FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 7, 2020
Contact: Michelle Tabnick, (646) 765-4773, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bloomingdale School of Music Appoints New Executive Director Erika Atkins
Bloomingdale School of Music (BSM) announces the appointment of Erika Atkins as Executive Director, effective September 8, 2020. After spending five years at the arts education non-profit Opening Act, most recently serving as Deputy Director, Erika will bring fifteen years of arts education experience to BSM, including work at the New Victory Theater, Levine Music and the YMCA. She succeeds Interim Executive Director Helene Blieberg.
“The Board and I are thrilled to announce Erika’s appointment,” said Ken Michaels, BSM Board President. “Many strong and qualified candidates were interested in joining us, and Erika won the hearts of everyone she spoke with. We know Erika’s specialized experience and networks will be a great resource for us in these uncertain times and look forward to welcoming her into our community.”
“Not only am I honored for the opportunity to lead the Bloomingdale School of Music, I am excited to join an incredible and thriving creative community in my own backyard,” said Erika. “It is evident to me that Bloomingdale is a very special place. For over 50 years, the organization has been a fixture of joy, hope, and opportunity. Even through these unprecedented times, it has risen to the occasion of creating access. I look forward to extending Bloomingdale’s legacy of providing high-quality music education to everyone who seeks it.” At a young age, Erika’s family instilled in her the importance of service, creativity, and growth through constant learning. Over the past decade, Erika has channeled those values into her career as an arts administrator, youth development professional, teaching artist, and performer in New York City and her native Washington D.C. area. Erika’s life-changing experiences growing up as a young artist propelled her to leadership roles within her community and attending George Mason University, where she obtained a B.A. in Music.
She has used her drive to connect and support people through her administrative work in arts education. Prior to Opening Act, she worked at the New Victory Theater (New York City) and Levine Music (Washington, D.C.) where she developed operations and support systems and taught as a teaching artist and workshop facilitator within the programs. This allowed Erika to dive into arts education from multiple perspectives and develop a 360° approach to her work. Shortly after completing her M.S. in Arts Administration from Drexel University in 2015, Erika joined the staff of Opening Act as the Director of Operations.
Erika also serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable and is a member of both the Arts Education Advisory Council of Americans for the Arts and the Anti-Racist Workshop Planning Committee for the National Guild of Community Arts Education.
Founded in 1964, Bloomingdale School of Music is dedicated to the belief that music changes lives and everyone should have access to high-quality music education regardless of economic status, race, religion, ability level, or gender. Bloomingdale is a music-driven community center where all are welcome to join and learn about music from top faculty. We are dedicated to our mission – to make music education accessible to all who want to learn – and remain focused on supporting this mission through our values. www.bsmny.org/