President and CEO
Karamu House, Inc.
Tony Sias is the newly appointed president and CEO of Karamu House, Inc., the nation's oldest multicultural arts institution, located in the heart of Cleveland's historic Fairfax community. Under Tony's direction, Karamu -- Swahili for a joyful gathering place -- produces professional Theatre, provides Arts Education and, presents Community Programs for all people, while honoring the African-American experience. Prior to Karamu House, Tony was the Director of Arts Education for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and Artistic Director of Cleveland School of the Arts.
A few of his favorite directing credits include West Side Story, Footloose, Carmen Jones, Free Man of Color, A Decade of Dreams, In the Continuum, Summer Nights and Fireflies, Dreamgirls, Guys and Dolls and Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting. His acting credits include On the Road with Duke, Angels in America Parts 1 & 2, Black Eagles, Big River, Oak and Ivy, Jazz Poet on Broadway, and the title role in the one-man show Paul Robeson.
Among the many awards and recognitions Tony has received are the Ohio House of Representatives Tribute for Excellent Leadership in CMSD's All-City Arts Program, Outstanding Direction for In the Continuum at Cleveland Public Theatre from Times Newspaper, Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for Contributions in Education and Cultural Arts, the Northern Ohio Live Award of Achievement for his performance in Jazz Poet on Broadway (2002), and most recently, he was regarded as one of 2016's Most Interesting People presented by Cleveland Magazine.
Tony co-authored the article, "Use of Live Theater to Increase Minority Participation in Alzheimer's Disease Research," published in Alzheimer's Disease and Associates Disorders: An International Journal. In 2008-2009, Tony served as a delegate from the U.S. Department of State in Istanbul, Turkey, representing the Council of International Programs, USA in the Engaging Marginalized Youth Arts for Peace Project. He is a proud graduate of Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi, with a Bachelor of Science degree in dramatic art and a Master of Fine Arts in acting from The Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.