Muse Machine, Dayton’s longstanding arts education organization, is now led by Muse alumna Ruth Reveal as executive director.
Reveal assumed her role July 11, succeeding Mary Campbell Zopf who retired after eight years in the position.
The Dayton native and Oakwood High School graduate most recently served for five years as director of education and then chief learning officer of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA).
While at DPAA, Reveal oversaw day-to-day management of arts education programs that reached up to 75,000 students and teachers in over 150 schools each year. She led an El Sistema-inspired after school orchestra program, field trip and in-school programming, youth orchestras, and artist residencies. She also increased accessibility of DPAA’s learning programs by developing sensory-friendly programming for people with disabilities, and she formed community partnerships to support the inclusion of historically underrepresented students and families. Further, she developed an online platform for the distribution of curriculum-connected videos and lessons to provide teachers, parents, and students with continuity in arts education during remote learning.
She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts in neuroscience and music from Agnes Scott College and earned her master of science with distinction in music, mind and brain from Goldsmiths, University of London. She also served as a science teacher and department chair in Chicago Public Schools, which informed her commitment to student-centered planning and evaluation.
In high school, she memorably portrayed Miss Dorothy Brown in the 2007 Muse production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” She also was a member of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
“It’s so surreal to be in this position having spent so many hours in rehearsal as a student and now getting to collaborate on the other side with incredible artists and staff,” said Reveal. “It’s overwhelming to be on the (administrative) side of the organization, but my heart is so full because I want so badly for as many students and teachers to be able to experience this organization as possible. I feel really lucky to continue in that legacy.”
“Ruth impressed our committee with her experience in arts education, a critical element for this organization’s leadership,” said Ira H. Thomsen, Muse Machine Board Chair, in a release. “We believe that Ruth has the heart, mind and spirit to assume the executive director role of Muse and will continue to fulfill its mission ‘to change the lives of young people through the arts.’ Her background and experience in education and arts programming are a necessary and powerful combination that bode well for Muse Machine for years to come.”
Credit: MATT SILVER
Credit: MATT SILVER
Founded in 1982, Muse Machine annually serves 154 schools, 600 teachers and nearly 77,000 students from preschool through high school in a 13-county area across Western and Central Ohio, Eastern Indiana and Northern Kentucky.
“I feel very grateful to be invited to lead an organization that has, over the past 40 years, played an essential role in the Dayton arts community,” said Reveal.
In addition to being a harpist and classically trained singer, Reveal is passionate about arts advocacy. She views her formative years with Muse as “transformative” and hopes to build on a strong foundation.
“Muse Machine students and teachers are able to access content in different ways,” said Reveal. “Every single student and teacher experiences Muse Machine differently, but it elicits something within. It energizes you and wants you to explore and learn more. Muse Machine is such a good entry point for learning so many different areas of content. We need the whole community to love and support the performing arts. Muse Machine is creating the next generation of artists, administrators, donors and audience.”
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