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:  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 including Dame Peggy Ashcroft and Glenda Jackson.

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.

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.