The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts (the Hobby Center) has selected Mark Folkes as President & CEO, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He will begin his tenure on August 22, 2022.
An accomplished leader with vast executive experience in the nonprofit sector, Folkes most recently held positions as Chief Advancement Officer and Chief Growth Officer at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, one of Houston’s most impactful philanthropic organizations. While there, Folkes provided leadership for the Advancement and Donor Relations team, advancing the Foundation in its mission to maximize charitable resources for local communities. Prior to that, Folkes served as Managing Director at Stages. During his tenure, Folkes delivered a threefold increase in the company’s operating budget and subscriber audience. He also led a $35.8 million capital campaign that supported the construction of a 66,850 sqft three-theater arts venue, placing Stages amongst Houston’s largest nonprofit performing arts producers. Previously, Folkes was a tenured Senior Director, Development, and Director, Individual Giving and Major Gifts, at the Houston Symphony.
A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE International), Folkes holds a bachelor of arts degree in theatre from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and master of business administration and master of arts, arts administration degrees from the University of Cincinnati.
In making the announcement, Chairman of Board of the Hobby Center Foundation Rob Doty said, “We are delighted to welcome Mark Folkes to the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. With a passion for the performing arts, an impressive business acumen, and strong ties to the Houston community, Mark stood out as the right candidate for the position. There is no doubt he will be an outstanding leader for the Hobby Center for many years to come.”
“Arts and culture are at the center of our civic identity. Houston has so much to be proud of for fostering a dynamic and diverse arts ecosystem, and the Hobby Center is, in many ways, at the center of this progress,” said Mark Folkes. “The Hobby Center is well positioned to become an even stronger community partner to Houston artists and audiences, and I am excited to lead the team to help deepen our impact in presenting engaging performing arts experiences for all Houstonians."
“It was an honor to work with the wonderful search committee, board, and staff of the Hobby Center,” said ACG President Bruce D. Thibodeau. “Congratulations to Mark Folkes on his appointment as President & CEO. An outstanding professional and established leader in the Houston community, Folkes will ensure a highly successful future for the Hobby Center as it continues its path forward.”