Little Art Theatre welcomes new Executive Director


YELLOW SPRINGS — Katherine Eckstrand, a lifelong Xenia resident, has just been brought on as the executive director of the Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs.

“In one sense it happened very quickly,” said Eckstrand. “And in another sense it took a lifetime.”

Eckstrand started her own consulting company in the Greene County area that she has worked at for years now and has worked alongside the Little Art in past projects. According to Eckstrand, after the prior director had a sudden change and put their two-week notice of leave in, she “jumped at the chance.”

“It’s a very special place,” said Eckstrand, who has been going to the theatre since her childhood. “It’s one of those places that once you’ve been there you feel immediately at home.”

Eckstrand is passionate about the theatre and her position as director, and she hopes to see even more growth now that it has been able to stay open post-pandemic. According to Eckstrand, since its official reopening in fall 2021, the theatre has seen consistent growth and attendance as folks start to participate in community events once again.

As Eckstrand takes on this important role, she has hopes to make big changes in the coming months.

“Partnerships and community are at the heart of what we do,” she said, and she hopes to grow this community outside of just Yellow Springs and into all of the surrounding areas.

“We are looking at making the Little Art a community,” she said.

The Little Art Theatre creates community unlike any other, according to Eckstrand, and she and her staff are going to continue working with individuals and groups around to spur this growth forward.

The theatre regularly presents “a number of student films,” said Eckstrand, and works with many local organizations to bring the community together with “films you’re not going to get anywhere else.” They work with Antioch College regularly to bring student projects to life, as well as other independent organizations like the Dayton Jewish Film Festival.

“We are expanding opportunities for community groups to rent the facility,” said Eckstrand regarding the projects they are going to continue to encourage. According to Eckstrand, the Little Art Theatre is a place that will offer visitors something they’ve never experienced before.

According to Eckstrand, bringing in the younger generation can be a tricky process, but there are many events and opportunities the Little Art is taking to make sure it stays open another 90 years. Events include Throwback Thursdays, where the theatre will show older 90s films to attract the middle-aged and younger audience that may be tempted to switch over to streaming, and regular communication with the community in areas of social media and visitor’s input.

“People are longing to be connected to their various communities,” said Eckstrand. “There’s something very special when you walk in that door.”

The Little Art Theatre has seen consistent growth, which isn’t always a guarantee when it comes to local businesses recovering from a total shut-down, but the combined effort of Eckstrand, the part-time staff committed to providing the community with access to the arts, as well as the residential support only small towns like Yellow Springs can offer, Eckstrand is optimistic.

For Eckstrand and others, the Little Art is more than just a place to watch movies, “It’s a place that can foster understanding and community cohesion.”

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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