Andre Perry has been named the executive director of Hancher Auditorium and the Office of Performing Arts and Engagement at the University of Iowa. Currently the UI director of arts, engagement, and inclusion and senior advisor to the executive officer of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Perry will begin his new role May 16.
Perry previously served as executive director of The Englert Theatre in Iowa City, during which time he helped elevate the theater’s profile into a nationally recognized, locally valued arts venue.
UI last month announced the creation of the Office of Performing Arts and Engagement within the Office of the Provost, which will serve as a university-wide hub for the development, production, and presentation of performing arts and expand Hancher’s mission of supporting and showcasing artists from campus, the community, and around the world.
“Andre has shown tremendous talent and leadership within the university and larger community—extending far beyond the arts,” says UI Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Kregel. “We are fortunate that he will lead us into an exciting new future of the performing arts that will serve our entire campus, the greater community, and the state of Iowa.”
Perry serves on numerous boards, including the National Independent Venue Association, Arts Midwest, and Iowa Arts Council. As an MFA graduate of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, he continues to remain connected to students as a visiting adjunct assistant professor at the university.
“The formation of the Office of Performing Arts and Engagement—and its direct connection to Hancher—presents a rare opportunity to connect the university’s vast arts-based resources under a singular, inspiring vision that enlivens students, faculty, staff, and the global community of Hawkeyes,” Perry says. “It’s an honor to support the mission and vision of this office and continue the long, proud legacy of performing arts that the University of Iowa has built.”
The internal search for the position was led by Kregel; Sara Sanders, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Peter Matthes, vice president for external relations and senior advisor to the president.
“Andre is an enthusiastic, passionate advocate for the performing arts and has a track record of building vibrant, diverse arts communities,” Sanders says. “We are excited about his vision for the Office of the Performing Arts and Engagement and how it can elevate the performing arts at Iowa through Hancher and by building deep relationships with units on campus, such as the School of Music and departments of dance and theatre arts.”
Upon the retirement this summer of Chuck Swanson, Building a Legacy Hancher Executive Director, Perry’s position will be named the Chuck Swanson Hancher Executive Director.