Mallarie N. Zimmer’s background in social entrepreneurship and her devotion to the empowerment of women led her to the Executive Director position at Rung.
In 1997, Zimmer moved to St. Louis, MO armed with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Arkansas State University and the unfaltering support of a few friends and family.
While a corporate artist participating in the fabrication of bronze baseball player statues for Busch Stadium and exhibits for the St. Louis Science Center, Zimmer became Intermission Magazine’s volunteer visual arts editor. Less than a year later, she transformed the 16-page, theatre-focused newspaper to a 60-page, arts and entertainment tabloid with the help of more than 30 volunteer writers, editors and designers.
At the same time, Zimmer directed monthly exhibits of work by local artists at the Midtown Arts Center galleries. Gallery openings were always a multi-media event featuring dynamic artwork, musical acts, performers and even an occasional fashion show.
These professional experiences coupled with an upbringing immersed in art spawned an idea that became a national arts festival empowering women: Venus Envy began as a one-night art event with 11 female artists in St. Louis. In less than 10 years, it grew to a full-fledged, non-profit organization promoting the creative efforts of hundreds of women in 4 regions spanning the Mississippi River.
Zimmer loves to travel and spend time with friends chatting about culture and current events. She especially enjoys doing nothing special with her husband Heath and telling people how they met the summer they both ran away with the circus.
The N. in her name comes from her mother Nanci, an accomplished visual artist and art teacher, who managed to successfully juggle various odd jobs, volunteer as set designer for community theatre and get the whole family to the dinner table every night.