October 14, 2022

EMCM Names Lisa Dabney as Executive Director

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – Today, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music Board of Directors announced that Lisa Dabney has joined the Center as the organization’s new Executive Director. In this role, Dabney will lead the Center into a future of bold programming in music education, audio and video engineering, and computer coding; expand the Center’s national profile and its growing family of supporters; and deepen the organization’s engagement with the community and its commitment to nurturing and celebrating the unique music and culture of New Orleans.

“As the daughter of a musician, the Center’s work resonates deeply with me,” said Lisa. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Center’s committed staff and board, harnessing the power of music and culture to deliver the highest-quality programs and services to our community.”

Dabney has extensive experience in nonprofit leadership, management, and fundraising for organizations throughout the country, including The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, the Atlanta Ballet and the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy in Atlanta, Georgia. She will succeed Michele Brierre, the Center’s founding Executive Director, who announced her retirement in early 2021 after more than a decade of service to the organization.

“Lisa is an exceptional leader who has the vision and drive to steer the Center into a vibrant future, guided by our new and forward-looking strategic plan,” said Ann Marie Wilkins, Chair of the Ellis Marsalis Center’s Board of Directors. “We are thrilled that she will be bringing her talents to New Orleans in service of the Center’s mission.”

Dabney and her family moved to New Orleans in early August, and she began her tenure with the Center on August 16th.

About the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music

Located in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music uses music as the focal point of a holistic strategy to build a healthy community and to deliver a broad range of services to underserved children, youth, and musicians from neighborhoods battling poverty and social injustice. The Center is a safe and supportive environment where children and youth develop musically, academically, and socially; where local musicians perform, record and develop professionally; and where the community gathers. The Center also serves as a community resource and a catalyst for cultural preservation.