Overture Center for the Arts’ incoming President and CEO Sandra Gajic announced today that Dawn Crim and Ananda Mirilli are the newly elected chair and vice chair of the center’s Community Advisory Board (CAB).

After the establishment of the CAB’s first charter, provisions were put in place to elect the group’s first chair and vice chair. and through a carefully orchestrated nomination and voting process, the Overture Center said, and Crim and Mirilli were elected.

“Being elected CAB chair is an incredible honor, and I look forward to working with the group to ensure we provide meaningful advice and recommendations that enrich community and educational programming to serve Overture’s mission,” said Crim in a press release today. “I have been a longtime supporter of Overture Center since its opening in 2004, and of the Madison Civic Center prior. I am excited to bring to the table my strong local relationships and my deep understanding of the arts as a performer, season ticket subscriber and engaged, strategic partner.”

“I am excited to begin my tenure as Overture’s CAB vice chair to continue the work with diverse audiences and expanded school partnerships, which have made me proud to be a part of the Overture Center’s evolution,” Mirilli said in a statement. “As a Brasilian, brown, queer, Latinx woman, and mother of a beautiful multi-racial daughter, I look forward to using my strong racial and equity justice lens to work toward equity, inclusion and increasing the access and engagement of historically marginalized communities.”

Ananda Mirilli (left) and Dawn Crim
(Photo by Amadou Kromah)

The membership of the group is 45 percent City appointed and 55 percent appointed by Overture as the body fulfils a requirement for the City’s annual grant. City appointees are approved by the Madison Common Council to serve on the CAB and act as an assurance that Overture collaborates and communicates with the larger community. The charge of CAB is to assure that Overture serves all of Madison’s citizens.

The mission of the group is to provide a vehicle for effective communication and engagement with Overture’s community programming which broadly represents the community in terms of culture, ethnicity, geography, age and socio-economic level. An important part of the purpose and responsibility of the group is to provide evaluation and feedback to staff and administrators as well as provide support for high-quality engagement and programming to all segments of the community Overture was intended to serve.

“To have two strong women of color in this important leadership position for Overture is a tremendous accomplishment for our organization,” said Director of Diversity and Inclusion Ed Holmes. “We are still in our infancy stages but continue to build a culture that embraces the significance and value of diversity and inclusion in our organization. Dawn and Ananda, along with the CAB membership, will provide much-needed support and perspective in helping us bridge gaps and successfully engage diverse communities.”