Nonprofit urbanism steward Downtown Dallas Inc. has appointed Jennifer Scripps, the city of Dallas’ director of arts and culture, as its next president and CEO. The Dallas native will shift to her new position in April.
Atop her list of priorities is ensuring the 360 Plan continues to develop Dallas’ urban, neighborhood, and corporate culture into a new generation.
“I could not be more honored and excited to lead an organization with a nearly 65-year history of success advocating for the heartbeat of our city,” Scripps said. “The DDI team is full of some of the most knowledgeable, creative, hard-working men and women in our city and I am looking forward to doing great work together to advance downtown.”
Scripps takes over the 100-employee team for interim president and CEO Amy Tharp, who took the reins from longtime leader Kourtny Garrett when she announced her departure late in 2021.
Downtown is currently seeing significant activity, with more than $4 billion in current and planned developments, thousands of residential move-ins, and a wave of corporate relocations. Chairman of the Board Mattia Flabiano believes Scripps will only continue to advance the hub.
“[Jennifer] is a visionary, a collaborator, and a person of action,” Flabiano said. “Downtown Dallas is thriving and DDI is blessed with incredible talent on our staff. Jennifer is well positioned to guide our team on a path that ensures the vitality of the City Center for the next generation.”
In her previous role, Scripps managed a budget north of $22 million, 19 cultural facilities, and grant programs that support more than 200 art organizations and artists. During the pandemic she secured more than $4 million in federal funding and oversaw the upstart of a micro grant program for African, Latin, Asian, Arab, and Native American artists. Prior to working with the city, Scripps served in multiple positions with the Perot Museum of Nature & Science, including overseeing the day-to-day construction and business planning for the organization.
At DDI, Scripps will be tasked with helping to steer major projects, including the Field Street District on the north side, Newpark Dallas to the south, and a $2 billion redevelopment of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas. DDI also has plans to enhance art engagement and provide leadership on the redevelopment of Interstates 30 and 345 and reimagining DART’s D2 light rail line.