FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Erica Bondarev
November 14, 2012 – College Park, MD – Susie Farr, executive director of the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, has announced that she will retire from her position in 2013, after the Center’s eleventh season.
Since becoming the Center’s executive director in 1999, Farr has overseen the growth and development of a major regional performance venue that is also a national model for university-based academic and performance integration. Under her leadership, the Center has earned a reputation for adventuresome programming, community engagement and a deep commitment to the academic goals of the University of Maryland.
Farr has overseen the growth and development of a major regional performance venue that is also a national model for university-based academic and performance integration
“From the beginning, we wanted the Center to be a place of exploration and growth, befitting a research university,” Farr said. “I’m proud of the many ways we have opened doors to transformative experiences for the campus and the surrounding communities.”
As part of the University’s College of Arts and Humanities, the Center has been exceptionally well-positioned because of its strategic partnerships with the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and the School of Music, partnerships that were envisioned and fostered by Farr and are unprecedented for a performing arts center on a university campus. During Farr’s tenure as Executive Director, the performing arts achieved its $35 million fundraising goal for Great Expectations: The Campaign for Maryland.
“Susie has been instrumental in elevating the visibility of the performing arts on and off campus by collaborating with faculty, students, audiences and artists,” said Bonnie Thornton Dill, Dean for the College of Arts and Humanities.
‘I’m proud of the many ways we have opened doors to transformative experiences’
Farr has also placed high emphasis on programming that goes beyond performances to provide audiences with deeper insights into relevant issues and the creative process. The inclusion of partner organizations from campus and the broader community has been fundamental in planning and carrying out Center initiatives.
Recognition for Farr’s groundbreaking work in the performing arts has come from the campus, the community and nationally. In 2006, she was honored as the University of Maryland’s Woman of the Year by the President's Commission on Women's Issues. As executive director of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, she received the Association’s Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award for leadership and service. She was twice recognized by Washingtonian magazine as one of “Washington’s 100 Most Powerful Women” (2002 and 2006) and in 2002 also received the Cornerstone Award from her alma mater, Chatham College. Farr has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, The National Jazz Service Organization and the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington.
The university will launch a national search for her successor in early 2013.
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Learn more about the Clarice Smith Center's donor support.