board retreat photo

CITA turns the page in a weekend of stories

On the last Friday in September, the ten members of CITA’s board of directors and I traveled from around the country to Atlanta for a weekend retreat with ministry and non-profit consultant (and actor!), Jim Wert, to start discovering what the next chapter of CITA’s story might be.

Art Within generously hosted us in their facility in Marietta, about 30 minutes northwest of downtown Atlanta. Their inspiring space boosted our spirits and creativity as we looked back over CITA’s history, talked about how theatre and the world have changed in 30 years, and envisioned how CITA might serve now. We also got to go through Art Within’s REEL Experience, a team-building exercise which pushed us to think about the stories of our lives, the story of God, and how we as storytellers serve God and build his kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.”

The retreat saw five new board members – Cristie Kearny, Evangeline Whitlock, Frank Mihelich, Kim Oberheu, and René Schiltz – join longtime members Bruce Long, Eric Jones, Joe Frost, Michelle Hoppe-Long, and Rich Swingle. These ten servant-leaders have an amazing depth and breadth of experience and expertise among them, while sharing a passion for Christ, the theatre, and CITA (read more about them here).

Nerf guns photo
Disagreements among the board did not typically result in violence.

We covered a lot of ground in 14 hours of meetings and, by the end, some really exciting ideas were bubbling up. But there’s still much to be done. Each of us is serving in at least one “work group” that will continue processing an area that needs further exploration. We’re meeting monthly online as the work groups report and make recommendations, and we’re planning to reconvene in person in mid-2019 to put the finishing touches on a new vision and strategic plan for CITA.

Jim Wert and notes photo
Jim Wert in front of the many pages of notes we generated.

While we work, we’ll continue the services we’ve been providing: the Secondary School Theatre Festival (January 31-February 2 in Charlotte, NC), The Happening (dates and location TBA), enewsletters, and Facebook engagement (CITA, Festival, New Works, and Networking Group).

We beg for your prayers and support as we do this important work for the future of CITA. If you have any suggestions, thoughts, or concerns, please write to our board of directors at or to me at

Stay up-to-date on what’s going on in our transition by subscribing to our enewsletter and following us on Facebook.

Luann Jennings is CITA’s Interim Executive Director. 

One thought to “CITA turns the page in a weekend of stories”

  1. Hi!
    CITA ia awesome!!! CITA board, Please dont forget Puerto Rico and Latinamerica! And the hispanics living in USA as well. What while ago it was started dont let it die.
    Thanks in advance!!

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