Historic San Diego Civic Youth Ballet Appoints New Executive Director

| May 1, 2022 | 0 Comments

The Board of Directors at the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet has named Kim Thomas to serve as the new executive director of the historic youth arts organization, which recently celebrated their milestone 75th Anniversary Season in 2020, having opened their doors at the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park in 1945.

With extensive background in nonprofit leadership and a deep-rooted, life-long connection with dance, she officially begins her position at the ballet starting on Monday, April 18. “I am deeply honored that the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet has chosen me for this important role, and I look forward to working closely with the talented board and staff,” Thomas said. “I’m excited by the depth of the existing community engagement and outreach. Our work ensures that youth have access to quality dance instruction at our studios in Balboa Park, as well as in our extensive public school partnerships.”

Thomas has worked in health and social services for the past 20 years and holds a Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego, and a Bachelor’s in Sociology from San Diego State University. Before joining SDCYB, she was with the American Academy of Pediatrics, San Diego chapter, where she launched and provided strategic leadership to the First 5 First Steps Family Support Program, an affiliate of Healthy Families America. Thomas is the recipient of the 2016 State Leader Service Excellence Award by Healthy Families America, given in recognition of her commitment that all children reach their full potential, along with her strong organizational leadership and interpersonal skills in fostering trusting relationships with over 100 staff and partners.

“Kim is the perfect leader for this moment,” remarked Rosemary Linden, Chair of the SDCYB board of directors. “SDCYB is not only a ballet school, it’s a part of Balboa Park and San Diego history. Because of that, the stewardship of this organization is a responsibility that all of us on the board of directors take very seriously. We could not be more excited to welcome Kim to SDCYB – and as we continue to face the many challenges of the ongoing pandemic, we are confident that Kim’s brand of leadership will just what this organization needs in order to continue to thrive.”

Coming onboard during the ever-evolving pandemic is not lost on Thomas, who said, “Clearly, the past two years have been challenging for performing arts organizations, but SDCYB is skilled at turning adversity into creative inspiration. I know that our dancers and artistic team will continue to bring the finest dance performances, education, and community engagement programs all throughout San Diego.”

Dance has been a constant in Thomas’ life, and at an early age, she studied ballet and jazz through the El Cajon Recreation Department. As an adult, she explored ballroom and social dances and returned to her beloved art form, ballet. She was with the School of Performing Arts in Santee for ten years and enjoyed preparing for annual dance recitals and working with young children as a pre-ballet instructor.  This position reflects a shift for Thomas, who shared, “I’m transitioning professionally into the performing arts field and combining my love for dance, my commitment to ensuring all children have a bright future, and my enthusiasm for nonprofit leadership.  I’m excited to make this transition and the opportunity to spread the joy that comes from dance.”  

Before joining San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, Kim Thomas was with the American Academy of Pediatrics, San Diego chapter,

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