The Board of Directors of the Center for Puppetry Arts has named Beth Schiavo its executive director, effective July 1.

Schiavo has been serving as interim managing director since January, following the retirement of the Center’s founder, Vincent Anthony.

Schiavo brings a wealth of experience to the Center of Puppetry Arts. Her past positions include being the former managing director and CFO of Atlanta-based North Highland Consulting, former audit partner with EY, community volunteer and board member of some of Atlanta’s leading non-profit organizations, including the Woodruff Arts Center and Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.

“The Center is a true gem in our city, a magical place that invites over 148,000 visitors a year through its doors,” Schiavo said in a release. “Working with an inspiring group of leaders, I have been humbled by the innovative people of the Center – their resilience and their passion to continue engaging with patrons during this challenging time. I am excited to continue this journey to see what the future holds and to be a part of the Center’s expanding reach to new audiences, particularly families desiring a safe and joyful place to visit with their children, both virtually and when we reopen our doors.”

Under Schiavo’s leadership, the Center quickly shifted its overall strategy in mid-March, when the Center was forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Center pivoted swiftly launched the @ Home program, expanding the Center’s digital learning platform, which traditionally focused on school groups, to offer content directly to audience in their homes.

Since the expansion, the Center’s reach has expanded from seven to 85 countries worldwide, engaging over 200,000 people across the globe in just two months.

“Beth has shown excellent leadership, especially through the COVID-19 crisis, and we believe she will continue to do so,” said Chairman of the Board of Directors Allen Yee. “We are fortunate to have someone of her caliber to guide us through these challenging times and into the brighter days ahead.”

After a successful few months of reaching its audience digitally, the Center is in the final stages of preparations for reopening.

The facility is equipped to meet the highest standards for public safety, as outlined by the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health. The Center will also offer timed ticketing to ensure low density and safe social distancing for all who visit. In addition, new content will continue to be offered through the digital @ Home platform, so. that everyone can enjoy and experience the magic of the Center, whether live or remote.

Stay tuned to the Center for Puppetry Arts website and social media to be the first to know of the official reopening date, as well as a slate of new digital programs for summer.