Dr. Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, President of Eugenio María de Hostos Community College of The City University of New York, has announced the appointment of John MacElwee as the new director of the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture (HCAC). In this capacity he replaces Wallace I. Edgecombe, who retired last year after 39 years of outstanding service.

MacElwee comes to Hostos from Port Townsend, Washington, where he was Executive Director of Centrum, one of the state’s leading cultural institutions. With a budget of $2.4 million, Centrum offers nationally-recognized jazz and traditional music workshops as well as writing conferences, festival performances, creative residency programs, and training in all genres of the cultural arts for middle and high school students.

Prior to his time at Centrum, MacElwee was an arts and community development consultant for the following institutions and organizations in California: Healdsburg Jazz Festival; Green Music Center, Sonoma State University; Christopher Cohan Center, California Polytechnic State University; Warnor Center for the Performing Arts; and Santa Rosa Main Street. He also served as Executive Director of the Arts Council of Sonoma County.

Other positions he has held include the following: Vice President for Marketing and Communications, Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Director of Marketing and Communications, Houston Symphony Orchestra; Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Santa Ana, CA; Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Poughkeepsie, NY; and Director of Development and Marketing, Napa Valley Symphony Association, Napa, CA.

MacElwee is a graduate of Lawrence University, where he majored in Government (public policy emphasis) and Music (performance emphasis, double bass). He has produced jazz concerts and popular music events at Orchestra Hall in Detroit, and other venues, in addition to performing with many jazz groups and orchestras.  He was a student of the late Homer Mensch, a longtime faculty member of The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music.

MacElwee’s vision for HCAC is to make it the national leader in its own program field:

“To realize this vision, there must be artistic collaboration, dialogue with the community—internally within the college and externally within the neighborhoods—and highly effective marketing and fundraising programs. The latter requires solidifying public support, maximizing foundation relationships, developing innovative partnerships with corporate sponsors, and building a substantial individual giving program.  I look forward to working with Charles Rice-González in developing artistic projects, particularly in the contemporary dance and literary arts (spoken word) fields, as well as supporting Ángel Morales and the outstanding work of Hostos Rep in the coming years.”

MacElwee will be joined by Hostos faculty members Charles Rice-González and Ángel Morales who will serve in administrative capacities as Associate Artistic Directors of HCAC.  Rice-González, who will also serve as Distinguished Lecturer in the English Department beginning in the spring term, will advise on programming in the dance, solo artist, and literary genres.  Morales, Lecturer and Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts in the Humanities Department, will continue to serve as Artistic Director of the Hostos Repertory Company. Lately, the stature and presence of the Hostos Rep has grown considerably, not only at the College but also in the community. A particular highlight was the recent performance of Rough Magic at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.

In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Rice-González is a published author, LGBT activist, and an award-winning playwright. His novel Chulito was released to acclaim in 2011 and received a “Small Press Highlights 2011” mention from the National Book Critics Circle.  A graduate of Adelphi University, Rice-González received an M.F.A degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and serves on the boards of the Bronx Council on the Arts and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures.  Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Bronx, he currently teaches at the College of Staten Island – CUNY.

Morales, who earned an M.A. in Educational Theatre from New York University, has been the Artistic Director of the Hostos Repertory Company (Hostos Rep) since 2007. Under his leadership, prior to the recent production of Rough Magic, the Hostos Rep also produced Borinquen Vive en El Barrio by Tere Martínez, which was included in the 2008 installment of TeatroStageFest. In 2010, the Company staged the English/Spanish production of Virgilio Piñera’s Siempre se olvida algo (You Always Forget Something), which received four HOLA awards and two ACE awards.

About the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture
The Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture consists of a museum-grade art gallery, a 367-seat Repertory Theater, and a 900-seat Main Theater, presenting artists of national and international renown. It is easily accessible from Manhattan, Queens and New Jersey and is a mere 15 minutes by subway from midtown Manhattan.

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique “Student Success Coaching Unit” provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services.

Hostos offers 29 associate degree programs and five certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of The City University of New York (CUNY), the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 480,000 students at 24 colleges.