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Youngstown Playhouse will receive $10,000 grant, lose executive director

Executive Director Kayla Boye is leaving The Youngstown Playhouse after shepherding the 98-year-old theater through the COVID-19 pandemic and its return to live performances.
Executive Director Kayla Boye is leaving The Youngstown Playhouse after shepherding the 98-year-old theater through the COVID-19 pandemic and its return to live performances. (Photos For Keeps By Erin)

The Youngstown Playhouse gained a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts but is losing its executive director.

The $10,000 Grants for Arts Projects award will support the Playhouse’s 2022 Youth Theatre Program. The theater’s project is among 1,248 projects across the country that were selected to receive the first round of fiscal year 2022 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects category. A total of $28.8 million was awarded to the projects, a news release states.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one from The Youngstown Playhouse that help support the community’s creative economy,” NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers said in the release. “The Youngstown Playhouse is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.”

The Playhouse also announced Tuesday that Executive Director Kayla Boye is departing after shepherding the 98-year-old theater through the COVID-19 pandemic and its return to live performances.

“While we are thrilled about receiving this prestigious grant, Kayla’s departure makes this moment bittersweet,” John Cox, Playhouse board president, said in the release. “Her involvement with the Playhouse over the past 20 months has been invaluable. She provided a new focus and identity for us when we needed it the most.”

Boye joined the Playhouse as development director at the start of the pandemic. During her tenure as executive director, she guided the theater through administrative restructuring, alternative programming and strategic planning.

“It has been an honor to work with the board of directors to sustain and grow The Youngstown Playhouse through the pandemic,” Boye said in the release. “Overcoming enormous challenges, I am deeply proud of the significant strides we have made to position the organization and our community for a bright future, and I am excited to see the next chapter unfold.”

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