Pioneer Theatre Company's Christopher Massimine receives 2019 Humanitarian of the Year Award

October 22 2019
Managing Director Christopher Massimine with Artistic Director Karen Azenberg, 2019 Managing Director Christopher Massimine with Artistic Director Karen Azenberg, 2019

The National National Performing Arts Action Association has named Christopher Massimine, managing director of Pioneer Theatre Company, 2019's Humanitarian of the Year.  We congratulate Chris on receiving this prestigious award! We are proud to have him in Salt Lake City and working closely with the University of Utah. 

The Department of Theatre enjoys a healthy working relationship with Pioneer Theatre Company, a professional repertory Lort-B theatre located on the campus of the University of Utah. Faculty, students, and alumni from the Department of Theatre work at PTC in various capacities during their season as performers, administrators, technical theatre, and interships. Actor Traning program students are eligible in their junior and senior years of study to audition for roles at PTC and may perform small or understudy roles in the theatre’s productions. 

October 16, 2019 press release: 

Today the [National Performing Arts Action Association] NPAAA announced that CHRISTOPHER MASSIMINE is the recipient of the 2019 Humanitarian of the Year Award. The current managing director of Utah’s Pioneer Theatre Company and immediate past chief executive officer of New York’s National Yiddish Theater, Massimine was the co-founder of the arts activism organization the Immigrant Arts Coalition, held special advisory positions within the New York City and State administrations, where he helped to expand governmental cultural funding and distribution. His role as the executive producer of the Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof run with the National Yiddish Theater has notably contributed to socially impactful awareness campaigns to diffuse anti-semitism, gun violence, and xenophobia.

Through his work Massimine has partnered with organizations including BC/EFA, ART/NY, The Dramatists Guild, NYFA, and Robin Hood participating in relief fundraising, arts advocacy, diversity inclusion, and cultural accountability. His leadership in the national arts community was celebrated this past winter by the National Theatre Conference, which awarded the National Yiddish Theater the Outstanding Theatre Award, and recognized Massimine for extensive social advancement.

This summer Massimine was a speaker at the annual United Nations Civil Society Conference, where he represented the performing arts on its role in a sustainable future. His essay on his friendship with mentor Harold Prince, whom Massimine cites as the inspiration for his career, has been held in high regard by the theatrical industry and was published in TDF Stages earlier this Fall.

“Christopher Massimine was the clear choice,” said NPAAA Chair Dan Richards in a statement. “He is a very fine arts executive with a proven track record of putting society’s welfare at the forefront of discussion, creating far reaching and meaningful programs, and leading initiatives that have benefitted diverse communities. Christopher is one of the country’s youngest arts leaders and one of the most mature arts leaders I have seen at work. He understands our responsibility to the future as citizens of the world.”

A reception will be held in Washington, D.C. in early January.

NPAAA is a political action committee comprised of performing arts professionals and benefactors, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. NPAAA lobbies for the arts and promotes excellence in humanitarianism and innovation as central to culture and society.