Facets hires Karen Cardarelli as Executive Director


The Facets Board of Directors is very happy to announce its new Executive Director, Karen Cardarelli, Co-Founder and former Executive Director of the Emerald City Theatre.

The appointment concludes a six-month search for the successor to Milos Stehlik, Facets’ founder and long-time Executive Director who passed away in July 2019.

“Karen Cardarelli brings a wealth of experience in nonprofit management, children’s programming, and strategic partnerships and will focus on continuing Milos’s vision that film is a powerful tool to educate and create social change,” says Randy Adamsick, co-chair of the Facets Board of Directors. She will begin her full-time role in mid-February.

ALSO READ: Milos Stehlik, 1949-2019

In 1996, Karen Cardarelli co-founded Emerald City Theatre, an organization she grew to a $2M operating budget, serving 60,000 Chicagoans annually. In her Executive Director role, Cardarelli cultivated strategic partnerships with organizations like Broadway In Chicago, KPMG, and Chicago Public Schools. She led a capital project resulting in the company’s Little Theatre (the nation’s first theater for the very young) and created outreach programs such as the One Fund, which provided a free book and a free play to thousands of Chicago Public Schools students.

Most Cardarelli she served as a Program Director at Illinois Arts Council, Partnerships Committee Co-Chair for the Year of Chicago Theater Steering Committee and serves on the iHeart Media Local Advisory Board and League of Chicago Theaters Board of Directors.

ALSO READ: Facets introduces Milos Stehlik global impact award

“I have long admired the programs at Facets. It is a true thrill for me to join an organization with such a committed board, knowledgeable film staff, and global reputation,” says Cardarelli. “I look forward to being part of an organization that is so deeply dedicated to lifting up diverse and independent filmmakers.”

Along with the guidance of board, staff, and constituents, Cardarelli will spearhead a strategic planning process to define Facets future direction with a continued commitment to independent film and media education.

ALSO READ: Werner Herzog to lead Master Class at Facets

Top photo: Karen Cardarelli

About Facets
Founded by Milos Stehlik in 1975, Facets is a nonprofit that connects people to independent ideas through transformative film experiences. Facets is dedicated to creating platforms for thought-provoking films, important conversations, and community-driven education. A landmark destination for generations of cinephiles, Facets inspires audiences to actively engage with film, not simply as entertainment, but as a tool to bridge cultural divides, promote digital literacy skills, and expand perspectives through empathy-driven storytelling. Facets presents the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, the oldest children’s film festival in the Western Hemisphere and the first Oscar-qualifying children’s film festival in the world.