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MSF Names Alida Szabo New Board Chair Replacing Carol Doty, Shayne Bullen Named New Vice Chair

The Morrison-Shearer Foundation (MSF) has named ALIDA SZABO as its new Board Chair, succeeding CAROL DOTY who, after retiring from the Morton Arboretum, joined the MSF Board in 2002 and has served as its Chair since 2006.

“Carol is leaving some big shoes to fill, but having served on the Foundation Board prior to and throughout her tenure I come to this position with a thorough knowledge of where the Foundation has been and appreciation of its vision for the future,” says Szabo.

During Doty’s tenure, a significant portion of the Morrison and Shearer archives, including photos, costumes, programs and artifacts were placed in the NEWBERRY LIBRARY; and the Morrison films were placed in the CHICAGO FILM ARCHIVES. In addition, the Foundation published Shearer’s three-volume autobiography, “Without Wings the Way Is Steep,” and produced numerous public programs.

A tribute to Shearer and Morrison, the Foundation recently established a new partnership with the RAGDALE FOUNDATION through a gift of $1.5 million to support new construction including the Sybil Shearer Studio on Ragdale’s Lake Forest campus. The new construction is scheduled to open in 2021.

As Director of Audience Development, Alida Szabo led Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s marketing, advertising, and media relations, from 1998 through her retirement in 2018. Her 20-year tenure at the Tony Award-winning theater included the opening of a 500-seat courtyard-style facility on Navy Pier in 1999, and the 2017 launch of the neighboring theater, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, one of the most flexible theater venues in the world with audience capacities ranging from 150 -850. Prior to joining Chicago Shakespeare, Szabo was a consultant in program development, marketing, and media services for such clients as Walt Disney’s Theatrical Division and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. She also served as a panelist and advisor for National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, Chicago Cultural Center Foundation, and the Chicago Dance Coalition. She spent seven seasons at The Goodman Theatre, served two Chicago mayors and was associated with several of Chicago’s prominent off-loop theater groups, including MoMing Dance and Arts Center and St. Nicholas Theater Company. Szabo holds a Master Degree in Urban Affairs from Roosevelt University.

Alida Szabo, MSF Board Chair and Shayne Bullen, MSF Vice Chair

SHAYNE BULLEN has also been named Vice Chair of the Morrison-Shearer Foundation Board. As Vice Chair she joins the Executive Committee which includes Board Secretary Mary Sue Wheeler and Treasurer Brian Schaeffer. Bullen, a former dancer with the Sybil Shearer Company, is a former educator and high school administrator and current small business owner. In her role as an educator, she developed the Dance Education Curriculum at Schaumburg High School, was the Orchesis [Dance] Director at Prospect High School and the District 214 Dance Show Director for one season. As an administrator from 2003 – 2017, she served as high school Activities Director. Bullen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Roosevelt University.

The Board of Trustees Executive Committee is rounded out by the continuing service of Mary Sue Wheeler as Secretary and Brian Schaeffer as Treasurer.

For a PDF of the Press Release, click here.