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Naomi Press Release

Press Release




Gonzalez succeeds Rhoda Blount, who transformed the Mann’s education and community programming over 22 years of dedicated service 

PHILADELPHIA (August 16, 2018) – The Mann Center for the Performing Arts announced today the selection of Naomi Gonzalez as the non-profit’s new director of education and community engagement. A champion for arts education in the Philadelphia region, Gonzalez will use her experience and strong network to continue building the Mann’s education and community engagement programs by creating new and exciting special performances, multicultural festivals and in-school programming. Gonzalez brings to the Mann extensive knowledge in the development and oversight of community programs, most recently serving as the manager of collaboration and access with The Philadelphia Orchestra Association (POA). 

“Naomi’s depth of experience with arts education and community programming, in addition to her association with other performing arts organizations in Philadelphia and beyond, made her a stand out candidate to join our family at the Mann,” said Catherine M. Cahill, president and CEO the Mann. “We’re thrilled to see Naomi’s leadership in action as she works to continue the Mann’s legacy of inspiring and captivating young people with free, culturally diverse programs.”

Since joining the POA in 2016, Gonzalez designed and implemented local and national initiatives, produced large scale events with national partners – such as Carnegie Hall, the School District of Philadelphia and the Salvation Army – and created a week-long orchestra residency with 30 community events throughout the city of Philadelphia. She also focused on creating opportunities and access to quality music programs for children of all ages from the Philadelphia region, which included partnering with five Philadelphia schools. This partnership allowed her to launch a nationally recognized and funded fellowship program that serves talented high school-aged musicians from under represented communities.

“The Mann plays a crucial role as an arts resource to communities in Philadelphia. I am honored to be part of the Mann’s tradition of celebrating artistic excellence, innovation and diversity,” said Naomi Gonzalez. “The power of arts education is vitalized by the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, grounded by its people, cultures and communities. I look forward to serving this wonderful city and the excellent staff at the Mann.”
Prior to joining the POA, Gonzalez was the lead teaching artist at Play On, Philly! and served as a music and early childhood specialist at Gymboree Play and Music in Chicago. 

Gonzalez succeeds Rhoda Blount, who retired from the position after serving the Mann for 22 years. Over more than two decades at the Mann, Blount grew the arts education and community programming into what it is today and brought her deep connections with Philadelphia’s rich music traditions to her work at the Mann. 

Cahill remarked, “The Mann will forever appreciate all that Rhoda has done for this organization and for the children of Philadelphia who have been exposed to rich, cultural opportunities thanks to the work of this extraordinary woman.  She truly has made an indelible mark on this city.”


About the Mann
As one of the foremost outdoor music centers in the country, the Mann, a leading non-profit organization, has a historical legacy of artistic excellence as a world-class entertainment destination presenting premier artists in association with AEG Presents. Each summer season, renowned symphony orchestras, iconic rock stars and the latest touring artists in indie rock, hip hop, R&B and pop take the stage here. The Mann is the summer home of The Philadelphia Orchestra and has presented critically acclaimed performers in every decade since the 1930s. Located in the heart of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the Mann hosts more than 200,000 visitors annually. Signature concert experiences are surrounded by Philadelphia’s stunning skyline and include seats beneath the Mann’s acoustically acclaimed pavilion; picnics, blankets and music under the stars on its great lawn; and dining in Crescendo, the venue’s spectacular tented restaurant.  For more information, visit