Molly Fortune is currently the Executive Director at the Newberry Opera House in Newberry, South Carolina. She has held this position since September 2015 and is known in the industry as a leader of a world-renowned performing arts center. She leads a staff that oversees ticketing, programming, marketing, operations, and patron engagement. She strongly believes that historic buildings provide a window or door for economic development and revitalization of America’s downtowns.
Prior to her work in Newberry, she held the position of Director of Restoration and Operations at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, a multi-purpose performing arts venue hosting over 450 events and more than 780,000 patrons per year. During her tenure at the Fox Theatre, Molly’s led the Production, Maintenance and Operations, Restoration, Housekeeping, Guest Experience, Security, and Tour departments.
Projects completed under her tenure at the Fox included: carpet re-weaving; handrail installation; ceiling restoration, Landmarks Lounge creation; historic finishes documentation; furniture appraisal; lighting appraisals; organ restoration; lighting restoration and improvements; exterior lighting; HVAC upgrades worth $2.5 million alone. She always thought outside the Fox in solving problems that would enhance the theater-going experience, yet maintain the historic integrity of the facility. Her Department spent over $1 Million in Capital improvements each year. Molly was influential with the development and implementation of new strategic initiatives such as the Fox Theatre Institute, an outreach and consulting division for which she served as the Director of Restoration Consulting. Prior to that position, Molly was employed by the Department of Defense as a Cultural Resource Specialist in Historic Preservation and Programming for two military installations in the Southeast.
Molly received her BFA in Interior Design from Converse College; studied architecture at the University of Kansas and received an MFA in Historic Preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design Summa Cum Laude with Distinction. She is a member of Sigma PI Kappa National Preservation Honor Society (both Alpha and Gamma Chapters) and Tau Sigma Delta National Honor Society in Building Arts.
Molly is very active with the League of Historic American Theatres serving on the Board of Directors, as well as on the Board of Advisors for the Savannah College of Art and Design. She is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers Performing Arts Managers. She is also active as a mentor, peer reviewer and guest speaker on the importance of historic buildings as economic drivers for several professional Preservation and Museum-oriented organizations and publications.
Anne pinckney Smith
Marketing & PR, Donor Relationships Manager
Ticketing and Guest Experience Manager