Marcus Performing Arts Center Gets a New CEO

Kevin Giglinto is a Marquette University alum.

Seasoned performing arts leader Kevin Giglinto will be the next president and chief executive officer of the Marcus Performing Arts Center, the organization’s board of directors announced on Tuesday.

Giglinto will take on the roles beginning in July. He brings more than 25 years of leadership experience with two prominent performing arts organizations to the role with the Marcus Performing Arts Center.

“Kevin joins a strong, established leadership team to continue building on MPAC’s vision within the community,” Marcus Performing Arts Center Board Chairman Ray Wilson said. “He is a passionate, strategic leader whose experience connecting diverse audiences and building an organization’s brand prominence is an ideal fit for advancing the MPAC mission and strategic goals.”

Giglinto replaces Kendra Whitlock Ingram, who served in the top leadership role from late 2019 until January when she left to take the helm as president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Ingram succeeded Paul Mathews, who retired after leading the Marcus Center for 21 years.


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With personal and professional ties to Milwaukee and the Midwest as a Marquette University alum and long-time Chicago resident, Giglinto most recently served at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. as senior vice president, marketing and chief strategy officer. In this role, he guided the brand position, digital strategy and long-term vision to build and engage diverse audiences.

During his tenure, he played a significant role in the opening of The Kennedy Center’s first expansion, The Reach, including gaining support and engagement in the $250 million campaign and delivering the 16-day opening festival, creating a diverse experience for more than 100,000 community attendees.

“Our search committee saw many talented leaders both locally and from across the country, but Kevin stood out as the best fit for the future of the Marcus Performing Arts Center based on his commitment to audience development and experience growing meaningful patron relationships,” Wilson said. “Kevin has been on the front end of innovation in the arts, and we’re excited for him to leverage his experience to continue raising the profile of MPAC and attracting high-quality arts and cultural programming to the city, state and region.”

Prior to The Kennedy Center, Giglinto held leadership roles with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including vice president for strategy and special initiatives. During his tenure, he elevated the brand’s international reputation, strengthened audience development and deepened the organization’s engagement with the broader Chicago community. Under his guidance, the organization reversed a decade of subscription decline, generating three years of growth and raising renewal rates to more than 90%. Giglinto has also served as senior vice president for client development and marketing for the Tessitura Network, a nonprofit organization that provides audience development technology and solutions to arts and cultural organizations.

“I’ve seen Milwaukee evolve and recognize the instrumental role Marcus Performing Arts Center continues to play in the changing cultural landscape of the city,” Giglinto said. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to lead the organization as its new president and CEO, alongside the established board and strong leadership team.”



Rich Rovito is a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine.