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Trotter’s Six-year Tenure with Center Has Been One of Vision, Action and Uplifting Transformation; Board Will Launch National Search for Her Replacement

After six successful years leading Midland Center for the Arts, President and CEO Terri Trotter has accepted a new position and will be returning to her longtime home of Arkansas.

Trotter has announced plans to lead The Jones Trust, a unique, multi-campus organization dedicated to strengthening communities in Northwest Arkansas. The organization’s flagship campus, The Jones Center, is a popular regional destination for recreation, entertainment and community gathering that has provided life-enriching opportunities for millions of residents over the past two decades. The move also will bring her closer to family.

The Center’s board will launch a national search for Trotter’s replacement and is already evaluating search firms to support the process.

“Terri has made an outstanding and lasting mark on the Center, our Midland community and the entire Great Lakes Bay region,” said Board Chair Lisa Ungerleider. “Her tenure with the Center has been one of vision, action and uplifting transformation. The Center will continue to benefit from her inspired leadership far into the future.

“Our board of directors remains overwhelmingly grateful and appreciative of Terri’s many significant contributions. We know she will remain a friend and a strong ally for the Center and for the Great Lakes Bay region.

Leadership accomplishments during Trotter’s tenure with the Center include:

  • Overseeing audience growth of 40% while ticket sales doubled pre-pandemic.
  • Recruiting a highly skilled team of industry professionals in the performing arts, museum and education fields to create an energized and visionary leadership team focused on results.
  • Growing the number of individual gifts to the annual fund by 35% while the average size of gifts rose by 60%.
  • Presenting professional touring Broadway for the first time in the Center’s history that, after only three seasons, enjoys a subscriber base of nearly 1,000 patrons – and growing.
  • Introducing the Windows on the World Series that annually brings artists from around the globe to Midland and hosting matinee field trips for regional students to experience these professional artists of varied cultures.
  • Expanding and integrating the Museum programs at the Center, energizing and strengthening STEM-based learning, including launching a distance learning platform for schools focused on the intersection of STEM and the arts.
  • Successfully guiding the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 flood while maintaining a strong staff and connections with patrons.
  • Leading the development of plans to rebuild and refresh the Center for the coming decades.

For Trotter, the new role is a perfect match both professionally and personally.

“I was not looking for this opportunity – it came looking for me and presented a combination of professional and personal opportunities too good to pass up,” Trotter said. “On the professional side, this new role will enable me to help envision and develop new entertainment and education experiences in a region I have long called home. On the personal side, it will allow my family and me to return to Arkansas where my mom and two sisters live with their families.

“This was not an easy decision. The Center is such a dynamic organization, and the last six years in Midland and at the Center have flown by. I have loved my time here, and my family and I will take with us many lasting friendships and very special memories.”

Trotter will remain as the Center’s CEO until March 1, allowing the organization to make a steady and smooth transition as it moves through its 50th season.

The Center’s board has begun the process of selecting a firm to support the national search for its new president and CEO. Ungerleider said the board is seeking a dynamic leader who can continue the Center’s growth trajectory in both performing arts and museum programs.

“The Center enjoys a stellar reputation in the national performing arts and museum sectors, which will make this position extremely attractive to a diverse pool of candidates and enable us to attract top talent,” Ungerleider said. “We are grateful Terri has given us such a lengthy runway to find her successor.”

The Center has reopened for indoor performances after a prolonged hiatus due to COVID. Many holiday programs are scheduled, in addition to the Center’s Broadway Series, which kicks off in January.

“We are excited to see the joy and enthusiasm from our audiences as they return to our theaters,” Ungerleider noted. “We are on an excellent trajectory with strong forward momentum, and our next leader will step into a vibrant organization.

“The Center has a strong executive leadership team with extensive knowledge in the industry. The entertaining opportunities and stellar experiences our community have come to expect will continue throughout this transition – and in the years ahead.”

Midland Center for the Arts is a cultural destination for the Great Lakes Bay Region and State of Michigan. We are a unique institution that brings art, science, history, music, theatre, dance, films, camps, classes and world-class entertainers into our architecturally significant building as well as out into the community. Featuring a 1,500-seat theater that hosts touring Broadway musicals, the Midland Symphony Orchestra, and talent from around the globe; a 400-seat theater that is home to locally productions by Center Stage Theatre; a hands-on interactive museum of science and art; the Midland County Historical Society; and art studios; the Center is home to artists, audiences, historians, and students. To learn more about Midland Center for the Arts, visit us at

About the author

Josh Holliday

Josh Holliday

Josh Holliday is the former Director of Communications at Midland Center for the Arts. Telling the stories of artists, innovators and modern day explorers!

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