AT&T Performing Arts Center Announces New President & CEO

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Top NJPAC Executive Warren Tranquada Assumes Role This Summer

The nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center announced today that veteran performing arts center executive Warren Tranquada will become the Center’s next President and CEO. Tranquada is currently the Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, NJ. Tranquada will replace Debbie Storey, who has been President and CEO since 2017. She announced last fall that she would be stepping down once a new leader was identified.

“Warren comes to us from NJPAC, one of the top performing arts centers in the nation,” said Danny Tobey, chair of the AT&T Performing Arts Center Board of Directors. “To bring that level of business experience to Dallas – along with a commitment to artistic excellence, arts education and community engagement – will prove transformative for the Center and our community.”

“Dallas has a national reputation as a thriving cultural hub, both for its vibrant Arts District and the diverse arts community throughout the city,” said Tranquada. “I’m eager to begin working with the talented team at the AT&T Performing Arts Center and its partners to build on this tradition.”

Tranquada has been with NJPAC since 2009, responsible for strategic planning and business operations for the organization and its $50M annual budget. The organization has a national reputation for its diverse and distinctive programming, entrepreneurial and innovative business model, vibrant arts education, community and civic engagement and its role as an economic catalyst for downtown Newark. Tranquada has played a critical role in finance, ticketing, strategic planning, real estate development, new business development, special projects, fundraising, arts education planning, organizational governance and more.

“The AT&T Performing Arts Center couldn’t have made a better choice for its new CEO,” said John Schreiber, President and CEO of NJPAC. “I’ve had the privilege of working with Warren Tranquada on a daily basis for the last 11 years, and I know him to be a uniquely wise, thoughtful, creative, effective and innovative leader. A genuine community- and consensus-builder, Warren will deliver enormous value to Dallas. While we’ll miss him every day, all of us at NJPAC wish him great success in this new and exciting endeavor.”

Prior to NJPAC, Tranquada was a co-founder and partner with the social sector consulting firm Aperio in Newark and Toronto, a vice president with Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, and an associate consultant with Bain & Company Canada in Toronto. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University in Montreal and an MBA degree from Harvard Business School, with a focus on nonprofit business structures and social-purpose investment vehicles.

“The strength of NJPAC comes from a deep commitment to giving voice to diverse communities through the arts, and through our approach of acting as an anchor institution in the City, with all of the responsibilities that entails,” said Tranquada. “I see great potential for the future of the AT&T Performing Arts Center to build on its own tradition of being an anchor in the Arts District, and the city at large, and to deepen its impact for both residents and artistic organizations in this diverse and growing city.”

Debbie Storey is stepping down after leading the Center through the COVID-19 pandemic, which devastated the arts community. Under her leadership, the Center safely re-opened its outdoor venue, Strauss Square, so that local arts groups would have a place to perform. She also helped lead the Center through the pandemic with a balanced budget.

“Serving with such incredible colleagues at the Center, but also in the arts community has been an experience of a lifetime,” said Storey. “They have all demonstrated such resilience and optimism in the face of everything we have been through over the last few years.”

Storey is also known for working to expand the Center’s arts education and community engagement programs and for reaching a groundbreaking partnership with Broadway Dallas (formerly known as Dallas Summer Musicals.) “Even before COVID-19, Debbie had a long list of accomplishments and would have left behind a remarkable legacy of achievement,” said Board Chair Danny Tobey. “But the pandemic saw Debbie’s leadership reach new levels. Not only did the Center survive the pandemic, she is leaving the Center in the best financial health in its history.”

Since the Center’s opening in 2009, the Center has become known for its iconic venues, diverse and high-quality entertainment, esteemed resident companies, extensive arts education and community engagement programs, and collaborative leadership in the Dallas arts community. The $360M Center is a public-private partnership with the City of Dallas, with 90% of the Center’s construction funded by the private and philanthropic community. The campus and its venues were then gifted to the City. The Center operates the campus under a long-term use agreement with the City. More on the Center and its venues below.

Tranquada and his wife Alexine have three children. In his spare time he enjoys playing hockey, competing in triathlons, and enjoying all forms of the performing arts. He assumes his new role July 25.

Click here for the full press release and photos for media.