jakub | October 4, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | Jessie Youngblood Named Metro Theater Interim Managing Director


Joe Gfaller and Jessie Youngblood.

ST. LOUIS: Metro Theater Company (MTC) has appointed Jessie Youngblood as interim managing director, effective Oct. 9. Youngblood will succeed Joe Gfaller in the position, who departs the company at the end of the month to become managing director of Clear Space Theatre Company.

Gfaller worked with MTC since June 2019, helping to increase the company’s annual operating revenue
from $925,000 in 2018 to over $1.3 million in the most recent fiscal year. He has been responsible for guiding the development of a new endowed fund to support greater access to MTC programs and the company’s first three-year contract with St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund. Gfaller also led a national research project to record the changes in attitudes and behaviors around conflict resolution and violence from MTC’s arts-integrated education program.

“It has been an extraordinary privilege and honor to serve Metro Theater Company and the
entire St. Louis community in this role for the last four and a half years,” Gfaller said in a statement. “I have valued deeply the remarkable colleagues and deeply committed supporters who have become
like a second family for me during my time here. I look forward to continuing to support MTC from afar as I start this new chapter.”

As interim managing director, Youngblood will lead MTC alongside retiring artistic director Julia Flood as the board searches for a new executive artistic director in the coming months.

“We are confident that Jessie is the ideal candidate to lead Metro Theater Company, with artistic director Julia Flood, during this transition period,” said board president Nancy Garvey in a statement. “Her passion for Metro Theater Company’s mission, coupled with her expertise in fundraising and development, will undoubtedly help steer our organization toward continued success.”

Youngblood previously served as development director at MTC, successfully devising and executing fundraising strategies, organizing key events, and playing a critical role in expanding the organization’s donor base. Having raised millions of dollars annually in various development roles across
St. Louis, Youngblood has taken the lead in forging partnerships, and making contributions to the sustained growth of several nonprofit arts organizations.

“I am honored and excited to take on this new challenge as interim managing director,” Youngblood said in a statement. “Metro Theater Company is an organization very dear to my heart, with a long history of making a positive impact on young people in our community. I am committed to ensuring that we continue to thrive, innovate, and inspire.”

Founded in 1973, Metro Theater Company seeks to create professional theatre, foster an inclusive community, and nurture meaningful learning through the arts. As of 2022, MTC had an approximate budget of $1 million.

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