#10 – How Does Theatre Connect Communities? with Colleen Jennings-Roggensack

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Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, arts leader and visionary, is Vice President for Cultural Affairs for Arizona State University and Executive Director of ASU Gammage. In this inspiring and warm conversation, Colleen speaks with Hal about the safety measures she’s implementing for ASU’s audiences, the educational and outreach programs she is championing for children and families, and the thing she’s most hoping will change about the theatre in her lifetime.

Colleen has artistic, fiscal and administrative responsibility for the historic Frank Lloyd Wright designed ASU Gammage, ASU Kerr Cultural Center, with responsibility for Sun Devil Stadium and Desert Financial Arena for non-athletic activities. She oversees the activation and transformation of Sun Devil Stadium into a year-round hub of cultural activity as ASU 365 Community Union. Colleen was also appointed by ASU President Michael Crow to co-lead the Advisory Council on African American Affairs. The council will enhance diversity, growth and opportunity for Black undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.

She serves on The Broadway League’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Government Relations Committee, the Executive Committee and the Board of Governors, Labor Committee and co-chairs the Legislative Council and Road Presenters/Intra-Industry Committee and is Arizona’s only Tony voter. Colleen is a founding and current member of the Creative Capital Board and Senior Advisor to Women of Color in the Arts, former Association of Performing Arts Professionals board president, served on the National Council on the Arts at the bequest of President Clinton and is a Life Director of the Fiesta Bowl. She is a consultant to universities, international governments and a featured speaker at conferences. In 2020, she has served on multiple panels addressing human rights, justice, diversity, equity and inclusion and the future of Broadway; including interviews with W. Kamau Bell and Tony Award director Kenny Leon related to the pandemic of racism; and participated in the TheaterMakers Summit on getting Broadway touring productions back on the road.

Colleen is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2020 National Coalition of 100 Black Women Education Legend, 2019 Valley Leadership Woman of the Year, 2019 ASU West Pioneer Award, National Society of Arts and Letters Medallion of Merit, Valle del Sol’s Mom of the Year, APAP Fan Taylor Award, Black Philanthropy Initiative Honor, The Broadway League’s Outstanding Achievement in Presenter Management and Arizona’s Governor’s Arts Award. In 2012, The Arizona Republic recognized Colleen for Arizona’s 100th Anniversary as one of the individuals who had the greatest impact in the era.

Follow Colleen on Instagram @CJRoggensack. Look out for ASU’s upcoming season of performances at https://www.asugammage.com/.

For all things Broadway Biz, visit our Instagram @BroadwayBizPodcast or our website broadwaybizpodcast.com.

Have a question for Hal or a topic you’d like him to explore? Send Hal an email at broadwaybiz@halluftig.com.

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