Phoenix Theatre Cultural Centre names interim leader to newly created CEO position

The Phoenix Theatre Cultural Centre has appointed William Powell as its interim CEO, starting May 1, the theater announced Thursday.

Powell will oversee operations and fundraising as well as help with the search to find a permanent CEO, a newly created top position that the board plans to fill by Jan. 1. Powell will work with Bill Simmons before Simmons leaves in June to devote more time to his consulting firm, according to a news release from the theater. At the Phoenix, Simmons has been overseeing a sustainability initiative as the Ignite Campaign director, and he previously served as artistic director before Constance Macy, who was appointed to that position in June 2022.

William Powell will be the new interim CEO of the Phoenix Theatre Cultural Centre.
William Powell will be the new interim CEO of the Phoenix Theatre Cultural Centre.

The cultural center, at 705 N. Illinois St., is creating the CEO position because it has grown to encompass seven resident companies, which include the Phoenix Theatre, and needs someone to oversee the operations that go along with that, Sales and Marketing Director Toney Crawford wrote in an email to IndyStar.

In the news release, Powell agreed the time had come to move forward.

“An evolving landscape ... demands a fresh, innovative approach," he said. "The external environment — including effects of the pandemic that have changed arts organizations everywhere — is prompting theaters to reinvent themselves and take a broader approach to reaching their communities. With a state-of-the-art Cultural Centre in downtown Indianapolis, the Phoenix is uniquely positioned to do just that.”

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Powell's background includes arts consulting and business experience in Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio. He's reviewed grants for the Ohio Arts Council, Greater Columbus Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts and has consulted on the Greater Columbus Arts Council's Arts Stabilization Program to help organizations achieve financial stability, according to the release.

The incoming interim CEO was also owner of Broad Ripple's Monon Coffee Co. and partnered in food service incubator Indy's Kitchen.

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Contact IndyStar reporter Domenica Bongiovanni at 317-444-7339 or Follow her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @domenicareports.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Phoenix Theatre Cultural Centre names interim leader to CEO position