Longtime Poway OnStage leader hands over to new executive director

San Diego Theater
Drum Tao at Poway OnStage in April. Photo credit: @PowayOnStage via Facebook

Poway OnStage has announced the appointment of Sharlene O’Keefe as Executive Director, replacing longtime organization leader Michael Rennie.

O’Keefe, who took office on July 1, will oversee operations for the 32-year-old arts nonprofit, including programming the annual professional performance series at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts and directing of the organization’s Arts in Education initiative.

Rennie had been Executive Director and CEO since 2009.

“I’m excited to direct this next chapter for Poway OnStage,” O’Keefe said. “I look forward to serving the artistic community and supporting Poway OnStage’s mission to entertain, educate and enrich through powerful live performance.”

Rennie joined Poway OnStage in 2003 as Associate Director of Marketing and Development and was promoted to Executive Director six years later.

Under Rennie’s leadership, the center saw an increase in visits from high profile touring artists such as Jose Feliciano, Kansas, Art Garfunkel and Melissa Etheridge. Rennie has also included local artists in the Professional Performance series. Among them, Back to the Garden’s “Story Concerts” series has become a crowd favorite.

“I’m happy to say that the current Poway OnStage staff and board are the most creative, positive and successful team to ever showcase talent at (center). There’s never been a better time to pass the baton,” Rennie said.

Poway OnStage presents a series of arts events, including concerts, dance performances, theater productions, comedy and more, for the community.

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