Kelly Turpin

Kelly Turpin

Development Manager


Kelly connects the dots between GTCYS’ mission and donor, foundation, and community support. Her passion lies in community involvement and teaching empathy through the arts, and strives to incorporate those ideals into her work at every opportunity.

Kelly’s career in artistic development and administration began as Company Director for Mill City Summer Opera. Since then, she has dipped her feet into many areas of the administrative world, gaining a vast array of skills and insight along the way. She was Production Coordinator for The Southern Theater, Organization Consultant for 113 Composers Collective, Front of House Manager for Lakes Area Music Festival, and Development Manager for Cantus. She currently serves on the board for ComMUSICation, and is a former board member of St. Paul Ballet.

Originally planning on a career in opera performance, (Ithaca College BM, Arizona State MM) she quickly tired of the stale and pompous US opera culture and invested in creating a space for greater transparency and honesty in the art form. As a response, she founded An Opera Theatre (AOT), where she is currently Producer/Executive Director. AOT produces advocacy-focused, socially relevant opera alongside community partners, with a robust education program focused on cultural exchange and uplifting individuality.

When not dreaming up new artistic ventures in the Twin Cities, Kelly enjoys cooking, swimming, yoga, road trips, and reading all in the company of her favorite collaborator, Justin Spenner, and their cat kids Percy and Motley.


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