We called it a roundtable, but the configuration was more square than round: eight of the area’s newly anointed arts execs, plus A&E Editor Julie Garisto and yours truly, all gathered for a conversation at CL Space on a rainy Thursday night in August.
After pizza was dispersed (also rectangular, from Pizza Fusion) and pictures taken (by CL Creative Director Todd Bates), we began with introductions and an invitation: Name the one thing that’s happening in your season this year that everybody has
Find their answers, and their bios, here
Following the introductions, we launched into the delicate subject of The Ones Who Came Before.
You’re having to fill some big shoes. Jennifer Parramore was at the film commission for 22 years, Anna Brennen at Stageworks 30 years. Seth and Meg, both of your Todds [Smith at TMA, Olson at American Stage] not only had been there for quite a while, they, like Anna, built new homes. So you’ve got this big legacy behind you. What’s that like?
Todd — my Todd — has been really generous with his knowledge and his time. When I’ve encountered a roadblock or need some help, he’s a text away.
For all three of you who are interim directors — it was pretty sudden, right?
I was in Omaha helping to take the Poseidon show down. I got a text from Todd on Friday that said, “We need to meet before you come to work on Monday.”
That could be bad, it could be good…
I flew back the next day, and he told me he was leaving. Which didn’t surprise me that much — museum directors tend to move around after they do something big. Then he said, “The board wants you to step in as acting director.” That was a bit of a shock. But that was about six weeks before he left… [To Meg] Like your Todd, my Todd was very generous.