Stanlyn Brevé started working at NPN in May 2002 as an administrative assistant. On her first day, she wore her cute new platform shoes and arrived at a windowless office on the 17th floor of a building in the Central Business District of New Orleans. The entire staff was at a Mid-Year Meeting except the Operations Manager. The Operations Manager didn’t know what to do with Stanlyn, so she handed her a stack of old NPN directories and told Stanlyn to review them. Stanlyn spent the rest of the week reading them all cover-to-cover.
At the end of her long, sunless first day, she walked to catch the trolly home, tripped twice, and busted both her knees. She got home two hours late, with two bloody knees and her cute new platform shoes in her hands. But she came back, despite that first day, and has been here for 20 years!
Stanlyn has worked at NPN as an administrative assistant, program assistant, program coordinator, and now is Director of National Programs. During all her time at NPN, she has committed herself to supporting Partners, artists, and community. In Stanlyn’s own words,
“I've grown up at NPN. I’ve hit many life milestones in my tenure at this organization. I’ve seen the organization grow, expand, and shift, as it should. We’ve been through some difficult, challenging times, and joyous, proud moments. New people have come in, ancestors have passed on. It’s uncommon to stay at one place so long. It’s never been easy and has constantly challenged me in new ways. This is my community. I deeply care about this community—the people, the values, the work.”
Please join NPN in honoring Stanlyn’s long tenure at NPN. As Stanlyn says, it is rare for someone to stay this long with one organization. NPN is a better network because of Stanlyn. We are so glad she stayed.
Here are some tributes from colleagues and coworkers:
Stanlyn’s willingness to give her time and support to folx new to the organization is unmeasurable. Most folx gravitate to her because of her kindness, and she often goes beyond her role as Director of National Programs to support everyone. I love, love, love working with Stanlyn because I can always count on her for a gut-busting, eyes-watering laugh.
–Stephanie Atkins, Director of Local Programs, National Performance Network
I have worked with Stanlyn at NPN since 2006 and she has always been a trusted colleague and friend. NPN is a more thoughtful and human organization because of her. Stanlyn cares deeply about the artists and Partners of the Network and her compassionate influence can be felt all throughout the Network and its programs.
–Alec De León, Program Specialist, National Performance Network
To watch the dedication and commitment of Stanlyn over the years has been a pleasure. My validation of our friendship and support is done as a donation to NPN in Stanlyn’s name. Passion, desire, and commitment are your generous gift to us in the field. We love you Stanlyn.
–Rosie Gordon-Wallace, Founder, President, and Curator, Diaspora Vibe Cultural Incubator
Stanlyn is an amazing leader and a major contributor to NPN’s secret sauce! She is a fierce advocate of our artist community, passionate about equity, understands the work of organizations, supports the leadership of others, and is thoughtful about how to cultivate a network that is in service to the field, built upon shared values and authentic relationships. On a personal level, her warm smile and kindness are matched by her deep empathy. She always shows a genuine interest in how you are doing, checking in about parenting journeys, and sharing what is new. She is quick to celebrate the joy of others and knows how to have fun on the dance floor too! It has been such an honor to see Stanlyn’s leadership in NPN evolve, and to celebrate her 20-year anniversary of advancing the field! A major congrats to you and I am deeply grateful to call you a trusted colleague and friend.
–Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez, Executive Director, MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana
It’s been a true joy to work with Stanlyn over 20 years. So many times, and from the beginning, I’ve relied on her as a kindhearted, sure-footed, and enormously patient colleague. It was only later that I came to recognize her as a dedicated, and impressively strategic, leader in the field. In either case, it’s hard to imagine my career without her involvement. Congratulations, then, on your anniversary, Stanlyn, and my deepest gratitude for your warmth, good humor, and boundless contributions, both large and small.
–F. John Herbert, Founding Director, Legion Arts
Stanlyn Breve! Advocate, warrior, friend. She is a gentle force, a graceful ninja, standing firmly for social justice values and the needs of the network. I am so grateful for her honesty and authenticity, her smile, and her tenacity. NPN is stronger, better, faster, because she is always able to embrace change, to create, to innovate.
–Tanya Mote, Associate Director, Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center
When I think about Stanlyn, I have to remember the first time I met her. How the young girl she was trembled in awe at being in the presence of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS. It was probably just nervousness at being around so much power, but she was extremely quiet. Well, those were the days.
Those really were the days. The days when almost every board meeting brought tears. To this day, I can’t say why there were always tears at NPN board meetings, but someone always cried. At Stanlyn’s first meeting a lot of people cried. I remember looking over at her and she had this look on her face like: “WTF is wrong with you people?” (Except it was before texting so it was spelled out.)
Needless to say, Stanlyn didn’t cry. In fact, in all the NPN meetings I’ve been to, she has never cried. I’ve always thought it’s because she comes from the Brevé family, a clan long noted in Louisiana history for their stoicism. It may not be entirely factual, but it is believed by some sources that the name Brevé is a Franglais version of brave, which was a title bestowed on her great great grandpère Stanley as he migrated down from Acadia.
My strongest memory of Stanlyn was at the September Board meeting in 2009. Saturday had been “Talk Like a Pirate Day.” At lunch on Sunday, she decided she’d had enough of the board hijinks and took us to a lunch place on Camp Street whose specialty was $2 Bloody Marys. I can still remember her saying, “What’s four Bloody Marys? It’s practically all tomato juice, have a fifth!” Well, she’s been the ruin of many a board member and lord knows I’m one.
–Jordan Peimer, Executive Director, ArtPower, UC San Diego