Fannie T. Taylor |
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Fannie T. Taylor

Arts Advocate / Administrator

  • Fellow
  • 1987
Arts, Arts Administration

Fanny T. Taylor was the visionary leader who brought the Association of Performing Arts Presenters to life. A staunch arts advocate, dedicated teacher, presenter, and champion of excellence in the performing arts. Her career was so dedicated to the work of arts presenting that Madison Magazine stated, “No one did more for the performing arts in this century than Fan Taylor.” In  all 1939, she began her career with a long association with the Wisconsin Union Theater. Her first job was publicity director for the Wisconsin Players, and her first assignment was to publicize the theater’s premiere event, Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne in “The Taming of the Shrew,” on October 9-11, 1939. The Lunts took a break from Broadway to open the Union’s magnificent new theater. Taylor became publicity director of the Union Theater in 1943 and then its first director in 1946, a position she held for twenty years.

Taylor was not only an astute programmer, she was also a dedicated mentor who imparted her skills to students on the Union’s Music Committee. She helped found the Association of College, University and Community Arts Administrators (ACUCAA). She was also ACUCAA's first executive director.

In 1966, Taylor moved to Washington, D.C. to accept a position with the National Endowment for the Arts as its first music program director and program information officer. Among her accomplishments was the creation of an arts residency program modeled on the Wisconsin Idea, which became vital to developing what are now modern dance touring programs. Taylor maintained her ties to the university and in 1969, helped create the arts administration graduate program in the School of Business with Professor E. Arthur Prieve, the first of its kind in the nation. The program grew out of Union student committee work that helped to develop management skills and programming sensitivities and is now called the Bolz Center for Arts Administration.

Returning to Madison in 1976, Taylor served as coordinator for the UW’s new Arts Consortium. Created in 1975 by Chancellor Edwin Young, the Arts Consortium was charged with developing ways of coordinating and rationalizing arts activities on campus.

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Madison, Wisconsin 53726
Phone: 608.733.6633


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3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
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Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608.733.6633 x25