Heacox named executive director of Auburn University Performing Arts Center

Published: May 23, 2017
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Following a national search, Auburn University's Office of the Provost has named Christopher Heacox as executive director of the Auburn University Performing Arts Center, effective July 1.

Heacox will provide creative and strategic leadership to Auburn's new 85,000 square foot Performing Arts Center, scheduled to begin construction later this year. In addition to programmatic oversight, Heacox will manage the center's administrative functions, including artistic programming, marketing and branding, building operations, philanthropic support and outreach and educational initiatives.

"As the vision for Auburn's Performing Arts Center becomes a reality, it is vital that our efforts are focused on welcoming world-class performances, presentations, artists and scholars to our community in an effort to cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation of the arts," said Provost Timothy Boosinger. "With his experience building interdisciplinary performing arts programs and coordinating diverse series, I am confident Christopher Heacox will lead Auburn's Performing Arts Center to become an internationally recognized program."

Heacox joins Auburn from Florida State University where he served for five years as executive director of the institution's Opening Nights Performing Arts Series. Under his leadership, Heacox curated and presented renowned artists, performers and performances as part of the university's annual interdisciplinary performing arts series. In addition, Heacox commissioned and co-commissioned work with national and international partners to engage institutional partnerships and implemented new annual giving programs that resulted in significant increases to the center's corporate and individual giving levels. Reporting to the Office of the Provost, Heacox will continue to collaborate with campus and community partners to determine programmatic needs and interests for the center.

"The Auburn University Performing Arts Center will be a tremendous cultural asset for the university and surrounding areas," Heacox said. "I am honored to join the Auburn Family and I look forward to working with the students, faculty, staff and administrators, as well as the greater Auburn community to present world-class performing arts experiences for all."

Prior to Florida State, Heacox served as executive director of both Friday Musicale and the Riverside Fine Arts Association in Jacksonville, Florida, and as managing director of the Porter Center of the Performing Arts at Brevard College in Brevard, North Carolina.

Heacox hold a bachelor’s degree in music from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida and a Master of Music from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. 

Following a groundbreaking in March 2017, the Performing Arts Center is set to open in summer 2019. Located on College Street across from the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, the center will include multipurpose venue seating for approximately 1,200 guests, box office, catering kitchen, wardrobe and dressing rooms and conference and support office spaces. Programming is expected to include a wide range of events, including music and theater performances, touring productions and renowned series, presentations and symposia, dance productions and symphony performances, among others.

Construction of the center was made possible through a $25 million lead gift from 1957 graduates John and Rosemary Brown.

Additional information and construction updates for the Performing Arts Center can be found on the Facilities Management website at the Auburn University Facilities website.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 29,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.