As dean of the Arts and Communications Department at Illinois Central College, Chris Gray supervises 30 full-time and 80 part-time employees, oversees a $3.5 million budget, and manages multiple facilities, including 90.7FM WAZU and the ICC Performing Arts Center. Among his accomplishments, he led a college-wide taskforce to create an Associate of Arts degree, and has substantially increased audiences for performing arts events through strategic planning and focused marketing.
A leader in the local arts community, Gray has served on the board of ArtsPartners of Central Illinois since 2010, becoming its president in 2012. He recently chaired the Arts and Culture planning process as part of the HUD Sustainable Communities grant, coordinating a diverse team of artists and educators to develop a long-term arts and culture plan for the Tri-County Region.
Active in the local theater community, Gray has served on the board of the Live Theatre League of the Greater Peoria Area since its 2010 inception, chairing its Executive Committee from 2011 to 2012. He played a role in a recent Corn Stock Theatre production, and has volunteered with Arc Light Productions and Washington High School Theatre. Gray is a regular judge for IHSA speech contests and serves on the board of New Route Theatre in Bloomington, where he is resident scenic designer. He is also a frequent director for Heartland Theatre in Normal.
Gray regularly volunteers for the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Washington High Band Boosters and Habitat for Humanity. He is also a strong supporter of Hooked on Fishing, where he teaches classes; helps children, seniors and those with special needs; assists in grounds maintenance; and volunteers in numerous other capacities.
A 2010 graduate of the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy and winner of the Horizon Award of Phi Theta Kappa Advisors, Gray is a regular presenter at regional and peer-reviewed conferences, and has been nominated for Who’s Who in Academia five times. iBi