The Flynn has selected Jay Wahl as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He began his tenure on January 1, 2021.
Mr. Wahl joins the Flynn after 11 years at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. As Producing Artistic Director, he served as an international liaison and advocate for the Kimmel Center and the Philadelphia arts community, programming and producing a wide range of performances and spearheading efforts to bring diverse and inspiring artists to the city. He commissioned new multidisciplinary projects and work in public spaces, curated more than 120 events for the diverse audiences, developed collaborations with national and international organizations, and led multiple residency programs in jazz and theater resulting in numerous annual world premiere performances and providing incubator space for developing work with local and national artists. Mr. Wahl also served as the Director of Public Events & Festival Partnerships for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), a citywide biennial event that increased and broadened access to the arts by bringing performances directly to neighborhoods across the city. To support this work, he helped raise funds in excess of $1 million.
Prior to his time at the Kimmel Center, Mr. Wahl was the Founding Managing Producer of Hidden City Philadelphia, a month-long, citywide festival. In this venture, he worked with more than 25 partners and nine venues to uncover the unknown stories of the city’s cultural landmarks and neighborhoods. A board member of the Arts and Business Council for Greater Philadelphia and a founding board member of Jazz Philadelphia, Mr. Wahl has served as a guest lecturer at Temple University, Curtis Institute of Music, and University of the Arts. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in theater arts, graduating cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed the Performance in Public Spaces Program from Friches Théâtre Urbain in Paris through George Washington University.
In making the announcement, Board Chair Staige Davis said, “We are very excited to have Jay join us. His experience, creativity, and innovative spirit will help us to thrive as we emerge from the pandemic to bring live performance back to our audiences.”
“I am so honored to join the team at the Flynn, an amazing group of big-hearted, courageous people,” said Mr. Wahl. “They strive to ensure the arts provide opportunities for each of us to discover what we can achieve by sharing our stories, learning creative skills, and imagining the future.”
“Congratulations to the search committee, board, and staff on the appointment of Jason Wahl as Executive Director at the Flynn,” said ACG President Bruce D. Thibodeau. “We look forward to the Flynn’s ongoing efforts to champion the critical role of the arts in a vibrant, forward-thinking community where the performing arts play a meaningful, central role in the future.”