Kathy L. Hall, President of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, announced today that the Board of Directors has appointed Jennifer L. Schulte as their next Executive Director. Hall chaired the committee that conducted a national search resulting in Schulte’s appointment. Schulte succeeds Virginia Michalicek, who earlier this year announced her plans to retire after the 2014-2015 season.

“We are very pleased to welcome Jennifer L. Schulte back to Iowa’s Creative Corridor as Executive Director of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre,” Ms. Hall said. “As a native Iowan with extensive arts management experience, Jennifer has the talent and perspective needed to help the Company grow as an important component of the cultural life of this region.”

According to Daniel Kleinknecht, Founder and Artistic Director of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre: “I look forward to working with Jennifer to advance the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. I am delighted to have a partner with a strong background as an arts administrator who is also a collaborator with a deep passion for the art.”

Jennifer L. Schulte held roles of increasing responsibility since 1997 with the Fort Worth Symphony (FWSO) including five years as its Vice President of Operations. She was the Festival Manager for the FWSO’s “Concerts in the Garden” from 2006-2011. She served in several roles with the Cedar Rapids Symphony from 1994-1997. She has additional experience with the Dallas Museum of Natural History, the Dallas Theatre Center, the Plano Symphony Orchestra, and the Spoleto Festival USA.

Schulte holds a Master of Business Administration from the Cox School of Business and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the Meadows School of the Arts, both at Southern Methodist University. She is a graduate of Luther College and a native of Mount Vernon, Iowa.


From mainstage opera to education programs and special events, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre has been committed to bringing high quality, professional opera to eastern Iowa since 1998. Artists are selected by national audition. In 2013, the company significantly expanded its audience by moving an annual production to the newly-renovated Paramount Theatre, in partnership with Orchestra Iowa. Young Artist performances reach thousands of students each year in various eastern Iowa educational venues as well as outdoor summer productions at Brucemore. The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre regularly collaborates with Theatre Cedar Rapids and many other area organizations.

Cedar Rapids is one of only about 100 American cities with a professional opera company.


Kathy L. Hall, CFRE
Vice President, Development, Kirkwood Community College
Executive Director, Kirkwood Foundation
6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
Phone: (319) 398-7650