A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, C.C. Conner studied at the University of Vienna in Austria; received his BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and his LLB from Columbia University School of Law. C.C.is a retired US Navy Lieutenant and speaks fluent German. He is the co-author of Skeletons from the Opera Closet, originally published by St. Martin’s Press and now in paperback from Moyer-Bell.
C.C.’s background in the arts is complemented by his extensive law background. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Conner was employed by Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett in New York. He subsequently worked at Goldman Sachs & Co. From 1980 – 1994, Mr. Conner served as a managing partner of Mandelbaum, Schweiger & Conner in New York City. His practice had an emphasis on not-for-profit law and representation of performing and visual artists and galleries, in addition to corporate and securities law.
C.C.’s experience in the dance world began at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York City where he started providing pro bono legal services in 1969. He served on the Board of Directors of VLA from the early 1970’s until 1995, serving in numerous positions including vice chairman, secretary, and treasurer. In 1975 he joined the Board of the National Association of Regional Ballet, Inc. He served for many years in the ‘70’s and 80’s on the selection panel for the dance festival at Riverside Church in New York. He has also served on grant panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council for the Arts, the Division of Cultural Affairs of the State of Florida, the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
In 1975, C.C. assisted Pauline Koner in establishing the Pauline Koner Dance Consort and served as its Executive Director and Associate Artistic Director until 1980. During this period, he also worked with Tornay Management in New York. In May 1992, he became the Executive Director of The Joffrey Ballet in New York City and led the strategic planning process to move The Joffrey to Chicago.
C.C. Conner joined Houston Ballet as Managing Director in 1995, retired the company’s accumulated $1 million deficit, has overseen sixteen seasons of balanced budgets in an extremely challenging economic environment, and developed the company’s endowment to over $52 million, as of January 2012, one of the largest of any American ballet company. In 2007, Houston Ballet launched a campaign to build its new Center For Dance. At 6 stories and 115,000 square feet, the Center For Dance is the largest facility for a professional dance company in the United States. C.C. led the capital campaign for the $47 million project and served as project manager. The Center For Dance opened April 9, 2011.
C.C. has served on the Board of Dance USA, the Board of Directors of the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County, as Chairman of the Board of the Texas Institute for Arts in Education, and Vice Chairman of the Houston Downtown Alliance. He currently serves as a Trustee of the AGMA Retirement Plan and Health Fund.
Over the past seventeen years, C.C. has also spearheaded a series of innovative collaborations between Houston Ballet and major American ballet companies to produce major new full-length productions: Dracula in 1997 with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre; The Snow Maiden in 1998 and The Pied Piper in 2002 with American Ballet Theatre; Cleopatra in 2000, with Boston Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre; and The Firebird with National Ballet of Canada in 2001. He has also planned and executed numerous national and international touring engagements for Houston Ballet to such cities as Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, China; Hong Kong; Toronto; London; Moscow (to the legendary Bolshoi Theater); Los Angeles, Spain, and to Washington, D.C. (The Kennedy Center).
C.C. retired from Houston Ballet Foundation on February 15, 2012, which was proclaimed by Houston Mayor Annise Parker as Cecil C. Conner, Jr. Day.
Dance/USA: #Dancers/#Choreographers: Don't miss these tips on working with lighting designers, in From the Green Room: http://t.co/QnoBuPgF42 6 hours ago
Dance/USA: RT @okcballet: #okc #mooreok #tornadorelief http://t.co/8YFTDZ79ZG 2 days ago
Dance/USA: RT @ddpaa: #Choreographers, have you shown your lighting designer the entire, accurate, live #dance? MT @DanceUSAorg http://t.co/UBUxZRG6GS 2 days ago
Dance/USA: #Dancers #Choreographers: Think you know how to work w/ a lighting designer? Check out Jeffrey Salzberg's tips: http://t.co/QnoBuPgF42 2 days ago