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Meet an Alliancer: Michael Norris

Ever wondered what it's like to work at the Cultural Alliance? We'll introduce you to members of our staff! This month the spotlight is on Michael Norris.

Job Title: Vice President of External Relations

Job Responsibilities: I oversee the Alliance’s policy, advocacy and community engagement work, as well as our development efforts.

Degrees/certificates: BA in Journalism from Temple and a fundraising certificate from the University of Pennsylvania

Past experience working in arts and culture: I’ve been at the Alliance for about four years. Before that, I was the executive director of Art-Reach for eight years, and before that I spent nine years at the Arden Theatre Company working in both development and marketing. I started my cultural career in the development department at Walnut Street Theatre.

Favorite thing about working at the Cultural Alliance (so far): OK, this is three things, but I can’t in good conscience narrow it down any further. I’ve loved the opportunity to guide the launch of some major new Alliance initiatives, including GroundSwell, STAMP and TechniCulture. It’s been fun exploring how we can better leverage our advocacy work as a fundraising tool. And working with such a creative, dedicated and passionate staff team makes it all even more rewarding.

Favorite cultural institutions/attractions/events: I love the hidden gems—places like the Rosenbach Museum & Library, the Wagner Free Institute of Science, and Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, which I have the good fortune of living around the corner from. And I’m still loyal to Philly’s awesome theatre community, where I spent so much of my career. The list is way too long for this, but favorites include the Arden, Azuka and InterAct, and I’ll also throw in Pig Iron, the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective and 1812 Productions for good measure.

A fun fact about yourself: I was a Mummers judge (Fancy Brigades) for many years.