New CEO: Patrick J. Nugent to lead Dayton Performing Arts Alliance



Nugent joins DPAA from Lyric Opera of Chicago

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance has selected Patrick J. Nugent as president and CEO beginning Monday, Aug. 2.

Nugent will assume leadership from interim CEO Patricia McDonald, who has led the organization since February 2020 through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noted as a business-minded nonprofit leader with a lifelong passion for the performing arts, Nugent brings an expertise in establishing vision, strategic planning, artistic innovation, fiscal discipline, and responsible growth. He is also committed to public advocacy, representation and community involvement.

“The DPAA Board of Trustees is thrilled to welcome Patrick Nugent to the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance,” said Vernon Fernandes, DPAA board chair in a release. “We have every confidence that he will bring critical insight, dynamic leadership and artistic passion to the DPAA. Patrick’s proven success as a leader within two previous performing arts organizations will be a tremendous asset to our organization. His commitment to diversity, inclusion and community aligns perfectly with DPAA’s mission to transform lives through the power of music and dance.”

Nugent, who received his undergraduate degree in Classics and Theology from Xavier University, joins DPAA from Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he was vice president of development. He particularly built the infrastructure for a 10-year $650 million comprehensive campaign, organized a $10 million emergency fundraising campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic, initiated the opera company’s first-ever advocacy strategy, and built up its major gifts program. Prior to joining the Lyric, he served as executive director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.

He has previously worked with the Beech Acres Parenting Center and Cincinnati Museum Center in Cincinnati, spent five years working in Kenya and served six years as a professor at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. In addition to earning his Ph.D. in the History of Christianity with a minor in Islam from the University of Chicago, he is an amateur classical pianist, a “ham” radio operator and an avid sailor and kayaker. His wife, Mary Kay Rehard, an arts devotee, is a clinical social worker and trauma psychotherapist in Dayton.

“I am grateful and excited to collaborate with three remarkable artistic directors, three excellent ensembles, expansive education programs, and a focused and committed board,” Nugent said in a release. “I believe Dayton can become a national beacon as a community that supports wide and deep access to the performing arts for everyone in our community, regardless of cultural background or economic resources.”

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