Culture Works CEO earns award for leading impactful, growing nonprofit



Culture Works President and CEO Lisa Hanson is among the 12 non-profit executive recipients of the Ohio Business Magazine Ohio Success Award.

The award honors executives of leading companies, non-profits, and government organizations across Ohio who have shown revenue growth and a significant impact on their community.

Now in its sixth year, the Ohio Success Award honors our state’s most successful and consistent organizations and leaders. In a news release, Culture Works stated Ohio Business Magazine recognizes that “Ohio’s strength as a growing and thriving business center and land of opportunity is built upon the success of its businesses, non-profits, and governmental organizations and the partnerships they form to benefit communities.”

“The overall health of our community is better because of Culture Works,” said Stacey Lawson, Culture Works Board Chair, in the release. “Congratulations to Lisa who continues to advocate for the arts. Her commitment to supporting artists and arts organizations in our region has been tremendous in allowing them to grow, succeed, and achieve their missions, making the Miami Valley a wonderful place to live, work, and play.”



Since assuming the role of President and CEO in April 2017, Hanson has led Culture Works to become the largest provider of general operating support for numerous non-profit arts organizations in the Dayton region. Her advocacy has been particularly instrumental in the organization’s annual Workplace Giving Campaign for the Arts and in obtaining funds through foundations, corporations, and strategic programming. In 2020, she steered Culture Works through the challenging COVID-19 shutdown, securing special funds from the State of Ohio, the Ohio Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts to help local artists and arts groups navigate the sudden economic shift.

The South Florida native has lived in Dayton for 26 years with her husband, Mark, and four children. She previously served as executive director for the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Ohio. She received her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Miami School of Music in Miami. Her graduate-level work focused on vocal performance and pedagogy at Northeast Louisiana University. She’s also an award-winning, classically trained vocalist/recording artist and has performed in Carnegie Hall and internationally. She has also performed with the Dayton Opera Chorus and as a professional soloist in her spare time.

Dayton Playhouse announces additional FutureFest details

The Dayton Playhouse’s nationally-recognized FutureFest of new, previously unproduced plays will return July 19-21.

During the festival, audience members will join the five finalist playwrights and five professional adjudicators in viewing, and reviewing, the five plays selected from more than 400 entries. All of the scripts will be presented as staged readings.

FutureFest Schedule:

Friday 7:30 p.m.

Opening night champagne toast and hors d’oeuvres

Friday 8 p.m.

“Unabashedly” by Mike Teverbaugh

Directed by Lynn Vanderpool

Saturday 2 p.m.

“The Four” by Catherine Butterfield

Directed by Debra Kent

Saturday 8 p.m.

“The Chrysalis” by Joe Ricci

Directed by Aaron Lopez

Sunday 10 a.m.

“The Cure” by Alex Dremann

Co-directed by Saul Caplan and Sarah Caplan

Sunday 2 p.m.

“The Totality of All Things” by Erik Gernand

Directed by Matt Meier

Sunday (following 2 p.m. show)

Festival pass holders picnic dinner

Announcement of 2024 FutureFest-winning play

In addition, the visiting adjudicators will be writer/director Ashley Rodbro of New York City, actor/director Ron Orbach of Los Angeles, playwright Helen Sneed of Texas, actor/writer Eric Phillip Morris of New York City, and Human Race Theatre Company Artistic Director Emily N. Wells of Dayton.

Weekend passes are on sale for $100 and includes admission to five plays and adjudication sessions, opening night celebration, Sunday picnic dinner, cast a vote for Audience Favorite, and an opportunity to mingle and discuss the plays throughout the weekend with our special guests.

To secure a FutureFest weekend pass, visit For questions, call the Dayton Playhouse box office at 937-424-8477. If no one is available, calls will be returned. Tickets for individual shows are $20 and will be available online July 1, or at the box office one hour before each show for $23 (space permitting). Weekend sponsor for this year’s festival is Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority.

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