Mary Jennings Appointed as Executive Director of Grand Rapids Ballet

By Marketing Director Meghan Dolata
April 19, 2024

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 19 — Grand Rapids Ballet (GRB), Michigan’s only classical ballet company, proudly announces the appointment of Mary Jennings as its new Executive Director. Jennings brings a wealth of experience in arts leadership and a deep passion for the arts, positioning her to lead GRB to new heights of success and impact within the Grand Rapids community.

As the Director at Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, Jennings has dedicated herself to spearheading community-centered collaborations that invigorate rural communities with the transformative power of the arts. Her experience allows her to gain an understanding of all crucial aspects of a non-profit performing arts organization as she oversees all operations functions, including programming, development, production, marketing, box office, audience engagement, and community relations.

“It is both a privilege and an honor to assume the role of Executive Director at Grand Rapids Ballet,” said Mary Jennings. “I envision a future defined by artistic excellence and innovation, reflective of the vibrant spirit of Grand Rapids. Together with the dedicated staff, Board, and exceptional dancers, we will build upon the foundation laid by Glenn Del Vecchio, propelling Grand Rapids Ballet to even greater heights of excellence, ensuring its enduring legacy within the Grand Rapids community and beyond.”

A founding member of the Upper Peninsula Arts and Culture Alliance, Jennings’ dedication to advancing the arts is further underscored by her extensive training in classical ballet at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She holds a BA in Dance from Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts, complemented by an MBA from Michigan Technological University’s School of Business and Economics.

President of Grand Rapids Ballet’s Board of Directors, Jeff Gurney, conveyed his enthusiasm for the future, “The Board of Directors is delighted to welcome Mary, whose exceptional caliber and extensive experience make her an invaluable addition to Grand Rapids Ballet as Executive Director.”

In her role as Executive Director, Mary Jennings will oversee all aspects of Grand Rapids Ballet’s operations, collaborating closely with the Board of Directors, Artistic Director, staff, dancers, and community partners to advance the company’s mission of “lifting the human spirit through the art of dance.”

“I couldn’t be happier that Mary Jennings has agreed to be our next Executive Director,” artistic director James Sofranko said. “Her passion for ballet and for furthering the mission of Grand Rapids Ballet is evident, and I have no doubt that she will make a strong impact on this organization. I am eager to begin working side by side with her to continue to make Grand Rapids Ballet an artistic leader in our community and the entire state of Michigan.”

To ensure a smooth transition, Jennings will officially join GRB on June 10, 2024, where she will be working closely with Glenn Del Vecchio until his departure.

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