Shay Wafer has demonstrated a stalwart dedication to the arts and community development through many years of service to the field. Her passionate vision is balanced with pragmatic experience, as she has held senior level positions at several non-profit arts organizations with a focus on African Diasporic programming and community engagement.
Shay is currently the Executive Director of WACO Theater Center. She serves as the Executive Director of 651 ARTS in Brooklyn, and was the founding VP of Programs for the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, a multi-disciplinary center and museum in downtown Pittsburgh. Prior to that, she served as the managing director of Cornerstone Theater Company, LA Theatreworks, and the St. Louis Black Repertory Company. She also was a founding partner of Marla Gibb’s Crossroads Arts Academy and Theatre. Ms. Wafer has engaged in additional community and volunteer activities throughout her career including serving on the Board of Directors of National Performance Network, Theatre Communications Group, and as a NEFA National Theatre Project and National Dance Project Advisor. She has served on grant panels for the NEA, MAP Fund, Doris Duke, Mellon, Kresge and Bush Foundations, among others. She is a graduate of Howard University and Yale School of Drama.