JEFFREY P. INGRAM: Co-Founder and Executive Director

Jeff Ingram - Executive DirectorGreetings, Friends! It all started in the woods around the house where I grew up in Tallmadge, Ohio. There were tree forts, and railroad tracks, and underground mineshaft hideouts that served to stimulate the imaginations of all the young kids in the neighborhood. “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” said Albert Einstein. That is the seed from which my love of the arts has grown. At the age of eighteen, I knew I wanted to write plays. I’d already written several and when I entered Ohio State University in the Fall of 1983, I was excited to be in the theatre department where I could test my skills. After realizing that most of my professors were not really interested in original theatre, I started a coffee house theatre company with a fellow student. We called it “Hard Trash Theatre” and we wrote and performed several plays at the King Avenue Coffee House in Columbus. That was 1987.

After graduating from Ohio State University in 1987 with a double major degree in French Literature and Theatre, I spent a year in the forensic unit (as a psychiatric attendant, not a patient) of The Central Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Columbus. They decided I didn’t quite fit in there and subsequently released me to pursue creative endeavors in Los Angeles. I lived for a couple of years in LA, sleeping on my brother’s couch and working for the Second City Theatre as an Assistant Stage Manager in Santa Monica. After the theatre closed, I continued to work as a set decorator and art assistant on films and music videos until I decided I couldn’t impose on my brother’s couch any longer.

In the Spring of 1991, I moved to Seattle and lived for a while until I got a job on an Alaskan floating fish processor. I hoped to earn enough money to move to San Francisco and start a theatre company. After 6 months at sea, I had plenty of money to do just that, but on my way to the Golden Gate city, I fell asleep at the wheel and drove into an oncoming logging truck. This altered my course and sent me back to Tallmadge to recover at my parents’ house.

After six months of recovery, I was ready to grab my cane and step out into the world once again, where I discovered both an apartment and a gallery space on North Water Street in Kent, Ohio. It felt like it was meant to be. I’ve been here ever since and feel blessed to be a part of a community of artists. It is my sincere desire as Co-Founder and Executive Director of Standing Rock Cultural Arts to promote the arts in all forms and celebrate the creativity and innovation of our local, regional, and global community.



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