Staff Intro: Amy Russell, Director of Programming

We are thrilled to introduce you to our friend Amy Russell, director of programming for CPA, in our latest staff feature! A coffee fan, gardener, and baker in her free time, Amy leads the way in bringing artistic talent, familiar and new, to Carolina Performing Arts and the Chapel Hill community.

Amy Russell (left) with former CPA directors of development Susin Seow (center) and Ketura Parker (right).

CPA: How long have you worked at CPA?

Amy Russell: I have worked at CPA for just over six years – I started in the fall of 2014.

CPA: What’s your favorite part of your job?

AR: My favorite part of my job is that I get to devote a lot of time, energy, and resources to building relationships with artists from around the world, and then introduce them to local people and step back and watch as they create something together. My curiosity and my desire to learn are also satisfied every day in my work, and I am very grateful for that.

CPA: Coffee or tea?

AR: Coffee! All the coffee! Every day starts with cold brew that I make at home, or a cappuccino from Open Eye Café which, thankfully, I can order online and pick up outside to maintain social distancing.  That has been a sanity-saving trip to make every once in a while during the pandemic.

CPA: Where’s your go-to place for takeout?

AR: Mint on Franklin Street has been our family’s go-to for years, but the chicken veggie pie at Breakaway Café is a new favorite and hard to beat on a cold winter night.

CPA: It’s a Saturday afternoon. Where would we find you?

AR: Gardening, if the season is right, or inside cooking or baking with my son.

CPA: What’s the most memorable performance you’ve ever seen (CPA or non-CPA)? Why?

AR: It is impossible to pick just one, so I will share the first few that come to mind: the US premiere of Toshi Reagon’s Parable of The Sower which we presented in Memorial Hall, singing at the top of my lungs all the way through a three-hour Bruce Springsteen concert about ten years ago in Greensboro (a.k.a. Steensboro), Akram Khan’s Until the Lions at the Holland Festival, and Karmina Šilec’s Toxic Psalms at St. Anne’s Warehouse presented by Prototype Festival.  I am lucky to say that the longer I think about it, the more truly memorable performances I recall, and hopefully CPA is causing that same “problem” for many people!

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