Coolidge Corner theatre names new Executive Director

From The Coolidge Corner press office:


Brookline, MA – The Board of Directors of The Coolidge Corner Theatre
Foundation have named Denise Kasell as the new incoming Executive Director of the
renowned non-profit art cinema and historic cultural center, effective January 1, 2009.
Ms. Kasell will replace outgoing Executive Director Joe Zina, who announced his
resignation in July.

“We are delighted that Denise will be joining The Coolidge,” says Board Chair
Malli Gero. “She brings years of experience in film and community arts programming
and is very committed to our mission.”

Based in the New York area over the past two decades, Kasell served as the
Executive Director of The Hamptons International Film Festival from 1998 to 2007. Over
the past year she partnered to establish HWP/Festivals, an independent consulting firm
specializing in administrative support for film festivals and arts organizations. During
her nine year tenure at The Hamptons International Film Festival, Kasell developed a
strong fiscal base by raising over $1 million dollars annually through patrons, donors
and foundations, corporate sponsorships and tickets sales. She more than doubled the
annual budget allowing the festival to expand and flourish. Under her administration
and direction the festival also established a nationally recognized commitment to
fostering collaborations with humanitarian organizations to develop programs which
increased awareness of film as a means for social change. Prior to her work with the
festival, Kasell served as Film Commissioner and Executive Director of Hudson Valley
Film Office and Festival (from 1995-1998), and President of the NYC production
company Sloane Kasell HR Productions (1984-1995). In the mid 1980s Kasell traveled as
Mary Travers’ Road Manager and was the Production Office Manager for Peter Paul
and Mary during their reunion tours. She began her career as a Theatrical Stage
Manager in Regional and Off Broadway Theater.

“I consider it a privilege to work with an institution that has had such a
significant impact on the region’s cultural offerings through the use of film culture,”
stated Kasell upon accepting the position of Executive Director. “I am deeply indebted
to Joe Zina and the Board of The Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation for their
commitment to both preserve and grow this cultural icon.”

Widely regarded as one of New England’s most treasured landmarks,
The Coolidge Corner Theatre was established in 1933 and quickly evolved as a modern
Art Deco picture palace and a favored destination for the movie-loving generation of
the 1940s and ‘50s. Today, under the leadership of a community-based non-profit
Board of Directors and the Executive Director, The Coolidge stands as a popular
showcase for diverse programming. Included in the eclectic line-up are the best in
independent and foreign art-film releases, the prestigious annual Coolidge Award,
Children’s Variety Show matinees, High Definition Opera, a film series for the Deaf and
hard of hearing, local work with visiting filmmakers, and film appreciation workshops.
In 2008, The Coolidge was selected among distinguished arts organizations to be
awarded significant funding from the Cultural Facilities Fund, a program administered
by MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The Coolidge has won
numerous awards and recognitions for creative and innovative programming. This year
marks the 75th anniversary of the theater.

The Coolidge Corner Theatre is located at 290 Harvard Street in the heart of
Coolidge Corner, Brookline, Massachusetts. For information on programming, call 617-
734-2500, or visit the website at