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Rielly takes on new challenges at Depot Theatre

December 1, 2017
By GRIFFIN KELLY - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Kim Rielly, who's been in the communications business for more than 20 years, was recently hired as the new executive director at the Depot Theatre in her home town of Westport. The Depot Theatre is a nonprofit theater operating out of a still functioning train station.

Prior to this, Rielly worked as the director of communications at the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism in Lake Placid.

Rielly is familiar with the Depot Theatre, having been a volunteer board of trustees member and a former president of the board.

Article Photos

Kim Rielly
(Photo provided)

"I have good knowledge of what it takes to run a professional theater in the Adirondacks," Reilly said.


A day at ROOST

Rielly said one of the things she enjoyed the most about working at ROOST was the day-to-day variety.

"There was never a typical work day at ROOST," Rielly said. "Because the organization is responsible for three counties of the Adirondacks, the scope and scale the work could be writing a press release on behalf of ROOST about an event, attending a meeting for one of our communities throughout the region to talk about marketing opportunities, writing a blog or going out hiking to write about it. It could be any of those things."

With all the press releases and content ROOST produced each day, Rielly would also spend a lot time creating brand awareness.

"We have a lot of content for websites that represent all the destinations," she said, "so there was always quite a lot of copywriting to do in addition to the communication and media relations aspect. It kept us on our toes; that's for sure."

With ever-changing technology and a new way a delivering content to the media, Rielly said being able to narrate personal experiences was one of her favorite parts of working at ROOST. She enjoyed being a part of the evolution of that marketing tool.

"What I really like best," she said, "was the storytelling aspect because with the new blog format that exists as opposed to traditional press releases. It's cool to go out and experience the Adirondacks that we all live in and recreate in and then write about it in first-person view."

Rielly was honored to have worked at ROOST and valued being able to help many towns in the adirondacks.

"I'm proud to have been part of promoting the greater Adirondacks to travelers and supporting ROOST in creating, what we say, 'sustainable tourism economy' for the region," she said. "It's been great having a direct hand in the economic viability in some of our communities because some are tourism dependent."


A day at the Depot

From the start, one of the first things Rielly appreciated about working at the Depot Theatre was the history that comes with it.

"The train comes twice a day," Rielly said. "It's interesting, sitting in a historic train depot and looking out the window at the tracks. The southbound train just left with all the Skate America people. It's neat to be one of the main corridors to the rest of the region."

The waiting room where passengers stay is also the waiting room for audience members, at different times of the day, and the freight room is where the shows take place.

Rielly works on a three-person team with Box Office Director Katie Sheppard and Production Director Kevin Cochran. Her job as executive director deals with comprehensive theater management. She oversees staffing, budgeting, marketing, audience development and community relations.

"There's also fundraising, which is going to be a great challenge for me," she said, "but, as I've learned, fundraising is really about relationships and community development. That's something I've been doing for years in my role of communications."

This is the Depot's first occasion having a full-time executive director, a change that Rielly and the rest of the staff hope will develop new and long term programs for the theater.

"The hope is that when I get up to speed, we can increase some of our education programming for children and maybe do some year round programming in general," she said

This upcoming season marks the 40th anniversary for the Depot Theatre. Rielly said the timing couldn't have been better to fill the position.

"I think it's going to be exciting to celebrate that past with a lot of archives and materials from the past 40 years," she said, "but also to look to a promising future.

As far as upcoming shows at the Depot Theatre, Rielly said the season's performances haven't been released yet, but there's sure to be some crowd pleasers.

Rielly said the experience she's gained over the years and at ROOST will allow her to focus her efforts on a much more local level.

"I'm looking forward to being an active participant in my hometown, as well as being part of the greater region's robust art community," she said. "There's quite a wealth of arts and culture institutions throughout the region. I'm familiar with them all because of my old job, and I get to work closely with them in my new job."



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