It is with tremendous enthusiasm that White Bear Center for the Arts (WBCA) announces Chris Scholl will be its next Executive Director, beginning on August 7. In Chris’s words, “I was first an artist myself, and later realized that my gifts as an administrator are greater than as an artist. Since then I’ve used my leadership roles to ensure that the creativity of others is given the opportunity to achieve full expression, including next generation artists, underserved community members and everyone who wishes to explore their artistry to the utmost.”
Most recently Chris has spent five years as the Executive Director at the Maplewood-based theater company Ashland Productions. During that time, Chris nearly doubled the donor base, developed fun and innovative new fundraising events, championed equity and diversity initiatives that included making programming more accessible for all, launched new programming, redesigned communications that dramatically grew event sales, and led strategic planning that transformed the mission to be exciting and relevant for the future of the organization.
Prior to that, he managed impressive fundraising gains and a new strategic plan that led to the Jungle Theater’s growth into a second space. In his four years as a Major Gifts Officer at The University of Minnesota’s College of Design, he raised over $3 million in major gifts. His preceding three years at the University of Minnesota Foundation also secured over $3 million in funding to support children’s health and cancer initiatives.
Chris has a MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, a MFA in Scenic Design from the University of North Carolina School of Arts, and a BA in Theatre from Bucknell University. His work at DePaul University’s Liberal Arts & Sciences as well as at the Goodman Theatre honed his skills in building sponsorships, corporate donors, foundation grants, and assuring that arts organizations were sustainable to deliver on their missions.
As a resident of Shoreview with his family, Chris is an active community leader and of service to several other organizations in the Twin Cities. Chris currently serves as the Grants Committee Chair at the Shoreview Community Foundation.
WBCA’s Board of Directors are thrilled to welcome an impressive and accomplished new member to the WBCA staff. More information about welcoming Chris to the White Bear community will be released in August. Chris shares: “I am passionate about creating change in the world by unleashing the creative and entrepreneurial talents of deeply engaged nonprofit professionals. I love coaching and building organizations fueled by respect, innovation, curiosity, and a relentless drive to forever improve the breadth and depth of the institution’s impact. I believe working towards an equitable future is part of my everyday work, as a leader and a citizen.”