The Board of Directors of Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg has named Sara M. Crickenberger its new executive director. Crickenberger will join Carnegie Hall in January. She will work alongside current executive director Susan Adkins until Adkins’ retirement from Carnegie Hall on Mar. 1, 2016.
Crickenberger, a native of White Sulphur Springs, currently teaches writing in the English Department at Virginia Tech where she is Assistant Director of the Creative Writing Program. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Virginia Tech and holds an MA in Corporate and Organizational Communication from West Virginia University and a BA in journalism from Marshall University.
Previously Crickenberger served as CEO of the American Lung Association of West Virginia and was the Assistant Director of Charleston Renaissance Corporation. From 2008 until 2012, she lived in Lewisburg, where she worked with several area nonprofits and schools.
“I am thrilled to be coming back to Lewisburg and to be joining the tremendous staff at Carnegie Hall,” Crickenberger said. “This small group of highly dedicated people brings beauty and life to our community in so many ways – through all the activities that happen in the building and out on Ivy Terrace and all the arts and education programs they take out into the schools and larger community. We are all richer for having this gem in the heart of Lewisburg.”
Under Adkins’ leadership for the past 10 years Carnegie Hall’s programming has expanded serving over 30,000 children and adults annually. During her tenure, Adkins has worked diligently to assure the Hall operates in a fiscally responsible manner, planning for future growth, and developing resources to support that growth. Preservation of the Hall has been vital during Adkins tenure with the completion of multiple brick re-pointing projects, installation of a new stage and dance studio floor, interior storm windows throughout the building, sound system and many other smaller projects. Adkins has also built relationships with donors and other organizations throughout the state resulting in the Hall receiving recognition and several state-wide awards.
Crickenberger said she was looking forward to working with Adkins. She credited Adkins and the Carnegie Hall Board of Directors with ensuring the Hall is well positioned for the future. “The hard work of Susan, the current and previous board members, staff and volunteers means that I get to start in a positive place and move forward from there,” Crickenberger said. “There will always be challenges maintaining a 100-year-old-plus building, meeting the growing needs of our community, and remaining successful in an increasingly competitive nonprofit environment, but this is a strong, creative organization with a bright future. I am so pleased that I get to be a part of that.”