David Siegel will lead the Ent Center for the Arts as its new executive director starting in Spring 2022.
Siegel spoke about what he is most looking forward to this coming year in his work and how he identifies with the artistic community at a personal level.
What is your background?
I grew up in Colorado Springs and then spent a few years in New York City before moving back to Colorado in 2012.
I am a product of the arts community. I was a student at the Colorado Springs Conservatory and played in the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony. I see the way that this art community in particular changes lives. I’m excited to stay in this arts community and support the really good work that’s happening here.
What will your role as executive director at the Ent Center entail?
I think the details will be built together once we start and once I get on the ground with the team that’s already at the Ent Center. I think a big piece of the role is that there is a lot of incredible art happening through the Visual and Performing Arts department, Theatreworks and the Galleries of Contemporary Art (GOCA) already.
A lot of my job will be telling that story both to the campus community and the broader Colorado Springs community and making connections with things that are already happening on campus — making connections with artistic projects and organizations in the broader community as well and elevating the creative ecosystem that already exists at the Ent Center.
What kind of experience do you have in leadership roles?
For the past eight and a half years, I’ve been executive director and then chief executive officer at the Bee Vradenburg Foundation. We’re a private foundation, which basically means we hold investments in the stock market and then make grants to support arts organizations and artists and creative projects with the interest we earn through the stock market.
Through that role, we work really closely with a lot of community arts organizations, including organizations at UCCS, Theatreworks, GOCA, individual and performing arts departments to some extent.
I work indirectly with those organizations and provide leadership for the arts community on a 30,000 foot community level which I think is really applicable to the Ent Center. There are a lot of stakeholders, most of the stakeholders aren’t necessarily within the building or within the direct administrative structure.
A big piece of my job will be helping to serve the arts on campus and in the community. Not necessarily lead; but to serve the arts on campus and in the community, whether or not it’s specifically under the Ent Center administrative.
What prompted you to take this position?
From my role at the Bee Vradenburg Foundation, I see what an incredible opportunity the Ent Center provides for UCCS and for the broader community. It’s such an important aspect in our creative community.
What inspired me to take the job was the opportunities that it presents to really serve the community in a very meaningful way.
What are you most excited for this coming year in terms of being the director?
I’m excited to see post-COVID. I think it’s a really interesting time for our organizations right now. Organizations have an incredible opportunity to emerge in new ways and serve our community in new ways at this stage in the pandemic.
I’m excited to explore what re-emergence looks like for the arts coming out of the pandemic.
Do you have any additional comments you would like to share?
I see the way UCCS changes students’ lives. My mom just retired from the psychology faculty and I remember going to graduation parties with her as a child for students who are the first in their entire family to attend college. I see how powerful UCCS can be in that way, specifically.
I’m just really excited to be part of both the arts community and specifically UCCS, because I see how both the arts community and UCCS change people’s lives in truly meaningful ways.
For more information on the Ent Center, visit their website at https://entcenterforthearts.org/.