Creating Community

Julie Althaus Crawford ('73) (Photo by Linda M. Lee)When Julie Althaus Crawford ('73) began working as the first full-time executive director of the American Association of Community Theatre, she was its only worker leading 700 members.

Now, 23 years later, the organization has seven staffers and nearly 2,000 members. Crawford, who retired this fall, received the association's Art Cole Lifetime of Leadership Award for her years of leadership in community theatre at the national level.

She worked behind the scenes, guiding the volunteer board leaders and increasing programming, services and funding for the Fort Worth-based organization.

"I have always found theatre exciting," says Crawford, who was a theatre major at UNT. "The art form creates community through the shared experience of audience members and the 'family' that results as theatre people bond through the creative process."