Florida State University Announces New Director of Opening Nights Performing Arts Program

Michael Blachly

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Opening Nights at Florida State University has selected Michael Blachly as the new director of the university’s performing arts program. Blachly, who brings four decades of experience to FSU, will start his new position Nov. 17.

“Michael is highly respected in the performing arts field and brings a wealth of talent and expertise to our program,” said FSU President John Thrasher. “We look forward to him building on our tradition of excellence and further distinguishing FSU’s Opening Nights as one of the premier performing arts programs in the country.”

Blachly’s résumé includes administrative management experience in the arts, facilities operation and programming in the public and private sectors. He has expertise in commissioning new works, presenting premiere performances with established as well as emerging artists, fundraising and developing educational outreach programs with artists.

“I’m pleased and honored to be assuming the position as director of Opening Nights at Florida State University,” Blachly said. “With a solid programmatic foundation and staff in place, a strong Development Council supporting the program and excellent campus leadership backing Opening Nights, we will collectively be able to continue the program’s strength and advance it in the best interests of the FSU family and the Tallahassee community.”

Blachly has a proven track record for managing comprehensive university presenting arts programs. He has implemented successful programs at five universities, including the University of Florida, UCLA, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Colorado State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Spending the majority of his career in higher education, Blachly has served as a faculty member, supervised student interns, participated in campus administrative leadership teams, chaired institutional events and spearheaded major capital campaigns.

Most recently, Blachly served as vice president and senior adviser for The Arts Consulting Group, providing concept and financial planning and fundraising for cultural facilities, serving as a consultant for artistic decisions and securing artists for various performing arts centers and venues.

Blachly spent 15 years as the associate dean and director of the University of Florida Performing Arts and 14 years at UCLA Performing Arts, where he managed and supervised production of over 250 concerts and events produced in more than 14 venues.

Blachly earned his doctorate in educational psychology and higher education administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a Master of Arts from Washington State University and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Northern Colorado.

He has served on numerous national and international arts association boards and committees and is the current chair of the board of directors of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals.

FSU began a nationwide search in June 2017 to find a new director for its Opening Nights performing arts program. This season marks the program’s 20th anniversary of bringing world-class performances to campus and the Tallahassee community.