Hello! This is a time of great development, growth and creativity for PAL and I'm incredibly excited to be here and take a leadership role.
By way of introduction, I am a development and marketing professional, with more than 15 years of experience at some of San Francisco Bay Area’s top arts institutions, including TheatreWorks, San Francisco Opera and Montalvo Arts Center. I served seven years as founder and executive director of Esme’s Pack, a non-profit organization that provides care and services to street dogs in India. I was also country head for Dr. Jane Goodall’s environmental initiative, Roots & Shoots.
Most recently I collaborated on a Santa Clara University social-justice initiative, which brought together professional artists, university faculty and underserved children. The project helped address community issues through the arts.
I look forward to both continuing PAL’s important work in this beautiful community of Palo Alto and to expanding PAL's activities into other communities not previously served. Art is a tremendous equalizer and a tremendous communicator.
We have already begun holding classes in Redwood City at University Arts and with the Police Activities League, In Menlo Park in collaboration with Menlo Park’s Department of Park and Rec and at the East Palo Alto Boys and Girls Club.
I envision a bright future for PAL that will also involve inviting small- to medium-sized performing arts groups and other groups in the arts to expand programming and attract a younger audience.
I am grateful to be part of an organization that so many people care about and have devoted so much volunteer time to. I will work to create a culture of compassion as well as passion and build cohesiveness of purpose among long time and new members, instructors and students. We have the luxury of this amazing space in downtown Palo Alto. The only limits are our imaginations!
- Shannon McDonnell