Sunday, December 02, 2007

ACT – A Contemporary Theatre Hires

New Managing Director

Kevin M. Hughes Joins Staff December 1, 2007

Seattle, WA – November 28, 2007 – Brad Fowler, president of the Board of Trustees for ACT – A Contemporary Theatre, announced today the appointment of Kevin M. Hughes as the managing director of the 43-year-old regional theatre. Mr. Hughes, who has led his own public affairs firm since 1998, has represented businesses, government jurisdictions, grassroots efforts and nonprofit organizations, including many cultural organizations, at the state, county, city and federal levels for 22 years. He has worked on a variety of issues including the arts, education, health care, land use, environment, budget and tax policy. Mr. Hughes will begin his new position on December 1, 2007.

Kevin Hughes began his career in the theater. He was managing director of the Empty Space Theatre from 1981 to 1985. He started his career in Seattle at A Contemporary Theatre, first in the box office and then as assistant controller. He was a member of the acting ensemble at the Hedgerow Theater in Pennsylvania for five years, and also served as the theater’s general manager for three years.

Mr. Hughes is a past member of the Seattle Arts Commission and chaired the Seattle Arts Commission’s Executive Director Search Committee in 2002. From 1986 to 1990, he was executive director and lobbyist for the Washington State Arts Alliance. He received the Corporate Council for the Arts Pyramid Award in 1990 in recognition of his many years working on behalf of the arts in Washington State.

Prior to starting his own firm, Mr. Hughes was director of public affairs and major gifts for Pacific Science Center, one of the largest science museums in the country. He represented the institution in government affairs and in all relations with city, county, state and federal governments, and oversaw fundraising for the institution’s largest-ever capital campaign. Under his leadership, more than $40 million was raised for both capital and operations.

Mr. Fowler said, “This is great news for ACT and for the local cultural community. Kevin Hughes brings a wealth of fundraising experience to the theatre, a broad perspective of the community and a strong grounding in the industry.”

“I couldn’t ask for a better partner,” said ACT Artistic Director Kurt Beattie. “Kevin understands the challenges of today’s arts organization; that, combined with his passion for the art form and for ACT, will strengthen our ability to generate revenue that supports the mission of this theatre.”

“I am thrilled to be returning to the theatre and, specifically, to ACT,” said Mr. Hughes. “Kurt Beattie is an extraordinary artist, the staff is equally talented and ACT’s multi-faceted building is one of the best arts facilities in our region.”

Board of Trustees Vice-President and search committee chair Kristin Olson said, “We received an excellent response to our call for applications, reviewing more than 50 applications submitted from around the U.S. It is clear that ACT is highly regarded in the regional theatre industry and the search attracted a range of strong candidates.”

The search committee included Ms. Olson and trustees Brad Fowler, Robert Howie, John Jacobsen, and Chuck Sitkin, and ACT staff Kurt Beattie (artistic director) and Joan Toggenburger (producing director). Also on the committee were Peter Donnelly (former president and CEO, ArtsFund) and Marilyn Sheldon (managing director, 5th Avenue Musical Theatre). Susan Trapnell, (former managing director and now executive director of endowment fundraising) served as an advisor to the search committee.

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