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- 2012 - May - 1st -

Florida Theatre searching for new president

by Joe Wilhelm Jr., Staff Writer

The Florida Theatre Performing Arts Center Inc., operator of The Florida Theatre, launched a national search for a new president last week in the wake of the planned retirement of current President Erik Hart.

Hart is approaching 25 years leading the organization. He will turn 64 in August and said he wants to transition out of the leadership role with the nonprofit organization and focus on programming for the more than 80-year-old entertainment venue.

“Programming is something I really enjoy doing,” Hart said Monday.

“The main thing is that I want to make sure there is a smooth transition, so I will be around until they find someone to fill the position,” he said.

The search began last week to fill the position and the board of directors will accept resumes until the end of May, he said.

“It would be great to get someone in here by August because it is our slow season,” said Hart.

The job is posted on websites, including “The Market” on the NCAA site.

The description of responsibilities for the position includes: Overseeing strategic planning and operations of The Florida Theatre in support of the organizational mission and goals; provides leadership, direction and support to the board of directors in developing organizational goals; attaining/allocating resources and establishing policies and providing leadership and direction to staff in carrying out the key roles assigned to them.

Applicants are asked to email a cover letter, resume, references and salary requirements to djv24@comcast.net by May 31.

Hart said one of the challenges the new president will face is letting the community know the variety of entertainment and services the theater provides.

“People don’t get to see the entire picture,” said Hart.

“Most come for a show and go home. They don’t expect to see the opera here one night and Pantera here the next,” said Hart.

Hart spoke late Monday afternoon while people were arriving for a graduation ceremony for nurses.

The posted job listing describes the theater:

Opened in 1927, Downtown’s 1,900-seat Florida Theatre was restored in 1983 and converted to a multiuse community performing arts center.

Since then, it has hosted more than 4,900 performances and events attended by about 4.6 million people.

Over 27 seasons, about 62 percent of the facility’s use has been by nonprofit organizations.

During the 2011-12 season, The Florida Theatre will host about 160 events, 65 of which will be presented by the theater as part of its annual season of cultural and entertainment events ranging from dance, world music and family theater to jazz, blues, comedy, rock concerts, classic films and visual arts.

jwilhelm@baileypub.com

356-2466

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