I’m Warren Tranquada, the new president and CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. And I am excited to be in Dallas! I have just completed my first few weeks here at this great Dallas institution and I have already had so many opportunities to marvel at the value that comes from experiencing the live arts together as a community.
Yes, there is something to be said for sharing creative virtual experiences with others across our country and indeed the globe. But – especially after so much time being cooped up – it just can’t replace the excitement and engagement of the real thing. Being in the room where it happens is meaningful. The subtle interactions between artists and audience members that are unique to each performance. The smile of a musician who can’t help but let slip that she was moved by the interpretation of her fellow artist on stage. The shared energy from the laughter at a well-timed line. The chatter in the lobby when you just loved (or hated) a performance (I am usually on the “loved” side of that debate, even if I don’t always fully understand what I saw).
And in this short time, I’ve been able to experience so much that the Center has to offer. I really enjoy having a drink and listening to our free, outdoor PNC Patio Sessions concerts in Sammons Park on Thursday evenings. My first show in the Winspear Opera House was the Broadway tour of The Prom (and this really is best stage for Broadway in North Texas). And seeing for the first time, the iconic Moody Chandelier rise into the ceiling before a performance. Like everyone in the audience, my head was tipped back and looking up with a giant smile on my face. Now that, is a Dallas moment. And I know I have many more ahead!
I look forward to seeing you at a future performance on our campus. Please say hello. I would love to hear your own stories of what you experienced.
A few questions for Warren:
Where were you before Dallas?
I was the Chief Operating Officer for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. I’d served at NJPAC in a variety of senior leadership positions for 17 years. Before that I co-ran a consulting company focused on non-profit strategy and business planning. Earlier in my career I was a consultant with Bain and Company and a banker at Chase. I attended McGill University in Montreal and have an MBA from Harvard.
What has excited you most so far while in Dallas?
I’ve enjoyed trying the many great restaurants in Dallas. In every part of the city, there is a great range of interesting cuisines and creative chefs! And to run off all those great meals, I’ve discovered the Katy Trail. What a gem! But really, I’m so amazed at how friendly and welcoming everyone is. I’ve always heard about this Dallas hospitality. I can tell you, it’s real!
Tell us about your family?
My wife Alexine and I have a daughter Ella who is a junior at Michigan State, and two teenage sons (Calvin and Miles). We are huge hockey fans and look forward to attending more Dallas Stars game this fall (we made sure to get to the American Airlines Center even before I was offered the position)!