Eastburn named new executive director at Matthews Opera House
SPEARFISH – Becky Naccarato Eastburn is the new executive director at Matthews Opera House and Arts Center.
“The executive director position interested me first as a way to become more involved in the Spearfish community,” Eastburn, originally from Pueblo, Colo., said. “As a recent transplant, I have fallen in love with Spearfish and want to spend my time giving back to the community that welcomed me so warmly. Also, the arts are an essential part of my life, starting from a young age. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t involved in music, dance, and performing. I hope to be part of the reason this community appreciates the arts, and one day someone will look back and be as grateful for the experiences they gained through the Matthews as I am reflecting on my past.”
Eastburn takes the reins from Sian Young, who started at the opera house in the role of event coordinator in 2011 before becoming the executive director. Young’s final full-time day at the opera house is Nov. 16, after which she will be in charge of special projects, focusing on wrapping up several grants that the nonprofit organization received, moving forward with certain capital improvements, and designing a new website for the opera house.
“Sian … is leaving this organization in such a better place, and my ultimate goal is to follow her example,” Eastburn said. “The goal of the Matthews is to create a more connected community - to itself and to the rest of the world. When we bring the world to our stage and to our classrooms, we also bring along the issues of the world for education, discussion, and change. I want to build off of Sian’s progress and continue to make the Matthews a place where everyone feels welcome and that the arts are accessible to everyone.”
Eastburn became a member of the opera house’s board of directors in January after attending shows at the venue with her husband, Evan, the year before. She has a degree in psychology and political science from the University of Colorado-Boulder and also has a certificate in the study and practice of leadership from its Chancellor’s Leadership Studies Program. While in college, she worked in the ticket office for the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club and was hired full-time to work in the Group Sales department after she graduated. Eastburn was eventually promoted to Group Sales coordinator, and she helped establish various ticketed theme days to generate revenue and increase attendance at games.
After she and her husband moved to Spearfish last year, she worked as an outreach liaison in the Growth and Innovations and Strategic Marketing and Communications departments at Regional Health.
In addition to Eastburn, the opera house has filled a number of positions recently: Seth Harwood was hired as marketing manager; Kyler Flock was promoted to community engagement manager; and Heather (Clark) Evans was recently hired as gallery and patron services manager. “We are all so excited to work together and continue to create arts collaborations and experiences in our community,” Eastburn said.
She described that she is looking forward to decorating the spaces for the holidays, as well as all of the upcoming holiday programming, including Santa’s visit Dec. 1, the Holiday Piano Duets on Dec. 5, and the Holiday High Tea Dec. 8.
“My short-term goal is to have a successful Big Read program in January, February, and March,” Eastburn added. “The Big Read is a project that I am so excited about! It engages our community as a whole to discuss one book that will further inspire creativity connected to the various programs put on by the Matthews, (Grace Balloch Memorial Library), and BHSU.”
When not working, Eastburn and her husband love to travel and keep in touch with family across the country. In addition, they are sports fanatics, she described, and they love to cheer on all Colorado teams.
Eastburn voiced her thanks to Young for her help during the transition.
“I am beyond grateful for the time spent with Sian,” she said. “No day in this role is the same as the day before, and the knowledge she has gained over the last eight years is incredibly valuable to me.”
Eastburn encouraged people to stop in to Matthews Opera House to see everything happening and to get involved.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood for this organization and are truly appreciated,” she said. “We are always looking to involve our volunteers, not only supporting the theater events, but also the community activities offered throughout the year.”
For more information about Matthews Opera House and Arts Center, visit matthewsopera.com.
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