The Englert announces new Community Engagement Coordinator positition

Five years ago, we announced our combined vision with FilmScene to invest in our physical spaces and staff capacity to create more profound experiences with our robust programming through the Strengthen Grow Evolve campaign.  Since then, we have invested millions into our theater, improving the experience for our patrons and preserving our historic space. Expanding our staff to focus on community engagement work is the final campaign initiative that, until now, has remained out of our grasp.

Thanks to community support of the SGE Campaign, we are thrilled to introduce Whit Martinez, The Englert’s new Community Engagement Coordinator.

About Whit

Whit Martinez was born and raised in Davenport, IA. She grew up in a Mexican-American family and is proud to be the first in her family to pursue higher education. At the University of Iowa, Whit served on the executive board of Association of Latinos Moving Ahead (ALMA) for three consecutive years and planned Al Ritmo, an annual Latinx baile. As a member of Scope Productions, she was involved in talent buying and production of concerts, and volunteered for Witching Hour and Mission Creek Festival. Whit graduated with honors and distinction in 2022 and received the Richard A. & Donna J. McKay Award for her demonstrated commitment to community engagement. Whit began at The Englert as a House Manager, where she started the Queer Coffee Social Series and worked on the Local Showcase Series. Whit has also worked in the Iowa City Community School District and collaborated with Shelter House, the Women’s Resource and Action Center, and Iowa Edge. Whit is excited to focus her passion and energy on the new Community Engagement position.

About the Community Engagement Coordinator role

The addition of this position is our commitment to expanding audience engagement, and we are excited about the impact dedicated community engagement staff will make. In the coming months, you will see Whit working alongside  FilmScene’s Community Engagement Coordinator to:

  • Create a shared Office of Community Engagement.

  • Give every Iowa City Community School District student an arts event experience with The Englert and FilmScene before graduation.

  • Ensure audiences are provided regular opportunities in our spaces and in the community to engage more deeply with the art through discussions, added resources, and artist dialogues.

  • Expand arts access to marginalized communities and strengthen partnerships with organizations that directly serve those communities.

If you are excited and have ideas about arts collaboration, we encourage you to email Whit at We also welcome you to invest in the future of our community outreach by making a gift today. Thank you for believing in the power of the arts to transform the community through our collaborative efforts.

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