FSU hires new Opening Nights director

Jennifer Wright Allen, director of Opening Nights as of June 6.
Jennifer Wright Allen, director of Opening Nights as of June 6.

Florida State University on Monday announced Jennifer Wright Allen as its new director of Opening Nights following an extensive national search. She will start June 6.

Wright Allen comes to FSU from the Angelina Arts Alliance in Lufkin, Texas, where she has served as executive director since 2016.

“FSU’s Opening Nights has a storied history of providing our campus and the Tallahassee region with rich, cultural arts programming,” said FSU President Richard McCullough. “I believe Jennifer Wright Allen has the skillset to build upon this history and position the program for a strong and prosperous future of attracting highly acclaimed artists.”

She succeeds Michael Blachly, who retired this spring after four years of leading the university’s professional performing arts program.

In her new role, Wright Allen will administer and implement strategies that advance the organization through the presentation of world-class programming, dissemination of educational opportunities in the arts, and creation of meaningful community engagement while achieving annual revenue goals.

“I am honored and thrilled to join the Seminole family as the new director of Opening Nights at Florida State University,” Wright Allen said. “Opening Nights has a rich legacy of presenting world-class performing arts and educational opportunities at FSU and around Tallahassee. I consider it an absolute privilege to continue and build upon this legacy for the overall cultural advancement of the university and the community. I look forward to calling Tallahassee my new home.”

At the Angelina Arts Alliance, Wright Allen oversaw the day-to-day operations, strategic planning, and performing arts programming of the 898-seat Temple Theater and the historic 450-seat Pines Theater, arts education programming and outreach activities. She also was responsible for fund development, marketing initiatives, board member relations, community partnerships and a $1.3 million annual operating budget.

Before Angelina Arts Alliance, Wright Allen spent six years at The Orpheum Theatre in Wichita, Kansas, where she started as the director of Marketing and Development in 2008 and served as executive director from 2011-2015.