MACON – The Grand Opera House, a performing arts center of Mercer University, has named Betsy Fitzgerald executive director, effective Sept. 28. Fitzgerald has served in a variety of leadership positions with nonprofits across the world and has extensive fundraising and arts management experience. As executive director, Fitzgerald will be responsible for strategic planning, development, Mercer Ticket Sales and all programming at The Grand.
“We are very fortunate to be able to appoint an executive director with the kind of credentials and experience that Betsy brings to the position,” said Larry D. Brumley, senior vice president for marketing communications at Mercer. “She understands the challenges and opportunities that arts organizations like The Grand face in the current economic climate. Equally important, she is passionate about connecting the arts with the community. I believe she is a great fit for The Grand.”
“I am honored to be associated with a nationally-recognized university, joining a wonderful existing staff and working with members of the local community to continue the theatre’s outstanding tradition of providing world-class entertainment in Middle Georgia,” Fitzgerald said. “The Grand will continue to present programs of the highest artistic caliber, from educational programs to the best Broadway shows and concerts. The Grand is a tremendous asset to the community and I am looking forward to strengthening its ties to the community and other arts organizations.”
Prior to relocating to Macon, Fitzgerald was executive director of the Virginia Chorale, the only professional choral ensemble in Virginia, located in Norfolk. She oversaw all executive functions for the 20-member choral ensemble, increasing single ticket and subscription sales by more than 69 percent in her first year. She also spearheaded a music director search and expanded educational programs for the Chorale. Prior to that she was executive director of the Vivace Performing Arts Program on Yokota Air Base in Japan, where she managed a staff and volunteer group of more than 100 and was named “Woman of the Year” in 2004 by the Yokota Air Base leadership for her advocacy and educational work in the arts on the base.
In the past year that Fitzgerald has lived in Macon, she has established valuable relationships with community arts, tourism and entertainment organizations. She has worked with The Cherry Blossom Festival and is a founding member of the Friends of Macon Symphony. She serves on the board of the Macon Arts Alliance and is a new member of the Junior League of Macon.
A professional harpist, Fitzgerald earned her Master of Arts in arts administration from Goucher College and her Bachelor of Music in performance from Eastman School of Music. She also holds an Arts Leadership Certificate from Eastman School of Music and attended the League of American Orchestras’ Essentials of Orchestra Management program in New York City.
Fitzgerald is married to Mercer Law School graduate Keith Fitzgerald, an attorney with Hogue & Hogue Law Firm.
The Grand Opera House
A performing arts center of Mercer University, The Grand Opera House is a historic 1,000-seat theatre located at 651 Mulberry St. in downtown Macon, Ga. The Grand brings the very best in live, professional performing arts and entertainment to Central Georgia. In addition to its popular Broadway Series of nationally-touring productions and its GrandKids Arts Education Series for elementary, middle and high school students, The Grand hosts a variety of special events throughout the year. It is also home to the Macon Symphony Orchestra, the Central Georgia Opera Guild and The Nutcracker of Middle Georgia. For a complete schedule of upcoming performances, contact Mercer Ticket Sales at (478) 301-5470 or visit www.TheGrandMacon.com.
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