Hitchens is a nationally recognized arts executive, with nearly 20 years of experience in performing arts administration, policy and program development. She most recently served as the executive director of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the oldest and largest state arts agency in the country, with a budget of $40 million.
During her four-year tenure at NYSCA, Hitchens oversaw the distribution of over $123 million in grants to more than 2,000 New York State organizations in every artistic discipline. Prior to working with the NYSCA, Hitchens served as the CEO of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and the national arts organization Meet The Composer, where she established a multi-million dollar endowment fund and fostered a 30-fold increase in individual giving. She holds an M.S. in Arts Administration from Drexel University and a B.M. in Percussion/Music Business from DePauw.
“The Wing is a uniquely collaborative organization,” said Theodore S. Chapin, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, in a statement. “Our fruitful and long-term partnership with the Broadway League in bestowing the Tony Awards is a key element of the Wing, as are our various media, educational, and grant-giving programs. Howard Sherman brought the Wing into modern times, expanding, creating and widening the scope of the activities with intelligence and skill, and his contributions have made the Wing a more important place. Building on what Howard achieved, our extraordinary search committee did yeoman service, and their choice of Heather Hitchens speaks well for us all. From my vantage point as Chairman, I feel Heather is the perfect person to guide us into the next phase of collaborations, mining new opportunities and strengthening old ones.”
“I am absolutely thrilled to become the American Theatre Wing’s next executive director,” added Heather Hitchens. “It is a tremendous opportunity to continue my life’s work in advancing exceptional artists and their craft, and to return to the place that my career began and a place that I love – the theatre. I look forward to working with the Wing’s board and staff to continue showcasing and supporting artistic excellence and innovation in the national theatre community.”