CFPA - Center for Performing Arts - Minneapolis


Jackie Hayes

Executive Director

Jackie Hayes, executive director, Center for Performing Arts (CFPA), Minneapolis, Minnesota

In addition to founding and leading the CFPA since its inception, Jackie is an educator and practicing artist in performance and public art. She has been creating performance and site-specific work with a focus on questions of representation, aesthetics, and audience for over 25 years in Northern California, New York, and Minneapolis. Jackie has degrees in Political Science, Theater Directing, and a Ph.D in Performance Studies from NYU. She has created or co-created dozens of workshops on art practice for Master’s students and four major conferences on performance on both West and East coasts. She recently served as faculty for MFA in interdisciplinary arts students, and in several senior academic leadership positions at Goddard College in Vermont.

Jennie Ward

Managing Director

Jennie Ward, managing director, Center for Performing Arts (CFPA), Minneapolis, Minnesota

Jennie joined CFPA as Managing Director in fall 2017. She has worked for over 20 years a freelance theatre director and teacher, in Chicago, Boston, NYC, and the Twin Cities. Locally, she has directed and assistant directed for the Guthrie, the Jungle, the Playwrights’ Center, and MN Jewish Theater Company. She has taught at the U of MN/Guthrie BFA Acting program, Hamline University, and St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. She earned her MFA in Directing from the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. She lives in St. Paul with her husband and two sons.

Claire Curran


An artist and organizer, Claire comes to CFPA after 4 years working in the climate justice movement. Claire weaves her communication, art, and justice-seeking work together as the Marketing & Communications Director of In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Associate at CFPA, and Co-Director of One Dance Company. A proud Kingfield Neighborhood resident, Claire is thrilled to have joined the CFPA team.