Rosiland Cauthen, head of the Theater Department since 2016, was appointed after an extensive nationwide search. (Courtesy photo by Mary Gardella)

The Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Rosiland Cauthen as its Interim Executive Director. Ms. Cauthen will succeed Dr. Chris Ford who retired in June 2021, after 10 years as Director. Dr. Ford has been at BSA since 1981, beginning as a saxophone instructor, then instrumental music coordinator, and later rising to Music Department head in 1990. He has been part of BSA for a total of 38 years.

“I am so happy that BSA’s next leader will be Roz Cauthen,” said Dr. Chris Ford. “Since her arrival in our community five years ago, she has proven to be a thoughtful leader, a sensitive artist, and an innovative thinker. I am very thankful for her work to lead our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion effort in the past nine months. It has helped the BSA community move to a better place in serving our students and our city. She will carry the idea and ideals of BSA into the future.”

Cauthen’s appointment comes after an extensive nationwide search by a 12-person search committee consisting of BSA parents, faculty, alumni and board members. Led by BSA Board Chair and Alum, Li-Wen Kang, the search committee was assisted by Edgility Consulting, an executive search firm who is experienced in identifying leaders from diverse backgrounds, including women and people of color, for educational and non-profit organizations.

“Our search generated 145 initial applications from many well-qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds,” Li-Wen Kang said. “Forty-five of those applicants were invited to submit video interviews. After an exhaustive and deliberate process over several months, we narrowed the list of 45 down to 12, and continued to make our way towards the final candidate over a six-month period. BSA students, faculty, staff, parents, and the board were involved throughout the entire process. At the end, we all felt that Roz was the right person at the right time for BSA. Her vision for BSA’s future dovetails with that of the BSA community. She has many thoughtful and exciting ideas to keep BSA in the forefront of arts education. We are all very excited to work with her in this new phase of BSA!”

Cauthen joined BSA in 2016 as the head of the Theatre Department. She came to the school from Center Stage, where she served as the Director of Community Programs. Cauthen is a graduate of the M.F.A in theatre program at Towson University, where she has taught courses as adjunct faculty and directed their Theatre Arts Mainstage productions.

Before coming to Baltimore, Cauthen was a corps member of Teach for America, a national corps of young innovative teachers working in the nation’s underserved schools. She is also a director and producer, whose work has been featured at the Creative Alliance, Baltimore Theatre Project, the Arena Players, Center Stage, and the Kennedy Center.

“I am honored to serve our community and am ready to lead the new vanguard of leadership at BSA,” said Cauthen. “I am committed to creating innovative programming, and continuing the excellence in arts and academics that our school is known for. BSA has a legacy of over 40 years of training young artists and is well known and loved throughout the Baltimore community. We are currently faced with some tough challenges, and I’m ready to tackle those challenges to ensure BSA is a safe and positive space for all of our students and staff. The diversity, equity and inclusion work has only just begun. Our practices and values must be reflected in all we do–in the studios and classrooms, and on our stages. The movement towards healing and restoration will be the next steps in our journey.”

For the 2021/22 academic year, Julianne Franz will serve as the Interim Head for the Theatre Department while maintaining her current responsibilities as the Stage Design & Production Program Manager. A national search for the Theatre Department Head will commence later this fall.

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