Kondwani Mwase to Lead Transformation of Audience Engagement at the National Arts Centre
Christopher Deacon, President and CEO of Canada’s National Arts Centre (NAC), announced today that Kondwani Mwase has been named Executive Director of Audience Engagement, effective August 16, 2021. In that capacity he will have oversight of Marketing, Digital Experience and Design, as well as Analytics and Insights.
Kondwani Mwase brings extensive expertise in the fields of engaging consumers and communities, branding and strategic product development. His understanding of customer loyalty, ability to transform data into actionable insights and innovative outlook have helped him design programs that creatively build deep relationships with various communities. In that respect, his leadership skills have led him to influence and shape projects on national and international stages.
Most recently, Kondwani Mwase worked in marketing and strategic development roles at Jackman Reinvents, Aimia and Venngo. In all spaces, his impact and reach focused on the cultivation of customer-led experiences. Away from the traditional workplace, Kondwani Mwase is the host and creator of the 54Lights podcast, a platform dedicated to celebrating the rich dimensions of African diversity, and its allies, through authentically told stories.
KEY STRATEGIC ROLE
As Executive Director of Audience Engagement, Kondwani Mwase will play an important role in implementing key areas of the NAC’s strategic plan, The Next Act (2020-2023), deepening the understanding of audiences, improving their overall NAC experience, strengthening relationships with equity-seeking communities, and nurturing new generations of audiences.
“At a moment where the NAC is transforming itself to be a more welcoming, inclusive, accessible and diverse space, Kondwani brings the expertise and insights that we need,” said Christopher Deacon. “His task will be to help reimagine audience engagement through the lens of relationships, conversations around our artistic programming, and meaningful connections to communities. The NAC seeks to develop better ways to connect with both existing and new audiences. A skilled and inspiring bilingual communicator, Kondwani is well positioned to help realise that vision.
“I am excited to join the National Arts Centre,” said Kondwani Mwase. “I appreciate that art and culture are profoundly linked. And that connection, between the two, creates an energy that needs to be cultivated so that communities all across the land are actively reflected in the arts and can collectively participate in its renewal. I’m excited and invested in ushering in new audiences to the NAC so that they can join and build upon this great community.”
ABOUT KONDWANI MWASE
Kondwani Mwase is an accomplished marketing professional with over a decade's experience in the fields of engagement, loyalty and communications. He has used his skills to cultivate long standing relationships with communities and strategic partners alike. A true believer in the power of genuine allyship, he's acute at uncovering underlying needs and working with people in service of designing captivating experiences. As a leader, he's as much a doer as he is a listener. In 2019, Kondwani launched 54Lights podcast. The show, a showcase for African accomplishment, reflects Kondwani's genuine connection to the continent and its diverse peoples. A symbol of both passion and purpose, it stands as proof that he's committed to elevating cultures and spreading understanding.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR DIALOGUE
Kondwani Mwase’s arrival aligns perfectly with the plan to lead and support the renewal of the Canadian performing arts sector announced by the NAC in August 2020. This plan highlights the NAC’s will to promote diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion:
“Engaging people in the performing arts is our passion. Artists tell stories that inspire and move us. We bring to light those powerful stories and make space for diversity of voices and perspectives on the national stage. Through the experience of the performing arts, we strive to inspire, challenge and entertain, and to create opportunities for dialogue and understanding that remind us of our shared humanity.”
-- Excerpt from “The Next Act”, the National Arts Centre’s 3-year strategic plan (2020-2023)
One of the NAC’s priorities is to welcome a broader range of stories, cultures and artists, as well as previously excluded voices and perspectives. In 2019, the NAC presented the inaugural season of Indigenous Theatre, the first of its kind in the world, showcasing Indigenous stories and promoting the work of Indigenous artists.
The NAC is committed to increasing the diversity of artists and arts organizations that it collaborates with to create, produce, co-produce and present new work. This is demonstrated by some recent major initiatives, including the NAC English Theatre’s collaboration with Black Theatre Workshop as its co-curating company for next season, as well as diverse programming such as #Danceforth, #NACOLive, #CanadaPerforms and Prologue(s) series, recent National Creation Fund investments, and online learning and education offerings. The NAC is determined to make its stages and spaces more diverse, accessible, equitable and inclusive.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE
The National Arts Centre is Canada’s bilingual, multidisciplinary home for the performing arts. As part of its Strategic Plan, the NAC’s vision is to lead and support the renewal of the performing arts sector. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety — and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe.
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Executive Director, Strategy and Communications