Martha Richards, Founder and President – Resume

QUALIFICATIONS SUMMARY:   Forty-five years of management experience in non-profit cultural and educational institutions. Substantial experience in fundraising, marketing, financial planning, managing computerized information systems, and program development. Training and experience as an attorney in dealing with non-profit corporations, contracts, and other legal issues.


WomenArts (, 1442A Walnut St #67, Berkeley, CA 94709 –
(Note: WomenArts was based in Northampton, MA from 1994 to 2007)

Executive Director, July 1994 to June 2020; President, September 2007 – Present:
WomenArts has provided free online fundraising, networking, and advocacy services to help diverse women artists get the resources they need to do their creative work.  Key accomplishments include:

  • Launching SWAN Day, a new international holiday to raise the visibility of women artists – There were over 2,000 SWAN events in 36 countries in its first 12 years;
  • Building a website that provided excellent free services to 300,000 visitors a year;
  • Building a diverse international constituent base of 12,000 women artists and allies;
  • Raising approximately $5 million over 25 years for marginalized women artists in grants and individual gifts including the WomenArts Endowment Fund of $480,000.

StageWest, One Columbus Center, Springfield, Massachusetts  01103 –

Managing Director, January 1989 to June 1993:  Managed a LORT C regional theatre with a six play subscription series, budget of $1.9 million, and 37-person staff.
Key accomplishments:

  • Reducing the accumulated deficit from $750,000 to $85,000 through a combination of improved budgeting, financial management, marketing, and fundraising;
  • Restoring community confidence by providing clear & timely financial information;
  • Installing computer systems to accurately monitor budgets and ticket sales.

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College, P.O. Box 163, Brooklyn, NY-

Executive Director, April 1986 to December 1988:  Managed $2 million budget &
40-person staff at an arts center that presented over 300 events a year in four venues.
I was the first woman to serve as the Executive Director of Brooklyn Center.

Associate Executive Director/ Finance Officer, October 1979 to March 1986:  Managed arts center finances & supervised the bookkeeping, box office, subscription, and computer systems staffs. Trained staff to use spreadsheet & database programs.

Center Stage, 700 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, Maryland   21202 –

Theatre Communications Group National Fellow in Performing Arts Management, January 1979 through September 1979:  Assisted Managing Director in all administrative areas.  (One of seven Fellows selected nationwide.)

San Francisco Actors Ensemble, 2940-16th Street, San Francisco, California  94103 –

Company Manager, November 1975 through November 1978:  Handled grant-writing and other administration of 99-seat theatre.


Women Playwrights International, New York, NY – Treasurer, October 2000 – 2003.

Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, Northampton, MA – Board Member, January 1996 to March 2000.  Richards was honored as one of three “Founding Mothers” of the organization in 2002 upon the successful completion of their first $5 million endowment campaign.

Women’s Playhouse Trust, London, England – Research Assistant, June 1984 to July 1986 as needed.  Note: The Women’s Playhouse Trust was a British company formed by a group of prominent artists and administrators including Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Glenda Jackson, and Dame Rosemary Squire.

California Lawyers for the Arts, San Francisco, California (formerly Bay Area Lawyers for the Arts) – Vice President, October 1976 to October 1978; Board Member and Volunteer Attorney, January 1976 to October 1978.

Lilith, A Women’s Theatre Collective,  San Francisco – Vice President and Legal Adviser, September 1977 to September 1979.


Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts Vivid Vocal Visionary Award 2019 – Richards was honored for being one of the “Founding Mothers” of this very successful 22-year-old foundation dedicated to women and girls.

Martha Richards Visionary Woman in Leadership Award 2018 – StateraArts created  the Martha Richards Visionary Woman in Leadership Award in honor of Martha Richards.  The award is given annually to a visionary woman who uplifts, amplifies, and advances women in the arts.

BayPath College 21st Century Women Business Leaders Hall of Fame 2009 – Inducted into the Hall of Fame in April 2009 for outstanding philanthropic service to WomenArts and the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts.

Montblanc de la Culture Award Finalist 2007 – One of three U.S. finalists (with Quincy Jones and Wynton Marsalis) for this prestigious international award for service to the arts.

Pioneer Valley Girl Scouts “Woman of Distinction Award” 2005 – Recognized for outstanding service to the arts community of Western Massachusetts.

Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts 2002 – Honored as one of three “Founding Mothers” of this successful foundation dedicated to the women and girls of Western Massachusetts upon the successful completion of their $5 million endowment campaign.


Online Publications:
7 Steps to Achieving Gender Parity –  American Theatre, June 9, 2015.  A report on the seven strategies that were discussed at the international summit on gender parity which WomenArts convened in Toronto in April 2015.  See 7 Steps to Achieving Gender Parity>>

Achieving Gender Parity: The 100 Women Plan by Martha Richards – Howlround, December 2, 2015.  WomenArts Executive Director Martha Richards addresses the need to fund the gender parity movement adequately and asks what would happen if we could provide 100 women with $100,000 each to work full-time on increasing opportunities for women in theatre.  See  Achieving Gender Parity: The 100 Women Plan>>

WomenArts Blog/Newsletters – Chief Editor & frequent author –

Print Publications:
“Arts Can Play A Role in Economic Recovery,”
Op-ed written for National Women’s Editorial Forum and published nationally in print & online media. March 18, 2010.

Building A Women Artists Movement: SWAN Day 2009 Helps Organizers Build New Skills & Alliances,” Roundup, published by the League of Professional Theatre Women, Volume IX, 2008-09, Pages 45-46. ( )

The Fund for Women Artists Declares a New Holiday,” Roundup, published by the League of Professional Theatre Women, Volume VIII, 2007-08, Page 29.


University of California, Berkeley, B.A. in Economics.

University of California Hastings College of Law, J.D.  Member of the California State Bar (inactive).

National Arts Strategies/Stanford Graduate School of Business Center for Innovation – Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders in the Arts – Selected as one of 50 national leaders in arts management to participate in a two week intensive program taught by professors from Stanford Graduate School of Business.  June 2004.