The State Theatre is under new management — with a familiar face.
Karen Gregg has stepped in for Gregory Ray as the new executive director of the performing arts center in downtown State College.
Prior to landing the big chair, Gregg served as the theater’s administrative and development director.
“Everyone has been very, very supportive. It’s amazing,” Gregg said.
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She took the post in mid-August, as the theater looks to raise its profile as a nonprofit and expand fundraising efforts.
Everyone has been very, very supportive. It’s amazing.
Jon Levin, chairman of The State Theatre board of directors, said that even in her previous role, Gregg had emerged as a strong leader. Her background in development also played a strong role in the decision.
“Our fundraising efforts are what’s going to sustain us over the next 20 to 30 years,” Levin said.
Ray became the theater’s executive director in January 2014, following the departure of Richard Biever.
Levin praised Ray’s talents as a programmer, calling him one of the best in the theater’s history.
“He really struck a chord with the local audience,” Levin said.
He really struck a chord with the local audience.
Gregg’s transition to executive director was initially made with an eye toward playing to Ray’s strengths. Levin said the board offered him an artistic/programming director role that was ultimately declined.
In a statement, Ray said he was proud of the work that was accomplished during his tenure.
“I worked hard to serve the State College community, to listen and be responsive, to make the theater reflective of its community… I firmly believe any success we achieved is a reflection of this community’s love of the performing arts, “ Ray said.
Gregg joined the theater in June 2014, working her way up the ranks from box office manager.
She occupied the administrative and development director position for a little more than a year, experience she thinks will prove useful as The State Theatre looks to expand its footprint and forge new partnerships within the community.
“There’s always room for other organizations to realize what a gem we have in this area,” Gregg said