Whether it’s the Philadelphia Orchestra, Broadway, jazz, comedy, rock, or R ‘n B, Anne Ewers ensures that the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus puts on great performances and events, while also hitting all the right management notes.
As the president and CEO of the region’s most impactful cultural campus, Ms. Ewers has taken a number of major steps to put the Center — as well as the Merriam Theater and Academy of Music— on sound financial footing. The three Broad Street venues are home to eight world-class arts organizations that form the backbone of the arts in Philadelphia.
Since arriving in 2007, Ms. Ewers retired $30 million in Kimmel Center’s construction debt, boosted the organization’s endowment by 80 percent, developed a master plan of renovations, and raised $10 million to establish a biennial citywide arts festival.
Ms. Ewers spearheaded the fundraising campaign to bolster the acoustics at Verizon Hall, renovate the Hamilton Garden and SEI Innovation Studio, and recruit famed Iron Chef Jose Garces to open the restaurant Volvér. The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts has attracted 1.2 million attendees since its 2011 launch.
Her many accomplishments prompted The Philadelphia Inquirer’s culture writer and classical music critic Peter Dobrin to comment, “In many ways, Ewers has been a great success.” Dobrin also praised her for being an “energetic advocate for the arts.”
Prior to coming Philadelphia, Ms. Ewers was CEO of the Utah Symphony and Opera, where she doubled its endowment and turned a $1.8 million structural deficit into a $360,000 surplus; founded the Deer Valley Music Festival and sent the Utah symphony on its first European tour in 19 years. In two earlier stints, she bolstered the finances of the Utah Opera and the Boston Lyric Opera.
Ms. Ewers is also an accomplished opera stage director. She made her main-stage directing debut with the San Francisco Opera in 1988, directing La Gioconda, and has directed more than 60 opera productions.
Ms. Ewers graduated from Fontbonne University, holds a master’s in opera production from the University of Texas, and is on the board of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.
For her financial acumen and dedication to the arts, Drexel University is proud to present Anne Ewers with the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.