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UMD's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center Announces New Executive Director

Terrence "Terry" Dwyer brings more than 30 years of experience leading major arts presenting organizations across the United States


Sarah Snyder


COLLEGE PARK, Md - After a national search, longtime arts leader Terrence “Terry” Dwyer has been named the next executive director of The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (The Clarice), the dynamic hub for the performing arts at the University of Maryland.

In this role, Dwyer will ensure The Clarice continues to thrive as a laboratory for education, scholarship, community engagement and innovation in the arts as well as a national leader among performing arts presenters. He begins July 18, 2022.

Dwyer brings more than 30 years of experience in executive leadership, financial planning, high-level fundraising and programming at major arts presenting organizations, both regional and national, across the United States.

“We are thrilled to welcome Terry Dwyer as the next executive director of The Clarice,” said Bonnie Thornton Dill, the dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. “Terry’s significant experience as a leader in arts management, fierce dedication to collaborative leadership and commitment to community engagement and relationship-building promises an exciting future for The Clarice.”

After beginning his career as a stage manager at Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival (now Great Lakes Theater), Dwyer has served in leadership positions at prominent presenting and producing organizations from New York to San Diego since 1988. From 2006 to 2019, he was the president of the internationally acclaimed Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, California, a role he left with a strong legacy of artistic and educational excellence, collaboration and innovation. Under his leadership, the center launched new festivals, expanded programming and raised more than $140 million as part of its capital and endowment campaigns. He also worked to establish innovative and impactful new community partnerships and engagement programs.

The extensive list of venues where he has served as a chief executive, in addition to Segerstrom Center, includes La Jolla Playhouse, The Alley Theatre, Circle Repertory Company, Laura Dean Dancers & Musicians, the McCallum Theatre and the Kravis Center. Most recently, Dwyer comes to The Clarice from the Performing Arts Center-Eastside in Bellevue, Washington, where he was the consulting CEO.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to join The Clarice at the University of Maryland to build on its incredible record of campus and community impact,” said Dwyer. “The Clarice’s legacy of artistic excellence, community connections and commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, along with its dedication to collaboration and the development of new work, positions it well to realize opportunities for continued cultural leadership and developing of its role as a catalyst for social change.”

Dwyer takes the helm at a time when performing arts organizations around the nation are reckoning with race and racism, heightened social and political unrest and a radically shifted post-pandemic landscape for the arts.

He will play a key role in the campuswide Arts for All initiative, which leverages the power of the arts, technology and social justice to address the grand challenges of our time and aims to ensure equitable access to the arts. In collaboration with other arts leaders and alongside Associate Dean for Arts and Programming Patrick Warfield, he will take part in developing and implementing a strategic and innovative vision that engages the campus, connects with the community and further enhances the reputation of the university.

“It’s a hugely important and exciting time for the arts at Maryland, and I am so thrilled to welcome Terry,” said Warfield. “His demonstrated commitment to collaborative artistic planning and programming that reflects aesthetic equity, diversity and inclusivity, as well as his belief in the power of the arts, bodes well for the future of the arts on campus and beyond.”

Dwyer holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in directing for the theater from the University of Missouri and a Master of Fine Arts in theater administration from the Yale School of Drama.

Thornton Dill extends her deepest gratitude to Acting Executive Director of The Clarice Erica Bondarev Rapach, who has served in the role for over two years. During that time, she led The Clarice through the most challenging and uncertain periods of the COVID-19 pandemic, engaged the staff in difficult and impactful conversations and workshops around anti-racism, and worked to foster an increasingly collaborative relationship with campus and community partners. She also designed, advocated for and built a shared leadership team in artistic programming for The Clarice. Bondarev Rapach will return to her role as associate executive director.


Arts and Culture

Areas of Expertise:

Arts (Visual Art, Music, Theater)

Colleges and Schools:

College of Arts and Humanities

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