Press release: IndyFringe Names Longtime Indiana Arts Leader as New Executive Director

The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian:

For Immediate Release
INDYFRINGE NAMES LONGTIME INDIANA ARTS LEADER AS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The former Artistic Director of Ivy Tech’s John Waldron Arts Center and Dean of Fine Arts at Ivy
Tech will officially take the helm at IndyFringe on June 3, 2024
Indianapolis— The IndyFringe Theatre board of directors has announced that highly regarded
central Indiana arts leader Paul C. Daily will take over leadership of the organization on June 3.
The announcement comes on the heels of news that the previous Executive Director, Dr.
Jennifer Cooper, had been selected as the new Executive Director for the Indianapolis
Symphonic Choir.
IndyFringe board president Bob DeVoss says Daily has precisely the combination of skills the
board was seeking in the organization’s next leader. “Paul’s done it all,” DeVoss said. “He’s got
a great artistic background, but he’s also got a lot of experience on the administrative side of
theatre – the budgets and box office side. Plus, he brings a strong network of relationships with
institutional and artistic partners that share our vision of Indianapolis as the city of choice for
top-tier theatrical talent to live and work,” he said, adding, “we’re very excited to have him
come on board.”
A Hoosier native who earned a BA in Theatre and Drama and an MFA in Directing from Indiana
University, Daily was already an award-winning actor and co-founder of an award-winning Off-
off-Broadway theatre company in New York City when Ivy Tech enticed him to return to his
home state in 2010. Daily became Artistic Director of Ivy Tech’s John Waldron Arts Center in
2010, and in 2014 was the founding Dean of its School of Fine Arts. Since leaving Ivy Tech in
2020, Daily has worked with Bloomington Playwrights Project and taught theatre classes for
high school and college students.
“Community,” Daily said, “is one of my passions. And that’s what IndyFringe creates.” Daily’s
plans for his first 100 days as Executive Director include a “listening tour” to engage community
stakeholders in conversations around “what they’ve seen IndyFringe be and what they dream it
could become.” Using that input, he says, “will allow us to keep building IndyFringe as an
organization that fosters not just new plays, but new theatre – new types of theatrical
experiences that appeal to existing patrons and newcomers alike.”
With the 2024 IndyFringe Festival kicking off on August 15, board members opted to retain
another well-known member of Indy’s theatre scene, Callie Burk-Hartz, as director of this year’s

festival. Over the past dozen years, Burk-Hartz has held a wide variety of roles with the
IndyFringe Festival. “I’ve been a volunteer, a box office manager, a producer, occasionally an
actor,” Burk-Hartz said, “and I’ve planned and managed the opening night celebration for more
than a decade.” DeVoss said having Burk-Hartz direct the festival gives Daily some breathing
room as he gets familiar with the organization. “With Paul starting on June 3 and the IndyFringe
Festival starting on August 15, it didn’t seem practical to ask him to manage everything this
year,” DeVoss said. “Callie’s done such a tremendous job with the planning for this year’s
festival and when she said she’d be willing to see it through, the board felt like we were getting
the best of both worlds,” he added.
Burk-Hartz says patrons can expect the 2024 IndyFringe Festival to rival the best of its pre-
COVID brethren. “We’re going back to an 11-day festival this year, with tons of performances
and a huge variety of themes and formats and venues,” she said. “Our goal is to produce a
festival that is equally enjoyable for patrons, artists, and volunteers. Everyone should feel like a
valued contributor to the experience.”
That’s the kind of community feeling Daily is looking forward to as he contemplates his first
IndyFringe Festival as Executive Director. “One of the things I love so much about the festival,”
he said, “is that it’s not just the experience of going to see a single show. It’s about all the
shows you see, and the people you meet as you walk between different venues, the places you
stop to grab a bite in between. It’s all of those community connections that make IndyFringe
the big, beautiful thing it is.”

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