We are excited to welcome our new Executive Director, Dave Bruno! Here are two letters from Andrew Peterson (Rabbit Room’s President) and Pete Peterson (Rabbit Room’s Vice-President) that look back to where the Rabbit Room has been and look forward to where we’re going.
A Letter from Andrew Peterson:
I can’t remember the first time I met Dave Bruno, but I know I crashed at his house in San Diego about twelve years ago. His daughters were little, he and his wife were kind and hospitable in a chill, Southern California way, and I was a road-weary musician who had just done a concert—which is why the details are hazy. I think Dave’s book, The 100 Things Challenge, had just come out, and as an advocate of simplicity, I was intrigued and had lots of questions. Dave and Leanne were humble and down to earth, so easy to talk to that I remember thinking that I had just made some new friends.
I’m pretty sure that if you had told either of us that night that all these years later Dave would be stepping in as the executive director of the Rabbit Room we both would have laughed—not only was there no such role (and there wouldn’t be for several years) but California and Tennessee are a long way from each other. It’s one of those things that I never would have guessed, but in hindsight feels meant to be. God seems to work that way, doesn’t he?
When I founded the Rabbit Room back in 2006, I had big dreams: a coffee house and bookstore, a publishing house, a concert series, a web store, a community, some kind of bricks-and-mortar gathering place for people drawn to the vibrant intersection of robust Christianity and good, true, and beautiful works of art. I hoped that the ministry would not only support writers, artists, and musicians but would also inspire others to engage in their own creativity as a way of heralding the Kingdom of God. A tall order, to be sure, and we had no idea what we were doing. Yet after sixteen years, we’re still here. I stand amazed at the way the Lord has not only sustained the Rabbit Room through some tough seasons but caused it to flourish.
The Lord worked through so many people along the way—from volunteers to members to donors to the board to the hardworking staff. One of those people, of course, is my brother, Pete, who’s been the executive director for the last seven years. He spent countless hours managing the growing team, the growing press, the growing budget, the growing Hutchmoot, the growing demands of this little ministry that was no longer so little. I have no idea how he did it, but while holding down all the executive stuff he also managed to write and stage several amazing plays, longing all the while to focus more on being a playwright. With the launch of Rabbit Room Theatre and The Hiding Place, the time has come at last to allow him to lean wholly into his gifting as a playwright and publisher. It makes me so happy that he’s stepping into this role with all of his creativity and (I would argue) genius.
And that’s where Dave Bruno comes in. After an extensive search and interview process, the board unanimously agreed to offer him the position. Dave was one of the early writers for the Rabbit Room, he attended the very first Hutchmoot (and most Hutchmoots since), started multiple successful businesses, moved to Nashville to work at Lipscomb University, and helped with many Local Shows over the years—and now he’s found himself in this place and time with a remarkable set of gifts and passions that make him well suited to fill the role. It brings me great pleasure that he accepted the position as the new executive director of the Rabbit Room. As I said, twelve years ago Dave and I would have laughed at the thought. Now we thank God and say, “Of course!” I couldn’t be happier—for Pete or for Dave or for the Rabbit Room—and I can’t wait to see what marvelous thing the Lord will have us laughing about twelve years from now.
A Letter from Pete Peterson
Serving as the executive director of the Rabbit Room for the past seven years has been one of the greatest adventures of my life. In that time Rabbit Room Press and Rabbit Room Theatre have matured into fully-fledged programs requiring all of the attention and creativity I have to offer, and I’m thrilled that the Rabbit Room board of directors has given me the mandate to pursue those programs with all my energy.
This move to more focused work, however, which began over a year ago, has led us on a journey of asking who would step into the leadership position that I was transitioning away from. It’s something that’s weighed heavily on the minds of the Rabbit Room leadership for a long time. The organization stands at the brink of a fresh and exciting phase in its life, and after a lot of prayer and discernment, we’re finally taking our first steps into this new era by announcing Dave Bruno as our new executive director.
Dave comes to us from Lipscomb University where he served as Vice President of Marketing, but he’s been part of the Rabbit Room story for more than a decade. Dave longtime supporter and contributor to the Rabbit Room and an integral part of the community here in Nashville. More importantly, he’s a kind, soft-spoken, pastorally-gifted person who loves Jesus, believes in the value of teamwork and collaboration, cares deeply for the people around him, and is committed to the thriving of the Rabbit Room, its mission, and its work.
I could not be more delighted to welcome him aboard. I look forward to his wisdom and leadership, and I can’t wait to see how his talents are going to serve this community as we continue to cultivate and curate good work for the life of the world.
Welcome aboard, Dave. We’re glad you’re here.