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Jim O'Connell

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Assistant Professor / Arts Management Coordinator
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
After twenty-two years as executive director of Wausau’s Performing Arts Foundation, Inc., managing the historic Grand Theater and Wisconsin’s most comprehensive local arts agency, Jim O’Connell moved to the academic world in the Fall of 2014. He now serves as Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the undergraduate Arts Management program at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
In 49 years, arts administration has brought Jim to some interesting places, including the negotiating table to move the NFL Cardinals from St. Louis to Arizona. An alumnus of Dartmouth College (A.B. in Drama and Government) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Master of Arts in Business, with an emphasis in Arts Administration), Jim has served on staff at Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center, the Wisconsin Union Theater and New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; opened the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines; and directed Arizona State University Public Events. Among many civic and industry commitments, Jim was a founding board member of the Wisconsin Assembly of Local Arts Agencies (now Arts Wisconsin), served for many years on the board of Central Wausau Progress, and has spent more than eighteen of the past forty years as a member of the Advisory Board of UW-Madison’s Bolz Center for Arts Administration. He was co-chair of the 1998 Midwest Arts Conference. In 2001, Jim was honored by the Wisconsin Presenters Network as first recipient of its Michael Goldberg Leadership Award. In 2010, he was named one of the area’s fifty People of the Decade by the Wausau Daily Herald. In recognition of his contributions to the community, the Wausau Chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association named him its 2014 Badger of the Year, and the Leadership Wausau Alumni Association selected Jim to receive its 2014 John L. Cook Memorial Award.
Thursday, May 30

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Friday, May 31

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Saturday, June 1

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