Mr. Terry Olson
Orange County | 1/1/2016 - 12/31/17
Appointed by: Senate President Gardiner
Terry Olson has been Orange County's “Chief Arts Instigator” since the County authorized the creation of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs in 2001. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Central Florida. Terry has been involved professionally in the Arts since he completed an M.A. in Theatre from the University of Minnesota. He moved to Florida to help open Epcot Center bringing SAK Theatre, a company he co-founded and managed for 21 years, Since moving to Orlando, he has helped start and run more than a dozen other arts organizations including the Orlando Theatre Project, the Orlando International Fringe Festival, and Orlando’s Downtown Arts District. He attends as many as 40 arts events each month. He has been asked to speak at various organizations including the prestigious TEDX conference in Tampa. He is the past President of the Florida Association of Public Art Professionals. He served as Executive Director or Board member for a number of national or international arts networking and support organizations.
Mr. Olson has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida and guest lecturer at Rollins College and has worked with composer Keith Lay from Full Sail on several projects and with Cole NeSmith on the Creative City Project. His photographic art has been featured at SNAP! Orlando. He has performed on many of the Central Florida stages including the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Orlando Opera Company, Southern Ballet Theatre, Mad Cow Theatre, the Garden Theatre and more. Recently he has landed solos in the massive CFCArts concerts with the nation’s largest community choir and orchestra. On more than once occasion Mr. Olson has convened collaboration of arts organizations across the community to celebrate a common theme such as “Orlando Goes Wilde”, “What the Dickens Orlando, or “20 art legends of Orange County”
He received the “Outstanding theatre advocate” award from the Florida Theatre Conference, the Downtowner of the Year and Golden Brick awards from the Downtown Orlando Partnership, the Champion of Sustainability award from the Healthy Community Initiative and the Humor award from the Grant Professionals Network.
His wife and daughter are also both involved in the arts.