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  • Writer's pictureJoey Amato

IndyFringe Hires New Executive Director

Following a national search, the IndyFringe Theatre and its eponymous IndyFringe festival have announced the appointment of Jennifer Cooper, DMA, MBA, as the organization’s next Executive Director. Cooper’s tenure with IndyFringe begins March 10.

Cooper, who possesses a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and an MBA from the University of Montana School of Business, has for the past five years served as Executive Director of the Montana International Choral Festival (MICF). Under her leadership, MICF increased grant revenues 150% in the past year alone. She’s reportedly leaving MICF with a record revenue surplus.

That’s music to the ears of IndyFringe board president Bob DeVoss, who was determined to recruit an Executive Director who possesses both technical business acumen and a passion for the board’s vision to make Indianapolis the city of choice for top-tier theatrical talent to live and work. “Jennifer has that unique combination we were hoping to find,” DeVoss says. “She understands the nature of artistic festivals, has the skills and talent needed to grow our audience base and our talent base, and clearly envisions the performing arts as a critical aspect of a community’s character. We’re thrilled to have her to join IndyFringe.”

That excitement, says Cooper, is mutual. “If you have a passion for the arts, a desire to empower others through creativity, and a love for bringing people together,” she says, “it’s hard to think of a better opportunity than working for an organization like IndyFringe.” As a native of the U.K., Cooper says she’s always loved the original Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is enthusiastic about continuing to grow IndyFringe as a midwestern hub for the arts.

The chance to join IndyFringe could not have come at a more opportune moment for Cooper, whose move to Indianapolis was prompted by her husband’s acceptance of a teaching position in the Jordan College of the Arts at Butler University. The two of them are in the process of relocating to Indianapolis from Missoula with their two young children and two Corgis—but they aren’t the only members of Cooper’s family moving to central Indiana. Her parents, who have worked and traveled internationally for many years, moved to the area in February of this year when her father took a job in Anderson. “We haven’t lived in the same place or even the same country for twenty years,” Cooper says. “It feels like the stars really aligned for this transition to Indianapolis.”

It’s a lot of change for their little family, Cooper says, but she looks forward to their new life in Indianapolis. “We make a life,” she says, “by how we commit and dedicate ourselves. The performing arts, culture, and community are my passion and my life’s work. I can’t wait to get started.”

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