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We have some powerful and compelling news to share . . .

By Community, Glendale Arts Needs Your Support - Act Now

First, we are excited to announce the promotion of Nina Crowe to Chief Executive Officer and Maria Sahakian to the role of Chief Operating Officer. Their primary focus will be on the sustainable COVID recovery of the Alex Theatre with their eye toward the theatre’s 100th birthday which is just four years away. Nina and Maria represent 30 years of experience in non-profit theatre management, budgeting, fundraising, and business development. Outgoing CEO Elissa Glickman will remain in an advisory role.

Under any other circumstance, we would be celebrating. But instead, we are disheartened. On June 15th, when the Alex Theatre (and the entire state) was opening up, we received some devastating news. The Glendale City Council met in a closed door session and voted to terminate negotiations with Glendale Arts to operate the Alex Theatre.

Two years ago, Glendale Arts management contract for the Alex Theatre came up for renewal, and the city and Glendale Arts negotiated an extension of the previous contract. In January 2021, the city issued a Request for Proposals for the Theatre’s operations. We answered with a 160 page proposal, which included a 10-year recovery and growth plan.

On April 20th, after an exhaustive and nationwide search, the City selected Glendale Arts as the single negotiator, and assigned city staff to negotiate the closure of the deal. In the nearly 2 months since the RFP award, Glendale Arts was never provided any specific benchmarks, numbers or scenarios to produce a mutual agreement. In good faith gestures to have a signed deal before the expiration of our current contract, Glendale Arts provided concessions to the City by reducing the proposed management fee by half with the exception of additional funding the first two years to assist with our COVID recovery.

No formal reason was given for the decision to cease and no further details were provided.

The closed session item of ceasing negotiations with Glendale Arts will be voted on in a public City Council meeting at 1:00 pm next Tuesday, June 29th.

On June 30, the previous contract extension will expire, and the Alex will be without an operator.

What can you do?

Glendale Arts is engaging our community supporters and partners, many of whom have written letters of support and called into City Council meetings already, to put pressure on Council to reopen negotiations with Glendale Arts and engage in a transparent conversation about the future of the Alex Theatre and the arts in Glendale. We do not know what is behind this sudden reversal, but we are doing everything we can to ensure that the Alex continues to be a beacon for lovers of history, the arts, and community.

We need your support more than ever! As a donor, supporter, and theatre-goer, you can speak with authority about what the Alex means to you and why Glendale Arts is uniquely qualified to operate the theatre.

It’s time to ask the City Council to support Glendale Arts rather than defund it, so we can get back to work. It’s time to move beyond these failed “negotiations” and together make a real plan for the Alex, its preservation, its care and maintenance, and the community.

Visit for more information on the leadership change and how to take action today!

With Sincere Gratitude for your Support,

Glendale Arts Board

PS – Send an EMAIL TODAY to the City Officials to ask them to reopen exclusive negotiations with Glendale Arts:

Mayor Paula Devine:
Councilmember Ardy Kassakhian:
Councilmember Vrej Agajanian:
Councilmember Dan Brotman:
Councilmember Ara Najarian:
City Manager, Roubik Goulanian:

PPS – CALL into the June 29 City Council meeting at 1:00 PM (NOTE: THIS IS A SPECIAL MEETING TIME!) – this is when they will make the decision and your voice makes all the difference!

For public comments and questions during the meeting call (818) 937-8100
Join the meeting online: 

Tell them why you support Glendale Arts as the only choice for operating the Alex – is it the diverse and high quality programming we bring to town? The economic benefit to the surrounding restaurants and businesses? Have you seen first hand our care and preservation efforts for the historic theatre? Do you see how we use the arts to bridge generations, needed now more than ever as we return from the solitude of COVID? Maybe you have a first hand experience about the support we provide to other community organizations and the jobs we’ve created in order to fulfill our mission. Personal testimonials are powerful!

Meeting agenda for June 29 meeting:

PPPS – SHARE this message with your friends and neighbors! If we’re going to save the Alex as we know it, we need all hands on deck! Our social channels have posts you can share – follow us:

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” Bob Marley

New Leadership for Glendale Arts

By Community, Glendale Arts Needs Your Support - Act Now

Media Contact
Glendale Arts
Bobby Morales
Marketing Coordinator, Glendale Arts


Outgoing CEO Elissa Glickman to Remain in Advisory Role to Assist in Transition Period

GLENDALE, Calif. (June 23, 2021) – The Board of Glendale Arts has voted unanimously to promote Nina Crowe to Chief Executive Officer and Maria Sahakian to the role of Chief Operating Officer, with a specific focus on the Alex Theatre’s operations. The two leaders represent close to 30 years of experience in non-profit theatre management, budgeting, fundraising, and business development. Under their leadership and the direction of the Board, Glendale Arts will embark on its post-COVID chapter with the addition of streamed performances and digital media services as well as a continued drive to further solidify the organization’s financial standing and diversify programming to meet the needs of the local community. Crowe and Sahakian officially assume their new positions on August 1.

Established in 2008 to manage and operate the iconic Alex Theatre, Glendale Arts has inspired a thriving arts scene in the surrounding neighborhood. In addition to presenting programming and creating partnerships that benefit youth, patrons, artists, organizations and businesses in the community and at the Alex Theatre, it hosts a variety of community programs throughout the year that raise funds for the Theatre and contribute to a thriving and vibrant community.

Crowe has been with Glendale Arts for more than 10 years. She currently serves as the co-managing director and is responsible for shaping the financial future, community relations, and contributed income of Glendale Arts. As CEO, Crowe will expand on her existing duties as well as continue to build upon and implement the financial and strategic direction of the organization.

Since joining Glendale Arts in 2011, Crowe has helped raise close to $3 million towards operations and special projects as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars towards Glendale

Arts programs. She has been instrumental in developing, planning, and executing fundraising events such as the annual Alex Theatre’s Birthday Celebration, The Illuminate Dinner, Taste Walk Glendale, and community enrichment events such as POPUP, the Open Arts & Music Festival, and more. Crowe’s achievements have been recognized with a “Woman in Business” Award in 2019 from Senator Anthony Portantino. In 2020, she participated in the Executive Service Corps’ Executive Directors Leadership Institute and in 2021 was accepted into the ACTIVATE Innovators Cohort, an arts advocacy leadership institute through Arts for LA.

Sahakian brings over 18 years of experience with the Alex Theatre to her new, expanded role. In addition to Alex Theatre bookings and programming, she will be responsible for all earned income and day-to-day operations, including rentals, programming, and patron services, food and beverage, ticket sales, and merchandise. Since joining the staff in 2003, she has booked over 3,400 dates at the Alex which have generated nearly $30 million in revenue and attracted over 1 million attendees. An active community member, Sahakian was presented with the Glendale Educational Foundation’s (GEF) 2021 Diamond Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts and subsequently joined GEF’s Board of Directors. She is also a Founding Member and Immediate Past Chair of the Glendale Young Professionals (GYP), a program of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, and represents Glendale Arts on the City of Glendale’s annual Armenian Genocide Commemoration and Tech Week planning committees.

Elissa Glickman, CEO of Glendale Arts since 2012, will remain in an advisory capacity to assist in the smooth transition of leadership. She has been involved with Glendale Arts and the Alex Theatre for over 17 years. Under Glickman’s leadership, Glendale Arts and the Alex Theatre weathered the elimination of the Redevelopment Agency, grew from a $1.7 million organization to $2.48 million, and increased contributed income to $400,000. Prior to the pandemic, the historic theatre generated over $9.5 million of economic activity and produced over 2,500 programs.

The future of the Alex Theatre under the management of Glendale Arts remains on a prosperous path. They successfully guided the organization through the pandemic, leading the migration to virtual events and fundraisers, and establishing a digital media department for ongoing live streaming of performances. They also will be launching a new box office and ticketing solution for the Alex Theatre as well as an updated website.

“It is an honor to have Nina and Maria lead Glendale Arts in an exciting new chapter for the organization. Their experience, dedication, and passion have guided us through the pandemic and we look forward to continued growth,” said Glendale Arts Board Chair Phil Kubel. “Through Elissa’s strategic leadership, she has crafted an operational foundation and built a team that has garnered the respect not only of the industry, but the community as well. We are privileged to have her remain on board in an advisory role as we emerge from one of the most challenging times in the Theatre’s history.”

“I am proud of our organization’s accomplishments and confident that our team will continue to guide the preservation of and programming at the Alex,” said Glickman. “Glendale Arts has a hopeful future and will continue to have a monumental impact on the Alex Theatre and the community at large.”

About the Alex Theatre
The Alex Theatre is a world-class performing arts and entertainment center located in Glendale, Calif. Founded in 1925 as a Vaudeville house and movie palace, today the 95 year-old cultural institution houses six Resident Companies – Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Ballet, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Musical Theatre Guild, Glendale Youth Orchestra, and Alex Film Society – and hosts a multitude of performances, shoots, and special events annually. A historic landmark, the Alex Theatre is further recognized for its iconic marquee and 100-foot tall neon tower, which overlooks Downtown Glendale. To learn more about the historic landmark, visit the Alex Theatre website at

About Glendale Arts
Glendale Arts is the non-profit organization that manages the city’s historic Alex Theatre. Glendale Arts strives to build a lively community enriched by a strong presence of culture and art. To learn more about this organization, visit the Glendale Arts website at

Media Contact:
Glendale Arts
Bobby Morales
Marketing Coordinator, Glendale Arts / @GlendaleArtsCA / @AlexTheatreCA

How The Arts Are Getting Us Through This

By Glendale Arts Needs Your Support - Act Now



It’s easy to feel afraid during these uncertain times and that’s OK, but through this crisis, we’re witnessing an overwhelming amount of our population turning to the arts to overcome their fear and doubt and simply pass the time. We encourage everyone to stay positive, make the most out of this situation, and CREATE. Who knows? You could be our next Picasso, Misty Copeland, or Joni Mitchell. Or, at the very least, you can use these suggestions as ways to keep your mind busy, stay positive, and maybe come out of this with a newfound passion. Our staff at Glendale Arts will be sharing ways that we are keeping busy through arts, crafts, music, dance and more. We’d love you to join in and share your creativity with us! Follow us on Facebook or Instagram and share your creations!


Here’s some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing…


Ways People Are Creating Art at Home/Virtually: 

  1. Singing from their balconies. This video went viral after a group of Italians decided to serenade from their balcony to lift spirits.  
  2.  Maintaining a Sense of Humor. Millions of people are turning to comedy to cope with the stress and anxieties as well as instruct best practices of washing hands, social distancing, and more. 
  3. Hosting virtual concerts.  As live events continue to be canceled or postponed, musicians are turning to live streaming platforms to play to their fans. Local musicians are also taking requests and posting on their Instagram stories.  
  4. Streaming current movies at home. Universal Studios announced that they will be streaming current movies playing in theatres at home. Additionally, movies such as Trolls World Tour will continue their premier on Universal’s streaming service.

Free and affordable online tutorials for you to use while practicing social distancing: 

Brit & Co Free Online Classes through 3/31  A digital media and commerce company that enables creativity through inspirational content and online classes. Offers classes from calligraphy, watercolor painting, cake decorating and more! Classes are FREE through the end of March. 

Comic Book Tutorials 

Comic book writers and artists are rallying online to offer activities for those staying at home

Music/Voice Lessons 

Local music teachers are offering their voice/instrument lessons digitally.

Free Cooking Classes

Online cooking classes available for FREE through April 30th


Sewing, knitting, photography and more!



We’re Here for YOU, Glendale

By Glendale Arts Needs Your Support - Act Now

Greetings, one and all!

As things are changing on a day-to-day basis, we wanted to keep you informed with up-to-date information on what’s going on at Glendale Arts and the Alex Theatre. We also wanted to let you know that WE’RE HERE FOR YOU, now and always. We’ll be posting ways for you to use the arts to keep your chin up, how the arts are being useful during this pandemic, and more.

As of this morning, the CDC recommended limiting groups of 50 or more people. Most theatres, live event venues, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs have had to close their doors until May. We are following the directives of local leaders and the CDC in hopes of protecting our community and coming out stronger when this crisis passes. While we recognize that the disastrous effects of the Coronavirus are not exclusive to our industry, artists, entertainers, the dedicated people who run those venues, and the surrounding establishments (such as the family-owned restaurants and bars that depend on the income that live shows generate for them) have taken an immediate and crippling hit on their livelihoods literally overnight

Once the immediate threat and economic implications of the virus subsides, we will need to act swiftly to repair the heavy mental and emotional toll that this is going to take on the world population. So-called “donations” are actually investments in the future ability of organizations like ours to be ready to heal and bring much-needed joy and togetherness to people. Live performing arts and entertainment should not be discounted in their importance as critical components necessary for rebuilding a healthy and vibrant society.

If you can, please consider donating to our organization so we can be at the ready to help repair our community through live entertainment.

Click Here for more information on what you can do to fight the Coronavirus Pandemic.