Pentacle Announces New Executive Director


Pentacle is very pleased to announce the first generational leadership transition in its 45-year history! On July 1st, 2021 Clarissa Soto Josephs will assume the role of Executive Director of Pentacle, the first BIPOC woman and the first non-founder to hold this top leadership role at the organization. Longtime Director Mara Greenberg will step down as the head of Pentacle, and will be a director of the organization, continuing to have a role in various capacities for the foreseeable future.


This leadership transition is the culmination of two years of thoughtful preparation and planning by Pentacle’s Board of Directors and leadership staff to ready the organization for a new leader. While the pandemic altered the timeline, Mara and Clarissa have worked together closely on the plan over the past year and feel secure that Pentacle is in a strong and stable place for the transition to take place.

“My vision for Pentacle is to continue up-holding the organization’s 45-year mission of helping artists, while also taking a fresh look at how we can develop new equitable and sustainable business models and practices,” says Clarissa. “My goals are to remain accessible to the artists, so that they still feel like they can come to me directly, and as a BIPOC woman in a leadership role at Pentacle, I am excited to continue the work of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee to further create a healthy and safe space for the staff, the artists, and everyone to be seen and valued.”

A staff member of Pentacle for over ten years, Clarissa has worked with over one hundred artists, trained more than 150 interns and fellows in arts administration, and developed innovative ways to effectively serve young artists through Pentacle’s services and programs. After earning dual degrees in Dance Performance and Entrepreneurship with a concentration in Legal Studies from Hofstra University, in 2016 she earned an MBA degree from Quinnipiac University and was named one of the New York Hispanic Coalition’s 40 under 40 Rising Latino Stars in the same year. She is also a small business owner who co-founded Parkside Pups, a dog-walking business with her husband Michael, and also started CSJ Travel, a travel advisory service that grew out of her lifelong love of travel and cultural exchange. These businesses along with her work at Pentacle feed her dual passions for dance and entrepreneurship, and she is always looking for new ways to help dance artists navigate both their craft and their businesses.

“I have worked with Clarissa over ten years now in which she had different roles, including as Director of Programming, and then as Associate Director. The process of Clarissa stepping into the leadership role has been very organic, and it has made me feel confident in her ability to lead,” says Mara.

As Associate Director of Pentacle during the pandemic, Clarissa’s leadership enabled Pentacle to move quickly to remote operations, on-board two new Arts Management Training Fellows, retain all of its staff, create the new nextSteps virtual administrative platform, and expand its vital services and programs by providing FREE support to vulnerable performing artists particularly impacted by COVID-19.

Clarissa notes, “I’m aware that I am stepping into this role in a time of change, not just for Pentacle, but for the field itself. Having worked at Pentacle for ten years, and held almost every role in the organization, I have a strong connection with the staff, and a great pride in our mission. I feel ready to lead as the first BIPOC woman Executive Director of Pentacle.”


More Pentacle Staff Updates!

Pentacle welcomes Aminah Walton and Jocelyn Cruz to our dedicated team of administrators. Read more about our new staff members and their contributions below.

Photo of Aminah

Aminah walton | fiscal associate

Aminah Walton studied at Loyola University in Chicago. Her interest in arts administration was sparked during her work-study at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Youth Dance Program. Before joining Pentacle in 2021, she was the Bookkeeper and Office Manager at Atlanta Ballet for two years. A Georgia native, she has interned with South Arts, was a review panelist for Fulton County Arts & Culture grants, and was Event & Operations Coordinator at the Miller Theater in Augusta, GA. Aminah enjoys working with artists and connecting them to the resources they need to thrive. She is excited to further her passion by contributing to Pentacle’s Fiscal Services team.


Photo of Jocelyn

Jocelyn cruz | Administrative intern

A native New Yorker, Jocelyn Cruz graduated from The City College of New York with a BA in International Studies and Asian Studies. Her interest in art and culture led her to study abroad in Japan. Awarded with the CUNY Chancellor’s global scholarship and the Freeman Asia award, she documented her experience by filming and editing, leading her to an internship with Gibney’s Digital Media Initiative. Eager to learn more, Jocelyn volunteered at HI New York City Hostel and enrolled in various classes ranging from language to technology. In addition to her work with Pentacle, she currently works as a Gallery Assistant at The Noguchi Museum.


Read more about Pentacle Staff.

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