Welcome RAWK's New Executive Director!
Join us in welcoming Nicki Poer as our new Executive Director!
After a months-long search with an impressive pool of applicants with widely varied experience, we are thrilled to celebrate the dynamic addition of Poer to our organization. We are grateful for her energy and enthusiasm, confident that she is the leader RAWK needs in this new phase of our organization.
For the past nine years Nicki has served as the Director of Education & Outreach at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre where she created and runs the Academy of Theatre Arts which runs theatre education programs year-round for youth and adults. Her work at The Civic also includes partnerships with Kzoo Parks and Rec, Communities in Schools, and Kalamazoo Public Library. Originally from Illinois, she came to Kalamazoo from Connecticut where she was the Education Associate for Community-Based Programs at the Tony Award-Winning Hartford Stage. Nicki holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Montana and a BA from Millikin University. She found her passion for working with youth while touring through the US, Canada, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba with the Missoula Children's Theatre.
Karen Trout, RAWK board president: "On behalf of the entire board of directors, I have full confidence that RAWK will be in excellent hands under Nicki's leadership. She brings enthusiasm, strong community connections, and proven administrative skills, all of which will ensure RAWK's unique ability to celebrate and amplify youth voices, and thereby contribute to youth success."
The work Poer has done in our community to provide platforms for youth to flourish creatively is a fitting compliment to the work we do at RAWK. The curriculum at the Academy of Theatre Arts has focused on emotional intelligence, empathy, and building self-confidence through performance and technical theatre skills.
"My passion for the community of Kalamazoo runs deep and I am honored to join RAWK to help the youth of Kalamazoo to continue to have safe spaces to find their voices, share their ideas, and express themselves," Poer shares. "RAWK has experienced immense growth over the past six years due to the dedication of an extremely skilled staff, supportive board of directors, loyal volunteers, and the community of Kalamazoo itself. As we look to the future, RAWK will continue to expand programming to adjust to the changing needs of Kalamazoo youth to help them succeed in an ever-changing world."
Nicki lives in Kalamazoo with her husband, Brad who is the theatre professor at Kellogg Community College and her children, a 7 year old daughter and 3 year old son. The family is completed by their 12 year old Australian Shepherd, Elwood who is named after the Blues Brother.
She will be joining the RAWK team in her official capacity at the beginning of July 2018. Yet another reason why this summer is going to RAWK!