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Here to Stay & Moving Forward with Lucas & Isadiar

As Marin Ballet celebrates its 58th year, the Board of Trustees welcomes Executive Director Eman Isadiar to the Marin Ballet team.  Isadiar replaces long-time Executive Director Lawrence Ewing concurrent with Ewing’s retirement in early June. During his 18-year tenure as Executive Director, Ewing is credited with such legacy achievements as leading a successful capital campaign to renovate Marin Ballet’s 6-studio training facility and underwriting a new, and much beloved, Nutcracker production created by world-acclaimed choreographer Julia Adam and Marin Ballet Artistic Director Cynthia Lucas. Perhaps most admirably, Ewing postponed his planned retirement of 2020 to steward MB’s journey through the unprecedented and collective challenges of the 2020/21 COVID-19 pandemic.  Ewing’s ‘Here to Stay’ mantra of uninterrupted operations and ongoing fundraising has provided a dynamic opportunity for Isadiar to steer the organization towards its 60th Anniversary and a revitalized mission to engage the community in the art of dance.

“We are thrilled to welcome Eman Isadiar, who comes to us with years of experience in the Bay Area performing arts community with particular emphasis on youth education programs,” said Haley Tone, Board Chair. “With this critical leadership role in place, Marin Ballet is ready for a gradual return to normal operations.”

Most recently, Eman Isadiar was executive director of the Bear Valley Music Festival and Festival Opera. He also served as the top executive at Golden State Youth Orchestra (formerly El Camino Youth Symphony), and at Fremont Symphony where he played a pivotal role in creating the new Fremont Youth Symphony Orchestra.

“Performing arts education for young people has always been central to my work,” says Eman Isadiar. “It is not only vital to train future artists and educators, but equally important to foster the next generation of patrons and donors who keep the arts community thriving.”

MB’s 2018 Strategic Plan provides the foundation for both sustaining classical ballet training and engaging the community in connecting with and through the art of dance.  Marin Ballet’s straightforward mission to provide excellent classical ballet training and education, and to promote the art of dance has long been enhanced with an ongoing vision to be a beacon of art for community engagement.  With the dedication of faculty, musicians, board, staff, dancers, and families neither mission nor vision has been compromised during the challenges of recent months.

Founded in 1963 by Artistic Director Leona Norman and a dedicated cadre of local art advocates and philanthropists, Marin Ballet is recognized as one of the North Bay’s most prominent performing arts organizations.  Artistic Director Cynthia Lucas — herself a student of MB founder Leona Norman — returned to Marin Ballet in 1998 following a long and impressive career with the National Ballet of Canada.

Lucas notes, “I’ve been proud to partner with Lawrence Ewing since 2003, both creatively and operationally, to inform and enact Marin Ballet’s mission and vision. I look forward to working with Eman as we continue to promote the tradition of classical ballet, excellent training for young dancers, and a heartfelt culture of lifelong relationships.”

Following county health official guidelines, Marin Ballet has transitioned classes back in-studio after adapting to months of online training and outdoor performances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Training to performance is a foundational principle in the studios of 100 Elm Street in San Rafael and both Isadiar and Lucas are hopeful that Marin Ballet’s beloved Nutcracker production will make a triumphant return to Marin Center this December.