Thursday, September 19, 2002

Arts center names new president

By The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — The chief executive of one of the most prominent dance companies in the country will take over as president of the Kentucky Center for the Arts.

        Arthur Jacobus, CEO of the San Francisco Ballet, was selected Wednesday by the center and foundation board of directors. Mr. Jacobus, 62, was the only finalist for the arts center presidency.

        “It's a tremendous opportunity for the Kentucky Center to have someone of Arthur's caliber in the arts,” said C. Edward Glasscock, the arts center's board chairman. “He is widely known and respected, both nationally and internationally, and will be a tremendous leader, one with the vision to take the Kentucky Center to the next level of excellence.”

        The Kentucky Arts Center presidency had been vacant since Michael C. Hardy resigned in April to become CEO of a $260 million arts complex in Miami. Don Parkinson, a retired executive, has served as interim president since June.

        Mr. Jacobus has led the San Francisco Ballet since 1993, increasing its endowment from $3 million to $45 million over a nine-year period. The ballet has an annual operating budget of about $29 million and supports a schedule of more than 100 performances.

        Kentucky's center has a yearly budget of about $8 million. The job posed the opportunity to be involved in a broader scope of the arts, including the Louisville Orchestra, Kentucky Opera, Louisville Ballet, Broadway Series and Stage One, Mr. Jacobus said.

        “After 23 years as a chief executive of large performing arts companies, I am eager for this opportunity to guide the Kentucky Center, applying my talents to a wide range of the performing arts,” he said. “Looking back at the newly completed renovation, and ahead to a thrilling twentieth anniversary, this promises to be an exciting time at the Kentucky Center, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”

        Mr. Jacobus served as president and CEO of Seattle's Pacific Northwest Ballet for nine years and president and general manager of the Oakland Symphony for five years. For two decades, he was a bandmaster for the Navy, leading bands in San Francisco, Naples, Italy and Ville Franche, France.


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