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Arts Midwest names Torrie Allen President & CEO

Torrie Allen presents to a crowd at the Tessitura Conference.
Photo Credit: Tessitura
Torrie Allen presents to a crowd at the Tessitura Conference. Image courtesy of Tessitura.

Torrie Allen, arts leader with 30+ years experience, to oversee Arts Midwest beginning August 2019.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota—Arts Midwest Board Chair Peter Capell today announced the appointment of Torrie Allen as Arts Midwest President & CEO. He succeeds long-time President & CEO David Fraher, who will step down in September 2019.

Arts Midwest Board Chair Peter Capell said, “Torrie’s skills, experience and leadership will propel Arts Midwest and our member states to further success and build upon the strong foundation created by David Fraher over 35+ years. He embodies our core values of creativity and cultural leadership. We welcome Torrie to the Arts Midwest team.”

Allen joins Arts Midwest with more than 30 years experience in the performing arts, broadcast media, and arts administration. He brings extensive development, marketing, and leadership experience to this U.S. Regional Arts Organization and a commitment to using creativity and imagination in arts administration.

Torrie Allen: Arts Administration as Transformative Creativity

Arts Midwest Transition Committee Chairperson Rhoda Pierce said, “We are delighted that after an intense process, that included multiple highly-qualified candidates from across the US, we are able to announce that Torrie will be joining our team at Arts Midwest. Torrie impressed the Committee with his strong leadership in the field, fresh perspective, and well thought-out ideas for realizing Arts Midwest’s strategic vision over the coming years.”

Over the last three years at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, one of the United States’ flagship theater presenters, Allen led a development department expansion that has yielded exceptional growth in development-specific contributed income, including the successful close out of a multi-million dollar capital campaign. Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s development team now delivers results that stand among the best in nonprofit arts fundraising.

Arts Midwest President & CEO David Fraher remarked, “Throughout his career, Torrie has proven himself to be a remarkable leader, who consistently listens, learns, and brings out the best in his teams. He is known for having a deep sense of curiosity and a passion for creativity. I could not think of a better candidate to guide Arts Midwest into the future. I am thrilled to welcome him!”

Allen will build on the organization’s long and successful track record of developing and stewarding innovative business practices in order to deliver creative and cultural experiences to communities across its nine member states (IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, ND, OH, SD, WI), in addition to a slate of national and international arts and professional development programs.

“Arts Midwest is one of the most entrepreneurial and respected arts service organizations in the United States. It will be an honor and deep privilege to be their next President & CEO. I look forward to working with the board and staff to build on their outstanding history of accomplishment and the legacy of David Fraher,” said Allen, adding, “Arts Midwest occupies an esteemed place in the nation’s arts service sector. I’m excited to be joining the board and staff in its work to continue making a profound difference in the lives of people in the Midwest, all across the nation and worldwide.”

In his new role, Allen will be overseeing flagship programs for the National Endowment for the Arts throughout the United States and its territories, including Shakespeare in American Communities and the NEA Big Read, which combined reach 120 communities annually. He will lead key national professional development opportunities for arts administrators, including ArtsLab, Creating Connection, and the Arts Midwest Conference, one of the premiere booking conferences in the United States. And he will engage with international partners to exchange art and culture between the Midwest and the globe through initiatives and programming, including Arts Midwest World Fest, Arts Midwest Folkefest, and NEA Performing Arts Discovery.