Shaunda Miles McDill joined The Heinz Endowments in October 2017, following more than a decade of nonprofit executive and arts management experience.
As program officer for arts and culture, she works to promote the strength and vitality of a suite of Pittsburgh-based artists and arts organizations through general operating support and a programming portfolio comprised of the Small Arts Initiative, the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh initiative and the foundation’s first cross-programmatic social justice initiative, Just Arts, which she helped to found. Alongside her colleagues, she has also been instrumental in fortifying the role of the Endowments’ Creativity Strategic Area in utilizing art to combat stereotypes and improve outcomes for veterans as part of the foundation’s “Rethink Vets” campaign. She is currently leading the $10 million-dollar Pittsburgh’s Cultural Treasures initiative, which is part of the Ford Foundation’s America’s Cultural Treasures regional challenge program.
Shaunda has worked for theater companies across the country, including The Goodman Theatre of Chicago, Second Stage Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse and Cornerstone Theater Company. With experience spanning dramaturgy, directing, producing, and playwriting, Shaunda has also worked as a publicist for the Blake Zidell and Associates, a Brooklyn-based public relations firm representing artists, arts institutions and festivals. In 2006, she founded DEMASKUS (www.demaskus.com), a national theatre collective currently participating in the inaugural B.U.I.L.D. residency at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center sponsored by R.K. Mellon. As an individual artist, Shaunda in residence with Quantum Theatre as part of the company’s inaugural InQubator class.
In Pittsburgh, Shaunda previously served as vice president of programming and cultivation at the then August Wilson Center for African American Culture, where she managed all artistic and educational programs, and oversaw a $1 million programming budget. As the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s director of public relations, she headed both national and local public relations campaigns, including the North American premiere of Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck Project, which generated more than $10 million in direct spending in the city. She has directed operations at her home church of Macedonia Church of Pittsburgh in the Hill District and served as a consultant to Community Empowerment Association in Homewood.
Shaunda has an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, where she studied under Pulitzer winner August Wilson, was directed by Ntozake Shange, and instructed by Augusto Boal. She also holds an MFA in theater management from Yale University’s School of Drama. She is a member of the Alpha Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and is in service to several local and national organizations and boards. Shaunda is married to Homewood native, Sager McDill and is the proud bonus Mom to four children, Matthew Levi Murray McDill (10), Maria & Melanie McDill (15), and Sager McDill, Jr. (18).