Wilson Center In the News
Learn about the many exciting happenings at the Wilson Center!
If you have questions about Wilson Center events or media coverage, contact Vice President-Marketing & Communications Nichole Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-373-5034.
May 3, 2018 - Wilson Center Names Executive Director
Following a nationwide search, the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts has named Anna M. Thompson as its Executive Director. Thompson comes to the Wilson Center from the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she served for two-and-a-half years as the Associate Vice President and Executive Director, overseeing a $4.8 million budget and producing and presenting more than 700 performances, residencies, and events annually.
The announcement came from Wilson Center Board Chair Fred Syrjanen following a national search conducted over the past four months by a 10-person search committee. Chaired by Syrjanen, the committee included members of the Wilson Center Board of Directors, staff, and consultants.
“The search committee reviewed several highly qualified candidates, and we are pleased to have Anna joining us as a visionary leader who will guide the Wilson Center to our next level of excellence,” said Syrjanen. “Anna’s passion for the arts is evident throughout her impressive career, and we look forward to the many ways that her arts management experience, her industry recognition as a presenter and producer, and her ability to build strong collaborations will grow our reputation as a national arts leader.”
Previously a music educator, Thompson has been an active leader of arts organizations for 34 years. Prior to her role at UAB, she served for eight years as Executive Director of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center and the Judd and Mary Lou Leighton Director for the Performing Arts at University of Notre Dame. Thompson also spent 10 years in Minnesota at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. Before that, she served for 14 years as an arts administrator at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Butler University, and Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library.
Thompson will join the Wilson Center on May 21, 2018. Her appointment comes at a time of great momentum for the organization, which annually enhances more than 45,000 lives through world-class performances, arts education programs, classes and workshops, festivals, exhibitions, and special events. In June, the Wilson Center will welcome more than 600 business and community leaders to its premier arts education fundraiser, The Big Event, as Milwaukee philanthropists Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne Selig are honored with the 2018 EDDY Award. Throughout the summer, more than 15,000 audiences will attend the annual Starry Nights free outdoor concert series, and hundreds of guitarists from all over the world will participate in the sixth annual international Wilson Center Guitar Festival this August. In the fall, the Wilson Center will celebrate its 17th anniversary season, featuring an Irish dance premiere, Grand Ole Opry icons, an NEA Jazz Master, and many more unique and engaging arts experiences.
“It is an honor to be named the Executive Director of the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts,” said Thompson. “I was drawn to the position for several reasons: the remarkable architecture, setting, venues, and programming, and the exceptional dedication of Don and Kate Wilson and the board. I look forward to leading the Center’s passionate team and joining the vibrant community of Milwaukee.”
Thompson received her bachelor’s degree from Albion College and her master’s from Western Michigan University, with additional studies in educational leadership at Butler University and a certificate in executive leadership from the University of Notre Dame. Thompson is a member of the International Society for the Performing Arts, Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Chamber Music America, and Dance/USA. She is also a frequent lecturer and presenter at performing arts conferences worldwide.
Photo by Chuck St. John
March 19, 2018 - Wilson Center Presents Acclaimed Jessica Lang Dance in Milwaukee Premiere
A stunning and stirring evening of dance await audiences as the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts welcomes Jessica Lang Dance for a Milwaukee-area premiere performance on Saturday, Mar. 24, at 8:00pm. Read full release.
December 5, 2017 - Wilson Center President and CEO Lynn Sprangers Announces Retirement
The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts is announcing that President & CEO Lynn Sprangers has announced her retirement. Sprangers, who joined the Wilson Center in the summer of 2016, will step down on December 31. Read full release
November 7, 2017 - Wilson Center Presents Celebration of South Indian Classical Dance
A sense of reverence, unfolding mystery, and imagination awaits audiences in the full-evening solo, They Rose At Dawn, performed by classical Bharatanatyam Indian dancer Aparna Ramaswamy at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts (Wilson Center) on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. Read full release
October 12, 2017 - Dynamic Sphinx Virtuosi to Perform 20th Anniversary Concert at Wilson Center
A celebration of concerti through the ages awaits audiences as the dynamic and diverse Sphinx Virtuosi bring their 20th Anniversary tour to the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts (Wilson Center) on Friday, Oct. 27, at 8:00 p.m. Read full release
October 10, 2017 - Bud and Sue Selig Announced as 2018 Wilson Center EDDY Award Recipients
The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts (Wilson Center) is pleased to announce that Allan H. (Bud) Selig and Suzanne L. Selig will be honored with the 14th annual EDDY Award at the Wilson Center’s premier annual arts education fundraiser, The Big Event, on Saturday, June 2, 2018. Read full release