by Morgan Yeatts
Dorie Smiley has been with the Academy Center of the Arts since its beginning.
Dorie began as a volunteer for the Academy of Music over 21 years ago, which eventually evolved into a part-time position when the Academy of Music merged with the Fine Arts Center to create the Academy of Fine Arts to eventually become the Academy Center Center of the Arts in 2015.
She was fascinated with the restoration of the historic theatre, and this fascination, combined with her love for historic buildings and architecture, attracted her to the Academy. She began at the bottom, raising awareness about the restoration of the theatre, writing thank you notes to donors, collecting the mail, basically doing “anything that needed to happen”.
From there, Dorie continued to progress and ultimately became the Director of Operations for the Academy Center of the Arts. In October of 2017 she stepped down in preparation for retirement. Currently, she serves as the construction liaison for the Historic Academy of Music Theatre renovations, assisting as a staff representative to the construction committee.
For years, Dorie has seen the Academy prepare to restore the Historic Theatre, and now, with the opening just months away, it’s an incredible finale for all her years served. She’s passionate about the Academy’s mission to serve the community through arts and culture, saying “I really support making programs accessible to everybody, which to me is the most important part of our mission. It’s opened up the door to the entire community”. The Historic Theatre will be able to further the Academy’s mission, serving as another open door to the community. “It can really be the communities’ theater”.