe served as Executive Director at Blackrock Center for the Arts in Maryland, where she managed two theaters, classrooms, an art gallery, and a rental program. While at the organization, she expanded the quantity and diversity of programming from 20 events to over 80 performances and 60 productions annually, and reinstated matching funds required for essential grants.
Ushe also held a seven-year tenure as the President & CEO of Creative City Collaborative (CCC) in Delray Beach and Pompano Beach, Florida. Under her guidance, CCC went through profound transformation resulting in the growth of the organizational budget from $250,000 to over $3 million. She founded the critically acclaimed multi-media arts center Arts Garage, where she presented over 500 performances by regional and international artists and championed numerous educational and outreach initiatives. Ushe’s other professional affiliations include serving as Executive Director of the New Orleans Opera Association in Louisiana and founding Classika Theater in Arlington, Virginia, which she successfully merged with Synetic Theater, expanding their mutual programming and increasing their budget. She holds a bachelor of arts in political science and Russian language and literature from the University of Maryland. She has also completed graduate work in Russian language and literature at St. Petersburg University, St. Petersburg, Russia.
In making the announcement, Board Chairman Fred Weinman said, “We are thrilled Alyona will be joining us to lead the Centers for the Arts in our commitment to enrich the lives of the community by providing opportunities for artistic expression, education, and appreciation for all. Alyona shares our commitment and passion for the arts and brings exceptional leadership experience to our organization. The future is bright!”
“I am honored to join an organization with such a magnitude of diverse programming, a visionary Board of Directors, and talented staff, as we usher in the Centers for the Arts' next chapter of growth and development,” said Ushe.
“The ACG team was delighted to collaborate with the board, staff, and search committee of the Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs, and we extend our congratulations to Alyona Ushe on her appointment as Executive Director,” said ACG Vice President Renée Danger-James. “Alyona is a highly accomplished entrepreneurial leader whose expertise and commitment to cultural enrichment will propel the Centers for the Arts into a new period of growth, vibrancy, and vitality.”