DELPHI — Enriched with an extensive, distinguished career as a cellist, ethnomusicologist, and Arts and Culture leader, Robin Williams will take the helm as new executive director and curator for the Delphi Opera House.
Williams’ appointment, which will begin Aug. 1, marks the official re-opening and launch of the historic venue’s sixth season.
Williams started her journey under the mentorship of the late legendary Jazz educator David Baker at Indiana University-Bloomington, where she received her bachelor’s degree in music promotion and artist development.
Soon after, Williams moved to New Orleans to play a significant role in the music industry as a studio cellist and artist manager for several jazz, blues and world music artists.
In 1998, Williams returned to Indiana to become executive director and CEO for the Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra. She went on to spearhead and lead several arts organizations, including the Garfield Park Arts Center in Indianapolis, the New Orleans Jazz Institute at University New Orleans, and Fulton County Arts & Culture center in Atlanta.
For each of these organizations she was responsible for artistic direction, resource development, curating multidisciplinary art/music performances and exhibitions, as well as designing and delivering arts education programs for youth and adults.
“The board of directors of the Delphi Opera House are excited and humbled that Robin has chosen the (Delphi) Opera House to channel her talents, experience and enthusiasm,” Delphi Opera House board president Jim Cripe said. “We look forward to Robin leading us not just through our post pandemic reopening, but well into the future as we re-establish ourselves as the premiere performance venue in the region.”
Williams has been a lifelong advocate for traditional artists. After a 25-year hiatus from academia, she completed her research on the culture bearers in New Orleans as part of her Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology from Liberty University. The resulting book, “Rhythm, Ritual & Resistance” was installed at the library of Smithsonian Institution.
She has presented artists internationally at venues such as the Atlanta Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Pori Jazz Festival in Finland, as well as the Phaeno Museum and Berlin Embassy in Germany.
“I am passionate about supporting organizations which embody and embolden the creative spirit. I believe that the Delphi Opera House is one of those historic and hidden gems that celebrate our rich and robust Indiana culture,” Williams said. “I relish the opportunity to bring my leadership abilities to the organization, and to assist in furthering its unique mission and vision.”
The historic Delphi Opera House, located on the east side of the courthouse square in Delphi, opened in 2015. It provides quality programming featuring local, regional and national performers, theatrical productions, lectures and classes. The facility also offers rental space for weddings, receptions, meetings, reunions, and other community events.
Folk artist Ben Bedford will kick off the Delphi Opera House Fall Concert series at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 11.
Visit www.delphioperahouse.org for more information on tickets and an updated schedule of concerts for the 2021-22 Season.