Eric Wallner (SHRM-CP) has spent more than 30 years advocating for artists as catalytic agents of community growth and empowerment. As deputy director, Eric is responsible for ensuring the strategic direction set by the director and Board of Trustees. Working cross-departmentally, his role actively facilitates and monitors business planning, financial management, HR compliance, operations, program evaluation, effective use of resources and revenue generation.
Eric recently served as executive director for internationally acclaimed aerial arts organization Zaccho Dance Theatre, based in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point. Prior to that, he served for four years as the CEO of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, the largest collection of working artist studios in the U.S. (165 artists working in 82 studios and seven galleries).
Eric’s work history includes leadership roles in grassroots cultural organizations, local arts agencies and research and advocacy at the state and national levels. At the Urban Institute, he worked as a lead researcher on Investing in Creativity: A Study of the Support Structure for U.S. Artists and Live from Your Neighborhood: A National Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals for the NEA. As a consultant, he has worked with numerous arts organizations and funders and sat on dozens of grant panels around the country.
He holds a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University and a M.A. in Arts Policy and Administration from the Ohio State University and has taught in the Arts Management program at George Mason University.
Outside of work, Eric enjoys reading (mostly contemporary fiction); cooking; hanging out with his orange tabby cat, Boz; trying to do yoga; and volunteering with community groups. He is also a proud parent to a grown foster son.
Email: director (at) okcontemp.org
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