MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – Allison Larena, President & CEO of Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC) in Morristown, was honored Friday night by the Morris County Board of County Commissioners for her 20 years at the helm of the arts organization.
Commissioner Deputy Director John Krickus presented Larena with a framed “Resolution of Honor” inside MPAC’s Starlight Room just prior to the performance of “Croce Plays Croce” at the theater on South Street.
“I am grateful for the recognition by the Morris County Board of Commissioners in honor of my 20th anniversary at MPAC. MPAC is fortunate to be located in a county that recognizes the value of our cultural institutions and how they contribute to the quality of life for our residents. The Commissioners support of our education programs this past year has been a vital lifeline to helping these programs return to enrich the lives of thousands of children every year,” Larena said.
The resolution notes that Larena has been instrumental in transforming the Morristown-based theater into a world class performing arts center and for growing its annual operating budget from $1.5 million to more than $13 million. Under her tutelage, MPAC operations grew from about 50 events annually to over 250 events, welcoming more than 240,000 patrons each year and generating over $9 million in ticket sales, while simultaneously having an estimated impact of $15 million dollars on the local economy.
“On behalf of the Morris County Commissioners We are pleased to present you with this resolution recognizing your 20 years of leadership of Mayo Performing Arts Center. MPAC is a crown jewel for Morris County,” Krickus said.
“Morris County was proud to provide MPAC with $600,000 of funding for education programs as part of the recovery from COVID, and also recently approved $24,000 of historic grant funding for the plans to renovate the historic facade to the theater,” Krickus said.
MPAC, which operates out of a 1937 theater designed by Thomas Lamb, has served more than 40,000 children through education and outreach programs, and Larena is credited with launching innovative programs during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the arts accessible.
Among the programs were the first outdoor drive-in concerts, the first limited-capacity concerts and the first livestreams in New Jersey as she kept the theatre active and relevant, while creating a safe environment for people to enjoy an indoor arts experience.
To learn more about MPAC and upcoming events, visit www.mayoarts.org.