As Women’s History Month marches forth, we’d like to continue shining a light on important women from the Brooklyn Cultural District. Let’s celebrate their achievements and legacy by highlighting the influence they’ve had on the neighborhood and the role they’ve played in shaping one of the fastest growing downtowns in the country.

Toya Lillard
Executive Director, 651 Arts

Toya Lillard is a theater artist, director, arts educator, and facilitator. Toya currently serves as Executive Director of 651 ARTS, a nationally renowned arts presenting organization. Toya is part-time faculty at The New School, where she teaches Collaborative Theatre Practice. Toya serves on the Board of the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable, and co-chairs the TaskForce on Equity and Inclusion. Toya holds a B.A. from Vassar College, and an M.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Beth Allen
Executive Director, Downtown Brooklyn Arts alliance

Beth Allen serves as Executive Director for Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance (DBAA), a service organization that connects local non-profit arts and cultural organizations to enable collaboration, facilitate joint advocacy, and address issues that affect the local arts community. Under her leadership since 2017, DBAA has grown to become a network of 60 diverse and dynamic member organizations and expanded its programming, offering a variety of initiatives designed to strengthen the ability of arts professionals to sustain and grow their organizations, forge new paradigms for collaboration, and increase impact in their communities.

Beth started her career working for large museums including The Guggenheim and The British Museum before realizing her passion for building organizational capacity at smaller entrepreneurial arts organizations that combine artistic excellence with strong community commitments. In addition to chief development officer positions at Prospect New Orleans and Art21 she has consulted for a range of smaller organizations in the visual and performing arts and currently teaches a course at Baruch College for MA Arts Administration students on “Arts, Culture, and the Civic Environment.” A Brooklynite since 2001, she is delighted to be in the position of championing its vibrant arts community.

We’ll be spotlighting even more notable women in Downtown Brooklyn throughout Women’s History Month – stay tuned to our website and socials for more!