by Morgan Yeatts
As a Lynchburg native, Tabitha knows just how far downtown Lynchburg has come through the years. Before coming to the Academy Center of the Arts (ACOA), she worked at Amazement Square, eventually becoming their event planner, and then their Operations Director. Later, an event coordinator position was created for her at United Way. She has also worked with the Downtown Lynchburg Association to plan Get Downtown.
Needless to say, Tabitha knows how to get things done. “Event planning is being really organized and creative; it’s something I kind of fell into that I love.”
Tabitha met Dorie Smiley, former Operations Director of the ACOA, through the Downtown Lynchburg Association, of which Dorie is Vice President. As Dorie was in the process of stepping down from her role at the ACOA, preparing for retirement, Tabitha applied for the job and started in October of 2017.
Although she isn’t planning events as much as she used to, Tabitha loves her position here at the Academy. “My position lends itself to be a part of everyone’s department and being a part of it in such a wide reaching way is really cool and special. It keeps me busy and it’s rewarding.”
Tabitha has a special connection to what the Academy does for the community, as well as the renovations of the Historic Academy of Music Theatre. “Growing up in Lynchburg, it’s exciting to be a part of the fabric of how downtown has changed. [The theatre] is one of the last pieces of a full revitalization project.”
Being a part of an organization that is dedicated to serving the community and doing so actively and intentionally is important to Tabitha. “The accessibility factor for me is really important in our town, and I love leading the charge as an organization.”