Kristi Pulliam, Executive/Artistic Director
Kristi began her career at the FOA in 2007 when she was hired as Director of Community Development, and her work in that capacity prepared her well to lead the organization six years later. She is responsible for creating the annual marketing plan, casting the organization’s vision to various stakeholder groups, managing the FOA’s brand, recruiting sponsors and fundraising, overseeing numerous public events, supervising all operations and reporting monthly progress to the board.
Her previous experience was in academia, where she spent years as a classroom instructor at Crowley’s Ridge College—a small Christian liberal arts institution—and at Arkansas State University. She served on the lead committee at Crowley’s Ridge College that secured the College’s first term of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. Her passion for instruction, communications, community enhancement, and education has helped the FOA expand its important “turn no child away if at all possible” outreach component, grow enrollment and increase theatrical productions, ticket sales and sponsorships. Under her leadership, the FOA almost doubled their volunteers, peaked patronage and financial reserves. In addition, she is lead planner for the myriad event partnerships the FOA participates in, as well as several in-house events such as Behind the Red and the Cabin Fever Gala.
In addition to her planning and leadership skill sets, she is an accomplished writer – writing often for the FOA, personally, and for grants. She often speaks publicly and directs several successful stage productions each year. Her vision to create a nurturing atmosphere while aspiring for creative excellence succeeds because of the way she empowers other leaders under her tutelage at the FOA.
Civic & Volunteer Service
Her service interests are wide-ranging, and often event-centric. She currently serves on the Arkansas Arts Council Advisory Board, appointed by Governor Hutchinson. She has served as the Entertainment Committee Chair for the Susan G. Komen NEA Race for the Cure, and chair of the Holiday Tour of Homes for the Circle of Friends (benefiting Arkansas Children’s Hospital).
She sits on the board of the Downtown Jonesboro Association, and serves as a consultant to the Jonesboro Auditorium Commission. She has been a leader in the Children’s Worship Ministry at Southwest Church, where she also has assisted with the Jail Ministry.
Kristi holds both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Theatre from Arkansas State University, and remains an active Red Wolves fan. The FOA is a strong supporter of “Paint the Town Red” each year, and Kristi is personally involved in other ASU community events and activities, including two partnerships with A-State, Oasis, and annual art festival, and First Fridays at the Forum, a monthly showcase of local musical talent featuring the history of music in Northeast Arkansas.
Kristi is married to Kevin Pulliam and is the mother of six, ranging in age from 13 to 22.
Meridith Pierce, Associate Director/Marketing
Meridith joined the staff in the summer of 2016, though she has been a volunteer since 2010. A former 3rd grade teacher with Nettleton Public Schools, she holds a masters in Early Childhood Education Theory and Practice. At the FOA, her duties include marketing implementation and working alongside the Executive Director to maintain and improve the quality of arts programming we offer. She is the mother of two children, ages 3 and 5. Aside from her love of theatre, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with family.
JR Lawrence, Technical and Facilities Director
Brandon Bishop, Office Manager
Brandon is a Jonesboro native and 10 year veteran of the Foundation of Arts. Credits include Les Miserables, Titanic, Mary Poppins, Anything Goes, The Nutcracker Ballet, Coppelia, and Jesus Christ Superstar, just to name a few. He also has extensive competitive All Star cheer and dance training and was a UALR Trojan cheerleader from 2008-2009. When he isn’t singing, tumbling, or dancing across the stage, you can find him assisting patrons, volunteers, and staff at the FOA.
Kenny Fields, Technical Manager
Kelly Kelley, Bookkeeper
Kelly is a graduate of Arkansas State University where she received B.S. in Accounting. She also holds a license in I.P.A. and navigates people through the new federal and state insurance laws.
Jenny Box, Education Programs Manager
Jenny is a former pre-school teacher who has a passion not only for the arts but for serving the teachers, students, and families at the FOA. Most days you can find her in the Arts Center assisting with a smile. A long-time volunteer/employee, she and her husband and daughters all enjoy participating in various classes/productions at the FOA.
Ian Buchanan, Customer Service Associate
Sametta Parker, Costume Shop Manager
Elea Pulliam, Marketing Assistant
Elea is no stranger to the FOA! She’s worn many hats around here, but is currently a dietetics major at ASU while helping out part-time with our PR.