Christopher Gruits Appointed to Lead the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

June 29, 2016

Provost Vincent Price and Vice Provost Anita Allen are pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher Gruits as Executive and Artistic Director of the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, effective September 26, 2016.

Gruits is Vice President and Executive Producer of Presentations, the programming and broadcasting division of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the world-renowned arts school and cultural center in Michigan. In this position, he produces more than 600 events each year with students, faculty, and visiting artists, closely coordinating between public programs and the school’s curriculum, as well as live presentations and webcasts, music broadcasting on Interlochen Public Radio, and the Interlochen Arts Festival, one of the largest and most comprehensive summer arts festivals in the country. He has grown ticketing revenue to the highest level in the institution’s history, while introducing new thematic, multidisciplinary, and community programs.

Before coming to Interlochen in 2013, Gruits was Director of e-Strategy at Carnegie Hall in New York City, developing and implementing a highly successful strategic plan for Carnegie Hall’s virtual presence, including broadcasts, ecommerce, social media, original web content, and Carnegie Hall’s first mobile app. He served for four years as an Artistic Projects Manager at Carnegie Hall, overseeing a wide range of artists and performances as well as artistic operations for the opening of the Zankel Hall performance space, and earlier as Director of Dilettante Music, the pioneering social media network for classical music, and in positions at the Seattle Symphony and the Brooklyn Underground Film Festival.

“Chris Gruits will be an exciting new leader for the Annenberg Center – and for the entire arts community at Penn and in Philadelphia,” said Provost Price. “He is an ideal choice to build on the legacy of Mike Rose, and we are fortunate to attract him to Penn at this pivotal moment for arts and culture on campus. I am grateful to the consultative committee, chaired by Vice Provost Anita Allen, whose invaluable work reviewing and interviewing many highly qualified candidates helped us arrive at this outstanding result.”

Gruits earned an MBA with Distinction (2008) from the University of Edinburgh, focusing on digital strategies for the classical music industry, and a BA (1999) in Interdisciplinary Humanities and Arts Management from Michigan State University.

“Chris Gruits is deeply knowledgeable about arts programming and arts education,” said Vice Provost Allen. “The committee was especially impressed by his experience collaborating across disciplines and genres, connecting the arts to social and online media, and working closely with his surrounding community. I am confident that, in the years ahead, he will be a wonderful partner across and beyond the Penn campus.”