Tomassian returns to Queen City to lead Playhouse’s philanthropy efforts

A longtime Cincinnati Opera executive is returning to the Queen City to take over the fundraising and development reins for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

On Thursday, the Mount Adams-based theater company announced Sneja Tomassian as its new director of philanthropy. She most recently served as senior director of development for the School of Arts and Humanities at University of California, San Diego.

“Sneja’s career has been dedicated to making a difference in society through the arts, and we couldn’t be more excited for her to join the Playhouse family,” Playhouse in the Park wrote in a statement.

Opera Sneja Tomassian
Sneja Tomassian

A Cincinnati homecoming

Tomassian’s time with the Cincinnati Opera began in 2001. She would go on to spend the better part of two decades with the organization, holding several development and leadership positions before assuming the role as chief advancement officer in 2017.

While with the company, Tomassian helped launch the New Century Campaign and spearheaded the development of Opera Fusion and Opera Fusion: New Works, a developmental program for new operas, funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In 2020, Tomassian departed the Opera to take the job at UC San Diego. Over the course of three-plus years there, she led the funding of the Center for Cinematic Arts and the Center for Taiwan Studies, among other projects. She also served as a consulting vice president for the Educational Theatre Foundation.

Tomassian first came to Southwest Ohio in 2020 to take a role as a cooperative education program manager and student advisor at the University of Cincinnati

She took that job shortly after completing a master’s in arts administration from the University of Akron. She worked as general manager of New World Performance Laborator in the Greater Cleveland area while completing her graduate work.

Tomassian is an alumna of Leadership Cincinnati, class XL and Opera America Leadership Intensive Program. She previously served on fundraising panels for Opera America and the International Fundraising Congress in Amsterdam. Other board seats were for concert:nova and the John L. Magro Foundation

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park