With over 30 years of experience, Jim Sparrow has an extensive resume working in the arts. He started his career as a classically trained professional musician, serving for 10 years as principal clarinetist for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit. Upon transitioning to arts administration, he worked as Development Director for Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne from 2000-2006. In 2006 he was appointed Executive Director of Arts United a position he held for 7 years in which time he started the development and expansion of the downtown arts district and campus.
In 2013 he was recruited to take the helm of the Winston-Salem, NC Arts Council as President and CEO a position he held for 5 years. This position included managing the $3 million dollar annual fund drive and the creation of an expanded downtown arts district and center. In 2018 he returned to NE Indiana to become Executive Director of Fort Wayne Ballet. Jim has degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Case Western Reserve University and IUPUI School of Philanthropy. He has served on numerous local and national boards including Vice Chair of Americans for the Arts Private sector council. Chair of Invent Tomorrow, and Board member of Winston Salem State Foundation, Fort Wayne Downtown Improvement District, NE Indiana Childhood Alliance and the Indiana Arts Commission redistribution and alignment arts committee. Jim is married to Karen Gibbons-Brown and has 5 children. He and his wife have been residents of Auburn, IN since 2019.