This story was covered by, Phoenixville Patch, and The Philadelphia Business Journal.


Jennifer Carlson, a leader with decades of experience in historic preservation and the arts as well as ties to multiple Greater Philadelphia organizations, has been tapped to head the century-old Colonial Theatre as its new Executive Director. Her hiring is the culmination of a three-month, national search conducted by Dunleavy & Associates of Plymouth Meeting.

Carlson currently serves as Executive Director of the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Connecticut, which preserves the maritime heritage and marine environment of that waterway. The Museum recently acquired two Coast Guard inspected vessels for educational river cruises that diversify that nonprofit’s resources for outdoor recreational and educational experiences.

Prior to this, she advanced other leading cultural institutions in the Greater Philadelphia region, including Germantown’s Wyck Historic House. As Executive Director of that National Historic Landmark, Carlson helped secure a Save America’s Treasures federal grant. She also developed its Home Farm Club: a collaboratively-run kitchen garden. Carlson gained theater management experience as Program Director for Historic Philadelphia; Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music & Dance; and Assistant Dean at La Salle University’s School of Arts & Sciences. Early in her career, she was also a Box Office Manager at People’s Light and Theatre Company in Malvern. The central Pennsylvania native graduated from Temple University with a degree in theater and spent her high school years at the historic Capitol Theater (now Appel Center for the Performing Arts).

Carlson has dedicated her career to providing shared experiences in arts spaces, which she views as platforms for education, human connection, and empowerment. “The mission of the Colonial Theatre – to nurture community by celebrating the power of film and the performing arts to entertain, inform, and reveal meaning – is more important now than ever,” she emphasized. “I look forward to engaging with the vibrant Phoenixville community, restoring the historic 1903 auditorium, and seeking out ways to ensure its future as a premiere multi-arts center.”

Photo credit: Mike Ceci

Click to view the full Media Release.