Kevin Smith will be taking over as the interim President and CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra starting in July.
Smith served as president and CEO of Minnesota Opera from 1986 to 2011, a period in which the company expanded its season from three to five productions, doubled its attendance and grew its annual budget from $1.5 million to $9 million. During his tenure, Minnesota Opera was recognized for artistic excellence, a commitment to the development of new works, an innovative approach to production design, a highly successful Resident Artist Program, and progressive educational and community outreach programs.
Smith’s other accomplishments include the 1991 creation of the Minnesota Opera Center, which houses the company’s offices, costume and scene shops and rehearsal facilities. He helped to establish the Arts Partnership, which ushered in a new era of collaboration among Minnesota Opera, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Schubert Club and the Ordway, and served as its first president. Throughout his career, Smith has been active in statewide arts advocacy, serving on the board of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and as a member of Vote Yes Minnesota, the steering committee for the campaign for voter approval of the Minnesota “Legacy” constitutional amendment.
A prominent leader on the national opera scene, Smith has served on numerous panels at the National Endowment for the Arts and been a board member of the American Arts Alliance. He is a past board chair of the national service organization Opera America and was instrumental in establishing its counterpart, Opera Europa. Smith has been working as Opera America’s field consultant, specializing in extended consultations with opera companies in transition.
We are thrilled that Kevin Smith is now going to be spearheading the rebuilding effort for the Minnesota Orchestra.