Carla Johnson


Carla Johnson

Carla Johnson was appointed President and Executive Director of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in March, 2004. She spearheaded the strategic planning process, which resulted in the adoption of a five-year Strategic Plan in March 2005, and balanced the operating budget for the third consecutive year. Ms. Johnson oversaw the construction of the 2005-2006 season, which added three new series in the new Ferguson Center for the Arts at Christopher Newport University in Newport News; the new series helped push sales to an institutional record of over a million dollars in subscription sales. Having worked for over nine years with the Saint Louis Symphony Community Partnership Program, it is her particular goal to bring community engagement to Hampton Roads, and to that end she has begun a number of initiatives in schools, churches, and other community centers in the area.

Ms. Johnson is currently serving on the Collaborative Data Project Task Force and is an alumna of the Mellon Orchestra Forum.

Ms. Johnson received a B.A. in Honors Political Science and French Language, with an equivalent of a dance minor, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her Masters in Arts Administration is from Brooklyn College.

With husband John Hickox and daughter Zoë, Ms. Johnson resides in Norfolk, Virginia; son Ian is off at the University of Virginia. While Carla Johnson is completely devoted to music and organizations which make the music, her passion is gardening because plants either live or die, but they don't negotiate.

Articles by Carla Johnson:

The Harmony Project: Another Iteration of a Very Good Idea
February 21, 2019

What’s the Difference Between an Orchestra’s Executive Director and General Manager?
August 9, 2019

Discussion Panels with Carla Johnson:

Negotiations
04/17/06 - 04/21/06