Beryl Jolly Leaving the Mahaiwe; Janis Martinson to Be Acting ED

Beryl Jolly
November 30, 2019 — The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, a Barrington nonprofit that presents performing arts, film, educational, and family programs for the Berkshires and neighboring communities, recently announced that Beryl Jolly, its executive director for the last 15 years, will step down from her position next month.

The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center said Janis Martinson, its director of advancement since 2017, will serve as acting executive director after Jolly leaves the post at the end of December. Jolly will continue to consult with the organization, focusing on assuring a smooth transition over the next year.

The Mahaiwe said its board will review organization needs and determine next steps on a search process for new executive leadership by the end of the year.

“It has been a privilege and joy to shepherd the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center’s growth and development over the last 15 years. During this time we completed a challenging and important restoration, established dynamic and memorable year-round programming, eliminated all debt and built our first cash reserve, and have become a vital cultural resource for diverse audiences,” said Jolly.

Margaret Deutsch, chair of the Mahaiwe board of trustees, said, “Beryl’s leadership has strengthened the Mahaiwe and its role in the community, expanding programming, drawing visitors from across the region, and building a strong and talented team.

“The board is appreciative of her contributions and the strong platform for future success she leaves behind. At the same time, we see this as an opportunity to continue to grow and evolve the Mahaiwe for the future.”

During Jolly’s tenure at Mahaiwe, the organization said it was able to preserve the historic theater, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and become "the leading year-round presenter of performing arts, film, arts education, and family programs for the Berkshires and neighboring communities."

Jolly oversaw fundraising campaigns which raised more than $20 million to complete the theater’s restoration, its subsequent capital campaign to eliminate all debt, and establish its first cash reserve and support annual operating budgets.

Before she joined the Mahaiwe, Martinson served as vice-president of institutional advancement at Lesley University, where she led university fundraising and alumni and donor relations, served on the president's cabinet, and secured funding for a significant expansion in arts instruction facilities.

She also spent 17 years as chief advancement officer at Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, where she led two capital campaigns to fund campus construction and to grow endowment, served on the senior administration, staffed board committees, developed volunteer cohorts, and oversaw events and communications.

She has raised nearly $100 million over her decades in fundraising for educational and performing arts organizations.

Martinson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in theater and dance from Princeton University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management.

The theater at Mahaiwe opened in 1905, and since 2005 the performing arts center has hosted more than 1,500 events, presenting 500,000 audience members with live performances, international HD broadcasts, classic monthly movies, and community gatherings.