Inspire Arts & Music announced the promotion of Chris Holland to CEO during last month’s annual board meeting. Chris Holland has served as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Inspire Arts & Music and the Boston Crusaders since 2015.
Under Holland’s leadership as COO, the Inspire Arts & Music programs, including the Boston Crusaders, have become a local name in music education and a national contender in Drum Corps International. During his tenure, Holland was a key driver in the corps’ recent competitive success, helping raise the corps a historic 10 positions over the last seven years. Holland played a crucial role in Drum Corps International’s pandemic recovery and return to competition by serving as the DCI Board Chair, as well as a committee seat on the Tour Reopening Task Force. In 2021, he was recognized as DCI’s Director of the Year, receiving the Dr. Bernard Baggs Leadership Award. All while at home, Inspire Arts & Music has flourished with new programming, new performance opportunities, and an increased presence in the Hyde Park community.
“We are very proud to elevate Chris to Chief Executive Officer. Since being named Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer back in 2015, Chris has been the driving force behind Inspire Arts & Music’s remarkable progress,” said Martin McGee, President of the Inspire Arts & Music Board of Directors. “Chris is an inspiring, talented leader whose passion and drive for success is tenacious. I can’t imagine anyone better suited to lead the organization into the future.”
Holland’s success is founded on a lifetime in the arts which has brought him experience as a performer, educator, and administrator. Beginning with the Boston Crusaders in 1986 as a young trumpet player, he spent nine seasons on the field before serving on the education team. Holland served as the brass caption head for the Boston Crusaders and Phantom Regiment, as well as brass staff for Carolina Crown. He went on to earn his B.A. in music from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and is the former Director of Bands in Norwood, Massachusetts. After his tenure at Norwood, Holland earned his J.D. and served as a trial attorney in the Essex County District Attorney’s office before moving on to private practice. In 2013, he joined the Inspire Arts & Music Board of Directors before accepting the position of Executive Director/COO in 2015.
“The eight years of growth and development of IAM has been a labor of love for me. I am very blessed to have a terrific board, amazing and talented IAM staff, incredible volunteers and of course - students and participants that make this job so rewarding,“ said Chris Holland. “I am excited for all that comes next and am committed to our long term goals and mission. I am humbled and appreciative of the confidence and commitment IAM has placed in me.”
As CEO, Holland will continue to serve as Executive Director of the Boston Crusaders, oversee execution of the Inspire Arts & Music’s strategic plan, and operations of all Inspire Arts & Music programming including the Boston Crusaders, Great East Music Festivals, Fantastic Festivals, the Riverside Theatre Works Building, urban programming, and our community partnerships.
We are looking forward to the next chapter under Chris Holland’s leadership. Congratulations on this incredible achievement!