Executive Director Emily Montgomery to Step Down

Empire Arts Center Executive Director Emily Montgomery will be leaving her post at the organization later this year.

Montgomery, a Grand Forks native, has served as Executive Director since 2012.  In her time leading the Empire Arts Center, the organization began the Empire Theatre Company, started an ongoing partnership with the university with UND Art Collections, created the blackbox theater Studio E, created The 1919 Lounge Broadway cabaret series, began The Backstage Project concert series, and more.  In addition to adding new programs, Montgomery spearheaded extensive fundraising efforts to upgrade the historic facility, including landmark projects to install a security system, replace the windows, add a digital movie projector and grand piano, overhaul the theatrical lighting system, replace the theater’s broken air conditioner, and more.

“Even though it’s been incredibly hard work, I couldn’t be more honored to have had the chance to make an impact on our community through my time at the Empire,” says Montgomery.  “I feel like I was able to accomplish a lot of positive things for the Empire, but I didn’t do it alone; the amazing staff (both past and present), artists, board of directors, donors, volunteers, and most importantly, my family all made the Empire’s recent successes possible.”  Montgomery will be leaving the Empire Arts Center to pursue professional opportunities with her family’s business, Burkland Farm, and to spend more time with her family, including her two young children.

“The Empire Arts Center, the regional arts community, and the city of Grand Forks have been very fortunate to have Emily Montgomery’s leadership at the Empire over the past seven years. Her dedication, passion, and commitment to collaboration have taken the Empire to new heights, and her impactful accomplishments are numerous. Her successor will be able to build upon a solid foundation thanks to Emily’s incredible work. Because of Emily’s vision, we are grateful for our history, confident in the present, and excited for the future of the Empire Arts Center. We wish her all of the best as she writes her next chapter.” says Jonathan Holth, the Empire Arts Center’s current president of the board of directors.

The Empire Arts Center will be searching for a new Executive Director, effective immediately.Interested applicants can find out more at here.