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Orpheum seeks new leadership, looks to expand programming

Galesburg's Orpheum Theatre, 57 S. Kellogg St., opened its doors in August 1916.
Jane Carlson
Tri States Public Radio
Galesburg's Orpheum Theatre, 57 S. Kellogg St., opened its doors in August 1916.

The board of directors for Galesburg’s Orpheum Theatre heard a common theme in a community survey that garnered more than 250 responses and in subsequent conversations with community leaders and stakeholders.

That is, people want more from the historic theater that has graced South Kellogg Street since 1916.

“More programs, more diversity of shows, more marketing, more community involvement,” Board Chair Keri Dodson told TSPR.

Dodson said the board met in early March to create a strategic plan with the intent to grow the theater in many ways.

“From this plan, it was determined that the current direction of the theater was not sustainable and in order to ensure the Orpheum will thrive, we needed to find new leadership,” Dodson said.

Dodson confirmed that Erin Glasnovich, who had served as executive director since 2019, is no longer with the Orpheum as of March 12.

“This decision was difficult, but necessary in order to grow the Orpheum in the ways the board envisions,” Dodson said.

Glasnovich had worked for the Orpheum since 2012, first as a box office assistant. Following the departure of Kevin Maynard in late 2018, Glasnovich served in an interim role before being hired as executive director.

Glasnovich shepherded the Orpheum through the COVID-19 pandemic and oversaw improvements such as new front doors and a new auditorium roof, which were completed last year.

The Orpheum has launched a national search for a new leader. However, the position is for a general manager, not an executive director.

Dodson said the change in the position title better encompasses what the board envisions the ideal candidate will accomplish.

“We are looking for an individual who has demonstrated success leading a nonprofit organization, a drive to fundraise and build connections within the greater Galesburg community and beyond, engage the full community with a variety of programming options, and ensure the stability and longevity of ‘the jewel of Galesburg,’” Dodson said.

The general manager will continue to report to the board of directors, but will have assistance in a new part-time position that will be posted at a later date.

The Orpheum also employs a technical director, a box office manager, and a theater assistant – and has a dedicated staff of volunteers.

Until a new leader is hired, those duties are being handled by the board’s executive committee, with board member Karen Cates serving in an interim role. Dodson said this ensures there is no disruption in programming and operations.

“At this time, the Orpheum is in a stable position with all intentions to grow business operations. The executive committee members, board, and staff have been working to build strong relationships with community stakeholders and donors,” Dodson said.

Those interested in reviewing the Orpheum’s new strategic plan can contact to set up a meeting with Dodson, or any of the other board members.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jane Carlson is TSPR's regional reporter.