SERVICES > Governor's Arts Awards > 2012 GAA Award Winners
2012 GAA Thomas C. Woods III Partner in the Arts Award
Joan Squires (Omaha)
Joan Squires has served as President of the Omaha Performing Arts Society since her arrival in 2002. Ms. Squires oversaw the opening of the Holland Performing Arts Center and renovation of the Orpheum Theater, as well as the development of the entire organizational and administrative structure for Omaha Performing Arts, which now has an operating budget of $16 million and is among the largest arts organizations in Nebraska, as well as the third largest non-profit organization in Omaha (Midlands Business Journal). In addition to managing both venues, Omaha Performing Arts presents a diverse series of performances, including Broadway, jazz, popular, dance, and family, as well as an extensive education and community outreach program. The organization also owns and manages Ticket Omaha, a comprehensive ticketing operation that serves numerous arts organizations in Omaha.
Ms. Squires holds masters degrees in both music and business administration from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in music education (piano and organ) from Lebanon Valley College, Pennsylvania. Ms. Squires began her career teaching music in public schools, and later served as an intern for the National Endowment for the Arts and participated in a yearlong fellowship under the sponsorship of the League of American Orchestras. Ms. Squires has worked in arts management for over twenty-five years, and her previous positions include President and CEO at The Phoenix Symphony, executive director for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and various positions with the Utah Symphony and the Houston Symphony.
Ms. Squires is active in numerous professional organizations and currently serves as a voting member for Broadway’s Tony Awards. She is a member of the Intra-Industry Committee, Spring Road Conference Committee, and Legislative Council for the Broadway League; a member of the Performing Arts Center Consortium; a Board Advisor to the Broadway Dreams Foundation; and belongs to the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. During her career, Ms. Squires has served five times as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and has spoken at various national conferences. Locally, Ms. Squires serves on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures and as a Trustee of the Business Ethics Alliance at Creighton University. She is President of Arts Omaha. In 2010, Ms. Squires and her husband served as honorary chairs of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association (Nebraska Chapter) fundraiser.
In 2010, Ms. Squires was honored at the YWCA’s Tribute to Women luncheon, and in 2009 she was named a “Woman of Distinction” by the Midlands Business Journal. In 2007 Ms. Squires was named “One of the Most Powerful Women in Nebraska” by the Lincoln Journal Star. Under her leadership, Omaha Performing Arts has won various awards, including the Non-Profit of the Year Award from the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce in 2008. She is married to Thomas Fay.