Teri Orr is the executive director of the Park City Performing Arts Foundation (Utah), curator of the new Park City Institute (PCI), and co-director of the PCI/Strategic News Service "Future in Review" Speaker Series.
Having lived in Park City for the past 36 years, Teri has watched it change from a failing mining town to a thriving, four-season resort community. She has written a weekly, award-winning column all these years. As the former editor of the local paper, The Park Record, Teri became involved in politics and understanding land use and helping in the development of the nonprofit community.
In the mid-'90s, in a radical career change, Teri left the paper and started fundraising to build and run the Park City Performing Arts Foundation. She was able to be involved, in a small part, with the entertainment locally for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. The foundation's programming has been recognized nationally for its eclectic, international mix of dance, theater, and music, all in a town of less than 10,000 people. To date Teri has raised about $35 million for the arts in Park City.
After attending her first TED conference in Aspen in 2008, Teri began the process of starting Park City's own version of Dave Eggers' 826 tutoring center. For the past four years, the foundation has run the free after-school one-on-one literacy tutoring center, the Mega-Genius Supply Store, and IQHQ. The institute opened a second Genius tutoring center in May 2015. The theater is the anchor facility for the Sundance Film Festival, which Teri has been involved with, working with press - or representing the press - since 1982.
Teri has been a mostly single mom, who left an abusive marriage in California and reinvented herself in Utah. She now has two adult children, who produced three grandchildren. She helped start the Peace House women's shelter, worked and spoke on domestic violence for years, and served on the Governor's Council for Domestic Violence issues. For that, she was given the Many Women, Many Voices award in 2002.
Teri has also received a number of awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Press Association, and the National Press Association. She is the only woman, to date, to have received the Park City Chamber/Bureau's Spirit of Hospitality award, in 2007. In 2012, she received the Governor's award for leadership in the arts. Teri has also served as a judge for the PEN literary competition.