September 28, 2021

durangobagel

art requires creative

Cedar Rapids Opera welcomes Ashley Shields as new executive director

3 min read

Cedar Rapids Opera has two news items. 

We’ve officially changed our name from Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre to Cedar Rapids Opera. And, more importantly, we have a new executive director, Ashley Shields. 

Shields brings a wealth of energy to this position. She is an experienced administrator who has worked as corporate events director for the American Heart Association in Cedar Rapids, director of advancement for the Barrington Stage Co. in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and director of development for Flat Rock Playhouse in Hendersonville, North Carolina. She is a sought-after administrator who has an undergraduate degree from Emerson College in Boston, and both a master’s in arts management and MBA from Southern Methodist University.

Board President Susan Wolverton sums it up: “Engaging, warm and approachable, Ashley brings positive energy and sincere dedication to the Cedar Rapids Opera. We are fortunate to have a professional of her caliber joining us as we embrace the challenges of emerging from the pandemic to keep CRO a vital part of the corridor art scene.”

Shields spent much of her time on the East Coast. 

“Before I moved to Cedar Rapids, I never would’ve thought it to be synonymous with world-class opera. But turns out, opera is one of the things this state does best,” she said. “And I am over the moon to be a part of a company that is committed to creating both exceptional productions and meaningful educational opportunities for young artists. While my background might be more jazz hands than cadenza, I’m so excited to learn from and with CRO’s amazing community of supporters.”

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