The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts has selected Christopher Harrington as President and CEO, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He will begin his tenure on November 1, 2021.
Mr. Harrington has held several positions at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, where he has worked since 2012. Most recently serving as Senior Director of Jazz and @ The Max, he was responsible for marketing and programming local, national, and international talent, ensuring a sustainable business model to attract and retain new audiences. Mr. Harrington also increased the symphony’s presentations sevenfold, grew ticket revenue by more than 300 percent, and led the rebranding and launch of its venue The Cube. Prior to his time with the symphony, he served as Marketing Manager at Detroit Jazz Festival, the largest free jazz festival in the world.
Passionate about connecting people through the arts, Mr. Harrington has a successful track record in audience development, revenue generation strategy, leadership, and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities. He currently serves on the board of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals and is a mentor in Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business Corporate Mentor Program. He has served as a grant review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, on the executive team for Detroit Young Professionals, and as a panelist at numerous national conferences. Mr. Harrington holds a bachelor of music degree and master of business administration degree from Wayne State University. He has also completed the League of American Orchestra’s Emerging Leadership Program and the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania and National Arts Strategies.
In making the announcement, Search Committee and Board Chair Brad Wood said, “Chris is a trusted arts advocate and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the Ordway family and the Twin Cities. Many events of the past year and a half have only underscored the significance of the arts in our lives. He is passionate about community and bringing people together around the performing arts. I can’t imagine a better person to lead the Ordway as we reopen.”
“The Ordway is one of the nation’s leading performing arts centers and boasts diverse programming, a world-class venue, and a dedicated community of arts supporters,” said Mr. Harrington. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the talented Ordway team and serve as the organization’s next President and CEO. I look forward to collaborating with the board, staff, and Arts Partnership to build on the Ordway’s rich legacy and immerse myself in the vibrant arts community here.”
“Congratulations to the board, staff, and Arts Partners of the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts on the appointment of Christopher Harrington as the new President and CEO,” said ACG President Bruce D. Thibodeau. “Chris is passionate about providing opportunities for the community to engage in the performing arts. His experience will serve the Ordway well as it re-opens and welcomes the community back into the Music Theatre and the Concert Hall.”