The Friends of Music Hall (FMH) executive committee has chosen Mindy Rosen to be the organization’s first executive director, effective Dec. 30.
Rosen has been a leader with Downtown Cincinnati Inc. for the past 12 years, serving as executive vice president for communications and strategic initiatives, then as interim president until DCI merged with Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) at the beginning of 2019.
Previously, she worked as director of marketing and communication for Los Angeles’ Downtown Center Business Improvement District, and held a similar post in Denver. A graduate of Miami University, Rosen earned an MBA at the University of Cincinnati College of Business.
FMH President Peter E. Koenig said Rosen’s experience in fundraising and working with nonprofits in major urban centers will translate well into her new post with FMH, which has led efforts to preserve, renovate and promote Cincinnati’s historic Music Hall.
The long-standing nonprofit group, which changed its name from the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall this fall, has sharpened its focus to “engage more of the community” in Music Hall’s future, Koenig said.
Here’s a more in-depth explanation of FMH’s recent changes, as outlined by Koenig in a recent Q&A with Movers & Makers:
Movers & Makers: What was the primary reason for rebranding the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall?
Peter Koenig: Our goal with the rebranding was to become more relevant, inclusive and transparent. Our organization had played a tremendous role in the renovation of Music Hall, and we wanted a name that helped people to understand our impact and get involved in the work ahead.
All agreed our seven-word name was holding us back. It seemed dated and a tad precious to some people. And we were often abbreviated, which did not help.
Now, as the Friends of Music Hall, our goal is clear. Brevity is its own reward, and five syllables in a name is certainly better than 14!
M&M: What changed, and what stayed the same as a result of the rebranding?
PK: Our mission remains the same. We exist “to preserve, promote, improve and provide education about Music Hall and to perpetuate it as the premier cultural center of our region and a National Historic Landmark of international significance.”
In addition to the name, what has changed is that we have added a tagline of “preserve. engage. celebrate.” This captures the essence of our work and our contribution.
M&M: What changes do you hope to see in the way people might react to the new brand?
PK: I hope people react favorably to our new name, that they take our terrific tours (inside and outside) of Music Hall, enjoy our Mighty Wurlitzer concerts and, of course, join us and contribute to supporting all the good things our little nonprofit organization is involved with, including continuing to restore Music Hall to all its original architectural and interior design splendor.
M&M: What did you learn from the process that surprised you?
PK: That’s an interesting question. I learned how passionately people feel about brands and how important it is for the strategy of an organization to get the branding right. I also learned how complicated and time-consuming going through a renaming and rebranding process can be!
I’m pleased we ended up with a delightfully simple name with beautiful branding elements. We have heard some very positive reactions, and that gives all of us at the Friends of Music Hall a nice feeling of satisfaction.
M&M: Moving forward under the new brand, what are the first projects Friends of Music Hall plans to undertake? Short-term? Long-term?
PK: As the Friends of Music Hall, our first goal is to engage more of the community in our work. Our contribution to the renovation and continued preservation of Music Hall is still little-known. We want to change that by growing our membership, expanding our tours and increasing educational outreach.
We also have important preservation projects that we want to advance. For example, we want to restore the original decorative elements that were the vision of architect Samuel Hannaford on the roof and the façade. This would build on the work we supported to restore the black brickwork.
We are excited about the work to be done and always want to welcome new members. So please join us!