The Board of Trustees of the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California announced the appointment of Jamie Grant as its new President and CEO effective September 14, 2020.
Grant has, for the past four years, served as President and CEO of The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota which hosts a 1,900-seat Music Theater and an 1,100-seat Concert Hall.
Before taking the helm at the Ordway Center, he was President and CEO of the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas and held leadership positions in Canada with The Centre In The Square in Kitchener, Ontario; the Imperial Theatre in Saint John, New Brunswick; City of Brampton Theatre Office in Brampton, Ontario and the Skylight Theatre in Toronto.
The Ordway has been recognized as one of the United States’ premier not-for-profit performing arts centers. In addition to presenting a wide variety of diverse performances including the finest in musical theater, world music, dance and vocal artists, The Ordway is home to the Flint Hills Family Festival, one of the top festivals of its kind in America. Through Grant’s leadership, The Ordway expanded concert programming to include such artists as Ringo Starr, Gladys Knight and Emmylou Harris, education programming to serve over 60,000 students and developed a strategy to bring many new patrons to its Music Theater and Concert Hall.
“It is with great excitement that we welcome Jamie to the McCallum,” said Harold Matzner, Chairman of the McCallum Theatre Board of Trustees. “He is nationally regarded as a creative leader in the nonprofit performing arts world. His long history of smart decision-making, fiscal responsibility and fundraising expertise will serve the McCallum exceptionally well as we build upon the Theatre’s unprecedented success and navigate through some uncharted territory ahead. He is a genuinely good person, with a deep love of the arts and education. We couldn’t be more delighted that he will be bringing his exceptional skills to the Coachella Valley.”
“I have admired the McCallum Theatre for many years,” said Grant. “The McCallum is impressive in every way. If you do what I do, this is a great gig. The Theatre and its professional and volunteer leadership have developed a strong business acumen for many years. All of that effort will ensure the organization thrives long after the current Covid-19 crisis has passed.”
“I simply cannot wait to get to town and get started,” added Grant. “I am grateful to Harold Matzner and the McCallum Search Committee for their confidence in inviting me to join such a seasoned staff and top-flight Board at an institution so clearly cherished by its donors, patrons and the community.”
“The Coachella Valley has been a vacation destination of mine for each of the last three years,” he said. “I can’t believe I get to live there now. My wife said we could move anywhere in the world as long as the kids would want to visit us. When they heard we were heading to the desert, they are now fighting over who gets to visit first.”
Prior to Covid-19, the Ordway had two productions with which they were involved scheduled to open on Broadway this season. The international sensation musical, SIX, a modern retelling of the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII played at the Ordway pre-Broadway. The Ordway was an early investor in the Bob Dylan musical, GIRL FROM THE NORTH COMPANY, which is set in Duluth, MN. The show had a successful run in London’s West End, prior to making its Broadway debut one week before theaters were shut down due to New York’s quarantine implementation.
At the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas, Grant oversaw a multi-purpose venue with three performance spaces including the 2,442-seat Dell Hall; 200-seat Rollins Theatre; and the City Terrace, an outdoor performance space for up to 15,000. The Long Center is home to Austin’s symphony, opera and ballet.
Grant has long been active in a variety of community service and professional associations including serving on the national Board of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP); an active member of the Independent Presenters Network; the Broadway League, PACstats Executive Forum; past president of the Canadian Arts Presenting Association; and consultant to the Canada Council for the Arts.
Grant, his wife Christine Bird (a fiber artist), and their dogs Lucy and Jolene and their cat Sophie will be moving to the valley late summer.
ABOUT McCALLUM THEATRE
Located in beautiful Palm Desert, California, the McCallum Theatre was introduced to the world by Bob Hope with a nationally televised concert on Jan. 2, 1988. McCallum Theatre was founded with the mission to provide desert residents and visitors a world-class performing arts venue diverse in its programming, patrons, and educational opportunities. The world’s best artists have appeared at the McCallum, the valley’s premier performing arts venue, ranging from rock and pop icons and dance legends to classical soloists and orchestras, as well as the finest Broadway shows and many of the most cherished stars of stage, screen, television, and song.
The McCallum has consistently been ranked as one of the top-selling theaters in the world by industry publication Pollstar. McCallum Theatre Education, the Theatre’s educational outreach division, was founded in 1997. Its annual $1,000,000 program offers intensive and enriching arts literacy experiences for more than 40,000 children, parents, and educators annually, both at the McCallum and in area classrooms. More than 2,000 individual classroom workshops were facilitated by McCallum Theatre Education teaching artists during the 2019–2020 season.