Headshot of Jay Gilman

Jay Gilman, MS’16

  • Artistic Director, Minnesota Fringe

Jay is a self-described “social artrepreneur,” working at the intersection point between the performing arts and social impact.

Currently the Artistic Director of Minnesota Fringe in Minneapolis, Jay stewards programming, planning, development, marketing, and operations for the largest performing arts festival in the Midwest and one of the largest fringe festivals in North America. Fringe serves as a powerful artistic laboratory for new and established artists from the Twin Cities, Minnesota, country, and world. And simultaneously, it’s an economic powerhouse, generating more than $2 million in ticketing revenues distributed directly to participating artists over the last decade and catalyzing vibrant activity for locally owned businesses and non-profit partners, including up to 18 venues featuring over 850 performances annually.

When Jay entered the NPL program as a part-time student, he was serving as Associate Director for Programs & Productions at Philadelphia Young Playwrights. The NPL program accommodated his (more than) full-time nonprofit schedule with flexible evening and weekend classes spread out over two years. Being a professional student allowed him to immediately apply tools and lessons from Penn coursework to ongoing projects, while the flexible electives structure allowed him to target specific knowledge areas where he needed the most growth.

Beyond his work at Minnesota Fringe, Jay applies board leadership knowledge garnered at SP2 as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Alumnae/i Association of Goucher College, where he received his interdisciplinary BA in anthropology, arts administration, education, and theater.

“The NPL empowered me to change how I saw and solved problems. As an artist and arts administrator, the program helped me accomplish my goal for a graduate degree – to glean best practices from professors and peers across multiple areas of the nonprofit and social enterprise sector, not just from within the cultural community.”

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