Arts People

Fort Worth Opera welcomes new board members

Written by Mindia Whittier

The company has recently transitioned to focus more on concerts and performances in the community, and building relationships with other arts and civic organizations.

Two community leaders are joining the Fort Worth Opera (FWO) Board of Trustees. 

Susie Olmos-Soto and Judy Bennett Garner were recently announced as new additions to the FWO family.

Olmos-Soto was born and raised in Fort Worth. She currently serves Texas Christian University (TCU) as Sr. Consultant for Employee Engagement & Success. Prior to joining TCU, she served as Director for Continuing Education & Economic Development for Tarrant County College Northwest Campus. 

An active community leader and long-time supporter of the arts, Olmos-Soto brings a history of stage performing as a former mariachi musician. She also offers a strong nonprofit board and advisory portfolio, serving with the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas, Artes de la Rosa Cultural Center for the Arts and the North Side High Legacy Foundation. She recently accepted a mayoral appointment to the City of Fort Worth Hispanic Advisory Council. Olmos-Sotos holds a Master of Education in guidance and counseling from TCU.

Bennett Garner currently serves as Employment Counsel for Resources Global Professionals (RGP). Prior to joining RGP, Judy practiced in the labor and employment section of Jackson Walker LLP. Judy serves on the Board of Directors of the Advisory Board of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and Family Compass. Prior to entering the legal field, Bennett Garner worked for several arts organizations, including Washington National Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and Johns Hopkins University – Peabody Conservatory. Judy holds a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, and a Master of Music and Bachelor of Music from the Catholic University of America.

Founded in 1946, FWO produced a nationally recognized Festival in the springtime for 14 years. The organization returned to a year-round format in the fall of 2021. FWO has become one of the leading American companies dedicated to nurturing and performing new opera, while producing traditional repertoire with rising stars. 

The company’s acclaimed Children’s Opera Theatre program serves around 60,000 students across North Texas each season with live, interactive performances. Fort Worth Opera also hosts community-driven events that represent the diverse cultures of all of the Americas, including an ongoing Noches de Ópera program, and concerts such as A Night of Black Excellence.

About the author

Mindia Whittier