Randy Ham | Vice President of Membership
Odessa Arts Executive Director Randy Ham is proud to call West Texas his home. A native of Ft. Stockton, Randy moved to Odessa, graduating from Permian in 1991. Randy rounded out his education at Odessa College and UT Permian Basin. After serving as Author Events coordinator & non-fiction book buyer for Hastings Entertainment in Amarillo, Randy moved back to Odessa in 2009. His work and experience in publishing led Randy to found One Book Odessa, a city wide reading program in 2011, with New York Times Bestseller and History Channel host Brad Meltzer. One Book Odessa has grown to feature Neil Gaiman, Erin Morgenstern, Karen Valby, and David Sedaris (on two separate occasions). This success led him to the Ector County Library where he served as Department Coordinator for two years, and served on the board of directors for Main Street Odessa and The Odessa Council for the Arts & Humanities. Another literary brainchild, Books in the Basin was the Permian Basin’s first book festival in 2012, 2014 (in conjunction with the Midland County Public Library) and 2016. In 2014, Randy assumed the position of Executive Director. Now known as Odessa Arts, Randy has shepherded the organization through its 40th anniversary, a rebranding of its name and mission and built a greater community awareness of the role of Arts in Odessa.
Odessa Arts now has a Public Art Committee, which has facilitated the restoration of the Tom Lea ‘Stampede,’ mural from the downtown post office, selected and executed art designs for over 20 traffic boxes in Downtown and Western Odessa, and is in the process of restoring the Cloth World tower to house a Public Art piece by Philadelphia artist Ray King.
In 2017, Randy and Odessa Arts, in partnership with Odessa College, facilitated the return of professional Shakespeare to the Globe Theater at Odessa College with the Odessa Shakespeare Festival. In just two years, over 1700 students have had the opportunity to see a professionally produced Shakespeare play in a recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.
Randy serves on the board of directors for Texans for the Arts, the state arts advocacy non-profit, as well as participating in multiple panels for the Texas Commission for the Arts. His writing has appeared in The Odessa American, The Good Men Project, and Foreword magazine. He recently contributed the foreword to ‘A Permanent Record,’ by Austin artist Heidi Petrie.
Randy lives in Odessa with Tom, his partner of 24 years, and his Pitbull rescue, First Assistant in Charge of Social Media Padfoot LuPone.