Chris Heinbaugh, Vice President of External Affairs


Chris Heinbaugh joined the nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center in May 2011 after a long career in journalism and politics. He and his team focus on arts education, community engagement, government relations, arts advocacy, and institutional communications.

Prior to that, Chris served as chief of staff to Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. He was Leppert’s policy, political and media adviser and the point person on his education initiatives. Before that, Chris had an 18-year career in journalism. He moved to Dallas in 2000, covering City Hall and politics for WFAA-Channel 8 and occasionally writing for The Dallas Morning News. He also worked at TV stations in Seattle, Phoenix, Richmond, El Paso and Orange County, CA. Chris served on the national board for the journalism organization Investigative Reporters and Editors and was a founding member and first president of the Lone Star Emmy Chapter. During his journalism career, Chris received 13 Emmy Awards, two Edward R. Murrow Awards and was named Best Reporter by the Associated Press Broadcasters in both Texas and Arizona. Chris graduated Cum Laude from California State University, Northridge in 1989 with Bachelor of Arts Degrees in both Political Science and Journalism. He also holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Chris is Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson’s appointee to the Visit Dallas Board of Directors. He also serves on the boards for the Klyde Warren Park/Dallas Arts District Public Improvement District, Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition, Texans for the Arts. He is a member of the Dallas Assembly and on the Fair Park First Legacy Council. He is a former member of the Dallas Arts District Board of Directors.

Chris is an avid skier, enjoys biking, a curator of great dinner parties, loves modern sculpture and dance, traveling the world, is a big fan of most everything in the Dallas Arts District and the city’s diverse cultural community. He loves being an ambassador for Dallas!