Caroline Koch // ARTS Editor
Glen Ellyn’s own Diana Martinez has joined the College of DuPage arts team as interim executive director.
A graduate of the University of Illinois (Champaign Urbana), the former President of The Second City and executive director of the Paramount Arts Center is the perfect candidate to usher in a new era of entertainment at the McAnich Arts Center.
In an interview from her representation, Martinez displays her enthusiasm for a new adventure so close to home:
What are you looking forward to most about your new role with the MAC?
Having the opportunity to work in my home town is very heart warming to me. I was a student at the College of DuPage for a year before going to the University of Illinois, but the campus is a very different place now. It’s such an exciting time for the McAninch Arts Center with the gorgeous renovations and addition of a new outdoor space and expanded art gallery. The MAC is truly poised to re-define its role in the greater community and engage new audiences.
As a resident of Glen Ellyn, what are some of your favorite parts of the area?
The downtown! My mom owned Maria’s Beauty Salon for 40 years, so I spent a lot of time helping out there. I’m a big fan of supporting the local business community in Glen Ellyn. Lake Ellyn holds the soft spot in my heart, I literally grew up on that lake. I rode my bike there as a kid, fell in the lake while trying to “catch a “fish,” and it’s where I directed and produced my first show in the park with the Before Broadway Players sponsored by the Glen Ellyn Park District, and now it’s where I go to walk my dogs and clear my head.
What has been your proudest achievement?
I’d say commercially, conceptualizing, and opening UP Comedy Club for the Second City and philanthropically, Founding the Dreams Do Come True Program for the Paramount which annually afforded over 1000 privileged children the opportunity to see live theatre (sometimes for the first time in their life).
When asked what three words best describe her, Martinez answered funny, fair and determined, qualities that will shine beyond the footlights of the stage.
Welcome aboard Diana!