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Wharton Center for Performing Arts Announces Eric Olmscheid as Executive Director

Eric Olmscheid Wharton Center for Performing Arts Executive DirectorWharton Center for Performing Arts (Wharton Center) at Michigan State University (MSU) has selected Eric Olmscheid as position title, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He will begin his tenure on June 22, 2022. 

An accomplished performing arts administrator, Olmscheid has nearly 20 years of experience with nationally recognized performing arts organizations. During his tenure at Des Moines Performing Arts, he led the organization through significant programmatic expansion – diversifying performing arts and education initiatives, launching multiple new series, building a comprehensive education program engaging more than 75,000 patrons annually, and expanding community partnerships. He has a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and strives to embed those commitments in his work and leadership. 

In 2016, Olmscheid received the Broadway League Award for Outstanding Achievement in Education and Engagement, for both his service to the field and his accomplishments in Des Moines. Prior to his time at Des Moines Performing Arts, Olmscheid spent four years at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in music from the University of Minnesota Duluth and a master of arts degree in arts management from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. 

In making the announcement, MSU Provost Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. said, “Mr. Olmscheid brings with him a network of connections in the performing arts that will continue to advance Wharton Center as a leader in mid-Michigan and across the U.S. and world. I look forward to the diverse range of arts and educational programming and partnerships that will be adjoined under his leadership.” 

MSU College of Music Dean James Forger added, “I am delighted with the appointment of Eric Olmscheid, whose leadership, vision, and collaborative spirit will take Wharton and the impact of the arts to an exciting new level.” 

“I believe in the transformational impact of the arts and their ability to reflect our shared human experiences,” said Olmscheid. “Building off the rich 40-year history of Wharton Center, we will continue the legacy as a leader in the touring performing arts, an innovator in arts education, and a committed community partner. I am excited by the opportunities ahead for Wharton Center to support the greater arts strategy across MSU and our future initiatives that meet our audiences of tomorrow.” 

“It was a privilege to work with the board and staff in appointing Olmscheid as Executive Director for Wharton Center,” said ACG Vice President Shawn D. Ingram. “Possessing both an entrepreneurial spirit and intellectual curiosity, Olmscheid will most assuredly continue to provide the community with access to outstanding arts education and programming.” 

June 2022

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