David Dower to Depart; David C. Howse to Assume Vice President Role  


Emerson College President Lee Pelton today announces that David Dower will leave his leadership role with Emerson’s Office of the Arts, ArtsEmerson and HowlRound at the end of the year. David C. Howse will assume the role of Vice President of the Emerson College Office of the Arts on January 1, 2021. Dower, who has led the Office of the Arts, ArtsEmerson and HowlRound in a joint capacity with David Howse since 2015, leaves the field of nonprofit theater after a 30-year career. Howse, in addition to his new role at the Office of the Arts, will continue leading ArtsEmerson as Executive Director.

Dower will be relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he will take on a new creative opportunity as the Executive Producer of the US operations of the Montreal-based company The 7 Fingers. ArtsEmerson plans to launch a national search this January for a new Director of Artistic Programming.

“Under the joint leadership of David Dower and David C. Howse, ArtsEmerson has joyfully become Boston’s leading presenter of contemporary world theatre and an organization that has strengthened the College's expressed belief that arts can and should play a critical and leading role in civic transformation,” says Emerson President Lee Pelton.

Dower and Howse have shared the work of leading ArtsEmerson and guiding its vision of creating an arts organization that serves all of Boston, connecting audiences across difference, and helping the city transcend its history with race, inequity, and geographic segregation.

David C. Howse shares, “Through the years David and I have led together, ArtsEmerson supporters have commented often to us about what appears to be our deep friendship and capacity for effortless shared leadership. Though there is a bittersweet tinge to this transition for both of us, there is also joy and a tremendous sense of accomplishment.”

“Like a director who knows when the show is ready to open,” says David Dower, “institutional leaders have to be able to recognize the moment where it is time to transition from the energy of building out a vision to the energy of sustaining it. When the vision moves from aspirational to actualized, new and different skills are needed.”

Dower continues, “In every long-running show, the director leaves the process after opening night, so that the ensemble gathered around the vision can sustain, evolve, and deepen the performance as it goes on. A little over a year ago, recognizing that ArtsEmerson had ‘opened,’ I understood the moment had come for me to make plans to step aside.”

David C. Howse adds, “David shared this sense with me at that time, and together we began putting in place a plan for that transition. Since aligning our values, our vision and leadership skills at ArtsEmerson in 2015, we have focused not only on building out the programming of ArtsEmerson, but also the internal culture of the Office of the Arts team, which now works as a tight ensemble dedicated to a unified vision and set of values. It’s this team that has created the success for which ArtsEmerson has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally. And I have complete confidence in the future of ArtsEmerson, and that this team will continue to evolve and elevate the organization going forward.”

Photo of David Dower and David C. Howse posing

About the College

ArtsEmerson and HowlRound Theatre Commons both operate from within the Emerson College Office of the Arts. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,780 undergraduates and 670 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 90 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its experiential learning programs in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, the Netherlands, London, China, and the Czech Republic as well as its new Global Portals, with the first opening last fall in Paris. The College has an active network of 51,000 alumni who hold leadership positions in communication and the arts. For more information, visit Emerson.edu.

About ArtsEmerson

The professional presenting and producing organization housed at Emerson College, ArtsEmerson has become recognized as Boston’s leading presenter of contemporary world theatre.  Our mission is to bring people together to experience powerful performances that delight, provoke, and inspire, celebrating both our differences and common humanity. Founded in 2010 by Robert J. Orchard — the year the U.S. Census confirmed there was no single cultural majority in Boston — we committed to building a cultural institution that reflects the diversity of our city. Our imaginative season of globe-spanning performances, film, and dialogue invites each of us to be part of a Boston that is more creative, equitable, and connected. For more information visit ArtsEmerson.org.