Atlanta Ballet Announces New Chief Advancement Officer

Certified Fundraising Executive Mary Grace Herrington will lead the arts organization’s development function as of May 4, 2020.


For Immediate Release

 ATLANTA (Thursday, April 30) – Atlanta Ballet is pleased to announce the appointment of Mary Grace Herrington as Chief Advancement Officer, effective May 4, 2020. A certified fundraising executive (CFRE), Herrington most recently served as vice president for development at Forté Foundation and previously as the chief development officer for ideastream – the home of PBS, NPR and Classical Music serving Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

Fluent in integrated marketing that utilizes personal, event, direct response, digital marketing and social media techniques to engage prospective donors and secure their financial support, Herrington has fifteen years of experience in leading teams that achieved $15 million in annual operating, $8 million in contributions to endowment funding, and $20 million in special campaigns.  Her oversight for fundraising events has attracted crowds from 500 to 5,000 including the 20th Annual WVIZ/PBS Wine Festival and celebrity author events with the late Cokie Roberts for Capital Dames, Michele Norris for The Grace of Silence, and Andy Kilpatrick for Of Permanent Value: The Story of Warren Buffett.

“We are proud to have Mary Grace join Atlanta Ballet in the critical role of leading the development function for our organization, especially in these challenging times when fundraising will inevitably take on an exceptional level of responsibility for the organization for the indefinite future,” says Arturo JacobusCEO and President of Atlanta Ballet. “Even under ‘normal’ circumstances, leading the fundraising function in the performing arts takes a combination of experience, knowledge, leadership and management, charisma and relatability, an obsession to succeed, and a love of the art. Mary Grace has it all – and more. We are honored to have her join the Atlanta Ballet family.” 

“I am honored to accept Arturo’s invitation to join the oldest ballet in the country,” says Herrington. “This is an opportunity for me to connect my profession with my passion. I’m a strong advocate for the value of arts and culture institutions as a mainstay of any community – just as important as universities, libraries and parks.”

To fill this position, Atlanta Ballet conducted a national search led by committees comprised of three different organizational units – members of its Board of Trustees, the executive leadership team, and the development team. The search was conducted by Jim Howland, principal for the executive search firm WH Management Group – the same firm that brought Arturo Jacobus and his predecessor, Barry Hughson, to Atlanta Ballet as executive directors, and Gennadi Nedvigin as artistic director. The field of qualified candidates numbered over twenty professionals from Atlanta, New York, Florida, and other regions around the United States. 

"Mary Grace's leadership qualities came shining through,” says Elizabeth Adams, Chair of Atlanta Ballet’s Board of Trustees.  “I believe her insight, passion, presence and resourcefulness will engage the board and provide the fundraising leadership that Atlanta Ballet needs during this challenging time.”


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About Atlanta Ballet:

Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet is one of the premier dance companies in the country and the official state Ballet of Georgia. Atlanta Ballet's eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. After 90 seasons, Atlanta Ballet continues its commitment to share and educate audiences on the empowering joy of dance. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened its Centre for Dance Education, which is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. The Centre serves over 150,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet's roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city's cultural growth and revitalization. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @atlantaballet, and like us on Facebook at


Media Contact:

Julia Berg
Director of Public Relations
(c) 404.226.1127