Richland Academy of the Arts Founder, Marianne Cooper Announces Retirement

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May 5, 2022 - Mansfield, OH - Richland Academy is celebrating 30 years of arts education in Downtown Mansfield. Looking to the future, RAA is announcing the retirement of Marianne Cooper, Founder and Executive Director of the Academy.


Marianne Cooper has always been actively involved and passionate about the arts scene in Mansfield, having participated in numerous choirs, theatre productions, community events, and other arts-related endeavors. Having realized the enormous talent that existed in Mansfield, Marianne founded Richland Academy in 1991 with the purpose of creating a community center where individuals of all backgrounds could pursue their creativity and hone their skills in dance, music, visual arts, theatre, and later martial arts. Richland Academy’s founding President was the late Dr. Tom Croghan, who also served as the founding President of the Renaissance Theatre.


Marianne Cooper graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and later from Bowling Green State University with a Master of Music while pursuing PhD work in Education Administration. She also studied at Tanglewood under Copland, Bernstein, Munch, and Ross. Marianne taught music in various public schools, then later became an Associate Professor of Music at The Ohio State University at Mansfield teaching music education classes, choral music, voice, and musical theatre. She toured nationally with the Norman Luboff Choir and also appeared in music theatre, opera, and oratorio in three surrounding states. She also conducted three European Choir Tours and one National Tour with The Ohio State University Singers at Mansfield. After retiring and becoming an Emeritus Associate Professor of Music, Marianne founded and has served as the Executive Director of Richland Academy of the Arts for over 30 years. In honor of that accomplishment, North Central State College inducted Marianne into their Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in 2012. 


Looking to the next 30 years, Richland Academy has been actively involved in rebranding, building a new website, and implementing a new strategic plan, all of which Marianne knows will propel the Academy forward for another successful 30 years. For RAA’s 30 Year Anniversary, a celebratory evening event will be held at Richland Academy on June 11, 2022.  


For more information on things happening at Richland Academy, call Richland Academy at (419) 522-8224 or visit“Richland Academy… where anyone can explore the artist within,” located at the corner of 4th and Walnut St. was founded in 1991 and is supported by the Ohio Arts Council. 

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