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New Strand-Capitol CEO discusses vision for the Strand

Today marks the seventh day on the job for Todd Fogdall.

But already, the new Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center president and CEO is making himself at home in York County after leaving his previous position as director of development for Des Moines Performing Arts Center.

In the last two weeks, Fogdall has explored York's parks, gone to a York Revolution game and plans to check out York Little Theatre this weekend.

"I'm just already trying to get out there and figure out some of the great things that the community has to offer," he said in an interview Wednesday.

During the interview, Fogdall discussed his vision for the Strand, what attracted him to the position and his background in performing arts.

Q. What attracted you to this position?

A. I think the Strand-Capitol is this jewel of an organization in this wonderfully sized community. I have been working in performing arts for the last 17 or 18 years. I was looking for an opportunity to move up and move into a president and CEO position. I've been living in a mid-sized community in Des Moines, Iowa, and really loving the quality of life that the size community brings. York, itself, was a big part of that attraction, and, of course, the facilities and the history of Strand-Capitol.

Q. How did you stand out during the interview process?

A. My background, which has largely been in development or in the fundraising side of those organizations, I think, was very appealing to the organization. I've also been involved, especially in my last job in Des Moines in ... raising funds for new programs (and) helping to develop new programs and new performance series.

Q. What are your goals for this season?

A. We're looking at growing our educational programs and offerings and really reaching outside of the walls of the Strand-Capitol and our facilities here into the larger community. I'm also hoping that we can be doing more in terms of offering performances, films, different types of ways to attract families and to welcome families to the Strand-Capitol as well.

Q. How would you accomplish those goals?

A. In the last few days, we've talked about doing more to bring in family films, maybe on Saturday mornings, working with Central Market and Second Saturday stuff and adding that to the mix of what's going on ... (I want to) get people in our spaces to do those at a price point that's accessible for families with young kids and open the doors for our facility to those kinds of audiences.

Q. What kinds of educational programs would you like to bring to the Strand?

A. We already have a partnership with William Penn, where we are actually providing teachers in arts areas to the school ... I'd love to see us do more with teacher professional development and actually working first with the teachers and helping to give them models and teaching strategies to bring the arts into their learning. How can you use dance, for example, to help teach kids about the rock cycle or use music to help teach kids mathematics.

Q. Were you involved in performing arts growing up?

A. I was very involved in music growing up and through education, and that's really why I do what I do today. I was a trombone player in band through high school and then when I got into college, I switched to choir. Those experiences were really the foundation of my life in high school and college ... I had these fabulous performance experiences, but really those experiences were preparing me for what I do today even though I wasn't thinking that at the time ... I do what I do because I want to see the same kinds of opportunities I had to be available for future generations of kids and audiences.

Q. What is your vision for the Strand?

A. Admittedly, I'm working to get my arms around that. A lot of it is leveraging the facilities, the history, everything the Strand-Capitol brings to this organization, and I think it's finding new ways to have that be an asset to the community and to look for opportunities to partner whether that's with other performing arts organizations, whether it's with other community organizations, whether it's with schools, however that is ... We of course want to build our organization but also to help build the downtown to build the core and to build York County.

Q. What is your biggest priority?

A. I think my biggest priority really is listening and reaching out to the community, making contact with people throughout the community and really just being open to hearing their thoughts, where do they think the opportunities are, ... what are those opportunities that make sense and leverage those.

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