MACON – Veteran arts administrator Joseph Patti has been named executive director of The Grand Opera House, a performing arts center of Mercer University, effective Aug. 20. He succeeds Gram Slaton, who was recently appointed executive director of the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center in New York.
A native of Orange County, New York, Patti for the past five years has served as director of the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. Prior to that he was theater manager for the University of Hawaii system for nearly nine years. He also has experience managing arts organizations in Florida and New Jersey.
Patti earned his undergraduate degree from Siena College in New York and has a Master of Fine Arts degree in theater management from Florida State University.
“Joe Patti brings outstanding financial management, programming, community relations and fundraising skills to The Grand,” said George McCanless, chair of The Grand Opera House board of governors and president and CEO of the United Way of Central Georgia. “He has a reputation in arts management circles for creative and visionary leadership. Coupled with The Grand’s soon-to-be-completed major renovations Joe will help position the theater for a bright future.”
Patti has been a board member for the Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association and the Portsmouth Public Library System, is a grant panelist for the Ohio Arts Council, and has served on the professional development committees for Arts Midwest and Non Profit Technology conferences. He is active in Arts Midwest’s Creating Connection, a national movement with the long-term goal to make arts and culture a recognized, valued, and expected part of everyday life. For nearly 15 years he has been a regular contributor to a number of national arts management publications and websites. He holds memberships in the Ohio Arts Presenters Network, Americans for the Arts, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and Society of Arts Entrepreneurship in Education.
“I am energized by the possibilities afforded by the renovation of The Grand and the revitalization of downtown Macon,” Patti said. “There are burgeoning opportunities for the community to live, eat, express themselves and share experiences with family and friends. I feel fortunate to be joining The Grand at this exciting time.”
One of the Southeast’s great historic theaters, The Grand is undergoing $3 million in SPLOST-funded capital improvements. In the summer of 2017 new seating and carpet was installed throughout the theater, HVAC systems were upgraded and stage systems were enhanced. This summer the lobby is being renovated and enlarged, and when The Grand reopens in mid-October patrons will enjoy new and more spacious restrooms, additional pre-function space and two new bars.
About The Grand
The Grand Opera House, a performing arts center of Mercer University, is Central Georgia’s premier historic theatre presenting professionally produced, national touring Broadway productions, concerts, comedy, dance and variety shows as well as a full season of GrandKids arts education performances. Its stage is also home to the Macon Civic Club’s annual music revue, the Nutcracker of Middle Georgia and several other civic and arts organizations. The 1,000-seat theatre is located at 651 Mulberry St. in downtown Macon. The box office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. For a complete schedule of upcoming performances visit TheGrandMacon.com or call (478) 301-5470.