News Go behind the scenes with Omaha Performing Arts

O-pa hosts Executive Leadership in the Performing Arts fellow

Posted On Oct 24, 2023, 16:59 PM by Sarah Kosch

Fellow Yvette Loynaz with O-pa president Joan Squires

O-pa hosted one of seven fellows from the national Executive Leadership in the Performing Arts Program October 4–6. The program is an initiative of Live Arts Centers of North America (LACNA Foundation), a coalition of more than 50 performing arts centers located in the United States and Canada whose mission strives to enhance the potential of the performing arts field in the 21st century. O-pa President Joan Squires is member of the board of directors that leads this program on behalf of the LACNA Foundation.   

The Executive Leadership in the Performing Arts Program supports the advancement of future C-suite executives such as chief executive officers, chief operating officers, chief financial officers and chief advancement/chief development officers. The program will help recognize and support the myriad qualified arts professionals who are viable candidates for senior roles and strengthen their capacities to lead large civic cultural organizations into the future.     

Throughout the program, the fellows will explore ways to transform anchor performing arts organizations to become more equitable, diverse, inclusive, accessible and reflective of the communities they serve. The year-long program includes leadership training and coaching, networking opportunities, and residencies at participating performing arts center.   

“In alignment with Omaha Performing Arts’ core value of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility, we support this national program to afford access and benefits to up-and-coming executives who will continue to diversify our industry by representing a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, experience, and views,” said Bianca Harley, Vice President of Human Capital and Inclusion.   

Yvette Loynaz, Director of Artistic Administration at Opera Theatre of St. Louis visited the O-pa campus and connected with executives from the organization as well as community leaders, artists and volunteers to gain a greater understanding of the community and the performing arts industry.

Yvette Loynaz is an accomplished arts leader, educator, fundraiser, producer, performing artist, and diversity, equity and inclusion advocate with over 20 years' experience working in the nonprofit and performing arts fields. Accomplishments in her current role include successfully facilitating the company’s first community-centric, artist-led and curated program featuring performances by local artists and festival season artists in celebration of Black creators and music. In 2022, she co-led the development and launch of the company’s New Works Collective, an initiative that redefines opera-making by putting the decision-making power in the hands of the community and inviting new voices and creators into the creative process. 

For more information about the Executive Leadership in the Arts Program, visit