Paula Cisar Appointed Director of the Community School of the Arts

August 2, 2016

Wheaton College is pleased to announce the appointment of Paula Cisar as the Director of the Community School of the Arts (CSA). Cisar has worked at CSA since 2012 and previously served as Interim Director and Associate Director.

As Director, Cisar will provide a vision for CSA’s comprehensive community programming and oversee an annual budget of $1.2M and a staff and faculty of 39 individuals.  Cisar will also work to engage Wheaton College students in CSA programs by providing opportunities for outreach, teaching, and ministry.

“During the past year, Paula Cisar has offered excellent leadership in her role as Interim Director, balancing the many aspects of running a complex set of offerings, while facilitating the work of the gifted team of CSA faculty and staff members,” says Dean of the Conservatory of Music and Division of Arts and Communication Dr. Michael Wilder. “As Director, Paula brings her energy, enthusiasm, and expertise to this key leadership role.  She will continue to support the link of the College with the lives of hundreds of community adults, children, and their families, while also providing multiple opportunities for current Wheaton undergraduates.”

Cisar holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Hastings College in Nebraska.

Prior to her time at CSA, she worked at Unilever for 27 years with roles in operations, supply chain and project management, and consumer affairs. Her extensive corporate experience has allowed her to streamline CSA’s operations while building additional community programs and strengthening CSA’s relationship with the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music.

“One of my initiatives is to further engage Wheaton College students in our programs,” Cisar says. “There is a great opportunity for Conservatory students to gain practical teaching experience through CSA’s private lessons, early-childhood education classes, and our Community Outreach for Developing Artists programs.”

“My overall goal for CSA, though, is to reach children through music and instill in them a dedication to the Spirit of God. Every one of our teachers shares that mission: a desire to show the grace and mercy of God to students through music.”

Wheaton College Community School of the Arts was founded in 1970 and serves nearly 3,000 students from 46 Chicago suburbs.  CSA maintains six tracks of study in music and visual art and delivers more than 15,000 hours of arts instruction each year.  Solidly cast in a Christ-honoring context, CSA stands at the forefront of national community arts programs. For more information, visit